It is fully realised that we have only just completed the 2018 event but I believe now is the time we must start thinking ahead to the next staging of the event. This year we successfully introduced a second division and hopefully this will be the standard for future years.
For the first staging we had 17 entries of which we took six for the second division with the balance going to division one. It was considered essential to maintain six in division two to ensure an enjoyable and workable format could be obtained. Unfortunately Buckinghamshire had to with draw at the last moment due to medical emergencies but we managed to maintain the schedule by raising a CA Select team at the last moment. Two of the Bucks team gave a good start to the Select team. We hope that Bucks can manage to bounce back next year.
The reason for pushing ahead now is that even with this years entry, we were close to the limit with the venues we were using. Because of the much shorter game with GC, it is not feasible to use two venues for one event unless the two venues are virtually next door and teams can change venue during the day. In practical terms we have found that it is reasonable to schedule for n+1 teams if the venue available has n lawns as it usually only means one bye for each player which is usually acceptable. On this basis, considering Southwick and Compton, this sets our maximums at 12 and 6 for divisions one and two. Assuming that Bucks will return in 2019, the present venues only allow for one additional team which is not considered sufficient. The very fact that we now have a second division which quite naturally will be a lower standard than division one, will be likely to tempt some of the less able counties to dip their toes in the water. There already have been a number of enquiries from potential new counties. All new teams will have to start in division two.
In simple terms we need more than five lawns for division two and clubs of this size are very limited and usually manage to fill their calendars before the end of the present year, especially for weekend dates As we are not able to share venues as happens with AC Inter Counties, the need for the same weekend for both divisions is not so critical and may be essential if we hope to get the support from one of the bigger clubs.
Can I therefore ask all players who are considering a possible entry to this event, to talk it over with other potential players before we get to the end of this season and if you feel there is a good possibility, put in a provisional entry to the CA Office before the end of November this year. However please remember that you should look for at least six potential players and each one should give you their assurance that they would be willing to play for your new county if a team was formed for 2019. The entry will require you to name your potential players. Its no good picking a new team if you denude and existing county of players.
To help formalise entry to this competition we use what we term as County Organisers These are players registered with the CA as a contact for a specific county and their names are published on the tournament pages of the CA web site. Any County that does not have an Organiser can ask to have one appointed by simply emailing the Tournament Director expressing willingness to coordinate Inter Counties activity for that county. It does not automatically mean that you must have a team for the following year, just that you are interested in a team some time in the near future. Once registered the player automatically receives all correspondence for the GC Inter Counties. Entries are only accepted from a registered Organiser.