Given the continuing situation where COVID-19 is affecting every aspect of life, the Middlesex Schools' Football Association has decided to alter the format of its Inter-District Leagues for the 2020-21 season.
Traditionally, these have been played on a "home and away" basis, with each District playing the others twice; at Under-11, two Trophy events - the Batchelor Cup and Alf Gant Cup - fulfil this function across two terms.
Due to the ongoing pandemic, the home and away format will not be used next season. Instead, the Inter-District competitions will be played during the Spring Term, with each District playing the others once; efforts will be made to ensure as even a split of home and away fixtures as possible. This means there will only be time for one U11 Trophy event; this will be the Batchelor Cup.
If a large number of entries is received in one or more age groups, consideration will be given to splitting the competition into two groups, with a play-off between the section winners. For example, if we receive entries from eight boroughs, they will be split into two groups of four, with the top team in each section qualifying for a Final arranged by the Association.
The Association believes that by taking this approach, it has provded the District Schools' FAs with time to regroup following the abandonment of the 2019-20 competitions, without placing excess pressure on the volunteers running the Representative Teams. The format of these competitions will be re-examined at the end of next season, with a view to returning to a home and away format.