NW clubs will be asked this week to vote on a series of proposals en bloc. The changes if implemented are designed to give the game a much needed shake-up as club numbers decline.
Over the past months a 'brains trust' comprising a mix of NW staff and various interested parties were tasked with coming up with ideas that would arrest the decline in playing numbers and clubs in the region.
Lawrence Moore, David Bradley, Peter McCartney, Brian Acheson, Peter Allen, Bertie Faulkner, Michael Gillespie, Kevin Martin, Vinny O’Hara, and Lee Ritchie were the ten chosen.
A wide range of opinions and ideas were received through clubs, online surveys and open nights, and now the pick of these are to be voted upon at the White Horse on Thursday night.
No discussions on the proposals are to be entertained on the evening - the time for talking is done. It will be a simple case of yes or no on the proposals in their entirety with clubs unable to cherry pick individual items.
With a two thirds majority required, it would appear a tough ask to get the proposals through, but with the eight board members eligible to vote, it just takes a simple majority of the 19 clubs for it to succeed.
What then are the proposals?
2020 9-team Premiership, No automatic relegation 9th team in play-off with 2nd in Championship for relegation/promotion. 11am starts for all games during the season. Revised starring system – 7 at Premiership and Championship
2021 Coloured clothing and white ball for all league games. 10-team Premiership No replays, 0 points for no result on the day. Bottom team relegated, no play-offs
2020 6-team Championship, play each team 3 times. 1st promoted automatically, 2nd place in play-off with team finishing 9th in Premiership. 12pm starts for all games during the season, unless both teams agree to play earlier. No relegation
2021 Coloured clothing and white ball for all league games and the Sammy Jeffrey Cup. 1 st promoted automatically with no play-off for 2nd place team. Minimum 6-team league, increasing when other 1st XI clubs ready. No replays, 0 points for no result. No relegation
NW Senior Cup
2020 Seeding system. 16 teams in the Senior Cup – 9 Premiership, 6 Championship and The Nedd. 11am starts for all games
2021 Coloured clothing and white ball. Maintain replays as current rules
2020 Premiership – 3 regional groups of 3, play each home and away (4 group games per club) Final’s Day - semi-finals and final all on same day
2020 Championship – 2 regional groups of 3, play each home and away (4 group games per club) Final’s Day - semi-finals and final all on same day . Fixtures on Friday nights and Sunday taking into account club preference where possible
There are also various proposals for the qualifying leagues with minor tweaks here and there, with the major one being the introduction of t20 competitions down the leagues.
The proposal to seed the Senior Cup is an interesting one, and if passed would have seeding based on finishing positions in the league from the previous year.
There would be two pots with each one having four home ties.
The second round would have the four highest surviving teams seeded again with the draw taking the same format. The semi-final draw would not be seeded.
It would be a major surprise if the clubs rejected the proposals, especially given so many of them have been invested in the process. Also, with more to gain than lose, the clubs would be expected to take a pragmatic approach to them.
However, given this is the NW, there may be a surprise or two in store on Thursday night!