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Re: South or Counties

Postby Paul_lboro/wildcats Fri Dec 16, 2011 12:29 pm

I think the county tournament is a good idea but for me it's an intermediary competition between the league and the BNCs. Yes it could be a stepping stone to the South team but to replace it completely would be a disaster.

If the strongest county gets to represent the South then it is going to be London everytime. There are very good players all over the South but you just have to look at the Premiership table to see that it is dominated by London teams. Ultimately all that is going to happen is that the number of players who have the opportunity to represent the South is going to decrease.
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Re: South or Counties

Postby VinceGrimes Fri Dec 16, 2011 12:33 pm

Someone said earlier that "the clubs voted for it". Did that mean the clubs voted for the Counties Tournament or the South England team being replaced? Still very confused on whether or not the South England team is being put together for 2012...

If anyone can shed light that would be lovely.
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Re: South or Counties

Postby sinner Fri Dec 16, 2011 12:38 pm

Apologies if I'm missing the point here, or being a tad slow - what's stopping us from pushing back the date of the BNC's or running a county tournament beforehand ?

This could help to feed the south team using the counties tournament and further trials for selection. Then we'd have the standard south training.

Gives everyone more game time and pushes the better, more committed players towards the "elite" competition once they've represented their respective counties.

Our counties wont compete with the northern counties just yet surely? So why are we limiting it to south or counties when we could have both?

Would that not ultimately be for the benefit of both?

As for timings and season length, maybe its already a tight schedule, but does anybody else agree that we don't get enough lax as it is and have relatively short seasons? lets just make them longer.
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Re: South or Counties

Postby Chilli Fri Dec 16, 2011 12:43 pm

seemed a fairly good system


It was and is a good system but it wasn't always like that.
It was created over ten years by dedicated people who were given the opportunity to apply their talents in a new structure. Would Chris White, Ian Ballantine and Peter Barrett have had the opportunity to manage the South if we'd just clung to the old way? Haven't hundreds of players benefited from the open trials, the training sessions, the pride the commitment, the exposure to higher standards?

The old way of picking the South team, that some fought to keep with exactly the same arguments that it would lower the standard of play and make the South worse off, had declined into an ad-hoc, 'call a few mates the night before' mess that favoured the few and isolated the majority, like I said, change requires sacrifice for some for the good of a larger number.

do you not risk whichever team organises plays the majority of players?


Yes, and that can happen under any system if people are so inclined.

if its not managed carefully this could be detrimental to player develoment.


Yes absolutely, so we need people who want to manage it so that it improves player development.
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Re: South or Counties

Postby Princess Fri Dec 16, 2011 1:23 pm

So anyone feel like managing it?
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Re: South or Counties

Postby VinceGrimes Fri Dec 16, 2011 3:25 pm

They have a manager. It's my understanding that the team needs a coach now with Bagley's exit.
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Re: South or Counties

Postby Mr.Stanford Fri Dec 16, 2011 4:20 pm

Well where to start with this one, it's come right out of left field.

I know where to start.

What a terrible idea…

There are many things that my self and Ian B don’t see eye to eye on but this isn’t one of them. I think I agree with just about everything he’s said so for (I feel sick after writing that).

As someone that’s always competed against the South team (apart from 1 strange afternoon at an EG tourney) it’s been great to see them develop from an outsiders point of view. It’s true they haven’t always attracted the most skilled players in the south, however it did consist of dedicated players who had all sacrificed time and money to be there. This in my opinion is something that lead to them getting some great results over the past few years. It becomes a team of people who want to be there playing for each other.

At county level there just isn’t the competition to drive this sort of attitude. I don’t think the quality or quantity of players is there at this point to make such a system a viable option, maybe in years to come. Speaking to players from most county teams at the tournament, the teams were just thrown together with all the players that are interested. That is not the level of representation we as a league should be aspiring to.

I agree that the Northern system of county representation is something that SEMLA should be aspiring to….

However…

Who ever has bulldozed this idea through SEMLA is misguided. A strong county representative system is not the way to develop stronger lacrosse, it’s the result of lacrosse development from the bottom up. It’s a result not a solution.

If you send all counties to the BNC’s they will get murdered, with perhaps the exception of London. A lot of the players in these teams will simply not be ready to play against the likes of Cheshire and Lancs.
If you only send one representative county (winner of county tournament) then it’s almost always going to be the same team. You will effectively be making it close to impossible for some very talented players to make it to the BNC’s just because of where they play/live. Which to me sounds very similar to the old old system where someone would pick half the team from Hampstead, half the team from Purley and some subs from Hillcroft.

So in effect if the second scenario were true you’d be limiting the pool of players who can contribute to representing the Southern leagues at the BNC.

The reason that the current system works so well is that you’ve managed to get a team of coaches together with a transparent selection system. This mitigates the risk of the coach picking all his mates, which Chilli has made reference to as a possibility with all systems.

I would say that this would be a rife issue with the county level system, however the number of players, interest and talent will not be there to make ‘jobs for the boys’ a massive issue.

1) Keep the south system the way it is.

2) Aim to get to a County system for the south in the BNC’s

3) Work hard at developing lower level lacrosse, revisit the plausibility of #2 in 10 or 15 years.
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Re: South or Counties

Postby julius125 Fri Dec 16, 2011 7:29 pm

It's a big jump to go from a quickly drawn up (although very good) County Tournament, to sending individual counties up to the BNC's a year later. And at the moment, probably a jump too far.

Mr.Stanford wrote:1) Keep the south system the way it is.

2) Aim to get to a County system for the south in the BNC’s

3) Work hard at developing lower level lacrosse, revisit the plausibility of #2 in 10 or 15 years.


Agree here, that a few more years would theoretically see the success of this system, with more teams to each county, and a higher level of lacrosse being played in the South - closer to that in the North.

The decision of switching to the counties system, should have really been made on the answer to a question. One aimed at those players that competed in the County tournament - "based on how well your teams played together, do you believe your county would have the ability to compete in the BNCs?" - Because no matter how great the system is you have in place, it's the players that you need to make it happen in the end. And if they can't make it happen, then it simply won't work.

and I can say right now that Kent would be lambs to the slaughter at the BNCs! :wink:
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Re: South or Counties

Postby Chilli Sat Dec 17, 2011 5:09 pm

Julius, I think you misunderstand the intention, it would only be the top two (or three) South counties who would go to the BNCs.

To everybody, as I 've said before, SEMLA needs the energy that is shown in these comments to be used positively in SEMLA meetings, get involved, argue your point inside your Club, if you can convince them to back the idea, attend the meeting, yes there's boring stuff to go through but face it, that's the price you have to pay to make an Association work.

Alternatively, just enjoy making comments on here, your choice :wink:
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Re: South or Counties

Postby VinceGrimes Sat Dec 17, 2011 7:41 pm

Chilli,

Is there an answer on whether this is a final decision? Is there going to be a South England team for 2012?
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Re: South or Counties

Postby nabster Sat Dec 17, 2011 7:47 pm

Liking Sinners idea, I know the season is long as it is, but can't move the BNCs back and bring counties forward to help in selection along with South trials....allowing time to actually train together with the regular season and Flags all done and dusted....chance to really showcase the Southern potential?

VinceGrimes wrote:They have a manager. It's my understanding that the team needs a coach now with Bagley's exit.

Surely there is someone able/experienced enough for the role as coach....I'd suggest an LDO if they are still about and not gone home?
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Re: South or Counties

Postby nabster Sat Dec 17, 2011 7:49 pm

VinceGrimes wrote:Chilli,

Is there an answer on whether this is a final decision? Is there going to be a South England team for 2012?


Is there a South Uni's team Vince?? crazy thought but if its a personnel issue for the South could you not combine?
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Re: South or Counties

Postby julius125 Sat Dec 17, 2011 7:58 pm

Ah yeah I understood it would only be the top counties, but not sure if even the top ones would be able to compete in the BNCs without taking some thrashings (based on own opinion and what the general thoughts seem to be in this thread)

As for the point about attending SEMLA agms being more effective than commenting here... fair play, I'll see if next time I can make it :wink:
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Re: South or Counties

Postby nabster Sat Dec 17, 2011 8:03 pm

julius125 wrote:Ah yeah I understood it would only be the top counties, but not sure if even the top ones would be able to compete in the BNCs without taking some thrashings

ya most top Prem teams take a spanking from northern clubs but at the BNCs they are in the same boat in that they haven't trained much together. If could get the top of the counties with more training together could def give them more of a game I'd say....
Last year the South team had some great performances vs Wales and other teams but losing in the end so not a total thrashing lol
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Re: South or Counties

Postby Jim13 Mon Dec 19, 2011 12:29 pm

This is indicative of a general problem within the game - not just the South, but just seen this and it seems a releveant juncture at which to voice opinion / frustration.

This is not intended as a pop at anyone, more my opinion on the reason for a few problems; a lot of people put in a lot of time and effort and their work is generally appreciapted.

However, quite often from what I've seen, many of (not all, I'm sure) the people who are keen and commited and attend the meetings often haven't played the game to the top level - but have the loudest voices.

From what I've seen, the top players don't have this willingness to participate in off the field activities - possibly for a few reasons, mainly because they don't feel the need for off the field recognition - they satisfy their lacrosse bug on the pitch or in the bar afterwards.

However, they are the ones most affected.

I personally think that the regionals should be kept as an elite competition. I think the drive for them to be all inclusive is a foolish one. The whole point of elite competition is that they are exactly that. They are all inclusive in that anyone can go, watch and learn.

Lacrosse as a sport is all inclusive; anyone can play. However, not everyone has a right to play at the highest level. If people aren't getting that opportunity and feel they should be then yes, there should be a selection process / transparency.

What seems to have happened in the north recently is this...

When I were a lad, and all this were fields, the regionals were a great tournament. The best players played and enjoyed it.

This quality got watered down. The best players no longer felt that they were playing with / against the best players and stopped turning up.

It's a vicious cylcle, but I think the opening up of the southern counties would further devalue the competition.

I'll come back to my main point, as I don't mean to be contentious but feel it needs making.

People involved in the decision making have often not played top level lacrosse.

They are making decisions which impact the game at a level to which they have not played (not all of them, but there is seems to be a fair few). Maybe because they have had limited exposure and were frustrated by the lack of opportunity, maybe because they are looking to make a stamp on the game, maybe for genuine reasons to make a difference - as I say, I admire these people for making the effort, getting along to meetings etc when other people can't be arsed. Good luck to them.

However, the sport in this country needs to take into account what is wanted by people at the top of the game and if they can't be bothered getting involved in the administrative side (which has and always will be an issue), then there needs to be an active polling of their opinion, or the administrators need to be trusted to do the right thing.

If the south team were in a position of strength and regularly dominating the competition then a break up could be an option.

As it stands, I think it is a poor decision.
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Re: South or Counties

Postby davidmcculloch81 Mon Dec 19, 2011 2:20 pm

So was it a poor decision to let the South into the tournament in the first place? After all, they were just the whipping boys of the tournament back then. Now they hold their own and nobody questions their involvement. Maybe, just maybe, this is a result of them being allowed to enter and develop over the years as a result of their entry into the tournament.

If it's an elite tournament then why isn't it just Lancashire vs Cheshire as they are clearly the best and nobody else can win it?

You could make the same argument for the World Championships - England, Australia and Japan weakening the elite tournament for the USA, Canada and Iroquois.

As somebody who has played in a number of representative sides (at least four different ones at the BNCs alone), I'm all for it. If the tournament can accommodate them, let them in. You never know, we might have people (and in turn, the nation) getting better at lacrosse as a result.
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Re: South or Counties

Postby Jim13 Mon Dec 19, 2011 3:03 pm

That's a bit of a straw man argument isn't it!?

I don't think I questioned the south being in the tournament or who should play in the world cup.
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Re: South or Counties

Postby UKLacrosse Mon Dec 19, 2011 3:27 pm

The two teams that contested the 2011 final took this 'elite tournament' extremely seriously ..... neither had a trial, selection was carried out from those available/ willing to play, and neither had any pre-tournament training sessions.
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Re: South or Counties

Postby Chilli Mon Dec 19, 2011 5:07 pm

Mr Beer, let's extend your main suggestion into football, are you suggesting that players like Wayne Rooney and Carlos Tevez should be running the organisation of football?
I think if you play back your argument and apply it to other sports you'll see where it falls down.

The wider point about how the USA, Canada etc must feel about playing England has already been made above. As a country we are a medium sized fish getting smaller in a pond that's getting bigger. So if the current way of doing things is failing do we just do the same and carry on?

The suggestion that somehow the people willing to get involved in the admin of the game misunderstand the needs and aspirations of the 'best players' is off the mark and when you insinuate it's because they never got the chance (or had the ability?) to be top players and therefore it's some kind of wish fulfillment, it's a tad insulting.

The experience of SEMLA over the last decade is that the right structure creates the opportunity for more and better players.
As I've already said in an earlier reply, any change will mean short term pain for some players while, hopefully, offering greater opportunity in the long term for many others.

Over the last ten years, if SEMLA had just looked after the interests of the 'top players' then the game in the South would probably be down to just a few clubs by now.

The objective of any Association should never be to appeal only to the current crop of 'top players'
That's just creating a dead end for the game.
The top players would milk it while they could and then retire leaving nothing lasting behind.
Take a look around the lacrosse world, do you feel confident that the way that England runs its domestic game will allow us to still be the top team in Europe in three years? Five years? Ten years?
How many top players go into refereeing, coaching, management, administration? My experience is that it's only a tiny number.

SEMLA's choice to re-introduce Counties may, or may not, be the right decision but it's an indication of an Association that is growing and expanding and is willing to attempt new ideas for the good of the game.

The open nature of SEMLA will allow mistakes to be rectified if that's what the Clubs want.
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Re: South or Counties

Postby davidmcculloch81 Mon Dec 19, 2011 5:43 pm

mmm...beer wrote:That's a bit of a straw man argument isn't it!?

I don't think I questioned the south being in the tournament or who should play in the world cup.


Exactly.

Basically it’s the same argument that is generally being put forward against allowing south counties into the tournament.

There was a time when the South team wasn’t good enough to compete with the best teams at the BNCs but they still played. Now they are better for it.

We’ve moved on now so that the separate south counties are now (arguably) in the same position (talent-wise) as the South were back then.

I’d even say that, as traditionally a regional tournament (correct me if I’m wrong), they have more right to be there than the likes of Wales and Scotland.
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