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Should we move SEMLA to the Summer?

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Chilli
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Should we move SEMLA to the Summer?

Postby Chilli Thu Feb 07, 2013 11:25 am

At the SEMLA Committee meeting on Monday Feb 4, it was decided to open a serious consideration of the proposition to move the SEMLA League permanently from the Autumn/Winter to a Spring/Summer period.

There have been several debates between a small number of people over the last decade that have petered out but no full and formal discussion.

Therefore, please begin considering the positive and negative impacts on your club of a move to the Summer.

The initial suggested date would be to start the new League in the Spring of 2015.

Clubs will be notified formally by the Hon Secretary and written and verbal submissions are encouraged.

The matter will be a regular item on the SEMLA agenda for the rest of this season to establish the general feelings of the Clubs.

If there is sufficient support then, at some point yet to be determined, there will be a formal meeting to vote for or against the proposed move.

Clubs are reminded that the monthly meetings are open to all clubs via audio-conference, each club can nominate two representatives, dial-in details and agenda are sent to the Club Secretary.
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Re: Should we move SEMLA to the Summer?

Postby Mat P Thu Feb 07, 2013 12:04 pm

If moving the season didn't work a SEMLA summer league could be an alternative?

Imagine due to other sports/weddings/holidays it may not be based on the club structure as is now but maybe the counties or similar avoiding the key Summer tournaments.

Summer lacrosse always seems to be done locally rather than across the South but would be good to have a wider remit. Whilst not all grounds are available sure there are clubs that could host more than one game on a day then run a BBQ to make some funds etc.
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Re: Should we move SEMLA to the Summer?

Postby buckers_the_great Thu Feb 07, 2013 1:55 pm

I do prefer refereeing in the warm sunshine (but doesnt always happen in the summer here!)

Would be a big issues clashing with the Worlds/Euros.

What about club cohesion for clubs that are joint Men and Women, they would essentially never see each other.

If NEMLA didn't do the same what would happen to the Wilkinson Sword and the Irouios Cup?
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Re: Should we move SEMLA to the Summer?

Postby Chilli Thu Feb 07, 2013 2:11 pm

Every other European country plays in the summer and they cope with the Euros and the Worlds.

Is it right to shape your entire programme around events that take place every couple of years and involve a tiny number of people?

Wilkinson Sword/Iroquios Cup games could still happen regardless.
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Re: Should we move SEMLA to the Summer?

Postby Moaning Git Thu Feb 07, 2013 2:40 pm

What about club cohesion for clubs that are joint Men and Women, they would essentially never see each other.



Oh so there are advantages!


Trevor, not sure that you can be so sure that a change would be adopted by the MPC quite so easily as you suggest, and it would need to be run past them, but I would be interested to see the results of the debate.
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Re: Should we move SEMLA to the Summer?

Postby Chilli Thu Feb 07, 2013 3:00 pm

John, please re-read what I wrote, I can't see anywhere where I've implied in even the tiniest way that the MPC would or would not approve such a change.
This subject was brought to the Committee on Monday and the decision was to open the discussion to the members, which is what we've done.
In SEMLA we try to involve as many of the players and clubs as possible.

Having said that I can't imagine that if the SEMLA Clubs voted to move the season that the MPC would stand in the way.
Why would they? On what basis? For whose benefit?
There is no rule that says that the League season has to be Sept-April, it's just customary.
Custom can change. If the players want it.
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Re: Should we move SEMLA to the Summer?

Postby RobGooch Thu Feb 07, 2013 3:19 pm

For many clubs the biggest barrier to moving to summer lacrosse is probably finding available pitches. Many clubs still play on cricket outfields. For a club like Spencer there is no available summer pitch, let along 3 pitches (2 senior and 1 junior) that we currently have access to in the winter.

It would be a massive decision for clubs to relocate in order to find a sports club home with available summer pitches, grass or astro. As well as the general logistics of moving home, there will be cost implications and if a move is beyond the local area it might negatively impact junior programmes which generally rely on juniors who live in the local area to the club.

All this should not stop this discussion continuing though. I guess we'll get a picture of how this affects each club following the notification from SEMLA.
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Re: Should we move SEMLA to the Summer?

Postby chippie Thu Feb 07, 2013 3:53 pm

it has been mentioned before, but you would potentially lose a number if uni clubs and also those based around uni's which rely on the players for numbers...
having said that this may increase the number of players in the clubs when people go home for summer....
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Re: Should we move SEMLA to the Summer?

Postby Guy_O Thu Feb 07, 2013 4:32 pm

Whilst I understand the reason for the consideration (we have had a lot of cancelled games) and I would like to play in the summer as it may enable more teams to play on astro which would therefore solve the problems of loosing the grass pitches, I cant see the benefit for us.

The Bombers have worked very hard to help develop lacrosse in the city and due to this we have very close relationships with both Universities in the city. If Lacrosse was to move to the summer this would mean that many of the uni players would not be here which would really damage the club. Also there is very little chance that BUCS lacrosse would move to the summer.

Also lacrosse is part of the winter for most people, the days are cold, wet, and to be honest who wants to be outside unless you are playing sport or doing something. In the summer people tend to spend the weekends outdoors with their family, friends etc and I am not sure lacrosse would be able to keep them.

Finally along with the weather anther problem that seems to happen is a lack of players. by eliminating the uni influx of players from clubs you would therefore loose numbers.

Ultimately I think that trying to get more clubs on astro would be a better idea. If it snows or is very very cold then you wont be able to play either way but at least if it is wet games will still go ahead.
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Re: Should we move SEMLA to the Summer?

Postby DannyB Thu Feb 07, 2013 4:40 pm

The short answer is that we - Epsom - would be homeless with little chance of finding alternative pitches and a clubhouse. We are also building a strong bond with the host hockey & cricket club which is helping us grow and Rob is right about the potential impact on junior programmes of uprooting a club. The logic of making it a summer sport is powerful; the logistics less so. They may change in time and its worth discussing this now.
As a league cricketer as well, I have long experience of seasons disrupted by stag do, wedding and holiday absences.
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Re: Should we move SEMLA to the Summer?

Postby OWULax17 Thu Feb 07, 2013 5:59 pm

In 2010-2011, I wrote a Summer Season Proposal just for the fun of it. :) I know that it is outdated, but hopefully it helps add to the conversation!

************

SOUTH OF ENGLAND LACROSSE
SUMMER SEASON – PROPOSAL
By: Matt Bagley

To Whom It May Concern:

Should we, or shouldn’t we? The argument of whether or not to move lacrosse to a summer sport has been hotly debated for years and years at various SEMLA meetings. There are strong cases for both sides, but with the growth of the sport soaring in recent years – especially down South – now is the best time to capitalize on this explosion in popularity, and make significant and necessary changes that will solidify the expansion of Southern English lacrosse for the future. It would be a massive commitment, undertaking, and adjustment for everyone involved, but would insure the type of stability and consistency that SEMLA has always struggled to obtain using our current system.

First and foremost, it remains difficult contending with football and rugby for youth numbers, so one solution is to start introducing lacrosse to the kids in their "off" season. Relying on University students to expand the growth of the sport has presented its own major challenges, so we need to put a stick in their hands at an earlier age. This is the only way to produce quality lacrosse players, who can compete consistently and competitively with the North of England, and reach an international level as well.

Also, what happens when this University lacrosse "fad" begins to fade? Whilst university lacrosse is great, and brings many players to our sport, it is inconsistent in its delivery and loyalty to SEMLA clubs. Players at university pick up bad habits, and often do not have an understanding of team game play and strategy. It often takes a club a season or more to develop this out of players.

While it would be nice to have the type of junior system the North has, we never will. It's London - not Manchester - and we need to recognize the strengths and weaknesses of living in such an area. We're trying to run a Northern system in a very un-Northern place... and while we've had some success, it is not a totally effective strategy.

The goal is ultimately to home grow strong players that can compete on the National and International stage. This proposal therefore needs to be linked to a schools and youth development program. We need a more viable and concrete solution to the continued growth of the sport down South, and I think moving the season to the Summer would help us meet this end goal.

Sincerely,
Matthew Bagley


SUMMER SEASON FIXTURE LIST
2011 SEASON

Season Dates:
Current: October to December (approx: 12 weekends), Christmas off (approx: 2-3 weeks), then January through April (approx: 16 weekends)
Proposed: April to July (approx: 17 weekends), August off (approx: 3 weeks), then September through October (approx: 9 weekends)

Mock 2011 Premiership Schedule*:

March 5th – Pre-season
March 12th – Pre-season
March 19th – Pre-season
March 26th – Pre-season

April 2nd – Easter Weekend / Stockport Easter 8’s**
April 9th – League 1a
April 16th – League 2a
April 23rd – League 3a
April 30th – Flags (Round 1)

May 7th – British National Championships**
May 14th – League 4a
May 21st – League 5a
May 28th – League 6a

June 4th – League 7a
June 11th – Flags (Round 2)
June 18th – League 8a
June 25th – League 9a

July 2nd – No Fixture***
July 9th – League 1b
July 16th – League 2b
July 23rd – League 3b
July 30th – Flags (Semi-Finals)

AUGUST: Mid-Season break, Summer Tournaments (Bluesfest, etc.), European Championships & World Games

August 27th – League 4b
September 3rd – Bath 8’s Tournament**
September 10th – League 5b
September 17th – League 6b
September 24th – League 7b

October 1st – League 8b
October 8th – League 9b
October 15th – No Fixture***
October 22nd – Flags (Finals)
October 29th – SEMLA 6’s

*Modeled on the 2009-2010 Fixture Schedule
**Assuming the North doesn’t change to a summer season, and leaves the BNC’s, Easter 8’s, Bath 8’s, etc. where they are
***There are currently 4 weekends with No Fixtures. With summer weather, we could cut that in half, and only reserve 2 weekends for rescheduled games. I have done this above, leaving the two weekends after each League “circuit” available.


WINTER REGIONAL ACADEMY
2011 SEASON

Winter Regional Academy:

During the winter months in January, February and March, it would be proposed to have a regional academy in one or possibly two locations in the South. These would be open to any SEMLA players to come along and receive development and coaching from LDO’s and other experienced coaches. This would form part of the South Team (or county team?) selection program for those that want this, but also an open forum for players to develop beyond their clubs. These could run 2-3 times per month during this period. This kind of program can raise the bar for the keen and committed players.


BENEFITS & DRAWBACKS
Summer Season

--BENEFITS of Moving to a Summer Season:

1) Would not have to compete against football and rugby for youth numbers

2) More commitment from club members to coach youth teams due to flexibility resulting from

3) Better weather

4) Increased daylight hours, means more options for youth practice/game times during the week.

5) Less cancelled/postponed games due to inclement weather

6) Rescheduled games could also be played in the evenings on weekdays, due to extended daylight hours

7) With less rescheduled games, the league season would be more condensed

-8) This leaves more time for regional and national team commitments, which would ultimately lead to a higher overall standard of lacrosse throughout England as players train with others of a higher level

9) Better weather would also encourage more spectators and/or participants of the sport

10) It would be a faster, more exciting game on solid (non-waterlogged) pitches

11) Summer is more of a social time, which would mean more people at the club; leading to more revenue behind the bar.

12) With longer daylight hours it may be possible to schedule both youth and senior fixtures on the same day at the same ground thus creating the opportunity to strengthen the link and visibility between the two sections.

13) With the continued participation in the BUCS league, University students would have the option of playing year round. This gives us the opportunity to form early bonds between university players and SEMLA clubs.

14) LDO’s would be in the schools and promoting the sport of lacrosse at an optimal time – during summer – after rugby and football season has finished

--DRAWBACKS of Moving to a Summer Season:

1) University clubs might have to withdraw from SEMLA competition, as the proposed summer season dates coincide with summer holidays. POSSIBLY ANSWER: University sides could continue playing in BUCS during the winter, and the push could be made for more “city” teams: or, clubs that recruit a large number of athletes from the University, but have a core group of veteran players heading the club (ex: Portsmouth City, Bristol City)

2) Clubs having pitch conflicts due to summer cricket

3) The “Long Season” in the year we switch from Winter to Summer seasons. POSSIBLE ANSWER: We would have to shorten the winter season that year somehow

4) The Wilkinson Sword and Iroquois Cup matches against the North would need to be restructured

5) We would need to institute a rule that restricts and/or monitors Northern players from migrating down South during the summer months to play for a Southern club, possibly taking a roster spot from a Southern based player

6) Recently graduated LDO’s would arrive late for the start of the season, as American universities generally finish up around mid-May. POSSIBLE ANSWER: Change the LDO “Season”. Maybe have LDO’s come in January/February in the lead up to the season, and leave in October/November after it’s done? This would weed out LDO’s who moving abroad to simply party, versus those who take the coaching and training seriously. It would also change the weeklong orientation to sometime during the winter months.

***************
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Re: Should we move SEMLA to the Summer?

Postby the pom Thu Feb 07, 2013 6:25 pm

5) We would need to institute a rule that restricts and/or monitors Northern players from migrating down South during the summer months to play for a Southern club, possibly taking a roster spot from a Southern based player


the north will have to institute a rule to stop southern players migrating north in the winter months possibley taking a northern players spot :lol: :lol:
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Re: Should we move SEMLA to the Summer?

Postby Chilli Thu Feb 07, 2013 7:18 pm

Matt, a really good document for people to consider, actually I'd forgotten that you'd done it until today, but did you mean Point 5 seriously?

There are always players moving into the South from the North, Scotland, Wales, all parts of Europe, USA, Canada, Australia etc and joining South Clubs, do we stop them as well?

It implies that there are a fixed number of playing spaces that the 'newcomers' are taking from local players when the whole point is to create new clubs, new teams and expand the number of playing spots for all levels.

If North based players were to choose to play Summer Lax in the South and winter in the North, so what?
The overall standard would potentially improve, players get better by playing alongside the best whether they were born in Manchester or Tokyo and so we'd all gain.
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Re: Should we move SEMLA to the Summer?

Postby Jon_B Thu Feb 07, 2013 7:59 pm

OWULax17 wrote:3) Better weather
:shock:

I'll remember that when I'm soaked to the skin at Glastonbury this year. :lol:
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Re: Should we move SEMLA to the Summer?

Postby Moaning Git Fri Feb 08, 2013 12:05 am

Trevor please reread what I said. There were some sweeping statements regards National fixtures and International commitments, the impact on them would have to be considered and the response may not be positive. As I said I will be interested to see the feedback.
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Re: Should we move SEMLA to the Summer?

Postby Tree13 Fri Feb 08, 2013 1:28 am

Matt, the proposal you posted is excellent.

I'd say the drawbacks you listed at 4) and 5) are probably not issues, because the Wilkinson Sword and the Iroquois Cup could remain in their current places - the participating club simply moving their corresponding league fixture to one of the free weekends - and SEMLA would only benefit in the scenario where several northern players came down south for a few months.

The winter regional development idea has enormous potential too.

I like the way you have provided a simple, effective, total solution for the issue of international commitments. Fantastic to see someone with firsthand experience of international lacrosse proving that a summer league programme is entirely compatible with international lacrosse.
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Re: Should we move SEMLA to the Summer?

Postby Whitey Fri Feb 08, 2013 8:01 am

We should change to the summer, several seasons have been spoilt by the weather and I think lacrosse in the south needs a boost... This could be it.

To the doubters...
- there's loads of places to play that aren't cricket grounds. Football & rugby clubs perhaps?
- since when have the MPC had any influence over anything? We can do what we think best
- unis can still play, BUCS can do what they like
- ...there might be a few hockey, rugby, football players who would be good at lacrosse?

Lacrosse in the warm! I'd give up playing cricket for that!
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Re: Should we move SEMLA to the Summer?

Postby Chilli Fri Feb 08, 2013 11:07 am

John, there are no 'sweeping statements regards National fixtures and International commitments' anywhere in anything in this thread from me.
I'm sure that anyone else reading your comments will be equally baffled.

It's a bit of a stretch but the closest thing is when I point out that every other European country plays in the summer, as do the USA, Canada, Australia, Japan etc and they all manage to cope with Euros and Worlds, what's even controversial about stating a fact?

Why do you become so instantly defensive at the mere suggestion of discussion or change?
Why do you feel so threatened to have to invoke the MPC as the 'angry parent' who won't let you do what you want?

Is the willingness to consider change and offer true involvement of players to new ideas and radical change so threatening?

SEMLA has operated in this manner for many years now and made many radical changes all of which have been controversial at the time but all have resulted in more clubs and more players, I hope that we continue to love the game enough to let it grow and not cling to the same old ways of doing things that it shrinks and dies.

The discussion of summer lacrosse may end in a decision to stay with the winter season, it may not. That is for the players to decide, it is their game, not SEMLA's, not NEMLA's not even the ELA's, let them have their say.
Last edited by Chilli on Fri Feb 08, 2013 11:24 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Should we move SEMLA to the Summer?

Postby young_trig Fri Feb 08, 2013 11:17 am

Well thought out document from Matt Bagley.

However,

OWULax17 wrote:
First and foremost, it remains difficult contending with football and rugby for youth numbers, so one solution is to start introducing lacrosse to the kids in their "off" season. Relying on University students to expand the growth of the sport has presented its own major challenges, so we need to put a stick in their hands at an earlier age. This is the only way to produce quality lacrosse players, who can compete consistently and competitively with the North of England, and reach an international level as well.


....bit of a shame to hear that coming from the mouth of the England coach. Daglish will sleep well in his bed tonight though
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Re: Should we move SEMLA to the Summer?

Postby APaddyNotThePaddy Fri Feb 08, 2013 12:27 pm

I am very much against this proposal.

I am very committed to Lacrosse, the sport I love and have missed one game (National Team try outs) this season and don’t plan to miss another. A fair amount of us from Hillcroft have had to awkwardly arrange our ski trip around a game in order to not miss it. However your suggestion is to remove nearly all our free weekends during the summer and replace them with free weekends in the Winter.

I cant speak for others in my squad but can only imagine they could have similar feelings to myself in regards to this proposal.

If we want to go to a festival we will miss a game
If we have a wedding we will miss a game
If we want to spend the weekend away with other halfs we will miss a game
If we want to go on a summer holiday we will miss a game
If we want to go to lowlands (the weekend I most look forward to) or Berlin open we will miss a game

Then you have your usual summer activities outside of lacrosse you will miss, like a friends BBQ, going surfing, swimming or whetever else you like to do when you have the rare occasion of a sunny free day.

Instead we have free weekends over the winter which I believe are a lot less valuable. Ill be eager for Lacrosse games during those miserable weekends where I have no motivation to do anything. What did everyone do these weekends where games were cancelled compared to what you will do during a weekend in may.

To conclude, Lacrosse is the main thing in my life, it is my priority and will always be a huge part of my life BUT it is not the only thing in my life and I will not be able to commit to as many games as I do now, which is a slippery slope.

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