Covid -19 Impact on 2021 Season
At a meeting of the GMCL Board on Wednesday evening, urgent consideration was given to the impact of Covid-19 on the 2021 League Fixture schedule. Already this season many matches have been cancelled due to Covid-19 and this problem is only likely to become worse as Government restrictions are lifted and infections increase.
The Board had over recent weeks been taking views from players and clubs and with this information the Board had a lengthy discussion on the matter. It was clear that there was no single, simple, solution to the challenge. The following principles underpin the decisions that have been made:
- To encourage, where possible, cricket matches to be played but only if safe to do so and following the guidance.
- To be mindful of the impact a significant number of rearranged matches will have on the Sunday Competition together with other commitments that clubs have on their grounds.
Clubs will recall that the League indicated that its Covid cancellation policy would be reviewed in the light of the government’s announcement of the changes to Covid restrictions, which take effect on 19th July.
The Board have, therefore, made the following decisions in the light of on going Covid infections:
- Games due to have been originally played in the period up to and including 18th July have been and are being rearranged in accordance with the original note. Thereafter, as indicated in the previous statement, there are not sufficient available dates for the rearrangement of Covid affected games.
- Therefore, for games in the period from 19th July to and including 15th August, which is the date indicated by Government that isolation measures will be relaxed, any Covid cancelled games will not be replayed. Average points will be introduced to determine League positions across all divisions.
- Games from 16th August until the end of the season will not be permitted to be cancelled for Covid reasons and the rules set out in the paragraphs in green below will apply to the Final Period Games. This is also the business end of the season and the league wishes to preserve the integrity of the league programme. Clubs have clearly mandated the League to preserve the integrity of the season to be one as near as possible to normal with promotion and relegation etc. and the League considers the following measures are the fairest means of achieving this in very difficult circumstances.
Greater detail of how these arrangements will work and some examples are available on the website.
In reaching these decisions, the Board has attempted to be as supportive of its member clubs as it can be, as we collectively find a pathway through the implications of the pandemic.
The Board appreciate that, at different times during a cricket season, some clubs struggle to field complete teams. In these difficult times we hope that all clubs will display honesty in their decision making processes around whether a match should be cancelled due to Covid-19. The Board will continue to monitor the reasons surrounding the cancellation of games.
Whilst hoping these rules will see us through to the end of the season because we are still in difficult times and remain subject to changes introduced by third parties we will, as always, remain open to any changes imposed and exceptional circumstances at our member clubs
This continues to be a hugely challenging period for us so please keep safe and we are grateful to all clubs for their patience and understanding during this difficult time.
Revised Regulations, Procedures & Examples
RED RULES - ORIGINAL NOTE FOR GAMES UP TO AND INCLUDING 18th JULY
This note only relates to league games. Clubs are expected to rearrange cup and GMCL20 where possible.
If a club considers that it is so affected by Covid (cases and isolations) that it is unable to fulfil a fixture then it may apply to the League for the relevant game to be cancelled.
It shall provide the League with such information as the League requires for the League to decide in its absolute discretion whether to permit this. This includes without limitation information regarding numbers involved, the club’s available players and squad strength etc. The League applies a set of guidelines to make the decision.
If the League permits the cancellation then the remainder of this note shall apply to the game concerned (the Cancelled Game)
1.4 Only the League can cancel a game
2 Abandoned Games
2.1 If a Cancelled Game should have occurred on an original date where 50% or more of the non-Cancelled Games in the relevant division are abandoned for non-Covid reasons (e.g. the weather) then the Cancelled Game shall NOT be the subject of a replay but shall deemed to be an abandoned game on the record and each team shall receive 2 points for the Cancelled Game
2.2 The following shall apply to all other Cancelled Games
3.1 For all other Cancelled Games up to and including 18th July 2021 (the Cut Off Date) these shall be replayed on dates specified by the League (the Specified Dates). The League will seek to prioritise Specified Dates in order of divisions (and within divisions by order of date of the original fixture) and clubs will possibly be asked to rearrange Sunday league games to accommodate this. These Specified Dates will be issued as soon as possible.
3.2 No Cancelled Games whose original date is after the Cut Off Date shall be replayed
3.3 There is no second replay of a game.
3.4 The points obtained by each club on the date the Cancelled Game is replayed in accordance with the above (e.g. any win, loss, bonus points, tie, abandonment etc.) shall be added to the relevant division’s table
4.1 Clubs must make every effort to get the original games on and prioritise selection for first teams to try and avoid Covid cancellation applications.
4.2 Clubs must not abuse or manipulate these unprecedented times and rules. If on a balance of probabilities the League considers this is occurring then disciplinary action will be taken against the relevant clubs and individuals and shall be viewed very seriously.
BLUE RULES - INTERIM PERIOD (19th July to 15th August)
The same process for notifying the league & cancelling games, as set out in paragraph 1 above shall apply.
5 Average Points
5.1 If in a division all games are played then that division’s table shall continue to be delineated in the normal way by net aggregate points and not by average points.
5.2 However, if
- (a) a Cancelled Game before the Cut Off Date is not replayed because the replay is cancelled for Covid reasons or
- (b) if it is not possible for the League to provide a Specified Date for a replay or
- (c) there is a Cancelled Game during the Interim Period then
the game shall not be replayed and the following shall apply in the relevant division.
5.3 Subject to 5.4, The match (a Nil Point Covid Game) has not taken place therefore the game shall be left as unplayed on cricHQ (the matches played number will not be increased and the points total will not be increased). The table will be adjusted as follows:
- An Average points column will be added to a table when required
- cricHQ automatically calculates the Average Points from Net Aggregate (Total) Points divided by games played.
- and the table will subsequently be ordered by descending average points.
For example at 31st July club A has not had any Cancelled Games and has 48 points from 16 games. Its Average Points is 48/16 = 3 Average Points. Club B in that division has had 1 Nil Point Covid Game and has 36 points. Its Average Points is 36/15 (i.e. 16 games minus 1) = 2.4 Average Points
Each week thereafter the division’s table will show an update of Average Points.
For example club B after the 2nd weekend of August has now had 18 rounds of games of which 1 is a Nil Point Covid Game so it has played 17 games. In the 2 games in August it has had two 5 point wins. Its Average Points is now 2.71. This is calculated as follows : 46 points (i.e. 36+5+5) / 17 games = 2.71 Average Points
5.4 If a Cancelled Game should have occurred on an original date in the Interim Period where 50% or more of the non-Cancelled Games in the relevant division are abandoned for non-Covid reasons (e.g. the weather) then the Cancelled Game shall be deemed to be an abandoned game on the record and each team shall receive 2 points for the Cancelled Game
5.5 In full screen view Average Points are shown to 2 decimal points on the CricHQ tables but are calculated to all decimal places
5.6 The league table for that division will be in order of descending Average Points to determine champions, promotion, relegation and other placing’s.
5.7 If Average Points to 2 decimal points is equal for any clubs then Average Points will be taken to 3 decimal points and so on until a distinction is made. If a distinction still cannot be made then in the case of the title, joint champions will be awarded, and in the case of promotion, relegation and other placing’s, net run rate on CricHQ will then be used to determine the relevant placing’s. After that, lots will be drawn.
5.8 Clubs must make every effort to get the original games on and prioritise selection for first teams to try and avoid Covid cancellation applications.
5.9 Clubs must not abuse or manipulate these unprecedented times and rules. If on a balance of probabilities the League considers this is occurring then disciplinary action will be taken against the relevant clubs and individuals and shall be viewed very seriously. This may include the application of penalty points to reduce their total points, which will reduce any average calculation.
GREEN RULES - THE FINAL PERIOD (16th August to the end of the Season)
6 No cancellations
6.1 The following shall apply in the Final Period
6.2 No game originally scheduled for the Final Period can be cancelled for Covid or any other reason. Clubs shall prioritise fulfilling 1st team fixtures with 11 players over its 2nd team and so on. If a club forfeits a game, then it shall receive no points for the game and the non-forfeiting club shall receive 5 points. The forfeiting club will not have points deducted for a Covid cancellation unless paragraph 6.4 applies
6.3 The points obtained under paragraph 6.2 shall be added to the divisional table in the normal way and be used as part of any Average Points calculation relevant to that division. To take an example. Club B after 21 league rounds now has 60 points and has had one Nil Point Covid Game in July. It has therefore played 20 games and its Average Points is 3 (60/20). Club B then forfeits the round 22 game. Club B gets 0 points for that game, so it now finishes the season with 60 points from 21 games so finishes the season with Average Points of 60/21 = 2.86
6.4 Clubs must not abuse or manipulate these unprecedented times and rules. If on a balance of probabilities the League considers this is occurring then disciplinary action will be taken against the relevant clubs and individuals and shall be viewed very seriously. This may include the application of penalty points to reduce their total points, which will reduce any average calculation.
This continues to be a hugely challenging period for us so please do appreciate the Board has endeavoured to make decisions in the best of interests of the entire League.