The Gisborne and District Cricket Association’s McIntyre Cup competition will grow from eight teams to 10 teams next season despite several clubs being against the idea.
On Monday the association’s board decided that most grades would have an extra two teams next season and a focus more on two-day cricket instead of the current even spread of two and one day matches.
GDCA president Rob McIntyre said the move would see more of the longer format and give the association more flexibility as the competition continues to grow.
“We’re always looking at ways to improve the competition and the standard of cricket and the board felt it was time to introduce more two-day cricket and less one-dayers to the top grades particularly,” he said.
“It’s felt that the move to nine two-day matches and three one-day matches in the season will provide more opportunity for younger players to increase their involvement in the game. Quite often, clubs will drop younger players to the lower grades when playing one-day matches.”
Several clubs were against the move with clubs saying the fixture will no longer present an even playing ground. Under the format that had been in place, all teams played seven one-day and seven two-day matches, playing each team once at home and once away.
McIntyre said the board felt that the best teams would still find their way to the top no matter what format was in place and that most of the top cricket association’s in the state had 10 teams per grades.
He said with the possibility of three new clubs joining the competition from next season that having bigger grades instead of more grades would allow greater flexibility.
Eynesbury and Melton Centrals have put in applications to join the association this season, while Trentham has also met with the board and will hold a vote of its members to decide if they look to join the competition.
Current clubs will vote on these applications at the annual general meeting in July.
The change of format means Rupertswood will remain in the McIntyre Cup, instead of being relegated. B-grade premiers Lancefield was already being promoted, while Wallan who finished runners-up to the Tigers will be given the option to return to the top grade.
If they chose to stay in B-grade the option is there for another B-grade club to nominate to join the top grade.