At the meeting of the BCU Canoe Polo Committee on 23rd July 2011. The decision was taken to expand the National League structure for the season that will run 2012-13.
For the 2011-12 season, which starts in September 2011, the structure will be as in previous years, the only difference being to the promotion and demotion formats, to allow for the changes to be made in the following season.
Consequently all teams should familiarise themselves with these plans as ALL OPEN LEAGUES are affected to a greater or lesser extent.
The basic intention is to create SIX ADDITIONAL PLACES in the Open National League system, and equalise the top tier of the Leagues.
To this end DIVISION 1 OPEN, DIVISION 2 NORTH OPEN and DIVISION 2 SOUTH OPEN, will all be expanded from eight (8) teams to divisions of ten (10) teams.
The implications will be that:
No team(s) will be automatically demoted from Division 1 Open at the end of the 2011-12 season. The 8th placed team will be involved in the playoffs.
- The top two teams from Divisions 2 North and South Open, will be EXPECTED to attend a play-off day, where those four teams will compete for the two NEW places in Division 1 Open.
- The Third placed Division 2 side from those playoff teams will then play a one game play-off with the 8th placed team in Division 1 for the final place in Division 1 for the next season.
- As a ranking for the following season the Loser of that play off game will be first reserve for Division 1 and the 4th placed Division 2 side will be second reserve.
- No team(s) will be demoted from Division 2 Open at the end of the 2011-12 season.
- There will therefore be a total of six (6) additional places available in Division 2s North and South. And the TOP TWO TEAMS FROM EACH OF THE 3 DIVISION 3 OPENS will automatically be promoted.
- There will be NO PLAY OFF for Division 3 teams. In the event that there is any additional space in Division 2 (due to a team or teams not re-entering for the 2012-13 season), a full meeting of the BCU Polo Committee will decide which additional Division 3 Team(s) to promote. This decision will be based both on the team(s) performances in the previous season and on geographical and practical criteria – to ensure the best running of the league structure.
- No team(s) will be demoted from Division 3 Open at the end of the 2011-12 season.
- The first placed team in each of the four Division 4s will automatically be promoted to Division 3.
- The second placed teams in each of the Division 4s will be EXPECTED to attend a play-off day and the third placed teams in each of the Division 4s will be INVITED to attend this play-off day, This will make the maximum number of div 4 teams to be 8 teams competing for the two remaining spots in div 3.
- The Division 4 teams who attend the Play-off day should be aware that they will achieve a ranking between them, and this ranking will be used to determine which team(s) are additionally promoted, should there be any additional space(s) in any of the regional Division 3s
- It is hoped that the additional spaces this creates in the league will be taken up by new teams entering Division 4
For this season, and all subsequent seasons teams who qualify as of right, either for promotion, or to attend the League Play-off day, are expected to take their place in the higher league or to attend the play-off. They should regard it as a part of their normal season. Any team failing to attend this or any other League tournament MAY have their entry for the following season refused. (Any team failing to attend two or more tournaments WILL have their entry for the following season refused).
For the 2011-12 Season the League Play-off weekend will be held in Cardiff, on a PROVISIONAL DATE OF 12th and 13th May 2012.
For the Ladies Leagues that run in a similar format, we would hope to execute a similar expansion in the near future, but it is dependent on sufficient teams entering into the two regional Division 2s. If you have or know anyone who has a new Ladies team, please encourage them to enter for the 2012-13 season so that we can fill an expanded league.