01785 822624 ian.rizzotto@talktalk.net

Zoom meeting minutes from 16/05/20

Zoom Meeting: Saturday, 16/05/20 from 7:15pm until 8:45pm

Click HERE to see latest voting

Dear Colleagues,

We had a very successful Zoom meeting yesterday and hope that our AGM meeting for this season can be conducted in the same way. It will cut down on travelling time, costs and more-over ensure that most counties can easily attend the meeting so that decisions are more collective.

I endeavour to summarise the findings of the meeting below:-

Overview

  1. On 01/05/20, Ian sent out a SL newsletter outlining a plan for re-introduction of SL badminton. Although some aspects were discussed with Mark Downie, the majority of the document was created unilaterally. Since it was written, the situation has changed somewhat. The purpose of this meeting was to seek other points of view, which will be taken into account and may be used as a starting point for a proposal for the development of the SL.
  2. The UK government document published on 11/05/20 was of little help in moving forward with SL badminton; the League Secretary has read all 60 pages. It certainly was not as comprehensive as the Irish government document. However, it has become clear that August date finals are out of the question. It is however, still feasible, though quite unlikely, that some badminton may resume in September or October. It was felt to be more likely to be November or December. The general consensus of the meeting at this moment in time is that by January 2021, we can plan with a much greater degree of success.

Completion of Shires League 2019-2020

  • Most counties but not all, agreed that this season should be completed and the finals played, even if this meant extending the season further than October 2020 (see voting option A below). Quite a number of comments expressed the view that you are only for example U14 once and missing that opportunity to play the final was not something that should be withdrawn lightly.
    • When we do start playing badminton, training or coaching again, there may be strict guidelines that need adherence in order to ensure the infection rate remains as low as possible. Sports centres may issue these guidelines, which may be venue specific. Badminton England already has general risk assessment guidelines for coming out of the Covid-19 lockdown. However, counties should also do their own risk assessments, ensuring that such aspects as team gathering, social distancing, spectators and cleaning, etc are covered. Ian has asked that such risk assessments are sent to him, which in turn will be forwarded to all counties, so we can help one another and improve our risk assessments, thus maintaining the highest level of safety as we return to SL badminton.
    • It has become apparent, since the newsletter of 01/05/20 that counties do not have the same October half-term dates. Therefore, it is not possible to hold the finals on any mid-week day during October. Alternative dates for the finals, will be considered over the next few weeks. Such consideration, which will be discussed with Mark Downie, must firstly take account of other events; avoiding clashes if at all possible. Venues will need to be sought and booked, taking account of any cancellation charges and how these would be covered if the infection rate soared and lockdown was once again imposed.

We also have to consider whether players, parents and team managers etc are reluctant to return to SL badminton because they are still worried about the potential risk. Quite a few counties expressed the view that at this moment in time it was not certain if players will opt to drop out permanently, leaving a much reduced or unviable squad to continue playing.

  • All of the arrangements outlined in the newsletter of 01/05/20 for running finals would remain. In particular, that counties would enter the names of their team players and results on the BE app/website as the match proceeds. IR would ensure the matches are set up on the BE website but would generally have less contact at the events than would be usually the case.
    • Quite a number of counties have expressed the view that finals could be played over the Christmas break, particularly between Christmas and New Year, when few tournaments take place. Some thought that BE tournaments may be postponed in November/December, giving way to possibility of playing a final on such dates. It was agreed that the rules for selecting the teams taking part in finals may need to be flexible. Whilst it is hoped that the teams invited are the ones selected using the normal eligibility rules, we may need to consider taking just the top 8 from the league (scrapping Play-Offs) or even the top 4 teams in the league. This will depend on a variety of factors, most of which we do not have control of at present.

Age groups for Shires League 2020-2021

  • A brief overview of the 4 options currently on offer was explained by the League Secretary. Whilst this explanation was in progress and considering the uncertainty of when we may be able to resume badminton, the League Secretary proposed that we start next season whenever we can and postpone the Age Group vote until April 2021. There seemed to be very wide support for this idea.
    • In this plan, we would first complete the 2019-2020 season and the finals in one form or another depending on time, venue availability etc. It is expected that the new 2020-2021 season would most likely to begin in January 2021, with Play-Offs in June/July and finals in September. (See voting option B below)
    • During April 2021, we would re-consider the Age Group vote, which is currently proposed. If, the membership decided to play the season from September to April as it has been for years, then there would be a bit of overlap with the finals in September 2021 and the new 2021-2022 league. If we opted to align with BE and play the league from January to December, then the new league would begin on 01/01/2022.
    • Eric Brown suggested conducting a vote for the proposal, but the League Secretary declined because he felt that many member counties were not represented here today and members may wish to discuss the proposal with the rest of their committee before pressing forward.
  • It was suggested that another Zoom Meeting be scheduled in about 1 months’ time to review the situation.

There was no other business or proposals made.

Additional information

It was not discussed at the Zoom meeting whether within the new proposal we play even or odd age groups next season. The League Secretary proposes that if we complete this season, including the finals then the following season should be played by moving the players forward one year, eg playing even age groups, as we have done in league 2019-20

If in the unlikely event that the new season starts before 01/01/2021, some players may technically still be U14 for example but they would be ineligible to play U14 in the new league 2020-21. On the 01/01/21, such a player would then be deemed U15. (Bear in mind that such a player may have represented their county at U14 during the 2019-20 season and its’ finals at the top of their age group.)

Any decision is made on the basis that if any significant unexpected changes arise as a result of Covid-19, we review our decisions again.

Voting time

In light of this discussion I should be grateful if each county would vote in favour or against the following proposals.

A. Complete the 2019-2020 season (giving no-blame cancellations where desired,) including the finals in the best form possible.

B. Start the 2020-2021 season as soon as practical using even age groups, on the understanding that a new vote for the Age Group will take place in April 2021

I should be grateful if one person from each county responds with their votes for proposals A and B before Sunday, 24/05/2020 please.

If the majority of counties are in favour of proposal A, then the finals will be held either before or concurrently with the new season.

If the majority of counties are NOT in favour of proposal B, then I will continue with the Age Group vote, although I will need to give more time for this to be concluded.

As always, please feel free to give me a call on 01785 822624, if you don’t understand some or any of this and need something explained more. I’m here to help.

Thanking you all,

Ian