This year saw the very first National League in Scotland. It’s been an exciting time for VX Scotland with it being our first competitive event. The 2016 league was used as a trial for the future competitions in Scotland as we incorporate three months of competition rather than the traditional one or two days. This layout added more excitement to the event as competitors had to keep on top of their game and consistently improve throughout.
Kristin Scobbie vs Aimee Caldwell was a perfect example of why we felt this format was better. Although Kristin won the first game, Aimee came back to win the second, meaning that second place of the tournament came down to points difference creating a nail biting atmosphere during our awards ceremony.
The games themselves were great to see. Every player gave their all, showing determination for the prize of being crowned Scottish Youth National Champion. It was Matthew Stocks who took the lead quickly and effectively, showing great performances throughout. Matthew remained undefeated, having come critically close to losing against Aimee twice. He was crowned Youth National Champion and kindly provided us with this feedback on his experiences:
“It was very enjoyable to compete in such a very high standard competition against such a difficult opposition, but of course it was amazing to be the very first winner of a competition that will hopefully run in the future and that I hope I can take part in. The competition went incredibly my way, I was extremely fortunate to have played against such difficult array of players and come out on top of the league. I thought the league was run incredibly well, the fixtures were always up on time and always balanced fairly so every player had equal rest times, there were no problems with the referee of any games and they always had positive feedback before and after the games. I think the league was an incredible idea and I would look forward to competing again.” ~ Matthew Stocks, 1st V2 Scottish Youth
Following this we consulted Aimee and Kristin for feedback on their competition after tensely batting it out for 2nd place:
“For me, I feel the competition went really well, everyone played with such a high standard and the atmosphere of the games on and off court was brilliant. The league was a great way to show off skills and tactics but it was also a great way to have fun with the added feel competition outside of training.” ~ Kristin Scobbie, 3rd V2 Scottish Youth
“I thought the league was a very good idea and let me compete against other players and get a ranking at the end of it helping me improve for the next competition. I would do it again as i really enjoyed it and was worth taking apart in. The league went very well for me because i was able to achieve 2nd place. This is allows me to improve so i am able to try and reach 1st place next time.” ~ Aimee Caldwell, 2nd V2 Scottish Youth
4th and 5th was fought between Cameron and Emma. Both players on either end of the age range with Emma having only just moved up to Youth and Cameron about to move up to Senior. Emma showed great determination and sportsmanship throughout the league, however, it was Cameron’s greater experience that allowed him to tip the scales and gain 4th Scottish Youth. Though lacking the experience at present, Emma will certainly be one to watch in the future.
We spoke to Cameron and Emma about their time in the league:
“I thought the league was fun to take part in. We were playing against players we know quite well but haven’t played against them competitively, unless it was the world championships. It allowed us to push each other to perform better than we normally do and some of the games were quite close. Personally, I think I could of done better. I was able to match the other competitors in ability but when it came down to implementing it I was far from what I am capable of. I completed most of my games just returning from a sprained ankle, which had a major factor in some of my games as I had to be careful when putting pressure on to my ankle by turning, jumping etc. Overall, the league was competitive and I’m happy not to finish last but know that I can do better.” ~ Cameron McIntyre, 4th V2 Scottish Youth
“I thought the league was a really unique idea to promote the sport in Scotland. Even as a trail year it provided something different for us to participate in. The competition went really well for me as I learned so much off the older players, being the youngest, and it gave me motivation to improve to be on par with them. I think in general as the sport grows the league will become more intense and interesting. And being in the first ever Scottish national league is a massive opportunity.” ~ Emma Robinson, 5th V2 Scottish Youth
What was great to see was the diversity of male and female players within the league. As you are most likely aware, male and female players are able to play against and on the same team as each other in the sport of VX. This years league really showed how equal the playing field is for all genders in our sport. We asked Kristin how she felt about being involved in a mixed gender league:
“I think the mixed gender league is a great idea as most sports separate the two, this raises the level of competitiveness which was brilliant and it was a great experience which I’d love to take part in again next year!” ~ Kristin Scobbie, 3rd V2 Scottish Youth
Even with the league being a trail this year, each player received a national ranking in the sport, respective to their finishing position. Below are the 2016 Scottish Youth National Rankings:
- Matthew Stocks
- Aimee Caldwell
- Kristin Scobbie
- Cameron McIntyre
- Emma Robinson
Even with all the positives, the players have already given us some great feedback to develop the league further ready for next year. The main comment has been the time of the year:
“The league was well run by the senior players who volunteered to referee the games throughout the whole tournament. I feel that the break for exams was an inconvenience to some of the players as one of the players didn’t have any exams and the others just wanted to get the games done, like myself. Hopefully, for next year the League doesn’t have a break as it will allow players to perform better as they would be playing every week and not having to stop training for exams.” ~ Cameron McIntyre, 4th V2 Scottish Youth
At VX Scotland, we will never stop seeking out ways to improve and make our sport better for all. As such, we look forward to using all our gathered feedback to create a bigger and better competition next year. We have already started plans on moving the dates of the league for next year, ensuring we miss the exam period and reduce the chances of having a mid-season break. A small team is being organised to work through the logistics and plans for next years leagues, with one of their main jobs, to gather even more feedback.
All the players displayed great skill throughout the league, however, we can not forget the officials who volunteered their Friday evenings to run the league. All the feedback from the players has been positive about the officials and we can’t thank them enough for their time, dedication and great efforts towards the league. President Jack Brown had this to add:
“The league this year has been an important trial in my mind. Previously, VX events similar to this have been ran either in one day or over a weekend and I’ve always felt that this wasn’t enough for a National League. Being able to see the league finish this year, having used a new innovative format, has been a real achievement and development for the sport in Scotland. With all the feedback and data collected we should be able to take the league to a much higher standard next year.
I’m thrilled to hear that everyone involved loved the event and I hope we can continue to produce the same high quality support in the future. Lastly, I’d like to say a massive thank you to all the supporters, players and officials who took part in the league. Without them, all of this would not have been possible.” ~ Jack Brown, President VX Scotland
We can’t wait to see next years league and the committee are looking to work closely with the players over the summer to plan it all out for 2017. We should also see the introduction of more categories, as we spread the league format from Youth to Senior and Masters. With the sport growing quickly, the league should be even more exciting next year with more up and coming players to keep an eye on.
For full fixtures and results of this years league, please see below:
Fixtures & Results:
|Week||Home||Half Time (H)||Full Time (H)||vs||Full Time (A)||Half Time (A)||Away|
|1||Aimee Caldwell||44||81||vs||52||25||Cameron MacIntyre|
|1||Emma Robinson||30||66||vs||94||46||Matthew Stocks|
|1||Aimee Caldwell||80||155||vs||52||31||Emma Robinson|
|1||Matthew Stocks||34||65||vs||46||29||Cameron MacIntyre|
|1||Emma Robinson||30||59||vs||61||33||Cameron MacIntyre|
|1||Aimee Caldwell||43||88||vs||91||48||Matthew Stocks|
|2||Matthew Stocks||42||89||vs||88||40||Aimee Caldwell|
|2||Aimee Caldwell||32||64||vs||71||37||Kristin Scobbie|
|2||Matthew Stocks||27||60||vs||48||28||Kristin Scobbie|
|3||Cameron MacIntyre||20||39||vs||61||32||Matthew Stocks|
|3||Kristin Scobbie||21||48||vs||57||22||Aimee Caldwell|
|3||Matthew Stocks||41||82||vs||60||22||Emma Robinson|
|3||Kristin Scobbie||23||50||vs||46||24||Cameron MacIntyre|
|4||Cameron MacIntyre||21||43||vs||65||31||Kristin Scobbie|
|4||Kristin Scobbie||24||60||vs||85||44||Matthew Stocks|
|5||Emma Robinson||42||70||vs||96||46||Kristin Scobbie|
|5||Cameron MacIntyre||26||51||vs||124||53||Aimee Caldwell|
|5||Kristin Scobbie||39||83||vs||46||26||Emma Robinson|
|5||Cameron MacIntyre||36||67||vs||88||48||Emma Robinson|
|5||Emma Robinson||29||63||vs||128||56||Aimee Caldwell|