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Note by ACA Secretary on Scheduling of Fixtures - 2016
Given the issues that have arisen during season 2016, I thought it might be helpful to Clubs if ahead of the AGM I provided an overview of the way in which fixtures are currently compiled.
The list effectively has two inputs:
1) An ideal template, which for the existing structure under which Grade 1 comprises 10 clubs and the remaining leagues 8 clubs, with cups on Saturdays, is attached as FixtForm14.xls. This illustrates the compatibilities within or across grades where teams have multiple elevens or are involved in ground shares [Currently we have 16 sides within the city of Aberdeen making use of 8 available pitches – and only 7 teams out of 34 in the entire grades – Banchory, Crathie, Dunecht, Fraserburgh, 2nd Gordonians, Inverurie and Turriff - who for season 2016 were not involved in a ground share]. Under this model, in order to ensure that all teams in each grade meet, they can be expected to have a maximum of 2 consecutive home or away fixtures at any point in the season – typically once in each half, and once at the mid-way point.
2) The need to modify the order of weeks to take account of any or all of:
a) Fixtures in the SPCU affecting Gordonians, which in some cases in turn have to compatible with the national leagues;
b) Draws in the first two round of the Bon Accord, Reid and Johnston Cups. If a team is home in both this may involve spreading the cups games over multiple weekends – so all 18 Saturdays are required to those grades as well as Grade 1. Clearly also the two first rounds of the Grade 2 to 4 cups, which require to be scheduled to be compatible with Grade 1, cannot be played in consecutive weeks;
c) Individual issues of ground availability affecting Crathie, Kings College and Duthie Park;
d) In 2016 the need to concentrate Cults G1 home games after the end of May [though in the event the Allan Park was unavailable for the entire season]. This, and the need to re-locate Mannofield G1 to a town pitch, became known only after the New Year, by which time the decision to accept two new sides into the league requiring town pitches had already been taken.
The resulted in 2016 in the lumpy sequencing of games for many clubs illustrated in FixtForm15A.xls, as outlined to clubs as likely to be the case on the Association web site in January, and subsequently explained & apologised for to clubs and accepted by them at the Spring Meeting. The Numbers allocated to each team in applying the formula are also appended [ClubNos2016].
Suggestions have been variously made by the Rules Committee & others that the Grade 4 season should start later and/or have a mid-season break; and by one Club that all fixtures should be organised on a home/away basis with clubs surrendering ground advantage wherever this is not possible.
The first of these would be of limited advantage, depending on cup draws. In any event the pattern of ground shares/first and second elevens across grades is such that it would be very difficult to have individual grades following different sequences.
The second, as the FixtForm14.xls template shows, is actually a logical impossibility – as if half the clubs in any grade start with a home game and the other half with an away game, and the principle of home/away alternation is followed rigidly thereafter, half of teams in each league would never meet!
We could however attempt get closer to the ideal under which teams have no more than two consecutive home or away games, if teams not involved in a ground share were willing to fund and host additional ‘away’ games and the Executive agreed that other clubs should if necessary be required to travel to fulfil these. Clubs are invited to indicate their views on this possibility, or to offer additional comments or suggestions.
While Cricket Scotland, to whom one club referred their dissatisfaction with this season’s fixtures, have indicated that they would be willing to advise on available fixture packages, they have also conceded that these may not be capable of complying with the full range of issues with which the Association has to cope, as detailed under (2) above.
DM Jones, October 2016
wytbu8 Oct 26 2016 - 11:50pm
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