May I begin this email by thanking so many people for their kind and generous words of gratitude and best health wishes that were sent to me as a consequence of problems with my Trigeminal Neuralgia condition and subsequent decision to step down as secretary of the Shires League.
Ironically and fortuitous, the prompting of me writing to you all, brought back a couple of emails, one from a GP who is a SL member. The advice offered was acted up and during the last month I have been almost pain free, with little or no side effects from the drugs. Currently, there is no cure for Trigeminal Neuralgia , however it can return quite randomly but if the drugs can control it then life can almost return to normal for the time being.
Three people have stepped forward in taking over the role of running of the Shires League. We can now suggest our proposal for the future of the Shires League in this letter.
You may already be aware that Graham Hall, sorted the counties for the 2019-2020 league back in June 2019. I can confirm that Graham has offered to continue with this role. With a lack of data, it will be even more difficult to rank counties for the league, but Graham will do the best he can before he proceeds to arrange 6 fixtures for each county partaking in the SL, based on the information you have given Graham about the counties that are geographically nearest to your county.
I have suggested that my role be further divided up to the running of the Shires League and the administration and running of the Shires League Finals. I am pleased to confirm that John Ellis from Yorkshire has agreed to take the role of Shires League Secretary and running of the league, including all the administration that goes with that. In addition, Mark Russ from Sussex (with the help of Jonty Russ) has agreed to taking on the role of Shires League Finals Referee, which includes booking the venues and additional referees, buying the shuttles and medals, sending out the invitation letters to play-offs and finals and running the tournament on the day of the final.
Whilst I am in good health, I will be doing all I can to advise and assist these people in their roles as they learn. I can tell from the many letters that I have received how many of you understand the enormous task these people are undertaking. I ask you to give them your full support and encouragement in their new roles please.
We will refer to John, Mark, Graham and Ian as the Management Committee in future.
The Management Committee strongly feel that we need to draw a line under the 2019-20 season. Hence, we do not intend to play the matches that remain un-played or the play-offs / finals that were cancelled in April and May 2020. We will not plan any finals for 2021, but will plan to hold finals in 2022 following the conclusion of the new season. No blame cancellations will be worked out for all un-played matches in the 2019-20 season and certificates printed for the top 12 counties.
Of course, the Management Committee are still not sure how or when Shires League matches can resume for certain. However, we think this is the time when we as an organisation need to vote on whether we plan to play our fixtures synchronized with Badminton England, so the SL season is from January to December OR we plan to play our fixtures out of synchronization with Badminton England, so the SL season is from September to July. The details are given below.
AGE GROUPS FOR 2021-22
As there was quite a lot of confusion last year with understanding the proposals, we have made it simpler to start with this time.
The two options are
- Do we align with BE, so that a Shires League season would be from January to November?
- Do we continue to play Shires League matches starting in September and playing through to June the following year?
Whatever option we decide, we will need a second vote to decide whether we play odd or even age groups.
With Option 1, one possible format may include that Shires League matches played from January to May
Play-offs are played in June/early July
Finals in September / October
Plan for next season in October / November
Have AGM in November and make fixtures for next season, which starts the following January.
With Option 2, dates would remain very much the same as they have for years, eg matches played from September to April, Play-offs from March to May, Finals from April to June, Plans for next season from May to June. The AGM would be held in June/July and fixtures made from July to September.
BE age groups would remain constant during the playing season for Option 1.
BE age groups would change during the playing season for Option 2, eg players might be U14 from September to December, changing to U15 from the 1st January.
Should the membership be in favour of option 1, then alternative proposals to the format as outlined above can be considered.
One representative from each county should vote for Option 1 or Option 2.
Please vote for options 1 or 2 by 31/05/2021.
The results will be posted on the SL website as the votes are received.
On behalf of the management committee,