2014/15 Season League Fixtures, Club comment

Posted by Chris Nightingale on 8 July 2014

On behalf of the Committee, I just thought I would update on what the impact has been on OWHC of the MRHA's reorganisation of the leagues this Summer. 
Given the increasing number of "blank" fixtures we experienced throughout the various leagues we played in last season, I think there was pretty general agreement that something needed to be done. MRHA have recognised the problem and taken the following actions
1st/2nd/3rd team leagues - one complete division from each has been removed and  teams reallocated accordingly (apparently by performance and geography to minimise travelling time). This appears to have had no real impact upon us with the 1st's being in WM1, the 2nd's in WM2 and the 3rd's in WM1.
Central Leagues - here I am afraid the impact has been more negative. The decision has been taken to add four new leagues NE 1/2 and SE 1/2 both because of a few new teams wishing to join and also to reduce match commute times. In order to do this they have taken a blanket policy across all of last year's leagues below EMP and WMP to relegate the bottom two teams from last year.... but only promote the top team from each league from last year.
The result is that our 4th's stay in NW2, joining our newly re-constituted 5th's in the same league.
A quick check of other teams in  the same position as our 4th's last year (but in other Central leagues) would indicate that the same has happened to them, so whilst we are victims and it is no consolation to those of us who played 4ths last year, we are not being victimised. We also have the positive development that the MRHA have agreed to Richard Cartwright's request for our 5ths to go to NW2, which given that we will now have two teams in the same league they could easily have decided against.
One other piece of good news is that the Birmingham Badgers league has accepted us for next season which should get us a full fixture card with reasonable travelling times. 
The Committee discussed the outcome at its monthly meeting in July and whilst having had both our 2nd's and the 4th's relegated in recent times due to administrative changes is frustrating, the view was that the MRHA had to make changes and they were never going to be able to do it without a few "winners" and "losers", so on balance we support the changes made.
I thought it important that we communicate this to all members as there are some "mutterings" of dissent from players at other Clubs affected appearing via social media about these changes. As a Committee we would ask that members do not, by implication  involve OWHC, by commenting on the changes via these outlets/pages.
Many thanks
Steve Rowlands

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