It has been a tumultuous last two years for the Yass District Cricket Association (YDCA), and the 2018/19 will see further changes take place which will redefine the local cricket scene.
YDCA president Paul Barnes said that the long-awaited merger with the Goulburn Association has fallen through, and in its place has come a new-look A Grade competition, to begin on October 20.
“The clubs decided that they didn’t want to merge A Grade with Goulburn, which I was quite disappointed about to be honest,” Barnes said.
“They had quite specific reasons about why it wouldn’t work. At the end of the day it’s their decision.
“On the back of that I pushed it back to the clubs and said ‘you have to come up with a formula that works for the current season’, because having four teams in a grade doesn’t work.”
Their solution was to combine A and B Grade to create a much bigger pool of teams; seven instead of the usual four at A Grade, and to have only one lower grade.
Although he believes that the changes will “reinvigorate” the competition, Barnes added that it will happen “at the cost of reducing the level of skill in A Grade.”
In combination with the new format for the longer forms, the association has decided to break up the regular season with a T20 competition for both grades.
The C Grade competition will take place for four weeks throughout November and December, with the final on December 15. A Grade will play its final on the same day, but at the end of a week-long round robin competition instead.
This, Barnes said, is because “there’s more teams in A Grade, and I think in we still want to have the 40 over competition as the main competition because that’s similar to the format that the rep players will be playing in.”
This year’s Stribley Shield will be smaller than last year’s edition, and will see Goulburn enter the competition for the first time.
“I think the Stribley Shield’s gonna be really competitive this year,” Barnes said. “The four teams will be us, Wagga, Cootamundra, and Goulburn.
“I think any one of those four teams can quite likely win it.”