Northumbria Squash Leagues update

To all Northumbria Squash League contacts

As you may know, Simon Ho has decided to take a well-earned break from his League Secretary duties and has handed over to me, John Thompson, for the 2016/17 season. On everyone’s behalf I’d like to thank Simon for his dedication and hard work over the last few years to ensure the smooth running of the Leagues – he will be a hard act to follow but I will do my best!

A bit about my background. Some of you will know me from Tynemouth Squash Club, where I’m currently 3rd team captain. I first played in the Northumbria Leagues way back in 1977 for Tynemouth, then later for the Northumberland Club and Nissan, before returning to Tynemouth in 2000. I have captained all three clubs, held various roles on the County Committee in the 1990s, and have played for the County at Senior, O35, O45 and O55 levels, captaining the O55s for the last four seasons.

Following the recent County AGM, the Committee have asked me to update you on two important developments affecting the Leagues:

1. Newcastle University

Newcastle University have confirmed that their four Richardson Road squash courts are due for demolition this summer and that as a result they will be without home courts for the next three years until the redevelopment of the Richardson Road site is completed. The University wish to continue their participation in the Northumbria Leagues but have so far been unable to secure a deal with a club or clubs to host their home league matches during this period. They have therefore requested that all of their home fixtures be played effectively as away fixtures at their various opponents’ venues, on the understanding that the University will pay the cost of hiring courts and of post-match hospitality. At the same time the University intend to reduce the number of their Men’s teams from four to three, whilst continuing with their Ladies team.

The County Committee supports this request as it retains the University’s participation during the redevelopment period whilst spreading the load across several Clubs, who will in turn be fully recompensed by the University. However, the Committee wishes to allow individual Clubs the opportunity for comment, before confirming the settled position before the new fixtures are issued in July. Please therefore let me have any comments you may have by the end of June.

2. League Rules update

A number of issues concerning the Leagues were raised by Club representatives and discussed at the AGM, and following further consideration the Committee has approved updated League Rules for the 2016/17 season, which are now posted to the ‘Squash Leagues’ section of the County website – the link is The main rule changes are:

1. Introduction of an early-season window for fixture changes to the end of September, after which there should be no further changes (Rules 3.3, 3.4).
2. All Premier Division fixtures to take place on Thursdays (Rule 3.6).
3. Teams from the same club in the same division to play each other early in each half (Rule 3.7).
4. No automatic 2nd half re-nomination of players in the Men’s Leagues who play infrequently (< 3 matches) in the 1st half – (Rule 4.6).
5. Points deductions for top-5 players in each club in the Men’s Leagues who play infrequently, i.e. < 3 matches in the 1st half and < 2 out of the 1st 4 matches in the 2nd half – 5 point deduction per player per half (Rule 4.7)

You will be invited to a fixtures meeting in early September to introduce the new rules, explain any systems changes, issue stationery etc., but in the meantime please familiarise yourselves with the main rule changes.

Finally please note that any requests for changes to teams being entered into the new Leagues should be submitted by email to me by the end of June.

Thanks for your support in ensuring that 2016/17 will be another successful and enjoyable season, and best regards,

John Thompson
m: 07968 483977