The Irish Polocrosse Association (IPA) announced today that it has made changes to its rules regarding what level of players can play in each grade of a tournament, in order to deal with complaints regarding higher pointed players playing in B grade. Following Horetown’s tournament last weekend, the IPA’s grading committee received a number of complaints that a high number of players with 7 playing points were playing in the B grade. Ireland grades individual players on a 1 to 10 basis and the idea is that anyone of 7 points or more is an A grade player. This rule change now makes it clear that the IPA feels a player with 7 playing points should be in A grade and not playing in B grade, both because it is seen as unfair on lower graded players in B grade and also because it stops A grade being as competitive as it could be.
Therefore, in order to encourage highly pointed players to play in A grade, the IPA has now announced that any player who has 7 points or more will only be allowed to play as a number 2 in B grade and that all clubs who can field an A grade team should aim to do so, rather than spreading out their higher graded players in the lower grades. Previously clubs were still only allowed one 7 point player in each B grade section but they were allowed to play in any position if the total points for the section they were in was less than 16 points. This can now no longer happen.
In the IPA statement it also says that it is important in a World Cup year to give the Irish World Cup team a healthy level of competition by putting all available A grade players in A grade. Likewise, they say they feel it is best for the development of younger talented players (such as the Irish Under 21 squad) if they were to be pushed and to now be playing competitive polocrosse in A grade.
The new ruling has come in with immediate effect. To read the full text of the IPA announcement click here