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SEMLA Structure for the 2012/13 Season

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fudge
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SEMLA Structure for the 2012/13 Season

Postby fudge Fri Mar 23, 2012 1:13 am

Forgive me if i've missed the thread if there is one - but what's the deal with the structure of SEMLA next season? Anyone know? Want to know the situation with promotions/relegations, 1 or 2 teams etc as I know there is serious talk of an East Div 4? :?:
Last edited by fudge on Fri Mar 23, 2012 11:48 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Structure for the 2012/13 Season

Postby Chilli Fri Mar 23, 2012 9:38 am

There has been no discussion of next year's structure yet at the Committee meetings.
As is now standard practice, we will see which new clubs will apply before the AGM and which clubs will not continue into next season, e.g. Penarth and RAF Marham are definitely out.
Then we'll discuss the best format according to actual numbers and any other relevant factors.
All open and transparent discussion at the monthly meetings, all clubs welcome by audio-conference or written submissions.
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Re: Structure for the 2012/13 Season

Postby Ash Fri Mar 23, 2012 9:41 am

Don't think there has been a thread. Formal talk normally happes in april and may time each year. I am doubtful that there will be any significant change unless there are substantial numbers of new clubs in the leagues and i haven't heard many rumours.

Oxford City is likely. I haven't heard a lot of other realistic rumours but there may well be other teams in the works. So unless there are loads of other teams numbers remain about the same!

The west divisions have 4/5 free spots (dependent on Pernarth) the east divisions have 4 free spots (Marham are apparently out for next year).

But my guess is that there won't be any significant change to structures or the promotion format next season as it sounds like we have the same number of teams roughly!
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Re: Structure for the 2012/13 Season

Postby fudge Fri Mar 23, 2012 11:50 am

Ash wrote:Don't think there has been a thread. Formal talk normally happes in april and may time each year. I am doubtful that there will be any significant change unless there are substantial numbers of new clubs in the leagues and i haven't heard many rumours.

Oxford City is likely. I haven't heard a lot of other realistic rumours but there may well be other teams in the works. So unless there are loads of other teams numbers remain about the same!

The west divisions have 4/5 free spots (dependent on Pernarth) the east divisions have 4 free spots (Marham are apparently out for next year).

But my guess is that there won't be any significant change to structures or the promotion format next season as it sounds like we have the same number of teams roughly!


Chilli wrote:There has been no discussion of next year's structure yet at the Committee meetings.
As is now standard practice, we will see which new clubs will apply before the AGM and which clubs will not continue into next season, e.g. Penarth and RAF Marham are definitely out.
Then we'll discuss the best format according to actual numbers and any other relevant factors.
All open and transparent discussion at the monthly meetings, all clubs welcome by audio-conference or written submissions.



Cheers guys. So it's still 2 up, 2 down?
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Re: SEMLA Structure for the 2012/13 Season

Postby Chilli Fri Mar 23, 2012 12:25 pm

Yes, as per the byelaws on the SEMLA website www.southlacrosse.org.uk
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Re: SEMLA Structure for the 2012/13 Season

Postby Tree13 Thu Apr 05, 2012 12:42 pm

I think, given the amount of concessions and rearranged fixtures this year, it is fair to assume that while we remain a winter sport we will be at the mercy of winter weather. This being the case, I think that OUTSIDE the prem we need to do one of two things:

a) lengthen the season so that more weekends are available to play the fixtures

or

b) reduce the number of teams per division. Ten is too many given the current number of weekends available, and other divisions only have seven teams. This imbalance helps no-one.



There is a problem with option a, as proven by Cambridge and Brighton Uni both struggling to get teams out for the first week of October, the last week before Christmas and the first after new year. Add in varsity matches and tours, and exam season.... however, extending the season might not provide the answer if the extra dates are outside university term times.

Option b I think is better, and I would point to the expansion of East 1 from last season (8 teams) compared to this season (10 teams), and the consequential conceded fixtures - I don't know if there was a rise, if it was proportionate or disproportionate, but I have a gut feeling that going to an eight- or nine-team division limit is a better idea. A nine-team limit means that one team is off every week, allowing players to plan time away to coincide with their "bye week"; it also (in theory) makes a couple more basic level refs available every week to travel and officiate in other games.
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Re: SEMLA Structure for the 2012/13 Season

Postby Ash Thu Apr 05, 2012 10:45 pm

East 1 has been significantly better this season than last year in my opinion. In terms of having good club teams and an improving standard!!

There have only been 1 or 2 unreliable teams, the main ones are Brighton and Cambridge who are university teams and have had a number of issues outside of their control, mainly most of their squad leaving or very short terms (so its no major criticism of them).

Both these teams have been relegated, and next season Hillcroft a and Epsom/eg a (maybe both if eg go up and Purley don't go down) will be moving up. That will make easy 1 an entirely club division (only Colchester are partially Uni reliant).

Cambridge and Brighton will move into a sMaller division that is more compatible with their term dates. Problem solved.

10 teams is perfect for this division.

I wish having an off week meant people planned to go away that weekend! Normally when we have a game I have a few unavailable! When we have a weekend off I have most of the squad texting me demanding a friendly!! Ha
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Re: SEMLA Structure for the 2012/13 Season

Postby babyant Fri Apr 06, 2012 8:52 pm

Ash wrote:(only Colchester are partially Uni reliant).


Unfortunately Colchester are somewhat more than partially uni reliant and I think that will be even more the case next year... I live in hope that ten graduates will move back to Colchester over the summer though!
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Re: SEMLA Structure for the 2012/13 Season

Postby J-Lo Sun Apr 08, 2012 9:42 am

Tree13 wrote:I think, given the amount of concessions and rearranged fixtures this year, it is fair to assume that while we remain a winter sport we will be at the mercy of winter weather. This being the case, I think that OUTSIDE the prem we need to do one of two things:

a) lengthen the season so that more weekends are available to play the fixtures

or

b) reduce the number of teams per division. Ten is too many given the current number of weekends available, and other divisions only have seven teams. This imbalance helps no-one.




A) is a bad idea. East 3 already has too many weekends without a game. It causes teams players to lose focus and interest in the league.

If it was my call i would run a summer league (not the Arch level way, they don't have much love) and slowly reduce the winter league. University teams wouldn't play, no problem, the players can join their respective club teams. Teams who use cricket grounds have a problem, no worries, hire a school pitch for £30-50. There are enough clubs that don't use cricket grounds for a league to be successful without them.
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Re: SEMLA Structure for the 2012/13 Season

Postby Tree13 Wed Apr 11, 2012 11:03 am

Ash wrote:East 1 has been significantly better this season than last year in my opinion. In terms of having good club teams and an improving standard!!

Hasn't East 1 just been as predicted? EG spanked everyone and Brighton and Cambridge tumbled to the bottom having lost too many players to graduation. Of the remaining teams, has there been a marked improvement upon last year's standard of play?

All of which is besides the point, as I was referring to the impression I had formed that perhaps the return to a ten-team format, and the resultant extra fixtures needing to be played during a period of the year when foul weather is predictable and prevalent, had led to more fixtures being conceded. I'm not certain, but the maths will soon be available to confirm or refute.

Ash wrote:There have only been 1 or 2 unreliable teams, the main ones are Brighton and Cambridge who are university teams and have had a number of issues outside of their control, mainly most of their squad leaving or very short terms (so its no major criticism of them).

The very short terms were the same length as last year - the playing season was extended which, when taken together with the previously-mentioned term lengths, posed a problem for those two teams.

Ash wrote:Both these teams have been relegated, and next season Hillcroft a and maidstone/eg a (maybe both if eg go up and Purley don't go down) will be moving up. That will make east 1 an entirely club division (only Colchester are partially Uni reliant).

Cambridge and Brighton will move into a sMaller division that is more compatible with their term dates. Problem solved.

Am I right in interpreting this to mean that you are happy for SEMLA to adopt a league format that uni teams will struggle with? Not trying to stir, just wanting to understand. East 1 is POTENTIALLY only a couple of years away from being a division comprised solely of second teams from club sides; with the rules as they stand that would mean no promotion from E1 to prem. Furthermore, it will leave East 3 with several free weekends as they have had this year which, as J-Lo has pointed out, is far from perfect.

Ash wrote:10 teams is perfect for this division.

Provided you are happy for Uni sides to be at a competitive disadvantage, yes. Provided you are happy with foul weather annually frustrating attempts to play games, yes. Provided you are happy handling a fixture pile-up at the end of the season, yes. I'm not convinced, personally.

Ash wrote:I wish having an off week meant people planned to go away that weekend! Normally when we have a game I have a few unavailable! When we have a weekend off I have most of the squad texting me demanding a friendly!! Ha

The league format can't make your players more intelligent, it can only provide them with an opportunity to make intelligent decisions ;o) In all seriousness, if your "bye weeks" were known further in advance (by their nature, a bye week is very different to a week were an ooponent cries off at the last minute, or the pitch is deemed unplaybale on the morning of the fixture), do you not think your players would plan around them?

J-Lo wrote:If it was my call i would run a summer league (not the Arch level way, they don't have much love) and slowly reduce the winter league. University teams wouldn't play, no problem, the players can join their respective club teams. Teams who use cricket grounds have a problem, no worries, hire a school pitch for £30-50. There are enough clubs that don't use cricket grounds for a league to be successful without them.

I doubt we'd have to go forward without them. I suspect that if the switch to a summer league was made official people would just get on with it and make it work, unless they actually preferred cricket to lacrosse.

If you propose it as a motion to the appropriate SEMLA meeting, I'll second it.
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Re: SEMLA Structure for the 2012/13 Season

Postby laxambition Wed Apr 11, 2012 1:35 pm

A quick look at Brighton's results show (assuming all 10-0 losses were conceded games and not the coincidental final score of a fixture which was fulfilled) they conceded games on:

8th October, 7th January, 4th February, 18th Feb, 3rd March, 17th March, 24th March, and that they postponed a game on 11th Feb which they subsequently conceded the rearranged fixture on 25th March

It is disingenuous to suggest therefore that their fate is related to the length of the season/ term dates

In 4 of the last 5 years East 1 has had 10 teams, and on two of those occasions Cambridge have finished 2nd in the league. So once again, it is a convenient fallacy that season length/ term dates are the be-all and end-all of why Cambridge find themselves in the relegation spot this season.

So if East 1 gets re-structured to (say) 8 teams, does the league prevent promotion from East 2 (which will surely not please Hillcroft A and EG A), or do 4 teams get relegated which will surely not be popular with Welwyn 2s or Colchester?

Provided you are happy for Uni sides to be at a competitive disadvantage


If the alternative is to write the entire league structure and fixture list based on the available dates for 2 teams out of 50 or so, then yes.
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Re: SEMLA Structure for the 2012/13 Season

Postby rr53 Wed Apr 11, 2012 2:19 pm

I think you should keep structure of this year. Otherwise there is no real point of fighting for promotion when it keeps getting restructured. If thats the case, there wouldnt be much point in starting up new clubs who wants to get promoted - would be easier to just join a big club who is in the top league, which to be fair isnt a bad idea anyway lol
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Re: SEMLA Structure for the 2012/13 Season

Postby Chilli Wed Apr 11, 2012 3:34 pm

Just to add a little background to this debate, for many years there were only three or four Unis active in SEMLA and Oxford and Cambridge only had games to fit their very short terms.
The other couple of Unis happily played a full schedule without comment.
The argument from time immemorial was that the prestige of keeping lax in Oxbridge was worth the complications it caused the fixture schedule.
Not my personal opinion at all and it led to unjustifiable results when the Oxbridge games were sometimes played for double points and sometimes not, so if you got a good result against them on a double pointer it was better than the poor sods who had to travel and play two games.

Then probably ten years ago Cambridge had a good squad and asked for full fixture schedules.
The SEMLA Committee took the decision that agreement to a full schedule would be a condition of joining SEMLA for all teams, Uni or Club.
No dispensations, no special conditions, all equal.
This hasn't stopped any new team from joining and has never been an issue.
The creation of BUCS gives all Unis an alternative and as we have seen some have left SEMLA and then come back, some use SEMLA as their development league and that's all good for the game.

University teams will inevitably wax and wane, always have. always will. They are the very last teams around which it would be in any way sensible to create a stable structure.
However, we have allowed both Unis and Clubs to make a case for voluntary demotion if their circumstances demand it.
It is clearly in the long term interests of the team, the Uni, the Club, SEMLA and the game as a whole to vary the structure when it is justified.

It may very well happen that a Uni has a strong team for three or four years and blasts through into the Premiership and then slumps dramatically back down as they graduate, but that's all part of the excitement.
The key thing is to ensure that those players move into Club teams once they graduate.
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Re: SEMLA Structure for the 2012/13 Season

Postby Steely Dan Wed Apr 11, 2012 3:56 pm

To add to Chillis post: a few years ago I was heavily involved with the Herts Comets uni team, we had a tough couple of seasons building a squad and did reasonably well in that short period. Hertfordshire as a University were very accomodating at the time and allowed non-uni or alumni members to continue to train and this helped the club grow.

However it became apparent to a number of us that were no longer university students that the nature of the university squad would always be cyclical and that it made more sense from a personal, club and regional perspective to join a club team (in our case we were fortunate to have a close relationship with Welwyn Warriors).

The result was that when Herts Comets withdrew from SEMLA to concentrate on BUCS, Welwyn also added a new squad to the club. Now Herts players have the ability to play SEMLA with an established club team and they get to play BUCS as well.

I persoanlly feel the flexibility of SEMLA has a lot to do with the success of Lax in the area and I'm sure whatever structure that is voted on will be the best for the times (as long as we don't get demoted :wink: )
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