The General Committee have decided that, to try to encourage more teams to enter the Scottish Championships, the points awarded to the teams in any Open League Show this season will be set at a starting point of a minimum of 35. The method of scoring for the younger age groups is different so they are unaffected by this decision. This is the same number of points awarded to the winners of the Southern Championships.
The Committee recognise this is a change to the rules for the League but it was clear that unless this was done the number of teams going to Scotland would be so small that the show would run at a huge financial loss. The showground is already booked and cannot be cancelled. Many of the other expenses have already been incurred or cannot be avoided. At a time when the Association are already looking at a loss for the year on top of losses over the last three seasons the Committee felt they could not afford to allow another loss of potentially several thousands of pounds and must do all in their power to avoid it.
The idea is to reward the teams that make the effort to go rather than penalise those who do not. The decision to award League Shows to Scotland and Northern Ireland was to encourage MGA to support the regions. We want to develop our sport and hopefully recruit more members. The Scottish and Northern Irish teams already make long journeys many times a season. They accept the cost they will incur and many sacrifices this means. For the English and Welsh teams to return the effort seems only fair.
We know the issue was aired at the recent riders meeting and there was a general consensus that we should support the smaller regions and that the league rules should be changed in this way but there was no clear decision made as to whether this was to be immediate or for future seasons. The riders present recognised that if few teams enter a league show then some teams with guest riders might even end up losing points by going – which cannot be right. Rory Capel and Alex Edwards who devised the League system acknowledge that they had not foreseen this problem and are both in favour of the change.
We hope as result of this decision more teams will now enter the show or that those who were considering pulling out will not do so.
The MGAGB General Committee