Eurocup Format Update

This article was posted on Facebook by Martin Hughes (EPA Vice President), regarding the proposed changes to the Eurocup format for 2017.

*EuroCup 2017 Update*

As you may have seen elsewhere, the new format for the competition issued recently by the CEP has led to us revisiting our approach. In looking at options we wanted to ensure that the impact on the previously issued national calendar was as limited as possible as many of our regions had populated their own calendars on the basis of the national calendar.

As a result, discussions with our EuroCup organiser Alan Roden has led to us deciding to proceed as follows:

1 – There will be a ‘home’ and ‘away’ draw;

2 – Notices to go out by middle of May with draw to be made at June MC meeting;

3 – First Round to be completed by 20th August;

4 – Second round to be completed by 1st October;

5 – third round to be completed by 26th November (with only one match to be played (i.e. three rounds);

6 – fourth round to be played over the weekend of 24th/25th March 2018 at two venues to be decided;

7 – finals to be played on 22nd April, 2018.

This approach offers flexibility to our clubs and regions to work around calendars and there is now no set date in the calendar for playing the matches, just lengthy ‘windows’ where the clubs concerned can make the arrangements. You will appreciate that the combined round 2 and 3 has now been dropped. This was introduced as under the old format (2 x triples and 3 x doubles) it was felt that travelling could be minimised through combination. Under the new format with the introduction of the Singles round, there are now three rounds per match (6 x singles, 2 x triples and 3 x doubles), so it is felt that the doubling up could lead to very lengthy days.

The removal of the November (4th) round originally in our calendar for 19th and 26th November means that we can relocate that to the following March after the clocks change. It also means that there is more time available to transact the preliminary rounds (rounds 1 – 3 can be played between late June and late November). We hope that this will mean better conditions for the most important stages of the competition. This also applies to the Finals, where the light and hopefully the weather will be even better than the fourth round (although there are no guarantees).

The result is that there are now no fixed dates in our national calendar 2017 for EuroCup except the deadlines by which rounds need to be played. This should mean that any potential clashes with competitions already set/proposed by our regions is not a factor.

Calendar Update & Membership

Following the Mercia RMC meeting that was held on the 19th December, the following amendments have been made to the Mercia regional calendar.

  • The Sherwood Shield Finals will now be held at Arena PC, Worksop on the 29th January 2017.
  • The Mercia AGM will also be held at Arena PC on the 29th January 2017.
  • The 2nd Mercia Inter-Regional Qualifier has been moved from the 9th to the 23rd April 2017.

Mercia Petanque Association is now able to process EPA membership subscriptions for 2017.

if you are renewing your subscription or taking out a subscription for the first time with Mercia, June Ricketts is able to help with your requirements. Please download and complete the Membership Application form and send to June with a cheque for £25 to cover the subscription fee.

Membership Form (Click to download)

Thank you.



EPPC Launch Date – 12th June

The Hasland Gala on the 12th June is to be the official launch date for the newly formed Eastwood Park Petanque Club.

IMG_0539aIt has been confirmed that the Lord Mayor of Chesterfield who will be attending the Gala will perform an official opening of the Eastwood Park Petanque Club. The Gala starts at 12.00pm and the EPPC opening should be around 12.15pm.  EPPC members will be promoting the Club at the Gala and inviting people to have a try. If you are free on the 12th June, please visit our new friends and show your support.

We will be providing contact details and playing session information for EPPC within the next few days. In the meantime we wish Peter, Janet, Chris and Sue every success with their new venture and a guarantee of Mercia’s full support.




Our First True Mercia Event

imageBorrowing a match format picked up from the Los Hermanos club in Tenerife, our first true Mercia Region event was played, at the earliest opportunity in the New Year, called the Scratch Fours. An invite was sent out to all players in the new Mercia Region and on the day 66 players turned up to compete. The day before and the day afterwards, it rained, however on our day it was wall-to-wall sunshine – but, as you can see from the attached photographs, with everyone well wrapped up, it was really freezing.

Congratulations must be given to our newest club, Burton Joyce PC, who turned up with a ready-made squad of 17 brand new players, who proudly informed us, that after a taster session at Nottingham the Summer before as the U3A, they had become so enthusiastic they had already built their own piste on the village playing field and were raring to go. It’s not very often that a “ready-made” club drops out of the sky without you realizing it is about to happen!

imageAs the players turned up, their names were put “in the hat”. Admittedly 16 strong players were put into one hat and the 16 “newbies” in another, with the remaining “club league” players into a third. The Scratch Fours then were drawn as follows; one from the “strong”, one from the “newbies” and two from the “Club” and the result was 16 teams (with two reserves) playing to the Swiss System. This ensured that at least one of the “newbies” would win on the day – a novel method of introducing so many new players to regional competition.

After 4 rounds, the team of Wayne & Di from Nottingham City PC, Keith from Mansfield PC, and Nancy from Burton Joyce, with four match wins and +23 points, won the day. Congratulations to the winners and better luck to everyone else for next year.

imageAll-in-all, a great start to our career as an independent Region and a hugh thanks must be given to NCPC for use of their club terrains, all the organisers, cake bakers and scorekeepers, without whom the day could not have happened – thanks. The Mercia Treasurer was also very pleased to have raised another £237 into the Mercia coffers, which took us beyond the magic £1160 mark.

A new strategy for an active nation

On the 17th December, the department for culture, media and sport released a new policy document outlining the government’s new strategy to get the nation active.

This cross-government strategy will tackle head on the flatlining levels of sport participation and high levels of inactivity in this country. Through this strategy, the government is redefining what success in sport means, with a new focus on five key outcomes: physical wellbeing, mental wellbeing, individual development, social and community development and economic development. In future, funding decisions will be made on the basis of the outcomes that sport and physical activity can deliver.

To read more: Sporting Future – A New Strategy for an Active Nation