@Roger, I'll have to refer you to my first comment that, it is the combination of having at least one individual from the four key demographics, which makes this a good step forward for encouraging participation and improving the environment for Juniors to join by creating an achievable impetus. I would agree that the U11 rule on its own would be quite a step change for the Championships - but this appears to be taken out of context by some, almost presenting the current proposals as let's have 15 adults, and one U11 Junior, then of course, no Junior would be interested or feel very part of the team!
I think that you need different approaches at the different levels of chess; at the local league level, the focus should be on what Leagues and clubs are doing on attracting more Juniors to play. I think we need to look at what is most achievable, for example the current proposals are really not that difficult (which I've justified in my earlier comment). I know a couple of clubs in the Coventry League that would not have a single U11; whilst some clubs are better than others at attracting Juniors, from a League-wide viewpoint - suppose my own Coventry League was to field a team with these requirements, it would be easily achievable. So if we take a County-wide perspective, it will really not be that difficult. Obviously, there needs to be constant dialogue between the ECF with the Counties, and the Counties with their constituent Leagues/Clubs to ensure that even these conservative targets can be meet.
My personal opinion is that these proposals will neither lure or drive away the counties who no longer participate, but the proposed reforms will benefit the Counties who are currently involved and be a positive factor towards attracting more young players. Regarding counties that no longer partake in ECF competitions, I would ideally like to know the list of which counties this includes (and any stated reasons for leaving), but are you suggesting that the leaving the Championships unchanged as it is, will encourage these counties to come back?
All views are my own/represent chess organisations that I'm part of/or neither!
Vice Chair & Delegate - Coventry and District Chess League | fmr-President -Warwick Chess
Celebrating 100 Years of the Coventry & District Chess League 1919-2019