World Aunt Sally Championship

World Aunt Sally Championships?

I was speaking with a good friend of mine on Wednesday night. He mentioned that at the weekend he attended the 1st World Aunt Sally Championship at the Charlbury Beer Festival. He passed on some thoughts which I feel I should share.

The claim of the organisers that it is the first ‘World’ championship is a bit misleading as some years ago the Abingdon round table organised a Singles and Fours World Championship in the Abbey Meadow. The singles competition was won by Dave Dix but I’m afraid my memory fails me as I cannot remember the fours team winners. However, this is unimportant and me being pedantic.

The Charlbury competition had 32 players playing a down to a final. Initially the weather looked as though it would be an issue but, after the draw, the sun came out. I’m told that the two Abingdon players that did attend are not familiar with that area of Aunt Sally world so it was nice to have a few throws against some different opposition.

I won’t bore you with a blow by blow account of the competition I wasn’t there vbut both players that did attend said what a great day it was. In particular to note the calling was to a very high standard. It’s always difficult particularly when playing in unfamiliar territory and you always have at the back of your mind that calling might not be as good as you are used to. In fact I am told it was as good if not better. I’m afraid I do not have the names of the two gentlemen in question that did the calling and sticking up (all day) one of whom made it to the final. I hope they read this and are able to add their names to the comments section they deserve a little recognition for a well organised event.

Something new was brought to my attention which I wasn’t aware of and I apologise if the exact details are wrong here but the gist is. In the Wychwood league owing to the small number of teams in the area they have reduced the team number from 8 to 6 and instead of 3 play the best of 5 legs.

Having played for 20 years I have seen our numbers dwindle steadily every year. The smoking ban, the cost of beer, the recession. All I suppose have taken their toll. I’m aware that in my own team we have nine regular players and that’s about it. We have players we can call in if needs be but its certainly getting worse. How long before we can’t get a team? We’ll have two choices join with another team or try to find new players. (If we could have found new players we would have done so) .Would reducing the team numbers be the answer to our shrinking league? I would be really interested to find out your opinion on this. It’s successfully done in the winter with teams of 5.

Something else that was mentioned was that there were a lot of very decent Aunt Sally Players at the World Championship but who, for what ever reason, didn’t put their names down for the competition. I have to ask myself why. Is pride a factor here? Not wanting to be beaten by what are perceived to be lesser players? Or the credibility of the competition? Who cares it’s their loss. It sounds like it was a great day that was a lot of fun for all involved. There was a very sizeable crowd for the final. If that gets a few more people interested in the game we all win.

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