Regions rise to 55 [12/Oct/17]

This season no fewer than 55 clubs are slated to compete across the ever evolving regional league landscape. These matches are the bread and butter of the student archery calendar, the first competitive steps for most novices and of course a good way to claim bragging rights over local rivals.

Blank league tables for the 2017/18 campaign have been published. SSS and SEAL have issued most of their match dates, with NEUAL's pre-Christmas fixtures just confirmed today, see the Calendar. The first fixture is SSS match 1 which all takes place in Dundee on 28th October, with NUTC a week later.

Carys Evans from Warwick is the one confirmed change to the line up of organisers for 2017/18. She takes over from Adam Peers who oversaw the last three seasons of BUTTS, during which time BUTTS sides dominated the national events. Alex Blake, Bethany Woodcock-Dexter and Stephen Fawcett all return for a third, fifth and sixth year in charge of their respective locales. David Jenner remains in charge of SWWU for now, but is looking for a replacement.

To join a league, most clubs shoot at one (or more) match(es) over the course of a season as guests, before joining as a fully fledged member the season after. That was the route taken by Chester last season and they will bring NEUAL up to a record breaking 17 teams in 2017/18. Alternatively you can just leap in to the action as Brighton are doing, becoming SEAL's 14th team.

To illustrate just how far the leagues have grown, in their inaugural seasons, NEUAL (2002/03) and SEAL (2003/04) only had 5 competing teams each. SWWU has dropped to a nadir of 3 in the past, but last year had 7 clubs fielding full teams, plus 2 solo archers.

The picture is not entirely rosy however. MMU's decision to close down the Crewe campus means that its archery club (aka MMU Cheshire) won't be participating in NEUAL league matches this year, but do hope to still be in the Championship events.

By now, most clubs who are joining leagues for the first time are themselves new or new-ish and may well need time to adjust to the competitive demands of their new surroudings, i.e. may well finish last. However, the very act of joining and engaging in regular competition is a key milestone of a new club's growing maturity. Almost inevitably it will result in that club improving in both organisation and results and feedback in to the league they have joined.

Edinburgh, Lancaster, Birmingham, London and Exeter were league winners last season with Napier, Bradford, Warwick, Southampton and Bristol runners up. The third placed quintet were Aberdeen, Liverpool, Loughborough, Imperial and Swansea. Edinburgh and Lancaster won their novice titles as well, with Loughborough, Imperial and Bristol taking the novice honours further south.

News and Editorials 2017/2018

  • Strong start for Warwick [17/Nov/17]
  • Toucan play at disc game [13/Nov/17]
  • Heavyweights take control [09/Nov/17]
  • Saints soar to SSS summit [01/Nov/17]
  • Regions rise to 55 [12/Oct/17]
  • E-League for E-veryone [19/Sep/17]

  • Previous seasons' articles:

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