Resumption of Local Winter Leagues
With the loss to most local leagues, due to Covid, of the final part of the 2019-20 season and of a normal 2020-21 over-the-board season in most places, there was some doubt as to how successfully local leagues would recover. Some players might simply give up competitive chess and some might be “lost” to on-line chess due to the surge in activity in that arena. Some whole clubs might disappear, though some of their players would move to other clubs. On the other hand, some hitherto exclusively on-line players might take up over-the-board chess.
The outcome seems to have been that while the odd small club here or there has folded, overall, there has been little shrinkage from 2019-20.
At this point in the calendar, a simple way of telling how leagues are progressing in launching 2022-23 is to see if they have loaded 2022-23 fixtures onto LMS and otherwise whether they have at least held their AGM.
The final local league to hold its 2022 AGM seems to have been the very small Doncaster & DCA, where the number of teams looks possibly to be returning to the 6 teams of 2019-20 after sinking to only 4 teams in 2020-21, though one of those 6 team is struggling due simply to some players having moved out of the area.
A summary of where local leagues are as regards launching 2022-23 is as follows, with total of teams in the main league divisions (not parallel knock-outs or handicaps) for 2019-20 and 2022-23 for comparison - as far as can be gleaned from available sources.
* or 5 if Barnby Dun folds.
In general, there seems a slight reduction in the number of teams, but every expectation that things can return to pre-Covid levels in time.