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Intercounty Format

The Intercounty season runs from January through to December and is played on the second Sunday of every month.

Each County plays all other Counties in their Region twice. Once at home and once away. Each County fields a men's "A", men's "B", ladies and youth team. Each squad requires a minimum of eleven players for any match. This means that for any Intercounty match a minimum of 88 diferent players are required, 44 in each team. In practice however, the figure is around 15 players per squad making a total of around 120 players for each Intercounty match.

The main aim for the counties competing is to win their respective section and become the regional champions. Each County squad that wins a section qualifies for the National Intercounty Championships held at the Vauxhall Holiday Park, Great Yarmouth in March of each year.

Unsurprisingly, the winning team in each section becomes the National County Champions. Most county squads are made up of local league players who are invited to participate in county trials in January of each year. Usually, they will be recommended by their league officials.

Some counties hold open trials where any affiliated league player is entitled to trial, in this case the selectors pick the players they feel will make the grade and then invite these players back to do battle with existing County players to see how they fare, other Counties use a recommendation style approach. i.e. a player's parent league recommends players to the County Association, the County Assosiation then invites the player to trial for them.

From these "invitation" trials a number of players will picked by the County selectors to join the players the selectors decided to retain from the previous season to make up this season's County squad. The next task for the electors is to place their chosen players in to either the "A" or "B" team. There is plenty of room for players to move up to the "A" or down to the "B" according to how well they are performing.

The terms up and down are relative since the players involved are pretty much the best players in their respective County. Each county player has their results recorded for every County match they play. The system currently employed is that a player receives three points if they win a frame for their "A" team. Players receive two points if they win a frame in their "B" team. Ladies get two points for a frame win in their section.

The points a player gains throughout the season by winning their frames are called "ranking points" and these ranking points are the means by which all players are seperated at any time in the season. When the Intercounty playing season has ended the top eight players in each region gain the right to trial for a place in the England Team for the following season.

Players may see how they are faring nationally by viewing the current National Intercounty Rankings. In any Intercounty match a player can play a maximum of four frames in the Mens "A", Mens "B", Ladies or Youth section.

For the male section there is an added complication, once selected to play in a "A", "B" or Youth team all their frames for that match must be played in that team. playing in a combination of sections is not allowed.

For example, if a player is selected for the youth team they cannot play in either the "A" or "B" team in that match. If a youth player was promoted from the youth section to either the "A" or "B" section they would not be allowed to return to the Youth section for the remainder of that match. the same rules apply to the "A" and "B" sections as well.

It is mandatory that all County Associations field their strogest possible "A" side at all times, this is to prevent tactical movement of players doing well in the "A" down to the "B" squad near the end of the season to get some "easy" ranking points If any movement of players is required it must wait until the following match, when all the players become "free" again.