Archive | A Chairmans musings

This is the new blog, by James Barguss, Chairman of the League

Same game, different take

I’ve recently written a couple of pieces for the website. Mainly to generate some new content for the site but also because I was recently given some feedback over pieces I wrote a couple of years ago which made me think that it wasn’t just a couple of people reading them. Also one of the hardest parts of writing isn’t the writing but having things to write about.

Back in October 2015 I moved from Abingdon to Banbury. I’m not sure if you are aware but Aunt Sally is alive and thriving in Banbury, Bicester, Bampton, Wychwood, Chipping Norton as well as Oxford and Abingdon.

A new set of kit

A new set of kit

I’ve played Aunt Sally for over 25 years but never played outside of Abingdon except for a few inter-league games and the odd competition. So I decided it would be a good idea to sign for a local team and see what it was like playing for another pub. I chose The Easington on the Bloxham Road, Banbury because it’s walking distance!

After what seems like my worst season start (in 25 years!!!!) for both leagues I seem to have found my feet. Both leagues have an enormous amount in common apart from the game itself. Aunt Sally attracts characters, I’m not sure why that is but I can confirm it is the same in Abingdon as it is in Banbury. I suppose really it’s because you have 16+ men and women gathering on a weeknight invariably in the pouring rain to play what is honestly a pretty niche game with very little spectator appeal.

So what are the differences then? I should note that all of my following observations are anecdotal in nature. I haven’t spent any time researching the data nor am I about to. Take everything I say with a pinch of salt. So, in Banbury of the pubs and clubs I’ve played at only one had a hocking. Let’s take a minute to think about that. In Banbury they do not have a physical barrier to put your foot against or step up too. They do have a slab or a line clearly marking where you should stand but there is no physical barrier. I find that interesting. It means that in Banbury the cry of, Foot Fault presumably falls on deaf ears since you have no way of telling if they have or not. I don’t know if foot faults are specifically mentioned in the Banbury Aunt Sally rules but its interesting none the less.

One of the biggest differences between the two leagues is the calling sticking up relationship. In Abingdon the Home side call and stick up for both the home and away teams for the entire game. In Banbury it’s slightly different. Basically a member of the opposing team will call for the other team for one leg but the sticking up is done by a member of your own team. This means the calling is always done by the other team and you only call for one leg so reducing the time spent calling allowing you much longer for a beer and chat. Sticking up works by Anchorman sticking up for the first man on then once the first man has thrown the he follows the sticks down and takes the place of the Anchorman and so on. I really like the way this plays out mainly because it means you’re not in the shed for ages in the evening. This means more time for a beer which everyone can get behind!!

Another difference is the pitch length ! In Abingdon we measure from hocking to iron as the 30ft – in some others it’s 30ft to the base of the doll – an extra six inches that could make all the difference!  I didn’t realise this until about halfway through my first season. I believe this is a Banbury only peculiarity, though I would welcome anyone letting me know if I’m wrong.

 

2014 Summer League Silverware

2014 Summer League Silverware

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Online Score Cards

If there can be such a thing as a hot topic in Aunt Sally it has to be the online score card system introduced last year. I’ve heard some complaints some of which I understand and some of which I don’t. I’m going to take you through a few of the reasons why we, the Committee have introduced it so that perhaps you might understand even if you don’t agree with it. I will say that at the AGM support for the change was voted through in a democratic way by the teams.

Why do it?

It’s like this, the Committee at present has 8 members. All of us have been here for many many years and believe it or not it takes some work organising the League and making sure it operates smoothly, well, as smoothly as is possible. For the previous few years the scores were posted to the League Match Secretary who arranged for all 40 odd cards to be entered each week into the score Image result for photo amiga computersystem we had previously. Now the old system was programmed onto and used an Amiga computer. That’s right in 2014 we were using a program written in 1990 to work out the scores and leagues. That’s 24 years we were using the same program.

When I came to be Chairman I took the task of updating the system used because the old one really had become obsolete, continuing to use it would have meant that when it did eventually fail the League would not have a backup. So we spent some money, quite a bit in fact, to build something that would last us and would be easy to manage.

One of the things about the score cards is it takes a long time to enter them, sure the old way took about an hour to do but relied on someone from the Committee to have the time to manually enter the cards every week. Then the match scores had to be typed up for the newspapers and sent in.  I don’t know about you but I don’t have that time available to me. I knew that whatever the new system we had it must have the ability to have the score cards added by the teams themselves, thereby saving a great deal of time.

So it is a success?

Well the system has been in a year and by and large I think it has been a success. Sure we have had teething troubles but nothing we cannot fix easily. Did you know for instance that some people have said that the scores don’t add up correctly after adding? I shook my head at this for weeks until I saw that some people were putting an X in for a blob. Quite rightly so but of course databases don’t want to see an X they want to see a number 0 (zero!). I’ve had my website coding guy sort out the back end so that even when X is entered it reads it as a 0.

Passwords and usernames have also been an issue. If you have contacted me chairman@abingdonauntsally or the webmaster@abingdonauntsally we have responded instantly and reset or changed your password. Some people are only contacting us through the contact page and for a while the emails weren’t getting through they are now so there was a hold up there I can only apologise for that.

I think the biggest issue has been when some people can’t get into the site or can’t do it they give up and just send the card in without taking a copy. AllScoresMatchResultThe issue here is we do not know which cards have been entered online and which have not. In fact there is no way without one of us sitting down and manually checking the 160 odd cards we have now accumulated. If we don’t have time to enter the 40 cards each week we definitely don’t have time to sort 160! I need to rely on you to check to ensure that the scores entered are correct for your games and contacting us when they are not – and some people have been and thank you for that. So it does help if you put the match ID on your card when you’ve entered it online.

So far anyone with an issue other than password reset I have phoned and talked through the process. In one instance I’ve been and met up with the Captain and shown them how to do it, actually really enjoyed meeting the Captain of the other team. He now knows how to add the cards and we got to talk about Aunt Sally which is a topic I love and can talk about for hours.

I want and need this to really work for all of us so that it’s easier for the Committee and more transparent for you as teams. It also means we can do some ‘stats’ – so we now have ranking reports that give you your player positions in the total league by average and by total dolls and the webmaster can pull out those sixes and ‘over 14s’ with relative ease as the data is all online.

And finally

If you are having any issues at all or you just aren’t that confident with it, contact me by email. I will get back to you and help you with anything you need. I will even if you want me to arrange a time to meet with you and show you how to do it.

If you have an opinion please hit the comment bubble below and speak up. (You’ll need to login).

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Billy Haynes

Its with sad news that i write this week.

Billy Haynes Landlord of the Gladiators Club  in Oxford and later The Plough Appleton has passed away.

Billy Was a fine and enthusiastic player  and will be greatly missed. Our thoughts are with his wife and family.

The funeral was today.

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We need your help!!!

Abingdon Aunt Sally need your HELP!!!!

Currently we are adding your score cards into the new scoring system ourselves.  Its taking much longer than we anticipated so I’m looking for you to start doing your own.

As you would normally the winning team should take the match card home add both teams scores and POST THE CARD TO THE LEAGUE SECRETARY so that he gets it as usual on the Saturday after the Match.

Firstly you will need to register with the site and create a login and password. This video will help you do this.

Then you need to add the Match Card. This video will help with that.

**IMPORTANT** Make sure that you write on the card that you have added  it online yourself so that we don’t add it again.

Can you also check the spelling for your players on the online match card. Im sure that I’ve added some of them wrongly and need you to tell me which ones!!!!

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Charity Aunt Sally Pairs Competition

Charity Aunt Sally Pairs Competition

Do you enjoy Aunt Sally?

Would you like to play with a top player? John Simmons, Martin Sheridan, Barry Parker or even the 1988 singles champion.

For every game that you win the teams are redrawn but always a good player with a not so good player.

We need 16 not so great players to join the 16 good players.

Entry is £5 per player with all proceeds going to Cancer Research.

Applications will be available on registration night Thursday 27th February

Its important we get a spread of abilities so that we can make this a fair competition.

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New web site New season

It’s all change here on the web site. As you may have noticed the site has been updated. At last years AGM we discussed having the team scores becoming integrated with the site and with the new update this is now a real possibility. I’ve been working closely with the very talented Andrew Beveridge at TechFix to create the site. It goes with out saying that if you need any web advice I’m sure he would love to help. Contact at andrew@techfixuk.com

It’s not just the web site that has changed. I’ve recently become a father so it’s been late nights and early mornings aplenty.

But now I’m looking forward to a tightly contested winter season. A chance to play some fun Aunt Sally, I look forward to seeing you there.

Winter League Fixture Link –>WASL_2013-14_Fixtures

 

I leave you a picture from my recent holiday. Woolacoombe Beach in September!!!

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