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NEW 4NCL FORMAT 2008/2009 SEASON

 
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s262jdd



Joined: 03 Dec 2006
Posts: 53

PostPosted: Thu Feb 22, 2007 11:11 am    Post subject: NEW 4NCL FORMAT 2008/2009 SEASON Reply with quote

Please see below an extract from the recent 4NCL newsletter proposing changes to the league's format for the season after next (2008/2009). Comments welcome!

"Looking ahead to the 2008/2009 season it is our intention to change the structure of the 4NCL to the following :

Divisions 1 + 2 - 16 teams in total split initially into two pools of 8 of roughly equal standard. Each pool is an all-play-all of 7 rounds and then the top four teams from each compete in a final championship/promotion group for the last four rounds. Similarly the bottom four teams from each compete in a relegation pool. All the results from the initial all-play-all are carried forward.

Division 3 - Swiss format very similar to the present Division 4 structure.

Four teams will be promoted from Divisions 2 + 3 .
Four teams will be relegated from Divisions 1 + 2.

Obviously in the transition year the movement of teams will be different i.e all teams in Division 1 will remain there, the top 4 teams in Division 2 will go into Division 1 , 8 teams will go from Division 3 into Division 2 and all remaining Division 3 + 4 teams will form Division 3.

This new structure will have several advantages the main ones of which are :
a/ Less pressure on venues because there is a more equal split between the number of players at each weekend.
b/ A faster track promotion process for new strong teams entering the League i.e one year less than with the four division structure.
c/ Two “showdown” weekends per season rather than just one as at present.
d/ More chance for weaker teams to preserve their place in the relevant division."
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RdC



Joined: 28 Dec 2006
Posts: 40
Location: Buckinghamshire

PostPosted: Thu Feb 22, 2007 12:36 pm    Post subject: NEW 4NCL FORMAT 2008/2009 SEASON Reply with quote

Quote:
Each pool is an all-play-all of 7 rounds


How's this going to work?

1 weekend of 3 matches + 2 weekends of 2 matches

or

3 weekends of 2 matches + 1 lone match?

A weekend of 3 matches is going to mean two rounds in one day - unless you use the May bank holidays. If you use the May bank holidays that moves the final two rounds into the summer months.
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s262jdd



Joined: 03 Dec 2006
Posts: 53

PostPosted: Thu Feb 22, 2007 12:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Same number and format of weekends as now (four two round weekends + one three round weekend) - break into "A" and "B" pools for the final four rounds after round 7 of the penultimate weekend - final four rounds played on the Sunday of the penultimate weekend and the three rounds of the bank holiday weekend.
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David



Joined: 29 Apr 2006
Posts: 768
Location: Sefton Park, Liverpool

PostPosted: Thu Feb 22, 2007 4:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

First off, can I say that I'm pretty impressed by the 4NCL management team in bringing this proposal forward. Whether it's the right one or not, and whether it wins support, will no doubt be thrashed out sensibly in discussions like this. But the proposal began life in this forum as part of a spirited but well-intended exchange between some of us. It's a credit to the 4NCL people that they've listened, and shown a readiness to take some of the points on board. That kind of responsiveness suggests a healthy future for the 4NCL.

To the proposal itself: it's taken me a while to work out the implications, but if I now understand the model properly, I think it improves on the status quo by introducing a bit of dynamism into the league[s]. Of course, one person's 'dynamism' is other person's 'instability', so I guess a radical shake-up like the one proposed will have caused a few squawks of alarm in certain quarters. It would be good to hear what the dissenters think so we can have the full picture.

For my part, having initiated the previous discussion on the need to 'fast-track' strong new teams, the proposal takes a step in that direction by reducing progression to the top division by a year. I still think that's a year too long. But Rome wasn't built in a day and, point having been established, I'll run with the proposal as it stands for now.

The other main critique, largely promoted by John Saunders, was the lack of excitement in the league structure, leading to a call for 'play-offs' or similar. The 4NCL proposal is an imaginative alternative, if a bit complex to grasp at first. Certainly the new structure should gee up the last weekend or so of the season.

So what's the assessment? I guess that depends on where one stands, and how one assesses the chances of gaining or losing under the new arrangements compared with the old. Tactical considerations will determine the level of support offered by some teams; and unintended consequences will be the result of those tactics.

One unintended, probably unavoidable, consequence of the new structure will be the growth of 'dead rubbers' in the qualifying pools. For example, Team A plays Team H in the 6th or 7th round. Team A has done more than enough to qualify for the championship stage, and Team H has long been doomed to the 'relegation pool'. The result matters to neither team since it isn't carried forward to their different 2nd stage pools (as I understand it). So will either team turn up?

Another unintended, probably beneficial, consequence is that all teams can focus their scarce or limited resources on key matches, once their likely 2nd stage destiny is clear. This could lead to some very strong teams being fielded in the 2nd stage rounds (but some coasting in earlier rounds).

Who should worry then? Frankly, not the stronger nor the weaker teams. The changes are no worse than neutral for the strong squads; while weaker squads get a second chance of survival via the 'relegation pool'. For teams 'in the middle', ie in mid-table of the current 12-team division with poor chances of ever winning the division, their chances of relegation appear to be increased, at least arithmetically. So presumably they will squawk. But the structure is designed to increase the meritocratic 'churn rate', so that trade-off seems fair.

On balance, and in the absence of a reasoned alternative view, I think the proposal is an imaginative step forward; will introduce significant competitive edge to many more matches; and looks well worth supporting.

David
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Sean



Joined: 29 Jun 2006
Posts: 315
Location: Not in Gibraltar

PostPosted: Thu Feb 22, 2007 5:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

David wrote:

One unintended, probably unavoidable, consequence of the new structure will be the growth of 'dead rubbers' in the qualifying pools. For example, Team A plays Team H in the 6th or 7th round. Team A has done more than enough to qualify for the championship stage, and Team H has long been doomed to the 'relegation pool'. The result matters to neither team since it isn't carried forward to their different 2nd stage pools (as I understand it). So will either team turn up?

David


As I read it David, results from the all play all section are carried forward to the championship/relegation sections. So there are no dead rubbers as the points all count.
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David



Joined: 29 Apr 2006
Posts: 768
Location: Sefton Park, Liverpool

PostPosted: Thu Feb 22, 2007 6:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, Sean, you're correct. I've just read the 4NCL newsletter itself.

OK, so no 'dead rubbers' perhaps, but a troublesome anomaly instead. Given the champion team will have gained match points from four opponents not accessible to half the championship pool, this increases the likelihood that results against weaker teams at the 1st stage will determine the outcome of the 2nd stage - a case of the tail wagging the dog. In fact, a team could disappoint at the 2nd stage but still win the league. The same applies in the relegation pool of course.

The more I think about it: I'd prefer the risk of 'dead rubbers' and a clean winner from the best 8 to a lop-sided process and a winner with legitimacy doubts hanging over it.

David
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Sean



Joined: 29 Jun 2006
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 23, 2007 11:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

David wrote:
Yes, Sean, you're correct. I've just read the 4NCL newsletter itself.

OK, so no 'dead rubbers' perhaps, but a troublesome anomaly instead. Given the champion team will have gained match points from four opponents not accessible to half the championship pool, this increases the likelihood that results against weaker teams at the 1st stage will determine the outcome of the 2nd stage - a case of the tail wagging the dog. In fact, a team could disappoint at the 2nd stage but still win the league. The same applies in the relegation pool of course.

The more I think about it: I'd prefer the risk of 'dead rubbers' and a clean winner from the best 8 to a lop-sided process and a winner with legitimacy doubts hanging over it.

David


The best way to resolve this is to copy the cricket world cup. In their second stage (Super8) results from the first round do count, but only where the opponent has also qualified for the scond stage.
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Richard



Joined: 28 Dec 2006
Posts: 66

PostPosted: Fri Feb 23, 2007 11:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sean wrote:
David wrote:
Yes, Sean, you're correct. I've just read the 4NCL newsletter itself.

OK, so no 'dead rubbers' perhaps, but a troublesome anomaly instead. Given the champion team will have gained match points from four opponents not accessible to half the championship pool, this increases the likelihood that results against weaker teams at the 1st stage will determine the outcome of the 2nd stage - a case of the tail wagging the dog. In fact, a team could disappoint at the 2nd stage but still win the league. The same applies in the relegation pool of course.

The more I think about it: I'd prefer the risk of 'dead rubbers' and a clean winner from the best 8 to a lop-sided process and a winner with legitimacy doubts hanging over it.

David


The best way to resolve this is to copy the cricket world cup. In their second stage (Super8) results from the first round do count, but only where the opponent has also qualified for the scond stage.


Yes, that is IMO the only sensible way to do it. In general and providing this last point is taken on board i think it is a very original and imaginative idea that deserves serious consideration and probable support. I would however raise a couple of issues, maybe only tangentally related that i think need considering.

The first, not directly related although it becomes more of an issue under this format, is that the 4NCL needs to look again at the situation concerning second and third teams in the same division. I think this is something that does do serious damage to the league as a whole. If not going down the route (as some teams have done in the past) of separate squads for each team, I would at least like some reduction in the flexibility of players to switch between teams. Everyone knows about the standard situation of Wood Green/Guildford strengthening their first team and this having a knock on effect down the teams, but there are also cases where squads have managed to bend the rules to effectively play their first team as their second team in crucial matches.

Secondly i think 4 relegation places may be at least one too many, although obviously others might disagree. The jump in quality between the top division (a mix of current 1st div and top half 2nd), and "new" second division (a mix of bottom 2nd and 3rd) will likely be so large that there is the possibility that some "yo-yo" teams may struggle to survive once they make the drop. This is an unfortunate by-product of some teams being specifically 4ncl orientated, and not having a steady supply of players to fall back on.

The possible corollary of this is that it may be very difficult for promoted teams (especially the 3rd and 4th) to strengthen sufficiently to be competitive in the top division. At the moment the average promoted team probably needs a couple of 2350+ players added to have a serious prospect of survival. Under the new system i would estimate that a promoted team will need 3 or 4 new players - which really means a basically new team (perhaps, like in the Football Premiership, the best players from the clubs who have just been relegated!)
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David Fryer



Joined: 24 Jul 2008
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Location: Sussex

PostPosted: Tue Jan 20, 2009 3:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So on review how many dead rubbers are there and how many new teams have been attracted by the fast track?

How many teams in the 3rd division are disappointed at not having the chance to gain promotion or avoid relegation?
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