AGM and update 03/09/2020

Yesterday evening (02 September 2020) we held the AGM (via Zoom).  Key points are:

1. 2020/21 season.  On 28 August England Athletics advised that steps are being taken towards a restricted return to Cross Country competition.  Key points are:

a) 17 October 2020 is provisional date when Licensed cross country can resume
b) Cross Country  competition will be unable to resume in the traditional format,  adaptations will have to be made based on the current circumstances  regarding the virus.
c) Guidelines are being prepared and are expected to be issued during the week commending 14 September

Currently we decided it was not practical to plan any events pending release of the guidance: we cannot second guess what restrictions the guidance will place.

What we do not know at this stage is whether England Athletics is proposing a return to full open competition in October or whether this is intended to be restricted to elite competition or competition with restricted numbers.

Thus unfortunately currently we do not know whether it will be viable for our league to re-commence events in the short term.  

A further meeting of the core committee will be held on 30 September (by Zoom) to consider the guidelines: at this meeting we will consider whether it is viable to put on events within the guidelines and if so what measures will need to be taken to comply with the guidelines.  If we do not consider it is possible to recommence at this stage we will explain why.         

A meeting of all club reps will then be held (by Zoom) on 7 October to consider the conclusions of the core committee.

If events cannot take place currently we will continue to assess any changes in guidelines to see if they can recommence later in the year: eg have a shorter season: perhaps extending into spring.

A further issue we will also need to address if events are to go ahead is people travelling to events.  A number of our events have limited parking and we have only been able to continue to use these courses with the support our runners have shown for car sharing, and in some cases mini buses or coaches.

2. 2019/20 prize giving.   It had been intended to do the prizegiving at the first event: originally planned for Ashdown Forest on 11 October: but clearly this will definetly not be going ahead as regardless of the guidelines no events are to take place prior to 17 October.  Whilst we would have liked to have had the normal presentation to which all runners can attend given the continuing uncertainty of when events may recommence the trophies and prizes will now be sent to club representatives to distribute.  A list of winners will be published shortly.

3. Age categories and team scoring going forward
When events do eventually start there is a change to both age categories and team structure.  

a)  The league has prevously retained the 'traditional' age categories or men becoming vet at 40 but ladies at 35, thus the male individual brackets have been in 5 year  brackets from 40 to 70 whilst female 35 to 65.  For teams there were 10 year brackets of 40 to 60 for men and 35 to 55 for ladies.  We concluded there was no reason to continue with the disparity and accordingly going forward both men and ladies will use 40 as the first vet bracket: thus for both men and ladies individual brackets will now be 40 to 70 and team 40 to 60.  
 
b) There has been a welcome steady increase in ladies participating in our events and also a changing the age profile of our runners: it is great to see both men and laides runners still competing in higher age brackets.  To reflect this the team score table is being revised (and also to reflect the change to ladies age brackets):   

                         19/20       from 20/21   
MS                         4                   4   
M40                       3                   3   
M50                       2                   3   
M60                       1                   2     
Total male            10                 12           

FS                          2                   2   
F40                        2                   2   
F50                        1                   2   
F60                        1                   2     
Total Female          6                   8
Total                     16                 20

The size of the scoring team is increased from 16 to 20 with increased emphases on ladies and older contegories which we hope will continue to encourage the increase in participation from these categories.

Clearly in the immediate term we do not know if events will take place at all or if they do whether there may need to be changes to the team structure in the short term to comply with the guidelines.

4 EA affiliation
To comply with England Athletics guidelines only affiliated clubs can compete in the league and discounted pre entry for all events (£10 for all 6 events as before compared to £4 per event) will only be available to athletes affiliated as individuals.