The UK Polocrosse Association managed to win the vote and defeat the motion that threatened to overturn their decision to make the A grade competition at the UK National championships play as ‘Mixed’ teams competition (editor’s note: Mixed meaning that each team is to have one section of men and one section of ladies). However, before the vote was even taken there seemed to be a general consensus in the room that a concession should be made to allow teams like Rugby and Coltshire who cannot field a mixed team to play.
About 100 people packed into the Arden club house to hear the basis of the EGM and arguments on both sides before casting their vote. The motion was that the A grade competition should not be mixed, which had been proposed mainly by Rugby Polocrosse Club, and it defeated by a vote of (approximately) 57 votes to 44, with members of Kent, Cotswold and Vale Impi making up most of the No votes and Rugby, Coltshire and a mixture of other club members being in the Yes camp (editors note: As the motion was worded in a negative form the No camp, who are voting against the motion, are actually voting for A grade to be Mixed at Nationals … a point which undoubtedly confused a number of people throughout this debate, though hopefully most people ended up on the right side of the room just by following their club mates or asking the people around them whether they wanted A grade to be mixed or not!).
The vote could have been influenced to an extent though by the fact that in the discussion beforehand there had been suggestions that those clubs who could field mixed teams (such as Kent, Cotswold, Celyn and Vale Impi) were all willing to play in a Mixed format but let Rugby and Coltshire play against them in a non mixed format and sure enough straight after the vote a meeting of all club captains agreed exactly that, with the condition that the teams who do not have a ladies section puts its weakest section out against opposition Ladies sections. For this reason the vote more came down to a point of principle rather than a decision that would ultimately stop any players playing at Nationals and most of the room seemed aware of this before the vote even took place.
The UKPA will probably be glad to have reached this situation. This way they have ultimately reached an agreement which allows everyone to play but do not have to technically reverse a decision they made, though as there will be non mixed teams in the A grade whether it will still be called a Mixed A grade competition remains to be seen.
Also, it is unclear now whether there will still be the same concessions available to allow clubs to borrow players if needed and to field Junior boys in the Ladies section. Both these points were published in a list of concessions that the UKPA were making to make it easier for clubs to field Mixed teams and it is imagined that they will still stand but this was not openly discussed. If so, clubs like Vale Impi and Celyn could perhaps make use of them if required to field some of their Junior boys in the A grade should any of their three top lady players be unavailable.
In order to form their A grade team Rugby Polocrosse Club are now flying Luke Lossberg back from Australia, where he has been on international Under 21’s duty, to play the rest of the UK season. Before this weekend it had been suggested that if Rugby were not allowed to play A grade he would stay in Australia but now he will return to Rugby in the next couple of weeks to play for them.