Home Contact Us Stadia Pix Articles All About You Riders to Remember
DVDs Books Pictures Archive Dream Teams Programme Generator
16/06/2024
Ivan Mauger V Britain's Best
Part 3: Malcolm Simmons
Your Feedback
 
02/06/2024
Ivan Mauger V Britain's Best
Part 2: Ray Wilson
Your Feedback
 
26/05/2024
Ivan Mauger V Britain's Best
Part 1:Nigel Boocock
Your Feedback
 
06/05/2024
Silver Machine Win Gold
Ivan's Fantasy Island
Your Feedback
 
02/04/2024
Tidying Up The Parade
NZ v Australia 1980
Your Feedback
 
24/03/2024
2024 is Off and Running
The Story of Noddy Holder
Your Feedback
 
28/01/2024
1975/76 NZ v England
Your Feedback
 
17/12/2023
DVD: Great Races of the 80s
What's Wrong With Ambition?
Your Feedback
 
29/10/2023
Book Review: Walthamstow
When the Rangers Roared
High Beech Revival of 1954
Your Feedback
 
16/10/2023
Western Springs Winged Wheels
Grand Pricks?
Your Feedback
 
01/10/2023
Blind Speedway Rider
Track Pix: Oxford
Farcical Guest
Your Feedback
 
17/09/2023
The Ole Olsen Tapes
Dream Team: Richard Cleaver
Plus Points
Your Feedback
 
23/07/2023
1974/75 BL V New Zealand
Heat Details Required
Your Feedback
 
04/06/2023
Northside Arena
 
14/05/2023
Review: Tigers at White City
Your Feedback
 
19/03/2023
How to halt the decline
 
12/03/2023
NZ v Poland - 1st Test
NZ v Poland - 2nd Test
NZ v Poland - 3rd Test
NZ v Poland - 4th Test
 
05/03/2023
Track Pictures: North Brisbane
It's All About You: Lionel King
Your Feedback
 
15/01/2023
Dream Team : Geoff Langley
Your Feedback
 
04/01/2023
Gerald Dunn's JAP
Your Feedback
 
27/12/2022
1975 World Final. Heat 20.
Your Feedback
 
11/12/2022
Peter Collins Autobiography
Your Feedback
 
23/11/2022
DVD Review: 70s - A to Z
Your Feedback


Conference Constraints - Doomed to Failure
by Dave Green....05/02/2005

The key decision taken by the Conference League promoters at this week's meeting is going to come back and bite them on the bum! They have elected to introduce a rider grading system to restrict team strengths and to postively discriminate in favour of young riders. Each rider has been allocated a points grading on a scale of 11 to 2 and teams can build to a ceiling of 42 points. Older riders - such as Buzz Burrows and Justin Elkins - have been allocated a higher grade than younger riders of a comparable standard - Jamie Robertson for example. An additional restriction is that all teams must line up with two 'grade two' riders - that particular grade being reserved for young novices.

That much is straightforward and I applaud the thinking behind it - the Conference League clubs should be encouraged to give youth its fling. I think the gradings (listed below) are reasonably fair and they've avoided the temptation of giving all older riders a grossly over-inflated grading - for instance Phil Pickering has been assigned to grade five.

It's arguable whether restrictions on team building at this level are required at all. The league has operated pretty successfully for 11 seasons without any need to distribute riders evenly. This approach has allowed clubs to build a side that suits their particular goals, whether those are to develop young riders or to provide semi-professional speedway in circumstances where Premier League racing is not viable. There is now a danger that by introducing a points limit (of sorts) clubs will feel duty bound to put out the strongest team that the regulations allow. We've seen in the Premier League that this can often lead to young middle order riders missing out as teams spend their points at the top and bottom of the team. Riders in their second year, and out of the comfort of the grade two zone, would be particularly vulnerable to this kind of thing.

The decision to insist on teams fielding two riders from grade two is interesting. It's clearly intended to encourage teams to give new talent a chance, but I wonder if it just increases the bargaining power of riders in that band? For example could a particularly promising rider, say Adam McKinna for example, become a target for a number of clubs who would all be drawn into a bidding war?

My main concern actually relates mainly to the inherent complexity of the system. In recent years many Conference teams have struggled to put seven riders on track, in fact I'd wager that fewer than half of last season's meetings saw 14 riders come to the tapes. The situation could be even worse this year as teams will be more constrained than ever.

Let me give you an instance. Let's say that Newport turn up at Buxton with six riders, only one of whom has been classified as a grade two. The only available replacement is Ashley Johson - a grade three rider that (hypothetically) Buxton can't fit into their side. Which of these ridiculous scenarios would ensue:

a) Newport are denied permission to use Johnson. The fans have to put up with three rider races and Johnson, who is neither over the hill or in the Rickardsson class, misses out on valuable experience.

b) Newport are allowed to use Johnson - thus breaking these rules.

In an ideal world a situation like this would never occur. All clubs would field a full complement of their own riders and a team that conforms to the rules. Experience has shown that all too often this fails to happen at Conference level - sometimes with good reason - often without.

I confidently predict that before the end of April at least one team will have fielded an ineligible team. I can even more confidently predict that this rule will be quietly dropped or significantly overhauled before the tapes rise on 2006.

GRADE 11
J.Armstrong; C.Baldwin; W.Barrett; J.Birkinshaw; S.Bishop; C.Blackman; P.Boast; W.Broadhurst; M.Burrows; B.Campbell; W.Carter; L.Dicken; J.Elkins; R.Hollingworth; M.Holloway; P.Lee; S.Pegler; T.Leverington; G.Phelps; D.Mason; J.Prynne; D.McAllan; B.Scott; D.Meldrum; N.Simmons; M.Wethers

GRADE 10
T.Allen; S.Boxall; C.Branney; S.Colvin; C.Courage; B.Evans; D.Felton; R.Grant; R.Hall; T.Harding; R.Hawkins; G.Hedge; D.King; J.King; W.Lawson; J.Mann; C.Mills; R.Scarboro; C.Schramm; D.Sneddon; S.Walker; J.Wright

GRADE 9
J.Brundle; L.Clifton; C.Collins; P.Cooper; D.Giffard; J.Parsons; J.Robertson; D.Rolph; C.Shield; M.Thompson

GRADE 8
D.Andrews; C.Belfield; J.Bethell; P.Burnett; J.Cockl;e A.Cross; T.Dart; D.Garrod; C.Hunt; D.Mallett; M.Norris; D.Norton; D.Pugh; D.Speight; B.Wilson

GRADE 7
L.Bowen; T.Brown; P.Collyer; S.Jones; K.Mason; B.Powell; L.Priest; P.Sharples; D.Smith; D.Warwick; J.Westacott

GRADE 6
B.Bekker; B.Burchatt; B.Compton; J.Courtney; L.Derbyshire; W.Dunworth; K.Ezergailis; J.Hargreaves; L.Hodgson; D.Hughes; N.Irwin; C.Johnson; S.McAllister; G.Meakins; A.Roynon; L.Smart; C.Warwick; M.Wright

GRADE 5
B.Barker; G.Beaton; S.Braidford; J.Branney; A.Brown; P.Candy; J.Clement; H.Cook; R.Dennis; C.Downs; J.Gledhill; J.Oliver; S.Stoddart

GRADE 4
G.Flint; D.Hatton; D.Hodgson; P.Knott; K.Langley; M.Mitchell; J.Newitt; J.Pestell; M.Pickering; P.Pickering; J.Purchase; J.Theobald; A.Tully; M.Tutton; M.Woods; C.Wright

GRADE 3
R.Barnett; M.Elliott; D.Haigh; K.Irving; A.Jackson; A.Johnson; N.Mallett; D.Minall; L.Needs; S.Nettleship; J.Stevens

GRADE 2
M.Andrews; M.Baseby; A.Blackburn; D.Blake; S.Chester; C.Chubb; L.Dallaway; A.Ferrow; J.Frampton; D.Harding; T.Hill; S.Hooper; S.Lambert; B.Legg; K.Maben; S.Martin; J.Morrison; J.McBain; J.Nicol; C.McDade; R.Parker; A.McKinna; M.Richardson; J.McPhail; R.Smith; K.White; R.Wilding; D.Wilson; M.Bates; D.Betson; A.Braithwaite; L.Bridger; S.Campos; G.Cottham; J.Doherty; G.Hayes; T.Heath; K.Hughes

Thanks to www.weymouthspeedwayclub.co.uk

 

This article was first published on 5th February 2005

[ Use Mobile Version ]
 

 

Comment on this Article | Contact Us | Go Back to Main Menu

   Please leave your comments on this article or on the site as a whole