But these are ‘pre’ season competitions, so don’t really come into the equation by definition. If teams want to play them, they should play them, and if they don’t, then don’t. If they didn’t exist, I suspect a lot teams would be playing challenge games anyway though.
I am not sure in general that reviewing the season in anyway would find a solution, because I suspect there is none. If you play the county championship off quickly to facilitate clubs you would kill the whole thing, the county championships is the life blood. If you make counties release players to play club all the time, it would take from the seriousness of the competition. Players can’t train towards two different goals at the same time.
I think the solution is more to do with choices then scheduling. If we make a choice, for example, of only make allowances for county players to play club championship, over say late August (for the majority of counties who will be out of the AI) Sept, October and November and ensure counties play away with other club competitions the rest of the time, there is no excuse for club players not to have games. Students who want to travel can do that, and be back for the championship.
The county set up can then find any format that works for them over February to end of August - which is enough time to play a league and championship, and mainly at a decent time of the year.