‘Seed­ing’ ex­per­i­ment

The Weekly Advertiser Horsham - - Sport - BY DEAN LAW­SON

Anew ‘seed­ing’ sys­tem is set to go un­der the spot­light in Hor­sham Cricket As­so­ci­a­tion this sea­son.

The as­so­ci­a­tion has taken on a role as hand­i­cap­per and pur­posely ma­nip­u­lated a sea­son draw in an ef­fort to pro­vide the best chance for an even com­pe­ti­tion.

The Hor­sham as­so­ci­a­tion A and B grade sea­sons start with one­day games on Satur­day and a C Grade sea­son will start the fol­low­ing week.

The flag­ship A Grade com­pe­ti­tion will fea­ture eight teams, in­clud­ing last sea­son’s top-three B Grade teams – Colts, No­rad­juha-toolondo and Black­heath-dim­boola. The other teams are reg­u­lar A Grade out­fits Homers, Jung Tigers, Hor­sham Saints, Ru­pa­nyup-minyip and La­harum.

West Wim­mera slips back to B Grade where it joins Lubeck-mur­toa, Jung Tigers, Homers, Hor­sham Saints, Quan­tong and Ru­pa­nyup-minyip.

C Grade teams in­clude Hor­sham Saints, La­harum, Homers, West Wim­mera, Lubeck-mur­toa, Jung Tigers, Colts and Black­heathDim­boola.

As­so­ci­a­tion pres­i­dent Tony Wills said the seed­ing sys­tem was de­signed to pro­vide teams step­ping up into the top grade an en­hanced op­por­tu­nity to be com­pet­i­tive.

“We are at­tempt­ing to pre­serve the in­tegrity and longevity of the game in our re­gion and we think this just might work,” he said.

“It’s from left field, out­side the square a bit and the board sees this as a step for­ward.”

The seed­ing process in­volves grad­u­ate teams avoid­ing play­ing es­tab­lished A Grade teams in two­day games dur­ing the sea­son.

All teams will play each other in all one-day and T20 matches.

“It’s about giv­ing the teams step­ping up a chance to get set­tled and be com­pet­i­tive,” Mr Wills said.

“We don’t want teams to feel they are out of their depth.

“We’ve ba­si­cally picked up an idea pre­sented by Chris Hop­per a few years ago and tweaked it a bit.

“We will look at it this sea­son to see if it works. We need to pro­mote cricket and gen­er­ate more in­ter­est back into our won­der­ful game and can’t be seen to be sit­ting on hands.

“Pro­mo­tion and rel­e­ga­tion of teams has been an is­sue in the past so we have de­cided to take the bull by the horns.”

Mr Wills ap­pealed to peo­ple across the re­gion to re-en­gage with and sup­port dis­trict clubs and teams.

“We want the cricket-lov­ing pub­lic to get on board with us,” he said.

“We’re only the guardians of the game af­ter all, and we en­cour­age peo­ple, be they fam­i­lies of play­ers or oth­ers just with a gen­eral in­ter­est to fol­low these teams and play­ers.

“We have peo­ple get­ting out on week­ends, hav­ing a dip and play­ing good cricket.

“They de­serve peo­ple to come out of the wood­work and bar­rack for them.”

In Hor­sham A Grade, matches launch­ing the sea­son on Satur­day fea­ture com­pe­ti­tion pow­er­house Homers meet­ing Hor­sham Saints at Hor­sham Sun­ny­side, Jung Tigers tak­ing on No­rad­juha-toolondo Bul­lants at Hor­sham Com­mu­nity Oval in Dim­boola Road, Ru­pa­nyup-minyip play­ing Colts at Ru­pa­nyup and La­harum tack­ling Black­heath-dim­boola at La­harum.

B Grade: West Wim­mera v Ru­pa­nyup-minyip at Nhill; Quan­tong v Hor­sham Saints, Lubeck-mur­toa v Jung Tigers, Homers, bye.

Hor­sham Cricket As­so­ci­a­tion pres­i­dent Tony Wills

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