Last night was the final week of our Summer League season with the fixture list turning out perfectly as the top two teams in Division One played each other, Jailbirds vs Raiders.
Jailbirds [on the night it was a mixture of youth and experience with Kia Fung Chan, Toby Ellis and Martin Shaw but with valuable contributions from Danny Johnston and Oliver Garmston throughout the season] went in to their match with Raiders [Tony Rigby, Alex Tyson and Dean Walmsley] just 2 points ahead. And, with a total of 27pts up for grabs on the night it was anyone's to win. Fittingly, in a tight seesaw encounter, the result wasn't known until the final game of the match was played. Jailbirds emerging triumphant. And even better, the age range of competitors in this match varied from 11yrs old (Toby Ellis, current England U13 rank of 8 and new addition to Jacobaues A Team] to Tony Rigby, current age witheld due to fear of retribution from our 69 year old head coach and most successful Preston Championships title holder ever. Just goes to show, table tenins is a game that can be played and enjoyed by any age.
In Division Two, Stompers employing a squad system throughout the 15 weeks of summer league play [Daniel Jackson, Ken Wright, Stephen Ebden, Chloe Ireland, Phil Robinson, James Garbett and Robert Garbettt) emerged triumphant.
Our Summer League is a relaxed but competitive opportunity for players of all ages and abilities to mix and take part in competitive table tennis in one venue, all on the same night. Players typically use the summer league to remain competitive, try out new equipment and mix with people they wouldn't have had the chance to play before.
As a league, we also use the Summer League to try out new scoring systems and promotion and relegation ideas. For example, each division consists of 6 teams who play each other once. After that round of matches, the bottom team in Division 1 is relegated and the top team in Division 2 is promoted. However, for the next round of 5 matches, all the points from the preceding 5 games are carried forward. This is a way of keeping the divisions continually competitive. The scoring system used in our Summer League has also been different where a team receives a point for each "leg, or end" in a game that a player wins. 9 games constitute a match, so there is a total of 27 pts available to each team (9*3). After trialing this scoring system in our our summer league for a few years now, we adopted this team scoring system for our winter league too (but kept the old winter leagues method of calculating individual player averages).Big thanks go to all our teams and players and especially to our event organisers Barry Crook and Andrew White, without whom this competition wouldn't take place.