How many UP and DOWN?

Mike Smith (21/03/2017): The purpose of this rule change proposal is to revert to one up and one down.
The proposal would apply starting with the 2017/18 season.  Teams who have achieved promotion and relegation under the present rules during the 2016/17 season have these as of right.

With 8 team divisions, two up and two down means that divisions lose half of their teams from one season to the next. The proposal should lead to better stability and make the President's life less onerous. 
The argument against one up and one down used to be the possibility of two new strong teams entering at the same time. It never happened then, and the chance of it arising now unfortunately looks slim.
Another benefit is a significant reduction in play-off matches.  A major benefit for all players and League Secretaries!

As well as change to Rule 23 (b) [promotion] and (c) [relegation], there needs to be a corresponding change to 23 (d) as play-off matches would no longer be needed for second nor second last places. Also added is a clarification that players who have become registered for a club's higher team are not eligible for a play-off match [clarification needed, as I have often been asked].

Proposed changes/new wording:
Rule 23(a): unchanged

Rule 23(b): The team scoring most match points in each division shall be declared Champions; shall hold the appropriate trophy until the end of the following season; and shall be entitled to play in the next higher division in the following season unless disqualified under Rule15(e). 
Rule 23(c): The team scoring least match points in each division shall be relegated in the following season to the next lower division unless there is a vacancy in their present division, in which case it may be considered for re-election.
Rule 23(d): 
If there is a tie on match points in any division for the Champion or the team to be relegated, the teams involved shall play off at a neutral venue unless either team agrees to play at the premises of its opponent.  Only players who have played at least three times previously during the season in the same competition, and have not become registered for a club's higher team, shall be eligible to take part.  Play-offs, when required to decide promotion or relegation between three or more teams, shall take the form of a single match at an agreed venue between all teams involved; the boards to be arranged according to Jamboree rules; in the event of a tie, a repeat of the match shall follow at 10 minutes time limits between three teams, or a match between two teams if so required.
Rule 23(e): unchanged


Mike Smith (19/11/2016): The last time we had 8 team divisions, in the early 1970's, promotion and relegation was one up and one down. Several years after the divisions were enlarged to 9 teams, the promotion and relegation was changed to two up and two down.

At the 2016 AGM I was concerned with the amount of change to the teams in the divisions, the difficulty of organising teams into divisions was magnificently chaired by Geoff Frost our new President, I was and am very grateful.
With 8 team divisions, two up and two down means that divisions lose half of their teams from one season to the next. I wonder whether this is in the best interests of the league or whether we should look for better stability and revert to one up and one down.
The argument against one up and one down was the possibility of two new strong teams entering at the same time. It never arose then, and the chance of it arising now unfortunately looks highly unlikely.
An unintended consequence, benefit, is a significant reduction in the number of play-off matches. A major benefit for all players and League Secretaries.

Geoff Frost (19/11/2016): After my tribulations last year with populating the divisions, I was giving consideration as to how to be more prepared. To this end I was going to wait until February to see how the divisions were working out, and with the divisional secretaries investigate likely intentions for 2017/2018. Neither scientific nor binding, it may give us an idea.
I certainly do not want to be at the AGM with no idea what the clubs have in mind for the new season. Some clubs have their individual AGMs the day or week before ours and I do feel that as a courtesy to others this should be done slightly earlier......and decisions notified promptly.
Mike's idea has merit and I will be prevailing on Steve for a quick run down on how many times in recent years promotion has been declined. The headline situation is between divisions 1 and 2. Between 2-3 and 3-4 some clubs make attempts to keep teams apart, and we should have no issue with that. The option to pass on promotion still exists, but I agree with Mike that we could look at refining the rules.
On a historical note, my one and only attempt at legislation was in the 1980s when I proposed a rule similar to the YCA where 2 teams were entitled to promotion, which was optional.
1 up 1 down, 2 up 2 down, 0 up 0 down. Seemed simple! ! On the same day, my good friend Geoff Brown proposed that promotion be mandatory!! Both were defeated.







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