Looking ahead to the end-of-season promotion / relegation issues, it's normally '2 up, 2 down' throughout the Men's League. However due to pre-season withdrawals Divisions 2 and 3 are both one team short of the preferred number of 9 teams.
This means that between Divisions 2 and 3, we will have to either relegate one fewer team ('2 up, 1 down') or promote one extra team ('3 up, 2 down'); then to maintain 9 teams throughout, between Divisions 3 and 4 and between Divisions 4 and 5 it's '3 up, 1 down' or '4 up, 2 down'; and between Divisions 5 and 6 it's '2 up 1 down' or '3 up, 2 down'. Traditionally these 'either/or' decisions have been at the League Secretary's discretion, but this season we intend to resolve matters more objectively by holding four end-of season playoff matches as follows:
Division 2 playoff: 2nd-bottom in Div 2 v 3rd in Div 3
Division 3 playoff: 2nd-bottom in Div 3 v 4th in Div 4
Division 4 playoff: 2nd-bottom in Div 4 v 4th in Div 5
Division 5 playoff: 2nd-bottom in Div 5 v 3rd in Div 6
So if for example in the Division 2 playoff the 2nd-bottom team in Div 2 wins, then it's '2 up from Div 3, 1 down from Div 2', but if the 3rd team in Div 3 wins, then it's '3 up from Div 3, 2 down from Div 2'.
The four playoff matches will all take place at Tynemouth Squash Club, with two matches per night running concurrently, on revised dates yet to be decided.
A match fee in the region of £15 per team will be charged to cover the cost of courts and match balls, with an optional meal provided at additional cost.
This proposal should hopefully add more interest to this season's run-in. It will only happen when (as in this season) team withdrawals leave divisions with less than 9 teams, so not every season and not every division.
Another important point to note is that this season the teams finishing 3rd in both Divisions 4 and 5 will gain automatic promotion.