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Ridiculous number of games being scratched

 
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shortbread
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 15, 2016 4:33 pm    Post subject: Ridiculous number of games being scratched Reply with quote

Times have been tough in this wonderful city and the aftereffects have been felt in grades cricket as well, with the flight of players and availability becoming an issue. This was very evident in the '15 season with 3 teams not playing at all and nearly 40 scratched games in total.

It is a challenge almost every captain/secretary faces especially for clubs playing multiple teams.

That said the complete lackadaisical manner in which some of the oldest and most established teams in the grades have committed to playing a second side at the start of the '16 season; while knowing fully well that lining up enough players to make 2 or 3 squads every Saturday was bordering on the impossible. In certain cases the first squad was stretching itself to play 11 let alone taking into account the second team. Everyone knows who the teams are, while one has withdrawn and politely apologized, others are still continuing to do so.

I completely sympathize with any captain/secretary who fights all week to field a team and then having to make the agonizing phone-call on Friday evening to the rival captain to say sorry and hand a walkover.

What I cannot understand is why field multiple teams in such a scenario?! When hope and ground reality are miles apart senior club management have to be pragmatic.

The consequences of regular scratched games are various:

- Rival teams lose a whole Saturday committed to playing cricket and mostly discover the bad news on a Friday evening, too late in many cases to make alternative weekend plans.

- The disappointment of players on both sides who were available to play, this is in no way a good thing for grades cricket especially when we are looking for more players to take up the sport.

- Grounds that go to waste when venues are a real challenge and playing teams having to accept poor pitches/grounds due to apparent unavailability.

- The thin spread of a decreasing pool of available players in grades cricket for teams that are unlikely to play most of the season. It is a valuable waste of resources.

My deepest respect to Grammar who despite losing a big chunk of their players this season showed fighting spirit and kept fielding 3 teams by bringing in youngsters as well as old warhorses back in their cricketing whites. But others are simply comfortable with the fact that a second side is a novelty that they continue to entertain for no apparent reason!

The team I play (GCC - 2 teams) for have seen multiple scratched games already this season. Even worse having selected 22 players for a Saturday we face the difficult choice of having to drop 11 on a Friday due to the opponents not turning up. This causes major issues for the club management and the aftereffects will be felt within the club in various ways.

The ACA committee have to have a serious discussion on this matter and decide how to resolve this so that the same is not repeated in the 2017 season. I propose an club with two or more sides having to scratch a game in the lower grades look at the prospect of facing a points deduction in the first team. Such a measure will ensure club management will be more honest when registering teams for future seasons.

I know the rant above will not have gone down well with a major portion of the clubs but it is not just frustration on me or my clubs part alone, this practice does not bode grades cricket in any positive way whatsoever. Thank you and have a nice day

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Rick O Shea
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 18, 2016 9:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A few of us have talked about this at Portcullis over the last few weeks. It is hugely frustrating when you're looking forward to your game and it's called off at the last minute. S*d's Law usually dictates that it ends up being a sunny day as well.

We're in the fortunate position this season of having up 17 players available for selection most weeks (much credit to our Secretary and website). The down side is that we're having to rotate our squad with people sitting out (we are realistic enough to know that forming a second 11 would lead us to be in the same situation as other teams trying to manage multiple teams).

My suggestion would be for the Grades to facilitate a way for a club like ourselves to be able 'loan' players to other sides to make up numbers when necessary. Obviously there would need to be safeguards in place to prevent this being abused - but if it's done right it could give more people more cricket which is what we all want at the end of the day.
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StevenL
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 18, 2016 2:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The lack of cricket being played in grade 4 is very frustrating. Turriff has played a third of its scheduled games so far in 2016, only four of 12. Only one was lost to weather, 4 scratched by us and 3 by the opposition.

I'm told nobody wants to join our club because its too far away from Aberdeen. So it is even more frustrating when we see some clubs are over-subscribed, and either having to leave players without a game or attempt to field 2 teams when they don't really have enough players to do so.

The fact of the matter is that there are not enough grounds in Aberdeen to support all of the cricket that people want to play. And most of the council pitches are flawed, with bumpy ground, laughably short boundaries and/or unkept squares anyway. This all detracts from people's enjoyment of the game.

So unless people bite the bullet and start supporting (i.e. joining) the outlying clubs (I note it is not the Aberdeen-based nomadic clubs that are struggling /scratching games) this situation will not improve. In fact it will probably just get worse as more players flee the sinking ships and more actual cricket grounds are turned over to dog walkers and golf practice.

We're certainly at the stage now that without an influx of new members I don't think Turriff will survive for much longer. More players are leaving than joining, and this has been the case for a few seasons now. It's a crying shame as it will be another nice cricket venue gone. It could have easily been avoided with the acquisition of just three or four keen players.

Instead they will probably be sat on the sidelines for an over-subscribed city-based club or batting 9, 10 jack and not bowling, simply 'making up the numbers' for a grade one or two team.

Steve
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Tyson
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 19, 2016 11:31 am    Post subject: Ridiculous number of games being scratched Reply with quote

Gents, this was one of the reasons why the Aberdeen Evening Cricket League (www.aecl.org.uk) was set up. AECL allows players who maybe cannot play on weekends and those who do not get a chance at weekends to have a game of cricket during the week. I know it is not always easy for out of town based players to get into Aberdeen during the week. But, am happy to accept an out of town team to enter and play all their games at their home venue on a Tuesday night? AECL also allows 2/3 clubs to come together and enter a team for the season? Its too late now, but, maybe something to keep in mind for next year.
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valentino
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 22, 2016 12:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm going to take a deep breath before replying to shortbreads post and try and stay calm and respectful.
Where do I start?
1. Deduct points from 1st teams if the 2's have to scratch?! Get a f***ing grip, that is the most ridiculous suggestion I've heard, it's up there with people over 10 playing Pokemon!

2. There was a ruling brought in this season allowing, I believe, grade 4 games to be played on Sunday's to avoid scratched games, yet not once has an opposition team agreed to this request from our team, normally citing whatever [deleted] reason 1st comes to mind. So it seems some, or even most, teams would rather take the 30 'free' points than actually play for them. What's the point in this rule if nobody is going to ever agree to it?

I'm going to stop there before I start listing other reasons for people not wanting to play in the grades,as much if at all now, that will get me in trouble. And they don't include being forced to play at places like shedocksley or the links, as a supposed neutral venue as the away teams ground is unplayable when there was a perfectly good, in fact very good wicket not being used, even if it would of effectively been a 'home game'. Oh and that before we start with [deleted] AstroTurf pitches. Common sense people and there in lies the problem, the lack of that is.

Finally I'll address the issue of having to scratch many games this season, as I know my team has been guilty of this, and before somebody has a pop back. We have over 40 registered signed up playing members of our club so in no way could we foresee not being able to get 22 players out in any weekend. For some reason this year seems to have been a particularly bad year for people having to work weekends, work away, family commitment etc. All things that generally cannot be foreseen. I would hope this will change for next year but regardless I don't think punishing, expelling teams etc is the way to go, the less teams we have in the grades the less positions available for people to play = the less people we can attract to play, this is a never ending down lward spiral which is hard if not impossible to stop.

And don't even get me started on this ridiculously poor ball that has been mandated for this season!!!!
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Raoul
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 22, 2016 9:01 am    Post subject: Sunday [deleted] Sunday Reply with quote

Valentino,

I can think of a reason why teams don't want to play on Sundays, aside from the obvious reason of players making their weekend arrangements on Sundays to leave Saturdays free for cricket. It's Ringers.

I have played in grades 3 or 4 for many years and when a multi team club offers to play on a Sunday we run for the hills. A team like Portcullis CC is quite often in a season long struggle to avoid relegation or get promotion with every point being crucial. If we play Stoneyville-Albyn-Culter FPs 3rd XI we are looking for a win, we have a good chance. On Saturday.

Their secretary offers us a choice, accept a scratch, and the 30 points we need to get back in to grade 3, or play on Sunday against a bunch of guys we've never seen before, who will bowl us out for 45 and knock the runs off for one wicket (Yay! 2 points).

Now maybe that isn't the intention, maybe that wouldn't happen. Maybe. We can't afford to take that chance.

Since we started playing cup games on Saturday we have made it to three cup finals, winning two (with the third coming up in August). When we played on Sunday we would get stuffed by some 2nd XI half of whom play in grade 1.

What would you do in our position?

Perhaps if the game was scartched and the Sunday game was offered as a friendly you would get a different reaction. A risk free chance to develop our less experienced players, a chance for your third teir, first team bowlers to get some action, tha's a win - win.
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MrPurple
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 22, 2016 3:01 pm    Post subject: scratched games per season Reply with quote

The table below shows the proportion of scratched grades matches per year since 2006. The 2016 figures do not include those games yet to be played.

So far this season the proportion of scratched games is slightly higher than the previous maximum (2006). The number of scratched games this year is within the normal distribution for the data set, and there doesn't seem to be a significant trend.


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StevenL
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 22, 2016 3:50 pm    Post subject: Re: scratched games per season Reply with quote

I think the most constructive suggestion so far is the player loaning one. U16's are already allowed to play anywhere. We've had one request this season to loan an U16 player to another club. And had he been old enough to drive himself from Turriff to Aberdeen and back for the match he probably would have been up for it.

It's interesting another club is regularly scratching with 20 registered players per team. We have about 20 too, but a very small core who both want to and can play nearly every game. Some mechanism where occasional players (say those who only want to play 5 games or less a season) can be 'loaned' to where they are needed would reduce the pressure in grade 4. All the clubs I played at down south had an 'occasional playing member' status that attracted lower a membership fee to accommodate those cricketers who want to play some cricket, on a less regular basis.

Another idea a couple of our players have floated is a shorter format in grade 4, even T20 has been suggested. And personally I'd much rather have a regular game of T20 than regularly have no game at all. I've regularly have players offer their availability until 4pm or 5pm when they have to leave to do other things. For all those players who just like cricket rather than love it, and for the non-bowlers especially, fielding for 45 overs, and well into Saturday evening, is often a bit of a drag. And it's always best to leave people wanting more than leave them fed up.
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 22, 2016 4:42 pm    Post subject: Re: Ridiculous number of games being scratched Reply with quote

shortbread wrote:
The ACA committee have to have a serious discussion on this matter and decide how to resolve this so that the same is not repeated in the 2017 season.


Actually - the ACA Management Committee have no power to resolve this. The rules of grades competitions are set by the clubs at the AGM. The Rules Committee could perhaps put forward a proposal to the AGM, but it would be up to the clubs to vote on it. It would perhaps be more likely to be accepted if the proposal actually came from the clubs through the normal channels.
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valentino
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 22, 2016 10:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm going to take a deep breath before replying to shortbreads post and try and stay calm and respectful.
Where do I start?
1. Deduct points from 1st teams if the 2's have to scratch?! Get a f***ing grip, that is the most ridiculous suggestion I've heard, it's up there with people over 10 playing Pokemon!

2. There was a ruling brought in this season allowing, I believe, grade 4 games to be played on Sunday's to avoid scratched games, yet not once has an opposition team agreed to this request from our team, normally citing whatever [deleted] reason 1st comes to mind. So it seems some, or even most, teams would rather take the 30 'free' points than actually play for them. What's the point in this rule if nobody is going to ever agree to it?

I'm going to stop there before I start listing other reasons for people not wanting to play in the grades,as much if at all now, that will get me in trouble. And they don't include being forced to play at places like shedocksley or the links, as a supposed neutral venue as the away teams ground is unplayable when there was a perfectly good, in fact very good wicket not being used, even if it would of effectively been a 'home game'. Oh and that before we start with [deleted] AstroTurf pitches. Common sense people and there in lies the problem, the lack of that is.

Finally I'll address the issue of having to scratch many games this season, as I know my team has been guilty of this, and before somebody has a pop back. We have over 40 registered signed up playing members of our club so in no way could we foresee not being able to get 22 players out in any weekend. For some reason this year seems to have been a particularly bad year for people having to work weekends, work away, family commitment etc. All things that generally cannot be foreseen. I would hope this will change for next year but regardless I don't think punishing, expelling teams etc is the way to go, the less teams we have in the grades the less positions available for people to play = the less people we can attract to play, this is a never ending down lward spiral which is hard if not impossible to stop.

And don't even get me started on this ridiculously poor ball that has been mandated for this season!!!!
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 24, 2016 5:58 pm    Post subject: Matches being scratched. Reply with quote

This season in Grade Three and Grade Four there has been a surprising number of games that have been scratched which is indeed not healthy for the future of the Grades.
Portcullis have been in the fortunate position this season of having 15 players to choose from each Saturday which brings its own problems. We are rotating players equally to give everyone a game as best we can. We don't want to lose players from the Grades wherever they may end up.
This has not always been the case however and we are not going to rest on our laurels as next season could change due to circumstances unknown.
We are contemplating proposing introducing a loan system in Grades Three and Four next season with it's function being clubs lending players in order to reduce the number of scratched matches.
This would not work in Grades One and Two I believe as the competitive edge in those divisions may lead to a team abusing this. However in Grades Three and Four which is there for social cricketers, young up and coming players and old duffers like myself it might just work. And work well.
The drawbacks though are: 1.) All the clubs in Grades Three and Four would have to embrace this, not just one or two. 2.) The players within those clubs would have to have explained to them to make themselves available to help out other clubs and understand it is for the good of the Grades and for themselves.
My club is guilty of this themselves. We had four players who wished to play for Portcullis themselves but had to be stood down. I was asked by Ellon if a couple of them could play in a friendly on the same Saturday. All of them said no. I was a bit disappointed with that as in their situation I would have been delighted to have a game elsewhere having been stood down and have done so in the past under the moniker of 'trialist'.
Thoughts?
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shortbread
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 25, 2016 9:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello all,

Nice to see an active thread in the forum again. Smile

[i][quote="valentino"]I'm going to take a deep breath before replying to shortbreads post and try and stay calm and respectful.
Where do I start?
1. Deduct points from 1st teams if the 2's have to scratch?! Get a f***ing grip, that is the most ridiculous suggestion I've heard, it's up there with people over 10 playing Pokemon!

2. There was a ruling brought in this season allowing, I believe, grade 4 games to be played on Sunday's to avoid scratched games, yet not once has an opposition team agreed to this request from our team, normally citing whatever [deleted] reason 1st comes to mind. So it seems some, or even most, teams would rather take the 30 'free' points than actually play for them. What's the point in this rule if nobody is going to ever agree to it?[/quote][/i]

If that's the sound of you being calm and respectful then I fear for the people around you! I shall try and approach this in a more adult manner.

My suggestion is far less ridiculous than having grades cricket split between Saturday and Sunday. Splitting grades over the two weekend days simply means the same set of 'available' players can participate in Grade 1 & 2 games on Saturday and Grade 3 & 4 games on Sunday. Why would any lower grade opponent in their right mind agree to such a plan?! If you do not have enough players to form two teams on a Saturday then wouldn't it be easier for all involved to simply have one team?

The points deduction system is a deterrent for team's who have focused very little on their second side before the start of the season. It helps (perhaps forces) clubs to make an honest call on whether a second team can be accommodated?!

[i][quote="valentino"]I'm going to stop there before I start listing other reasons for people not wanting to play in the grades,as much if at all now, that will get me in trouble. And they don't include being forced to play at places like shedocksley or the links, as a supposed neutral venue as the away teams ground is unplayable when there was a perfectly good, in fact very good wicket not being used, even if it would of effectively been a 'home game'. Oh and that before we start with [deleted] AstroTurf pitches. Common sense people and there in lies the problem, the lack of that is.[/quote]
[/i]
Valentino, for various reasons there is a lack of cricket grounds in Aberdeen and no one can really be blamed for it. Ideally, this is a good problem for a cricket body to have, it simply means there is a lot of cricket being played. But the ground reality is very different, because many of the scheduled games do not happen as one or the other team scratches. This consequently means two teams out there are playing in terrible conditions while a decent ground remains underutilized somewhere else. Reducing/consolidating teams simply mean that good grounds can be utilized for a game that would actually happen.

[i][quote="valentino"]Finally I'll address the issue of having to scratch many games this season, as I know my team has been guilty of this, and before somebody has a pop back. We have over 40 registered signed up playing members of our club so in no way could we foresee not being able to get 22 players out in any weekend. For some reason this year seems to have been a particularly bad year for people having to work weekends, work away, family commitment etc. All things that generally cannot be foreseen. I would hope this will change for next year but regardless I don't think punishing, expelling teams etc is the way to go, the less teams we have in the grades the less positions available for people to play = the less people we can attract to play, this is a never ending down lward spiral which is hard if not impossible to stop.[/quote][/i]

I envy your club's ability of register so many players and sincerely hope you guys go from strength to strength.

I understand that reducing the number of teams also means there is a lack of spaces for interested players. But please do try and understand the consequences of scratching games as well. Not only does it rob the opportunity of the few players who were available to play in the scratched side, there are 11 players on the opponents side who were robbed of their Saturday's cricket. It is quite devastating to hear this news on Friday evening, when we spend most of the week looking forward to the game. Our team have faced this multiple times this season already and it has had an adverse impact. This means it will be quite difficult for us to retain members for the following season and is simply leads to another 'downward spiral' as well.

While we do not have the number of registered players your club boasts of, we have carefully scrutinized who we enroll in. Setting aside the most of one's precious Saturday for cricket is a big commitment. We have tried to ensure than all prospective members are aware of this fact and have taken both verbal and financial commitments from our players before registering them. This does not mean that we will never face a scenario where Grampian will struggle for 22 players, offcourse not. That said even if we do face such a situation we will try and ensure a squad of at least 8 turns up on the cricket pitch so that we make true the promise of playing our opponents on the said Saturday.

[i][quote="The Lard"]This season in Grade Three and Grade Four there has been a surprising number of games that have been scratched which is indeed not healthy for the future of the Grades.
Portcullis have been in the fortunate position this season of having 15 players to choose from each Saturday which brings its own problems. We are rotating players equally to give everyone a game as best we can. We don't want to lose players from the Grades wherever they may end up.
This has not always been the case however and we are not going to rest on our laurels as next season could change due to circumstances unknown.
We are contemplating proposing introducing a loan system in Grades Three and Four next season with it's function being clubs lending players in order to reduce the number of scratched matches.
This would not work in Grades One and Two I believe as the competitive edge in those divisions may lead to a team abusing this. However in Grades Three and Four which is there for social cricketers, young up and coming players and old duffers like myself it might just work. And work well.
The drawbacks though are: 1.) All the clubs in Grades Three and Four would have to embrace this, not just one or two. 2.) The players within those clubs would have to have explained to them to make themselves available to help out other clubs and understand it is for the good of the Grades and for themselves.
My club is guilty of this themselves. We had four players who wished to play for Portcullis themselves but had to be stood down. I was asked by Ellon if a couple of them could play in a friendly on the same Saturday. All of them said no. I was a bit disappointed with that as in their situation I would have been delighted to have a game elsewhere having been stood down and have done so in the past under the moniker of 'trialist'.
Thoughts?[/quote][/i]

Lard, we faced a similar situation as well. Ellon gave us an opportunity to have our 'extras' play in their side and this equating to a win-win situation for all, or so I thought.

The issue is it's quite difficult to convince a 'dropped' player to use the opportunity to play in another team. Most of us being of the male variety are driven primarily by our egos than brains. That said I still think trailing/borrowing/lending players is a very good idea wherein both the players get a chance to play and teams do not have to scratch, provided the grades lay down strict rules and ensure this is not misused. Also teams who have taken advantage and used the 'guest' players have to ensure they get opportunity with bat and ball rather than making up another body on the field.

I really appreciate all the discussion and suggestions on this thread. My intent was never to rile anyone but simply wanted to make aware a situation that is happening in the lower grades. With most of the senior figures of ACA cricket playing in the upper grades I was worried that the situation would go unnoticed until as the saying goes someday the proverbial '$h!t hits the fan'!

Thank You!
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Le Chien
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 25, 2016 11:19 am    Post subject: Games Being Scratched Reply with quote

As the captain of a side with 2 teams, I feel obliged to put in my 2 cents...

Regarding the points deduction system, that's the worst idea I've ever heard. We also have around 40 guys registered and of that, probably 17 of those would be of 'Grade 2' standard - ie, competitive lads who have played 'higher level' cricket for many years.... The rest are where our youngsters, older guys and offshore boys rotate around as and when they are free. We've been blessed this year to have quite a few juniors at the club, something that hasn't happened at KKCC since I was a kid during the old Kemnay regime... As such, we've managed to field teams every week apart from 2 - the first was at the start of the season while the kids were still sitting their exams (understandable, not letting cricket get in the way of study!!) and the first weekend of trades where half our first team guys were on holiday which obviously had a knock-on effect on the 2s... Again, poor timing that everyone was away at the same time but it's going to happen - commitment from everyone over a 15 week period or so is almost impossible. Now, our 1st XI have had a cracking season and are somehow now pondering the idea of Grade 1 cricket next year.... How could our season be justifiably nullified with a points deduction by the fact our juniors have exams and people want a week's holidays while they're off work..........? No. Just no.

From that - our 2nds actually went to Ellon on Saturday knowing the game was void and ironically got their first win of the season!!!! In this game, Ellon had 9 players and as such, we subbed 2 guys in the field....

Can we not suggest that going forward next season, clubs in Grades 3 and 4 (where it is less competitive), inform the opposition if they are short of numbers and basically do as we did - help the opposition have 11 in the field.

It would still be the opposition's roles to bowl and bat accordingly but heck, if we had 11 available for a match and the opposition turned up with 8...... That would allow 3 guys to go out in the field, 2 batting, 2 padded up, 2 umpiring, 2 scoring... If the opposition had any less, then they would just have to field a man short or whatever - you only need 2 guys to go out there and score 50s to make a competitive match and a minimum of 5 guys to bowl the allotted overs...

So that's my proposal - sides in Grades 3 and 4 work together to ensure games are completed by loaning fielders. The opposition side still do all the bowling, batting and wicket keeping - thus ensuring it's a fair representation of their side but knowing there are 9 or 10 feilders out there certainly would help everyone knowing they will be getting a game every week... And if it appears one week that both sides only have 8/9... Then crack on and see what happens!

Cheers.

Liam.
KKCC.
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