2020 Season Update

We hope you and your families are keeping well and safe in these unusual times. For many of us, Petanque is a major source of socialising and recreation, and we appreciate that the lack of play can have a real impact on our lives.

As the Government continues to relax the lockdown policies, the SCPA Committee has started to discuss how we can get people back into the playing Petanque, whilst recognising that there are those members who are more vulnerable and may still feel the need to protect themselves.

With this in mind, we have reluctantly decided to cancel the 2020 Summer SCPA season, and we will carry the current 2020 league tables over to the 2021 season, and will adjust these as we usually do to allow for any teams joining or leaving for the 2021, season. With regards to payments made, we will retain the 2020 payment and carry this over to the 2021 season, unless your captain requests that we refund the money.

For those who are happy to start playing, we will be running a ‘COVID Club Cup’ competition, based on the winter league format of 3 games, 1 triple, 1 double and 1 single, but each team will only be allowed to bring 3 players to the match to limit the number of people present to 6. We will accept ‘scratch’ teams to allow for those who may not be able to make a team of 3 from their usual team mates, however all players must have played in either the Summer or Winter 2019 SCPA leagues.  If you are interested in entering this, please email the Fixture Secretary - martininglis@hotmail.co.uk.

The SCPA Shooting competition for the Alan Sturmer trophy will be held this year, and we will arrange a couple of afternoons where a member of the Committee will be present, and players will be able to turn up and register their score. The venue and dates for this will be announced one we know how many people are entering. Again, please register your interest for this with martininglis@hotmail.co.uk.

If we are able to do so, we are looking at starting the Winter season earlier than usual, and we welcome those teams who normally have a break in the winter to join us. We are taking entries, £10 per team to enter, please email martininglis@hotmail.co.uk to enter or for more information.

The Ladies League entry fees will be refunded over the next few weeks, and Deborah hopes to start this again next spring.

We will also start to plan some single day tournaments as soon as the restrictions relax sufficiently to allow us to access the venues and open to enough people, and we will be notifying you of these as soon as we can.

As those of you at the Team Representatives meeting may recall, we had asked for 2 nominations to join the committee, and up to the meeting, we had only received 1, which was Pat Clarke. After the meeting Steph Adamson came forward and offered to join, and we took the opportunity to co-opt her onto the committee in the absence of any other nominations.

Finally, we would like to place on record that we have received and accepted Mike Rios-Hall’s resignation, and we would like to acknowledge and thank him for all his hard work and efforts in helping run the league over the last years.

SCPA New Rules

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Dear SCPA Boule Player,

You will probably already be aware that things are going to change for next season within The Suffolk Coastal Petanque Alliance. After ten years of blood, sweat and tears in building the Alliance, it was felt it was time that Simon Fletcher got some assistance in running the league. That is not to say that Simon, as we all know, is not capable of running the league but currently, with the Alliance having grown to the size it has, he has less and less time to concentrate on the things that he is supremely good at, like expanding the Alliance and being our Ambassador with other leagues and clubs both nationally and internationally.

For that reason the Disputes Panel has morphed into a management panel to take on some of the day to day operations of the Alliance.

Ten years ago, with only seven clubs, management was relatively simple. Now with some fifty clubs it is a lot more complex. New teams have entered and some are unsure of the basic tenets of the Alliance, so it was felt it was time to set out some new rules and clarify how the Alliance is going to operate going forward.

Most of you will now have adjusted to the new Divisional structure giving rise to some fourteen games per season, although we have lost the general playoffs, which has, overall, reduced the number of games to be played. Although we now have fourteen games to play and despite playing in Regional and County, trials and matches, as well as other challenges and competitions, the Cup and the Plate, the vast majority of teams have completed their scheduled matches for the season. It was explained that it would probably take a couple of seasons for each team’s position within the structure to settle out and that will begin with the promotion and relegation changes at the end of last season.

As for new rules, the first will refer to, what was called, The Captains Meeting”. This is now to be renamed the “Team Representatives Meeting”. It will be mandatory for each team to send one representative (it can be the Captain, or any other team member) to this pre-season meeting. For any team taking the decision to enter the League, this means that they have accepted to send a Representative to the pre-season meeting. Failure to have a Representative at the meeting will result in that team starting the season with a minus 1 League Point. A lot of information is circulated at this meeting and we no longer wish to have teams saying they do not know about information that has been provided at this meeting. It is also the Captain’s responsibility to ensure that their team members are, in turn, given the information provided at this meeting. If your team cannot send one team member, to one meeting, once a year, we feel that this shows a lack of commitment to the League which will give rise to further problems during the season.

In the past, the fact that the Alliance is basically a Sunday league has been glossed over. The vast percentage of matches are played on a Sunday mainly due to many player’s working schedules and using Saturday for necessary home chores such as shopping etc. . This now has to be confirmed and all “Fixture Dates” will be on a Sunday. The next change involves what has been referred to as “the provisional Fixture Date”, this will now be the “Fixture Date”. Under this and other new rules, if you think that you will not be able to field a team to play on fourteen Sundays between March and October, you should very seriously consider whether, or not, to enter a team. This for two main reasons, firstly, people do not seem to appreciate the negative effect that unplayed games, or the withdrawal of teams, has on other teams in the Division. Secondly because failure to play matches on a Sunday could well now result in the deduction of League points and/or a request to withdraw your team, if it becomes a regular occurrence.
There will still be the six week rule, in respect of time to play a match and matches can still be played at any time, or on any day, by mutual agreement with the opposing team, as long as it is within the six week rule. However, the team that could not play on the original “Fixture Date” will be deemed to be at fault should the match not get played. Any team that is found to be at fault for a non-played match will be deducted one League point. Under current rules, there is no penalty on a Team that does not play a match, or matches and the point deduction is there to stress that unplayed matches are unacceptable. The only time that the Disputes Panel will become involved is if a non-played match is referred to them because the team at fault think that they gave ample opportunities (on a Sunday) to play the match. For those who think that it could be wise to refuse to play matches to disadvantage an opponent, this is a risky strategy, for if the Disputes Panel consider your team to be at fault then the point deduction will be applied to your team. In extreme circumstances it could be that the Disputes Panel will share the penalty point applying a half point deduction to each team. Far better to plan your games for the season and confirm them in advance, rather than waiting until the week before to arrange a match. Any problem dates can be identified early and can be dealt with. Again this stresses the importance of the Captain’s role, when at the beginning of the season all Fixture Dates should be circulated to all team members, asking them to confirm their availability. Trying to arrange games ahead of schedule, if possible, is also a good strategy. That said, there will always be times when availability problems at short notice will still arise.

For the vast majority of teams these changes will not make any difference. There are a number of people involved in ensuring that the Alliance runs smoothly and this season, in particular, it has become apparent that the bulk of the problems have arisen from teams who have a very low commitment to the League. This is unfair on others, not just the administrators but also other teams who are vying for promotion, trying to avoid relegation or to move forward in a Cup or Plate competition and have to rearrange multiple matches. It is felt that these changes are fair. Looking at other Leagues in the UK, many insist on the playing of matches on the Fixture Date only. We have managed to retain some flexibility but all teams should be aware of the penalties that could be imposed due to organisational failure.

Due to teams being placed in Divisions on prior/current year’s performance and all new teams having to start their competitive life at the bottom of the League, the definition of “Team” becomes all important. It has been decided that title to the “Team” will lay with the Team Captain. The “Team” can only be transferred to a new Captain, if the existing Captain gives their authority in writing. In extreme circumstances, such as the abandonment of the “Team” by the Captain, or in the unfortunate circumstance of the demise of a Captain, then the Disputes Panel will decide upon a new Captain, taking into account the views of existing team members. By vesting the “Team” in the Captain, there is no issue with the renaming of a “Team”, a change of venue, or a change in the make-up of the players in a team (providing that the rule of a player only being able to play for one “Team” in each season is maintained).

It is considered these changes will make life easier and fairer for all players within the Suffolk Coastal Petanque Alliance, with everyone understanding how the League will operate going forward.

We acknowledge and accept that due to the application of these new rules, there may well be teams who decide not to enter for the new season, or even to amalgamate with other teams to create a larger team more able to complete fixtures. It is felt that dealing with this problem prior to the onset of a season is far more equitable than having to deal with the aftermath during the season.

Mike Rios-Hall – Ipswich – November 5th 2018.

9th July Update

Quick reminder tomorrow evening (10th July) I s cut off for entries into the Cup that will be renamed! We have , I think 21 entries so far so hopefully we can get up to 24 and have 8 groups of 3, guaranteeing 4 group games and 1 knockout. – if we have 24 or close to that we can then look to have a gold silver and bronze knockout so every team will be guaranteed 5 games and we can have a mini finals day….

In terms of Winter League cut off for entry is 31st July so plenty time, with a view to mid/late August start 

Finally any more volunteers for The Annual shooting comp let me know and I will aim to set up a couple of afternoon sessions….

all correspondence on Facebook page or via martininglis@hotmail.co.uk please….

Covid Cup Updates

As at 03/07 we have 13 teams registered in the Covid Cup – we are hoping to have groups of 3 of 4 with top 8 going into Cup and remainder into Plate – this should allow all teams a minimum of 5 games – deadline for entries is Friday 10th July so please let us know via Martininglis@hotmail.co.uk….if any singles or couples are looking for a team again please let us know and we will aim to create scratch teams for those looking to play

Singles League latest

16 players registered for the Singles league in June, moving into early July we have seen a number of games played and 1 league already completed with Martin completing a clean sweep with a close fought victory against Darryl in the final match....elsewhere all to play for in the other 3 divisions although it’s looking like Matt may secure Division B - the top 8 go into a seeded playoff so all to play for....

In the cup a couple of fixtures have been completed with John securing victory over Hugh and Ray B beating Richard in a close match

Ladies League 2020 Cancelled

Given the current COVID-19 situation I have reluctantly decided to cancel the Ladies League for 2020. I feel that when the current lockdown is lifted, we will all be busy catching up with life, league games etc.

If you have registered, please contact Simon Fletcher on imogenlewiskira@sky.com, and he will arrange a refund.

Thank you for your support and I hope to see you soon!

Deborah Bell

Unplayed Games Scoring Change

Due to the changes in the points system for this summer seasons league matches, the management committee have addressed the potential for problems arising from awarding scores for unplayed matches. With the season due to start this coming weekend, we have thought of how to make the penalties relevant. We had many fewer unplayed matches last season and are hopeful that this trend will continue.

It has always been the aim to penalise those who do not play matches, whilst at the same time not penalising other teams in the same division by providing an unfair advantage to the "wronged" party. For this reason we have decided that the "wronged" party will be awarded a 3-0 victory (hence 3 points) and a plus 18 shots difference. The party found to be at fault will not receive any points at all and will suffer a minus 18 shots difference.

Whilst discussing this issue it gave rise to a decision that there are technical defaults where teams cannot agree a time and venue to play the match within the six week rule. This will be dealt with as above. However there is what, you may call a physical default where a time and venue has been agreed and one team does not turn up. This happens rarely but does happen. On one occasion, three members of a team decided to go shopping instead. In this instance the Disputes Panel reserve the right to allot penalty points to such infringements.

These changes are to be applied in normal circumstances.

The Disputes Panel will, due to the current Corona Virus/Covid-19 scare, be looking at all unplayed matches depending upon the circumstances and how the situation evolves. As usual common sense will prevail.

Currently Petanque England have issued guidelines that suggest that handshakes and kisses be substituted with the (very French) elbow bump. They, like us, will be monitoring the situation going forward.

With best regards - Mike Rios-Hall - Chair - Disputes Panel

Blue Boules

Following last years immensely successful Blossom Appeal, the Wheatsheaf at Tattingstone are switching both gender and anatomically for this years appeal.

Throughout the year they will be raising funds for Prostrate Cancer UK.

As part of a whole series of events, they will be running a Petanque competition on Sunday 16th August 2020. Teams of three, wearing something blue (or receive a fine). Registration details will be available soon.

Changes to League Scoring

At the Team Representatives Meeting, the result of the vote on the scoring system was announced.

With 114 people voting, representing 36 teams, the final tally was 77 votes to change to the point per game system, and 37 to stay with the existing system.

So we will be changing the system for the Summer 2020 season.

Elections for Management Committee

As discussed at last year's Team Representative Meeting, we will be holding elections for positions on the Management Committee for 2020.  The following positions are up for election.  Please note that the current incumbents will be offering themselves for re-election.  The role of President is not an electable position, Simon Fletcher holds that position for life, unless he resigns.

Treasurer - Current incumbent: Michael Allum
Fixtures Officer - Current incumbent: Martin Inglis
Media & Communications Officer - Current incumbent: Richard Baker
Disputes Panel Chair - Current incumbent: Mike Rios-Hall
Player Representative - no incumbent
Player Representative - no incumbent

To be considered you must be a player within a team in the SCPA.  Application by email only, to scpadisputes@gmail.com Please send an email, stating your name in full, the team for which you play and the role for which you would like to be considered.  The application should be accompanied by a brief resume detailing any skills and experience that you feel would be applicable to the role you seek to occupy together with the name and team of a seconder.

All applications should arrive no later than midnight on January 31st, 2020.

If you have any questions regarding your application you can call Mike Rios-Hall on 07799607312, or email him on mgrh88@gmail.com.  The vote will take place at the Team Representatives Meeting to be held on February 6th 2020, with each Team Representative  (one per team) having a single vote for each position.

Ladies Coaching Session

The first Ladies Training Session was held on Saturday 1st June, where 24 ladies from the SCPA spent 2 hours with our Regional Coach, Mark Bell, focussing on the five stages of the throw and shooting practice.

Starting with a training game of ‘Noughts and Crosses’, the ladies then progressed to shooting a boule, before moving on to shooting a boule with a boule in front

The next session is provisionally booked for 3rd August, and will be based on Pointing Techniques. More details on this will follow.

Thank you to all who attended, and to Mark Bell for giving up his time to travel down and run the session.