Shropshire Squash 2022/23 Season Review. (30 May 2023)

donwallington - December 19, 2023

Date: 30th May 2023

Venue: Shrewsbury SRC

Committee – Ian Dinwiddy (CH). Don Wallington (LS). Elaine R, Max B (SSC), Lee P (SSRC), Ben S (SSC), Ian T (SSC).
Clubs Representatives – SSRC – Gary N, Adam S, Elaine R, Alex W, Linda P, Graham J, Damian J, Conor T, SSC – Matt K, Steve N, CCC – Jon E, Charlie H
Clubs not represented – Market Drayton, Club 72, Wolverhampton LTSC, Llanfyllin, Bridgnorth.

1. Intro – Ian D opened the meeting stating that he wanted the meeting to be an open forum to suggest what worked well but more importantly what ideas were there to improve the leagues and cups etc.

2. Leagues – DW stated that the late team withdrawals meant that the fixtures could not be re-worked to avoid significant void weeks, which everyone agreed was a major concern.
b. Suggestion was made that teams should pay their league fees upon entry and not by a certain date / or first match as is currently allowed. All agreed that this should be implemented.
c. Play offs – There was a general feeling that the play offs were not particularly well received especially at the end of the season, A vote was taken based on three possible scenarios –
i. Change the rule to a challenge match giving the team in the lower div the option to challenge the team in the higher league. (1)
ii. Retain the current set up (4)
iii. Scrap all together (11). It was voted to end the play offs all together with one team being promoted / relegated from each appropriate division.
d. Division 3 – There was a discussion regarding the future on this division, with a reduction in overall team entrees over the past couple of years. A number of options were presented –
i. Scrap the league and reduce the league numbers to 2?
ii. Retain but set a squash levels maximum ranking points?
iii. Revert back to what it started as a development / feeder league?
It was voted to revert to a development feeder league, This could include reducing player numbers to 3, and poss playing two matches on one night? Committee to review and discuss with clubs for viability for next season.
e. Lack of teams from struggling clubs – Elaine R outlined a proposal to try an increase the number of clubs entering teams which involved taking league matches on the road – The proposal outlined that the number of courts a club has dictates the number of teams that club could enter in a particular league, ER suggested that teams from the core clubs could play matches out of the struggling clubs such as Bridgnorth, Bishops Castle and Market Drayton, the courts could be subsidised so that to offset to players travelling costs, one or two courts could be used for the match with the players providing some sort of Squash 01 style open coaching on the other court to other members? Committee agreed to take this away and provide feedback.
f. No of teams entering from one club in the same league – it was suggested to remove this restriction and allow the clubs to manage their own court use. No decision was made, current rule will remain.
g. Playing for a higher team – Ben S suggested this rule could be changed so that if you played up for a team you were restricted to support only that team. No decision made, current rule will remain, but will be reviewed again at the end of next season.
h. Alex W proposed if there was an opportunity to include teams from other counties or combine leagues with other counties so that there were more matches and could improve players standards. Committee agreed to take this away and provide feedback, although initial thoughts were this would be prohibitive due to cross boundaries and affiliation to ES etc.
i. Jon E – Ball use – Should we mandate the use of single spot balls for our leagues, is the double dot the right ball for us all to be using? Committee agreed to take this away and provide feedback, although initial thoughts were that the current optional approach would remain and a further review undertaken at end of next season.

3. Cups –
a. There was a discussion over the format of the league cup? The main concern was that due to there being individual cups for each league and the reduced number of teams in each league you could end up playing a team 3 or 4 times in a season. There was a suggestion to change to an FA Cup open draw style format with all teams in a single competition? The new cup format has been agreed and will be taken into next season.
b. Plaques – DW asked the floor if they still like receiving plaques for the Winners / R Ups – There was a unanimous response to carry one with these.
c. Ladies Summer League –
d. DW / LP outlined the proposal to run a roadshow style league over the summer to showcase ladies squash around the county and was looking for clubs to support the initiative.

4. AOB – None

There being no further business Ian / Don thanked everyone for their attendance and support and closed the meeting.

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