I guess the proof will be in the pudding.
These are my thoughts on the Cup 2012/2012 (my personal thoughts, not those of Cambridge City).
The handicap system....... Cambridge City played 4 matches with a handicap deficit, but "benefited" from a headstart against Mitcham, Trojans and KV. There are obviously pros and cons with the handicap. The handicap made the games against the so-called "weaker" teams much more interesting. However, personally, I did not like starting matches with a head-start. If we win a match, I want to win it because we won it, not because we've been given a head start, and I was quite embarrassed that we had progressed to the finals, having lost to Mitcham 15-6 in real terms in the QF. I was much prouder that we managed to hold Trojans to 1-2 (unadjusted score) for the first 12 minutes of each half of the semi-final, and that we won the second half of the 3/4th play off against KV 8-7 (unadjusted score), than that we won a Bronze medal. That said, without the handicap system, we would not have had the opportunity to play against Trojans or KV, and in a season where we have found ourselves with few competitive matches at Regional League level, it was good to be able to pit ourselves against higher level competition. Generally, I thought the handicaps which were not adjusted by the 10-0 cap were about right (the 10-0 cap is probably too low).
Shot clock...... I really think that the shot clock should be used, even more so if the handicap system is used again. I know this is not possible in the early rounds, but think that it should be used from the QF onwards. It is probably no coincidence that the scores in the Cup were generally lower than those seen in the EKL or the Regional Leagues which use a shot clock. And playing the Cup finals without the shot clock is hardly great preparation for the EKL finals / CT the following week!
Number of matches and allocation of home / away fixtures.....One "down" side for us, was the number of additional matches. In a season where we already had 26 Regional and Local League games scheduled, and 4 players involved in National Squads, this has led to considerable fixture congestion and, at times, fatigue. This was compounded by the travel involved. We played 7 matches, not one of them at home, and travelled to Kent, Leeds, Mitcham and Nottingham. I firmly believe that if you want to play high level sport, you have to be prepared to travel, but just one home fixture somewhere along the way would have been nice
In terms of the future of the Cup, I think we need to reflect on the purpose of the Cup is / just how pretigious an event the Cup is intended to be.
I remember a day (and now I feel old) when the Cup Finals day was arguably the biggest event in the domestic Korfball calendar, with a Cup competition being run in all age groups from Under 9s to Seniors, and (though it is quite possible that my memory is wrong here) the Winner secured a place at the Europa Sheild, if they had not already secured a place in Europe by their position in the Premier League (when England had 2 places).
The Junior Cup Competition now no longer run, the handicap system has been introduced (intended to increased participation), the event was the week before the Grand Finals / Champions Trophy, and there was just one representative from the EKA (who are, no doubt, overwhelmed with planning for the Grand Finals / Champions Trophy).
I would love to see a return of the "old style" Cup Competition with a re-introduction of the Youth Cups and a Cup finals day which spans the age groups, where the best teams compete at the highest level and the result really has some consequence. Of course, everyone wants to win the Cup, but does everyone really want to win it? What is more important..... EKL / CT or the Cup?
Cambridge City - looking to the future
Edited by - Janine on 02 May 2012 19:46:22
Edited by - Janine on 02 May 2012 19:48:29