New Social League Format

The committee has had a long discussion about the format of Social League. This was being reviewed as we had to make the difficult decision to cut schools league this term due to a lack of players. We want to make the social league more friendly for those who are just getting into the sport and may be weaker players. Reviewing how Social League currently runs we are also aware that:

  • There are only 5 teams in B grade

  • B grade teams play the same teams every two weeks

  • The teams can be quite uneven in playing abilities

  • Individual teams are not consistent week after week and there are often people filling in

  • There is an overall lack of development of canoe polo skills due to these reasons which we would like to address

This discussion lead to the decision to trial a different Social League format. It is displayed below, any feedback on the new format is very welcome.

7.30-8.30pm       

C Grade games

8.30-9pm

Skills Session

9-10pm

B Grade games

9.15-10pm

A Grade (in other pool)       

Reasons for this format being trialled:

Having a C grade and having it early in the night makes Social League more accessible for schools players who no longer have an independent league as well as any other new players we have. The early timing makes it more friendly for the younger players who may have an earlier curfew.

We are also thinking about both the C and B grade being run more like the A grade has been in the past in that players register as individuals and two teams are created from those who turn up on the night. These may be two large teams with lots of substitutes. The game would play for the whole hour, so even with many substitutes the same amount of playing time as the past format would be available. The aim here is for the two teams to be created as evenly as possible in terms of player skill levels so the games are good quality and to make each week different.

We anticipate that there will be a similar number of players in each of the A, B and C grades. There may be players who are ‘shoulder-tapped’ to shift grades if we think that player would be better suited to a different grade and to potentially balance the number of players. The most important factor for grade allocation is the suitability of the player to the grade and the improvement they will gain from being in that grade. In most cases players are entrusted to allocate themselves to a grade and a change will only be made with consultation with that player.

The skills slot from 8.30-9pm is to improve on WCPA’s capacity to give the opportunity of improving or gaining skills to players that do not get these as part of the School League or National League. This skill session is being trialled to provide this opportunity for players to upskill. It’s timeslot is allocated between the B and C grades in order to make it accessible to the largest number of players. It is designed for B and C grade level players and open to all. The skills each night will be determined by what is requested by the players participating in the skill sessions. Examples of skills could be rolling, turning, throwing, shooting, goal keeping, rule clarification or team based stuff such as offense or defense tactics, pressing and fast breaks. Each evening does not have to be limited to one skill, but could also consist of a mix and have off- and on-water sessions. These will primarily be run by A grade players although offers to teach a session from other players are also welcome.