As we start back into the squash season 2017/2018 I'd like to communicate some information about the league plan for this coming season. I don't have everyone's email address so please pass on the information to all members of your teams.
Plan for Munster Leagues this coming season:
Leagues will be split into two halves as per last season.
Leagues will run for 11 weeks before Christmas, and for a further 11 weeks after Christmas. The reason for that is to try to keep players playing competitive squash throughout the season. Players that may not play many tournaments would still have the league to play a competitive match every second week from October through to March to keep them going, with a month over Christmas as a break.
League Divisions will alternate every second week.
That means Div 1, 3 and 5 will be on Tues/Wed/Thurs of the same week, and the following week on Tues/Wed/Thurs it will be Div 2, 4 and 6. This is to facilitate the growth in the lower level leagues, and to cater for players that wish to play in more than one division. It also helps clubs form teams that would otherwise not be possible, and it takes pressure of players that have to organise nights off for work etc., as well as allowing for postponed fixtures. This will also make it easier to organise travel arrangements as teams will only have to play away once every 4 weeks.
Leagues will commence on the first week of October.
Div 1 and 2 will alternate every second Tuesday night.
The first fixture will be Div 1 on Tuesday 3rd October, with Div 2 starting the following week on Tuesday 10th October and so on alternating every second week.
Div 5 and 6 will alternate every second Wednesday night.
A few clubs have requested Wednesday evening matches for the lower leagues and keeping the top 4 leagues to the traditional Tuesday and Thursday slots makes sense.
The first fixture for Div 5 will be Wednesday 4th October, with Div 6 starting the following week on Wednesday 11th October and so on alternating every second week.
Division 3 and 4 will alternate every second Thursday night.
And the first fixture for Div 3 will be Thursday 5th October, with Div 4 starting the following week on Thursday 12th October and so on alternating every second week.
Leagues will break before Christmas for a month, last fixture being Div 3 on Thursday 14th December.
Leagues to recommence after Christmas in mid-January and run for another 11 weeks, first fixture being Div 2 on Tuesday 16th January.
The format for each league will depend on the number of teams entering each league.
If there are up to and including 6 teams in a Division the league will be played in the traditional round robin format without playoffs.
That means each team plays against every other team in the same Division twice; once Home and once Away.
If there are 7 or 8 Teams it will be a half round robin (play each team once Home OR Away) followed by playoffs.
After the round robin the teams will be seeded from 1 to 8 for quarter-finals. The top four teams from the round robin stage will play off in semi-finals with the higher ranked teams from the round robin having Home advantage, followed by a final at a neutral venue. The teams that lose the quarter finals will go into a plate competition, with semi-finals and a final also.
If there are 9 or 10 teams it will be a half round robin (play each team once Home OR Away) followed by playoffs of semi-finals with the higher ranked team from the round robin having Home advantage, and a final at a neutral venue. The teams that don’t make it into the top 4 will go into a plate competition.
If there are 11 or 12 teams it will be a half round robin without playoffs (play each team once Home OR Away) without playoffs.
There's not much likelihood of there being more teams than 12 in any division, but if there were we'd split the teams into groups and crossover for play-offs as necessary within the dates available.
A league panel from each team must be sent in for review with a proposed merit order at the earliest possible opportunity.
Each Club must nominate a Team Captain as point of contact, and must supply a candidate for League Secretary unless exempt due to carrying out the role last season.
Clubs are requested to begin organising their league teams and to submit panels at the earliest possible opportunity for review by the Men’s Captain and the Vice-Captains.
The deadline for submitting a team is Tuesday the 19th September, and the deadline for finalising the personnel and merit order of each panel is the day preceding the commencement of each respective league.
Any queries please get back to me without delay.
Martin J. Mcdonnell