Following on from our last update everyone was very positive about the consolidation with the 6 teams known as the Grass Conference. This in itself was inaccurate as 3 of them played on Astro anyway!.
So we have joined forces and now form the SOUTHERN COUNTIES HOCKEY CONFERENCE (SCHC) with 16 teams.
The question of playing on grass has been overcome as games will be switched to astro on request of the away team.
(Excl Wimbledonians and Wrinklies who carry on as per previous seasons)
To ensure everyone gets their favourite surface, we’ve been doing some clever things with the fixtures. Obviously with 16 teams we get 30 fixtures and we only need 22. So with a standard fixture matrix there are chances you would not play your local /favourite surface teams twice (but will play every other team in the SCHC at least once??). So…….
Firstly we split the 16 into 2 groups of 8. The ones that like astro…… the ones that like grass.
These were then scheduled home and away. (14 fixtures)
Then we took all the teams and matched them so that the first group played the second group, minimising travelling where possible, and cut these 14 fixtures to 8. I tell you this so you can be assured we have tried VERY HARD to ensure:
i) Teams play a maximum number of games on their favourite surface.
ii) Distance travelled is minimised.
iii) Requests to change from grass to astro surface are minimised.
The fixtures will be ready early June. You may find because of this you have consecutive home or away fixtures in the rota but it should work out overall. Then Steve & Mike will lie down in a darkened room until the beginning of next season!
Those teams wanting to play more than 22 fixtures will have to make their own additional arrangements for which they will need an updated contact list – David B will co-ordinate this.
The Wessex Masters & WSFA have been told they can expect calls from SCHC teams during the season to arrange ad hoc fixtures, but that they are no longer included in our basic fixture list.