Aire-Wharfe points system up for debate

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Guiseley's outfield resembled a pond after heavy rain forced the match against Ilkley to be cancelled Guiseley's outfield resembled a pond after heavy rain forced the match against Ilkley to be cancelled

With another set of Aire-Wharfe League fixtures wiped out by the rain, there was time to indulge in one of the interesting debates of this season – how the new points system will affect the table compared to the old one.

In the past teams picked up points for wins, ties or for winning or losing draws but this season it is a straight 10-0 to the side coming out on top with a further ten points available for batting and bowling bonus.

It may still be too early to judge if the change will affect the final outcome, especially as a third of the first nine games have fallen foul of the weather, but so far it doesn't seem to be dramatically altering things.

In all three divisions the top and bottom two sides under the new system would have been in the same position under the old.

There is a slight variation in that Otley's Division One lead over Kirkstall would have been the equivalent of two wins under the old system but is only one now, and Horsforth would have a slightly increased margin over Illingworth in Division Three than they do currently.

The biggest discrepancy so far is with Steeton who are currently third in Division One but under the old system would have been in a tie with two other sides in fifth place. Significantly, the margin between them and Otley three wins whereas they currently trail them by just over one win.

The explanation is that Steeton have by far the best record in bonus points. They have picked up 52 so far, 10 more than any other side in the top flight.

Their batting has been especially noteworthy. The consistent form of players like Andrew Foulds, Andrew Luxton and Neil Spragg has meant they have taken 25 bonus points, seven ahead of the next best Burley and Rawdon, and clearly outshining the two sides above them Otley (14) and Kirkstall (13).

So, while it currently looks as though the new points system won't materially change the destiny of silverware, there may be a change if batsmen can start to get some tracks that suit them and help their sides past the 225 mark that earns the maximum batting points. The difference between 224 and 225 could change who goes up and who goes down and who is acclaimed as champions.


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