The UK Youth Development Athletics League was formed in 2013 by the amalgamation of the National Junior League and the National Young Athletes’ League. Halesowen A&CC took part in both of these former leagues and fully takes part in the present format.
The UKYDL is a nationally-organised league with competition organised into regions and home nations with a UK national final being held every September.
The league is split into two sets of matches: Lower Age Group (LAG) for Under 13s and Under 15s and Upper Age Group (UAG) for Under 17s and Under 20s. There is a full set of events, both track and field for males and females within the constraints of UKA rules for each age group.
The exact arrangement of divisions is complicated but for 2020 Halesowen’s LAG would have been in a Midland Division 1 league, with the opportunity for promotion to the Midland Premier and the UAG in a Midland Division 2 League.
The exact league structure and policies are decided at an AGM every November but there was no AGM in 2020. All decisions have been made by a league committee who have, and are fully consulting with clubs.
There is, of course doubt as to whether any competition will go ahead in 2021 and the UKYDL will always closely follow government and England Athletics rules and guidelines. In 2021 there will be no promotion and no relegation. In 2022, hopefully the 2020 structure will remain.
The proposed fixture dates are as follows:
LAG (Saturdays): 24th April, 15th May, 5th June, 17th July and 4th September.
UAG (Sundays): 2nd May, 30th May, 27th June, 25th July and 5th September.
You will notice that there are five dates for matches instead of the usual four. This is because there are no promotion matches (July) and no national finals (September).
At least the first two matches will be run on a “half timetable” basis with the others continuing either on a half or full timetable. Ideally, therefore, there could be 5 matches for each of the age groups!
The league will try to put clubs together locally with venues to be decided at a meeting in late February. HACC have said that we will host one fixture, either LAG or UAG or maybe jointly host both.
As with the Midland Senior League, the priority is to provide as much competition as possible for all athletes in a safe environment. Let’s hope so!