They're off and running! Early start for new look 2015 County 40×20 Adult Championship

Written by Antoin Ó Braoin, Rúnaí Contae
The new look county 40×20 adult championship gets underway tomorrow evening with matches at several venues around the county. A decision taken earlier this year means the championship will be run from September 2014 to January 2015 with semi finals being played in December and finals taking place in early January. This will allow everyone to concentrate fully on the provincial championship in January and put an end to fixture clashes involving county and Leinster games which have created problems at this stage of the season for years.  Additionally it should get Wexford players fully fit for intercounty handball at the right time of the year.
The new format sees all grades being run on a league basis with up to four qualifiers emerging from each group. This will maintain interest amongst a larger number of players for a longer period of time and should generate terrific competition for a top four spot and a place in the knockout stages. Additionally and for the first time in Wexford, players will compete in the same grade within the county as they would at intercounty level, thus ensuring a fairer system for those who had found themselves playing the likes of Gavin Buggy and Tommy Hynes in county championships and then dropping down to junior or junior B for intercounty competitions . Players are of course allowed by bye law to take part in two county championships but in order to ensure that everybody takes their place in the correct competition, each has his/her First Grade established.  This is the grade they are eligible for at intercounty level and the first one they must take part in.
A total of 553 games will be needed to reach the semi finals stages and this will require a high level of cooperation from all concerned if the target of playing the semi finals in the first week of December is to be met.
Fixtures will be available under the Fixtures tab on the menu bar at all times and players should check in on a regular basis for new and updated fixture lists.
Groups will be posted up shortly and these will be updated on a daily basis so players can be kept informed of league positions etc..
It is the responsibility of the winner to send in the result and scores and Results must be emailed to or texted to 087-2060715 on the night of the match and failure to do this may result in the winner being disqualified from the championship. With all players being afforded the opportunity to send in details of unsuitable dates etc (a large number have done so) changes to fixtures will be difficult to get and matches are expected to go ahead as arranged.  Conceding a walkover is not allowed unless a player is withdrawing from the championship and this should also ensure greater commitment from the players as nobody will want their season to end almost before it has begun.
Each match will be best of 3 x 21 and those who win in straight games will be awarded 3 points. If the match goes to a tie break the winner will get 2 points and the loser 1 point. The player with the most points scored in the first two games will serve first if a deciding third game is required.
All players must be properly togged out in club jersey and togs and in line with our bye-laws these must be the official club jersey and the official club togs. Doubles pairings must wear official matching jersey and togs. Club Secretaries should make their players aware of this immediately if they have not already done so.
Regular pictures of players will be taken each week and these will be posted here along with a full report on the match.
A preview of the grades and players will appear here in the next few weeks.