We’ve listened to feedback regarding the dates of the National Championships this year. It has always been our intention, following discussion last year, to split the Women’s competition into a separate weekend so that the entries are not impacted by competitors who opt to focus on their club’s open side entry. It naturally made sense to also, therefore, host the Youth competition on the same weekend.
The dates chosen in May (due to a packed April calendar) have proven to be too close to the school and university exam period for a large number of competitors. In order to facilitate the competition a compromise has been made:
The National Championships will now be hosted on the weekend of the 13th and 14th of April. The Women’s and Youth tournaments will take place on Saturday the 13th only.
The open competition will run over two divisions: Trophy and Shield. The top 12 entries based on this seasons National League standings will receive an automatic bye to the trophy competition on Sunday. All remaining entries will first compete on Saturday in the Shield. The top 4 ranked teams on Saturday evening will then progress into the Trophy competition for Sunday and all other teams will continue to compete for placings.
This compromise will hopefully allow the widest number of participants to attend. It enables Youth paddlers to be transported more easily and competitors to focus on the Women’s/Youth competitions before joining their Open sides for the placing matches. It also still allows for any entry in the open league to potentially win the competition – a crucial long-standing tradition!
We apologise for altering the calendar but hope you understand the reasoning and will help us make the competition a success. The numbers given here for the Trophy and promotion from the shield are not set in stone and may change with final entry numbers.