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Junior stoolball in Sussex

Saturday 30 March 2002, 12.56pm

Junior league stoolball is played in Mid Division with teams from Ringmer, Adastra, Barcombe, Chailey, Fletching and Nutley. It’s also played in Central Division with teams from Hurstmeirpoint, Clayton, Horsted Keynes, Partridge Green and Balcombe.

In the remaining divisions (East, North and West) junior players often find themselves playing a vital role on a weekly basis in the senior teams.

The Junior Divisional Championship is played annually on a knockout basis, in conjunction with the Senior Championship. The juniors play in the morning for 30 overs, and the seniors in the afternoon for 45 overs.

The preliminary round is usually played on the last Sunday in May, the semi-finals in mid June and Finals Day is on the first Sunday in July.

Last year, for the first time it was decided to try a different format and a round-robin format was proposed. This meant that the junior players were being asked to play on four Sundays out of five over the same period of time.
Anyone connected with juniors will know how difficult this proved to be. For the older juniors who were involved in GCSEs, playing on consecutive Sundays caused many a guilty conscience and those divisions without a string base of juniors found it very hard to find a team every weekend.

The junior winners in 2001 were Mid Division, with Central Division the runners-up. The game between these two teams was very exciting and played to a high standard.

The other competition in Sussex for juniors is the Matterface Cup, which takes place on the third Sunday in July.

Last year, coming so soon after the Divisional Championships, only three divisions (Mid, Central and West) competed in a round-robin. The winners in this competition were Central Division, with West Division as runners-up.

In the Wessex area, where only friendly matches are played, junior stoolball tournaments on a small scale are beginning to develop.

Steep has hosted one for the last three years and the number of participating teams has increased from four to eight (although Step contributed three teams).

Northchapel also held one last year. It has been found that the easiest time to hold these is Saturday afternoons, Sundays being taken up throughout the season with club senior tournaments.

Robertsbridge Community School is hosting an inter-school competition on 9 May with numerous schools participating.

The Coastal League and Surrey sometimes have a junior match at the same time as their senior fixture, but this failed to take place last season. The Coastal region is hoping to hold a tournament with teams consisting of four juniors and four seniors next season.

Everyone in the stoolball world is aware that juniors are a very important part of our future. However, it is also appreciated how difficult it is for regular senior players to both play themselves, coach juniors and travel with them to their fixtures as well.

Tags: junior, scsa