The Inter County 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
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 Inter-County
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 selectors 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
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
Inter-County 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
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
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.