We had plenty to discuss at this year’s AGM. Rob couldn’t make it but Charlie Reynolds and Rich Kite were invited along to lend their expertise on all things social media.
We are very glad to welcome two new regions – a South West Lifting League and a Northern Lifting League into the competition. We’ll probably adopt “South East Lifting League” as the name for our league with “Lifting League” describing the whole competition. We’ll be communicating with Luke (South West) and Yousef (Northern) to see what we can do to help them get started in their regions. If you’ve got a weightlifting club in the South West or North of England please get in touch with them via their respective facebook pages (https://www.facebook.com/pages/South-West-Lifting-League/562598163813892 and https://www.facebook.com/Northernliftingleague)
The first bit of business up for discussion was a new format for the competition. We agreed to go over to a regular league format to work as follows:
We think the format for the individual matches has been a great success so plan to keep this unchanged.
Each region is a separate entity and the first competition is the regional league. In the South East we plan to split our region into two groups (more if we get a lot of clubs joining, we had ten teams this year) with five or six teams in each group. Each team will meet every other team in their group once. One point for a win with the group winner being the team with most points once all matches are concluded.
This guarantees each team four or five matches in the regular season. The groups will be arranged to try and ensure the minimum amount of travel possible. A three week period will be allotted for each fixture to take place within. We haven’t decided a way to award points if no match can be arranged. If you’ve got any ideas please let us know. We don’t really want to make loads of rules when a bit of communication should do the trick.
Once the regular season is over and regional champions are decided the champions of the North East will face the South West champions and the two group winners in the South East will face each other in semi finals. The winners will go on to the grand final to decide the Lifting League champions. The current Lifting League trophy will be awarded to the national champions. Prices will be sought for shields to go to each regional champion team.
This format allows us to operate on a local level for the regular season so travel is kept to a minimum for all participants. It also allows for new regions to be added easily to the existing league without any disruption of the competition. Once champions have been crowned in each region our judgement was that these successful teams wouldn’t mind travelling a bit further afield to meet other regional champions in the national stage of the competition.
We discussed a slight conflict between wanting to present a consistent competition and allowing the new regions the autonomy to develop in their own way and for Yousef and Luke to enjoy using their own creativity and resourcefulness to run their leagues. We thought it would probably be best if we continued to run the Southeast Lifting League through these meetings, run the national knockout part of the competition this year, don’t try to lay the law down to Yousef and Luke about how they run their regions and see how it goes. I expect we’ll probably have an AGM with all regional representatives next year when they’ve got a year of running things under their belts.
We think the league opens up possibilities for clubs to promote themselves and, eventually, for sponsorship to be sought by the league and by individual teams. To do this we need to build up a presence on the internet and Charlie and Rich had several good ideas on how to improve our web site, facebook page etc. We decided that they should communicate with each other over these issues as it bored me and Maz to tears. That’s not to say it’s not important and we’re very grateful to Charlie and Rich for volunteering their services.
Of particular importance was to develop an easy way of submitting results and to standardise the way teams communicate with each other to arrange matches. Mike Causer had a nice looking results spreadsheet so we’ll ask him for a copy of that and see if it can be integrated into the website. Hopefully this will allow us to track points, Sinclair totals etc for individual lifters so we can feature a “lifter of the month” on the website and maybe award an MVP trophy at the end of the season. This would add greatly to the league but depends on easy access to the stats as we’re all volunteers so no-one wants to spend hours going over these things.
We also discussed payment. It was decided that the entry fee will remain at £50 per team but that it would probably be better to collect payment via one of the websites set up for this sort of thing. There may, in effect, be a slight increase in fees as the websites add a handling fee.
Crossfit CM2 and Athletic Alliance have made a big contribution to the league this year. They’ve been good sports when lifting against the specialist weightlifting clubs, their lifting has improved and when they met in the league it was a very close match. We’d like to attract more crossfit clubs to the league. We like them and we think the league fits in well with their ethos of being ready for a challenge at all times. To make participation easier we will start the season after the Crossfit Open has finished (April?). We also discussed the possibility of an alternative knockout stage after the regional stages are over for the top Crossfit teams to compete in. With it looking likely that top weightlifting clubs like Empire in Bristol and Crystal Palace in London will join the league we think this could offer the benefits of competing against our top weightlifting clubs plus providing a more level playing field and give extra incentive for teams from Crossfit clubs to take part and potentially be crowned as the strongest Crossfit gym in the UK. If you’ve got an opinion on that please let us know.
That’s more or less the minutes from the AGM.
* My newly acquired title may need a bit of explanation. In an obviously long-planned bid for power Marius waited until I was disadvantaged by beer consumption before “bagseying” the role of chairman of the Lifting League. The only course of action left open to me was to wait until Marius went to the toilet then vote myself Emperor. There is no quorum. It was moved, and passed, that funds from league subscriptions should be put aside to pay for golden, jewel encrusted crowns and ermine trimmed robes to reflect the dignity of the offices of chair and emperor. Then we went home because we’d clearly had too much to drink.