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JC
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Ideal number of teams in a division

Postby JC Mon Jan 27, 2014 9:06 pm

What is the ideal number of teams in a division?

Are even numbers better than odd numbers?

We currently have 10 teams in the Premiership but all the other divisions have either 11, 9 or 7 teams. Some of these are due to promotion / relegation issues in previous seasons and some are due to teams dropping out at the start of the season.

This means that each week we have 5 teams with no scheduled matches. Even if there was good weather! Is it preferable to have even numbers to avoid this problem?

What is the best number of teams in a division?
6 teams = 10 league matches, 10 Saturdays
7 teams = 12 league matches, 14 Saturdays
8 teams = 14 league matches, 14 Saturdays
9 teams = 16 league matches, 18 Saturdays
10 teams = 18 league matches, 18 Saturdays
11 teams = 20 league matches, 22 Saturdays
12 teams = 22 league matches, 22 Saturdays

Any thoughts?
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angles
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Re: Ideal number of teams in a division

Postby angles Mon Jan 27, 2014 9:49 pm

5 teams with no matches? Sounds like 5 teams that could be providing referees ;)
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Tree13
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Re: Ideal number of teams in a division

Postby Tree13 Tue Jan 28, 2014 1:09 pm

angles wrote:5 teams with no matches? Sounds like 5 teams that could be providing referees ;)


Quite right.

How many years on the bounce is it now that games are being postponed left, right and centre due to "unprecedented" bad weather? We cannot handle the division sizes we currently have without conceding games, awarding games or playing double-headers or on consecutive days (to list some common occurrences).

I would not be in favour of making the divisions bigger unless we either:

A) Made it a condition of league membership that clubs play their home games on 3g

or

B) Moved the entire competitive season to run April to October

To expand the number of games in a season, whilst deliberately confining ourselves to playing in bad weather when many clubs use grass pitches, doesn't seem like a recipe for improvement to me.

As it currently stands, I think 10 in the prem and 9 in every other division is a reasonable target. Having one team off every week in every division allows for extra refs to oversee other fixtures, and although there is little to suggest that many currently do this it is, in my mind at least, better to have the capacity to do this than not.
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Re: Ideal number of teams in a division

Postby Likkedeeler #27 Tue Jan 28, 2014 1:22 pm

Based on personal experience across all divisions:

10 teams/18 games frequently leaves players burnt out -> too many teams
9 teams/ 16 games -> by week often not helpful. Reffing candidates from other clubs will likely just take the weekend off.

Eight teams sounds about right for anything outside of Premiership, ten for Premiership is viable.










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Re: Ideal number of teams in a division

Postby Mr.Stanford Tue Jan 28, 2014 2:11 pm

Likkedeeler #27 wrote:Based on personal experience across all divisions:

10 teams/18 games frequently leaves players burnt out -> too many teams



Who are these 'Burnt out' players and do their mothers know their playing outside of the back garden?
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Re: Ideal number of teams in a division

Postby D99 Tue Jan 28, 2014 10:05 pm

One day you will all be too old or too injured, and unable to play. Take every opportunity to play this great sport as often as possible. If you aren't playing you'll only be wandering round Tesco with your other half wondering how it came to be like this.
Play, Referee, Coach, Manage. Seniors, Juniors. Keep involved.
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Re: Ideal number of teams in a division

Postby Likkedeeler #27 Wed Jan 29, 2014 9:44 am

Indication for too much Lacrosse for an overall balance:
- drop-off in practice attendance in April/May compared to both the first quarter of the year and summer practices
- attendance at sixes, arguably a very fun way to play ball for a day, has declined for years
- fatigue injuries that got carried through too far (tight hamstrings are typical one) finally get time to heal

The Braunschweig Lions in Germany last year had a coach for about five weeks during which they practiced for about six times per week (2 practices, one fitness/agility session, 2 stick skill sessions, one scrimmage). They had about 30 guys at each practice. After those weeks, they called practice off for about two weeks as everyone was too tired and/or had many other real life things to catch up. Just another example.

Surely there are some players who will want to play every weekend, all year. But in reality most players have jobs, families, friends and all sorts of other obligations. It's worthwhile appreciating that there are different priorities.

I recently tore ACL and meniscus - the awful conclusion is that playing might not be in the cards anymore but coaching and reffing is. Stay involved. The game keeps giving back.
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Re: Ideal number of teams in a division

Postby steve flint Wed Jan 29, 2014 9:26 pm

This has been an argument in this league for the past 30+ years. In the days I first started playing club lacrosse a team from each division was stood down a total of twice a season for refereeing duties. This was in the days before formal referees qualifications and was managed by the teams themselves with clubs being fined and docked points for failure to provide referees.
Now we have a formal system of referees with courses and qualifications, each club is gathering a good refereeing section,
It seems to me that a mix and match of these systems would enable those player/referees to still play a full season for there club while still having the opportunity to referee on the weeks their club is stood down with no fixture.
I don't think well ever completely solve this conundrum until were in the position to be able to afford a professional referees panel with enough referees to cover all the fixtures like in the current football league.
Refereeing has come on by leaps and bounds since I first started playing league lacrosse and the ela/semla/nemla are to be commended for their part in achieving this. But the bulk of the credit has to go to the guys who wear the stripes, love them or loath them they oversee the games on their own time for our benefit
So given the choice I would recommend 9 teams per division and divisions to be adjusted seasonally to maintain that status quo. By having teams refereeing their division, it will encourage clubs to qualify more referees and allow newbies to tag along, help out and learn a bit about being a referee before taking the course
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Re: Ideal number of teams in a division

Postby steve flint Wed Jan 29, 2014 9:34 pm

D99 wrote:One day you will all be too old or too injured, and unable to play. Take every opportunity to play this great sport as often as possible. If you aren't playing you'll only be wandering round Tesco with your other half wondering how it came to be like this.
Play, Referee, Coach, Manage. Seniors, Juniors. Keep involved.


you're never too old.. but you can be too injured. After finally getting rid of my kit after 41 years of playing lacrosse (39 years of club lacrosse) Id still be out there now if my body would allow me too. Like most people its a case of the spirit is desperate to play, but the bodies said enough is enough. Enjoy every moment you get because one day there'll be no more moments, Sieze every opportunity to pick up your stick and play the greatest sport ever invented.
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ex-Croydon #1 ex-Hillcroft #20 ex-Wales #20 ex-South #20 ex- Nomads #69
whoever said goalies were a sarnie short of a picnic had no idea how close to the truth they were
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Re: Ideal number of teams in a division

Postby Ash Wed Jan 29, 2014 11:38 pm

10 teams in a division is best in my opinion. The problem with 9 is that you can't rearrange games for these weekends as there is no other team free. 9 has been better than 8 though.

Still think we should start the season on the 3rd week in September though. Get about 12 games (including 2 flags games) in before xmas. (January off for national or regional training and rescheduled matches!). 8 league matches and remainder of flags from start of feb/last weekend in January!
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Re: Ideal number of teams in a division

Postby speach Fri Jan 31, 2014 3:48 pm

I would certainly be up for the next season starting on Saturday 13 September 2014, a week after the Bath Eights, rather than 04 October 2014 (as with this season there would probably be a few games a week earlier, such as Preliminary Round Flags etc). Let's get the season underway in better weather!

Those clubs who share the ground with cricket would need to be away for the first week or two until the cricket season ends. We'd need to sort suitable arrangements for the universities too.
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Re: Ideal number of teams in a division

Postby JC Fri Feb 14, 2014 9:02 pm

Thanks for those views.

Now can I amend the discussion to consider the West divisions?

Numbers vary each season but for the sake of this discussion what is the best option if you have 18 teams? There is a big diversity in skill level between teams in the West which leads to some uncompetitive matches. Would it be a good option to consider more but smaller divisions?
000000
A few years ago SEMLA had divisions with only 6 teams where you could played your opponents 3 times. Another time we had a ladder system playing teams in divisions above or below your team. If we had divisions with 5 teams we could play Home and Away twice in a season – like in the Scottish football league.

Any thoughts on this?
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Re: Ideal number of teams in a division

Postby JC Fri Feb 14, 2014 9:02 pm

Thanks for those views.

Now can I amend the discussion to consider the West divisions?

Numbers vary each season but for the sake of this discussion what is the best option if you have 18 teams? There is a big diversity in skill level between teams in the West which leads to some uncompetitive matches. Would it be a good option to consider more but smaller divisions?
000000
A few years ago SEMLA had divisions with only 6 teams where you could played your opponents 3 times. Another time we had a ladder system playing teams in divisions above or below your team. If we had divisions with 5 teams we could play Home and Away twice in a season – like in the Scottish football league.

Any thoughts on this?
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Re: Ideal number of teams in a division

Postby Rotisserie Sat Feb 15, 2014 1:53 am

JC wrote:Thanks for those views.

Now can I amend the discussion to consider the West divisions?

Numbers vary each season but for the sake of this discussion what is the best option if you have 18 teams? There is a big diversity in skill level between teams in the West which leads to some uncompetitive matches. Would it be a good option to consider more but smaller divisions?
000000
A few years ago SEMLA had divisions with only 6 teams where you could played your opponents 3 times. Another time we had a ladder system playing teams in divisions above or below your team. If we had divisions with 5 teams we could play Home and Away twice in a season – like in the Scottish football league.

Any thoughts on this?


what if Portsmouth, Aber, Birmingham and plymouth end up in the same league?
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Re: Ideal number of teams in a division

Postby WhydoIbother Sat Feb 15, 2014 8:18 am

Firstly, you hope those away games get scheduled for Dec or Jan and the weather causes them to be rescheduled to 'never' or 'x'
Secondly, (assuming the league is West 1) you prey you don't go on a cup run and play teams in the East.
You may chose to relax the 'all players must attend all training sessions' rule.
Otherwise, you prey married members of your team have 'very' understanding wives.
Or back to 'x', you cry off that road trip and play a friendly.

More seriously, you take the rough with the smooth I'm afraid, or you campaigne for a change.
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Ideal number of teams in West division Two

Postby JC Tue Apr 15, 2014 8:56 am

I have been thinking about what we can do for West division Two.



In this season over 60% of West Two matches were conceded. Granted the wettest winter on record didn’t help but is there anything we can do to give teams a practical fixture list with meaningful number of games at an appropriate standard?



I don’t know why so many matches were conceded but I speculate that long travel distances doesn’t help. So what can be done? These are just a couple of ideas to stir up a discussion.



One option is to subdivide the west into areas so that teams play closer teams more often. For example one region could be Cornwall, Devon, Somerset and Dorset. A second region could be South Wales, Avon, Gloucestershire & Wiltshire. Teams could play home and away twice in the season.

One advantage would be less travel but the disadvantages are playing a smaller number of teams which may be less satisfying especially if one opponent is considerably stronger. Another disadvantage is what happens to teams which fall outside these regions?



A second option would be to denote a travelling “threshold” eg 2 hours for away trips. Teams closer that this would play standard home and away fixtures and teams further than this would be scheduled to play triangular fixtures on away games to reduce the number of long journeys. Perhaps when playing the “distant” opponent the game could be for double points? This option will give a greater diversity of teams to play and reduces the overall travel distance/time but has draw backs including teams won’t play home and away in all cases, team will have different number of fixtures in the season, and when playing 2 games in one day there will be an advantage of being “fresh” for the team not involved in the first fixture. And there will still be some matches which need long trips.



These are only 2 ideas and clearly both have drawbacks. The question is whether we can improve the current system? If yes, what should we do?



All suggestions are welcome in this discussion.

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