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


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.

November Lockdown

As most of you will have seen, the government is planning on placing England into lockdown from Thursday 5th November until at least Wednesday 2nd December.

With this in mind we will be suspending the SCPA Winter League from Thursday 5th November, and no league games can be played after this date. We plan on resuming the season starting from Saturday 5th December, however this is dependant on the lockdown being lifted, and we will clarify this nearer to the time.

The Comeback Cup finals, scheduled for 22nd November, will also need to be rearranged, and we will announce the revised date as soon as it has been decided.

Winter League update

With a record 29 teams entering we all clearly have an appetite to get back playing and some leagues have already kicked off in earnest! 28 teams entered the cup and after a vote that finished 7-5 it has been decided to not hold an additional plate competition.

The deadline therefore for playing the 1st round of the cup is 11th October, with the 2nd round to be completed by 30th Nov – the full draw can be found on the website.

Good luck to all teams taking part!

Comeback Cup update (1st Sept)

So far so good in the comeback cup with 25 teams entering we are heading towards the final weekend of group fixtures with all but 2 groups completed – on Sunday 6th a live draw via the Facebook page will take place involving all teams, split into Bronze, Silver and Gold – each group will be unseeded and a random draw with fixtures to be played within the next 3 weeks

Singles League & Cup Update

We are reaching the finale of the singles league and cup, with everything to be decided this month….

Starting with the cup we have the semi finals and finals taking place on Saturday 5th Sept with Martin and Matt going head to head in one semi final whilst Baillie takes on Darryl in the other. – these will all take place at Aldeburgh from 10am.

In the league we are almost down to the last 4, with Matt through to play Hugh and Martin waiting on the winner of another Darryl v Baillie head to head – semi final date and location will be confirmed this week….

General Update 14th August

Finally we are all starting to get out to have a few games – the singles league and comeback cup are now in full flow and the Winter league registration closes today so fixtures can start within 2 weeks!

In the singles league 3 of the 4 divisions have been decided with Martin Inglis & Matt Conway winning their leagues undefeated and Baillie Inglis winning his with one defeat – in division D it all depends on the Hugh v Jamie fixture on Monday subsequent to which the top 8 seeds will go to knockout phase…..

In the cup we are close to a semi final line up with Matt v Martin confirmed and Darryl to play either Baillie or Mike, the semi’s and final venue will be voted on by the 4 semi finalists and both rounds will be played on the same day.

In the comeback cup all but 1 division has seen matches played with some groups already decided, including Group 1 where Eels Foot 3 have secured top spot, Group 2 where Beaux Belles are unbeaten after completing their games and Group 5 where Hilbaillies are assured of top spot with a game to play – once all groups are completed within the next 3 weeks we will go into the knockout phase in a gold/silver and bronze competition with the draw unseeded in each.

Comeback Cup Guidelines

Comeback Cup/Winter League - guidelines for play.

The matches are using our Winter League format, with the Triple being played first, followed by the Pair and Single, and the teams are awarded a point for each game won, so every game matters.

Could all of you involved please take a moment to familiarise yourself with the guidelines for safe play as provided by Petanque England, click here to view these.

There is no expectation of refreshments or food being provided by the home team - if anyone has any queries regarding anything on these guidelines please contact myself or one of the committee members, we are expecting guidelines to change/be updated and will advise when this happens but as it stands, and with Cup matches likely to commence this weekend please ensure the guidelines below are adhered to.

Please use the Scorecard, available here, and email this to results@suffolkcoastalpetanque.co.uk.

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

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.