The UKPA and Polocrosse Extreme leagues have been checked, rechecked and checked again to ensure that the results included within them are accurate and one key change has seen Pennine knocked off the top spot and allows Arden to claim their first league title. Up until the auditing process happened, Pennine were sitting on the top of the league on 294 points, 25 points points clear of their closest rivals Arden. However, a single error in the league calculation, the wrongful awarding of the UK National Championships Junior title to Pennine rather than to Arden, has turned things on their head. With a Juniors win worth 21 points Arden shoot up to 300 points while Pennine drop to 273.
A spokesman for Polocrosse Extreme, who administrate the league, said “At the end of each season we double check all the results within the league to ensure that they are accurate. As part of this process we identified a key error, the fact that we had given Pennine an extra Juniors win which should have actually gone to Arden. We think this error occurred because we were so used to Pennine winning the Juniors that we just entered the National Championship result without thinking. We apologise to Pennine for this mistake and congratulate Arden on their win.”
So Pennine will be left annoyed that they haven’t actually won two league titles in two years while Arden’s win means that each of the big three clubs (Kent, Pennine and Arden) now have a league title to their name. The third (and actually the biggest in terms of playing members) member of the big three, Kent, finished in third spot in the main league with 237 points. Celyn and Solent fill the fourth and fifth spots with just seven points between them.
In the league according to size of clubs there were no such last minute shocks and Solent actually increased their lead at the top once the final, end of season club playing membership figures were taken into account. Pennine once again finished in second place which shows that not only are they are a successful club but they are also a successful club for their size, with a score of 6.79 points per playing member. Arden and Kent on the other hand are not great when size is taken into account, Arden finish half way down with 5.26 points per member and Kent finish near the bottom with 3.96 points per member.
Pennine only just beat White Horse and Celyn to the second spot, White Horse got 6.78 points per member in their first year and Celyn got 6.74. Vale Impi, another club in their first year, finished fifth.
Looking at the leagues on a grade by grade basis, which is new feature Polocrosse Extreme added this year, it is possible to see that the A grade has been very even with Kent ending on 95 points, Arden on 90 and Highlanders on 85. The B grade has belonged to Pennine who end with 54 points at that level with three second places. There weren’t many points going in the B grade this year, with only a 100 points earnt. This is for two reasons, firstly the UK Under 21’s won a number of B grades early on in the season and secondly at a number of tournaments there were no B grades, they went straight from A to C.
The C grade again has been fairly even but Celyn have specialised here in 2009 and emerge with the most points on 93. Then come Kent on 73 and Ashfields are just behind then on 72. The D Grade went to Solent who claimed 85 points, 24 points clear of their closest rivals Arden.
In the E grade it has all been about newcomers Vale Impi who top scored with 77 points in their debut season. It is good to see that last year Solent dominated the E grade and now they have moved up to D Grade, next year the same can probably be expected on Vale Impi.
In the Juniors it was mainly about Pennine this year, despite not actually winning the Nationals. They claimed four wins in the Juniors and one second place with good results at both Ashfields Tournaments and at Kent and the Great Northern Tournament. This all added up to 100 points for Pennine. 20 points further back were Arden, Pennine’s arch rivals at this level, and then behind them came new club White Horse who had a great first season to end on 69.
It was also all about Pennine and Arden in the Primary Juniors but this time it was Arden who claimed the top spot.
Overall it is possible to see that there have been a lot less points won in the league this year than last year, last year’s winners Pennine ended with 547 points, which might seem strange. This seems to be for a number of reasons, firstly there were slightly fewer tournaments in 2009, secondly not all tournaments had all grades in them, thirdly there were very few third places awarded in 2009 (tournament organisers chose to only award first and second places as the recession bit) and finally teams who can’t accumulate league points, such as the UK squads and Carrickmines from Ireland and Henson club in France, winning a number of prizes this year.
So the final league winners for 2009 are Arden and Solent. And a final comment on the controversy that has cost Pennine the top spot and back to back league wins? Well, the league administrators at Polocrosse Extreme say they are looking at new ways to do the leagues next year to make sure errors don’t occur again but ultimately they will still rely on humans inputting data and humans can always make mistakes!
To see the final league tables click here