Lichfield rounds: One of the problems is that the second corners struggle to get across in the capers because the first corners are still in the way. It seems that because everyone is aware that they have only a short time to get across the circle, the circle tends to shrink. Although this gives you less distance to cross “as the crow flies” it actually makes it harder to caper across quickly enough because of traffic congestion.
The solution we tried was to make the circles slightly larger. This helped with that problem, but perhaps at the expense of creating others. I chatted briefly to Wil afterwards, and it looks like the answer will be to “stay out” (that is, be careful not to shrink the circle before the crossing) rather than “move out” (as in, actively making the circle bigger). Wil will no doubt have more to say on this as the practice season progresses.
Doubling Up: Wil is clearly his own man and not afraid to do his own research and come up with his own ideas. For the last few years, we have done the doubling up forming two transverse lines half way through. Wil’s idea is for the pairs to do a full “back to back” working as pairs. That is, 1 & 3 will go all the way round 5 & 7 and back to place (and 2 & 4 will go around 6 & 8, of course). This will reform the shape of the original set. They will then do the same in the opposite direction making both halves of the movement the same shape. It means moving rapidly, but everyone has a clear distance to move. It was a big change and mistakes were made, but when it worked, it looked great.
If all that sounds complicated, just think of it as two pantomime horses doing a full back to back.