Delegates from both the Ron Massey Cup and True Blue Chemical Sydney Shield clubs came together at the Cabramatta Rugby League club yesterday as anticipation for season 2014 really began to hit full swing.
Representatives launched into a full days briefing that consisted of everything from the format of the 2014 OAMPS Pre-Season Cup to the presentation of the newly updated New South Wales Rugby League Competitions Operations Manual.
David Norman, Manager of the Ron Massey Cup and True Blue Chemicals Sydney Shield competitions, values the opportunity to bring these stakeholders together under the one roof.
“Days like yesterday are vitally important for our competitions,” Mr Norman said.
“A lot of work at both ends of the spectrum goes into the successful running of these competitions and meetings such as this one allow both the league and its stakeholders to appropriately communicate any matters that need to be heard.
“Yesterday saw us cover a raft of issues such as scheduling for the 2014 season, policies and procedures surrounding our PPIS (Player Points Index System) as well as other very important topics such as our anti-doping policy and our welfare and education programs.”
While definitive time lines for announcements surrounding the composition of the competitions and their draws are yet to be set in stone, the following details for 2014 were tabled to the clubs yesterday.
- The season will begin in earnest in late February (22nd/23rd) with the running of the OAMPS Pre-Season Cup.
- The pre-season competition will run in a knock out format and last one month in duration.
- This month is also viewed as the period for official trials, and as clubs are eliminated from the OAMPS Pre-Season Cup, they will be able to schedule any additional trials that they wish to play accordingly.
- Both competitions will be played over 22 Premiership rounds culminating in a four week finals series.
- The season will kick off on the weekend of the 22nd/23rd March.
- The Grand Finals for both competitions will be played alongside the Grand Final of the VB NSW Cup at a venue that is yet to be determined on the last weekend in September.
2014 REPRESENTATIVE SCHEDULE
- The Ron Massey Cup Rep side will be out for revenge against the QLD Bushrangers when they once again face off mid-season at a time and venue that is yet to be determined.
- It also proposed that the Ron Massey Cup Rep team will play an end of season match as they did in 2013 against a Fiji residents side, however the exact make up of this fixture is yet to be confirmed.
In terms of the scheduling and when fans may expect a completed draw, Mr Norman had this to say on the issue.
“We understand there is always a great deal of excitement and anticipation around draw announcements,”
“But more so than ever before, in 2014, we are looking to provide the best synergy possible between our draws and the other competitions that run in conjunction with us.
“As most people are aware, we have a number of clubs such as Wentworthville and Mounties for example, that are affected by scheduling from the NRL right down to Sydney Shield.
“With the announcement of the 2014 NRL draw in the past 24 hours, our football operations staff is now able to take that and look to see how best we can marry up the draws of our competitions to allow our fans and our stakeholders the best possible outcomes in terms of alignment.
“This is not an easy job and takes quite a bit of consultation across the board, but fans can be sure that we will be working around the clock to provide a draw that best serves everyone.
“The 2013 season was one of our most hard fought and exciting to date, and I am confident that we have a product that is affable and easily accessible to all league lovers, and by creating the best draw possible, hopefully even more people than ever before will be able to experience our wonderful competitions.”
To stay up to speed with all of the Ron Massey Cup and True Blue Chemicals Sydney Shield news, be sure to follow @NSWRL on twitter and join the conversation using the #RMCup and #TBCSS hashtags.