3 x Founder's trophies
With a Founder's Fund total of £520 donated by generous bowlers in Huddersfield the League's Management Committee discussed how best to use this fund to establish the League on the local bowling scene. This total is twice the original target and allows us to think wider than the original intent of purchasing a single trophy to go to the end of season League Champions.
The Management Committee agreed that half of the budget should be used to purchase a major trophy to be awarded perpetually to the League Champions. This will be known as the Founder's Cup. In keeping with our intent to be very different to other Leagues signified by the fact that we start to play when other leagues stop, we are looking for a cup which is not in the traditional style. We are looking for something a little different to mark us out as not a run-of-the-mill setup.
Then a quarter of the total budget was allocated to purchasing another new trophy and this will be awarded annually to the bowler with the leading average in the League in the first year. Should the League be set up in two or more divisions in subsequent years then it is likely to be presented to the bowler top of the averages in the top division. This will be known as the Founder's Trophy. Again we are looking for something a little different and there are some great looking non-traditional trophies in glass and other forms available to choose from.
Assuming that we do split into two divisions a year from now then a further quarter of the total fund is to be used to buy a Shield which will be awarded annually to the team that wins the Division 2 competition each year. This will be known as the Founder's Shield. We may have more difficulty finding a non-traditional shield but we will see how far we get with that.
The League format for the first season is that we will operate in two divisions determined by location with the end of season leading to teams playing their opposite numbers from the other division in a home and away aggregate tie. So the top team in each division will play the winners of the other division; the two runners-up meeting and so on. The top 2 play-off determining the Year 1 League Champions. This is likely to lead to two divisions being formed in Year 2 based on Year 1 results and league positions.
The Founder's Shield would then be awarded to the winners of the Division 2 title in subsequent years. As this shield will not be required until a year from now the balance of the Founder's Fund will be retained as an emergency reserve until then. With being a new League we are wary of over-committing ourselves before we learn of all the cost implications of becoming fully established.
It is also intended, in keeping with our 'let's be different' approach, to award small memento trophies to each individual winner. So as well as retaining each of the major perpetual trophies for a year they also get a small trophy to keep forever. In all probability the successful four-man teams will get six small trophies to be presented to their top six appearance makers over the season. In addition the winner of the Top Averages Bowler will also receive a permanent trophy to retain forever. They won't be anything grand but it is right that bowlers should be left with a permanent reminder of their achievements. All of these will be funded from the Founder's Fund in Year 1 as will the engraving costs.
It is exciting to be at the start of something which could become much bigger and already the signs are there that some bowlers want to bowl all year round. The fourteen teams currently have a total of157 bowlers registered with them, working out at an average of over 11 bowlers per four-man team. If current interest and expectations are maintained then we can expect some of these teams to want to field additional teams in future seasons as well as new teams coming forward to join in. The only constraint on numbers we will have in accommodating such growth will be in identifying clubs prepared to open their greens over the winter months. We already have one green that has been offered for the 2021-22 season. Hopefully there will be more if the demand is there.