STATEMENT FROM SQUASH WALES – 7th Sept 2020
Following the cessation of league squash due to Covid-19 in March 2020 a league panel was requested to review the options for the completion of outstanding league fixtures in Wales.
The panel initially met on 17th April and agreed the following key principles:
The primary and preferred objective is to complete all current leagues if timings permit
The second objective is that the new league [Winter 2020] must start on time, during the week commencing Monday September 7th, 2020.
If circumstances prevent the completion of the current leagues there will be two alternatives available
Option A: to declare the current leagues ‘null and void’ restarting as a new league Winter 2020 as above.
Option B: freeze the current leagues and promote/relegate with the positions as they are at present.
In line with the Squash Wales strategy, clubs were consulted regarding their preferred choice of Option A or B, and the league panel convened again on Friday 15th May 2020.
22 replies were received from league clubs and indicated a strong preference for voiding the season (14 for versus 8 against), if it was not possible to complete the remaining matches.
The league panel and Squash Wales staff have continued to monitor the Covid-19 situation as related to likely return to play and convened again during the first week of September 2020 to review.
The league panel remains conscious that there is no “right” decision due to the complexities, unknowns and challenges that the current pandemic has created. The league panel acknowledged as more time passes since the scheduled end of the 19/20 season, the less viable and relevant the completion of the fixtures becomes.
For this reason and to bring closure to clubs and members it has been decided that the 19/20 season will be declared null and void and no promotion, relegation or otherwise will be applied.
Future League Play
The League Panel and Squash Wales will continue to monitor the Welsh Government regulations and when regulations permit league play, a programme of fixtures (and any amended regulations) will be created to fit the timeline available.
Leagues Feeding the South Wales Squash League
The panel continues to recommend that County League should follow these guidelines especially Gwent, South Glamorgan, Mid Glamorgan, West Glamorgan and Pembrokeshire.
For the avoidance of doubt, as the South Wales leagues are considered void for the 19/20 season, no promotion or relegation to/from feeder leagues will take place.
The League Panel
The review group is chaired by Richard Bennett, (Vice Chair, Squash Wales), Dave Mason (Squash Wales Board Member), Mike Howe (League Administrator) and Roy Gingell (Squash Wales Operations Manager)