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North Yorkshire Short Mat Bowling Association





The Galtres Centre Easingwold - Monday 19th April 2004 


CHAIRMAN        Noel Clark                              VICE CHAIRMAN         Reg Tilley

SECRETARY              Roger Green                           TREASURER               Brian Bennett

CAPTAIN           Ralph Parsons                         VICE CAPTAIN                    Arthur Jackson

COMP. SEC              (as Vice Chairman)               


1    Ampleforth          Ian Battersby                         23  Helmsley               John Harforth

2    Barn                      Bob Crowther                          24  Kirbymisperton        

3    Bilsdale                 Len Lofthouse                         25  Kirkbymoorside        Don Glensor

4    Bolton Abbey                                26  Knaresborough          

5    Boroughbridge  Richard Kay                        27  Marton                Ray Goodbold

6    B.S.A.                                                28  Melbourne

7    Bubwith                                     29  North Duffield        (Chairman)

8    Burton Leonard                             30 Pateley Bridge        

9    Carlton                                      31  Raskelf                 Trish Cornish

10   Cayton                 George Stannard                   32  Riccall                

11    Crossgates     George Crosby

12   Coxwold               Bernard Marshall                  33  Sawley

13   Cyphers                                                               34 Scarborough          

14   Darley          Les Hardcastle             35 Stillington                    

15   Easingwold      Barbara Topping                    36  Strensall

16   E Cottingwith                                                      37  Sutton u Derwent                                

17   Eggborough                                 38  Tate & Lyle

18   Escrick         David Randon                     39 Thornton Dale

19   Flixton                                                           40  Tollerton               Richard Clark 

20   Gt.Ouseburn      Simon Holtby                          41  Welburn

21   Gristhorpe          Derek Dowson                         42  Wilberfoss         

22   Hambleton          Brian Foster                            43  Yoredale              

Also presentDavid Loraine (Barn); Clive Scholefield (Cayton); Ken Thompson (Ampleforth); Jean & Ken Calvert (Boroughbridge); Bernard North (Coxwold); Dennis Mather (Easingwold); Sally Roocroft (Easingwold); John Bunting (Hambleton); Tony Hewlett (Kirkbymoorside); Dennis Jarvis (Raskelf); Elaine Clark (Tollerton); William Knapton (Tollerton)

The meeting was opened by the Chairman at 7.30pm with representatives from eighteen member clubs, all six officers and thirteen others in attendance – thirty seven people in total.

(1) APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE: Apologies were received from Selwyn Houghton (Cyphers), Doreen Charlesworth (Stillington) & Allan Foxton (Pateley Bridge).

(2) MINUTES OF THE PREVIOUS MEETING AND MATTERS ARISING: The last AGM had been held on 14th April 2003 and draft minutes had been distributed shortly thereafter. After the Chairman checked that no corrections were required, David Randon proposed and George Crosby seconded that they be accepted as representing a true record of that meeting. The Chairman signed the file copy. No matters were raised arising from those minutes.


The Secretary reported that around 30 items had been sent/received since the last (committee) meeting and a summary list of all of these would be sent out with the minutes. Further details on any item could be obtained on request. The following four items were elaborated on.

Cameo Shield – After a query raised by Edwin Smith, he had written to Herbie Bowden (ESMBA Gen. Sec) asking whether we would need to purchase a licence to allow us to play this game against unregistered members. The reply was that we would not. Edwin had been sent a copy of the letter and reply.

Marking off the mat – After a query raised by Les Hardcastle regarding the absence of a rule regarding marking off the mat in Pairs games, he had written to David Bubb, (ESMBA Umpires Director), for clarification. David had replied saying that it was “good practice” for all cards to be marked on the mat – spectators can be easily distracted and should not be taking part in the game. In the event of disputes, only cards marked by participating players have any standing. Les had been sent a copy of the letter and reply.

League Constitutions – We had now received copies of the Constitutions for the new White Rose league and also the Yorkshire (North) league. In answer to a question from the Secretary, Ray Goodbold confirmed that an updated constitution had been ratified at the recent AGM of the Scarborough league. He expected that Dorothy Knaggs would send a copy to the Association shortly.          

ESMBA AGM – The ESMBA Committee had submitted 37 proposals to change their constitution. Most of these could be deemed as “housekeeping” as they were to do with standardising words so that they were consistent throughout the document. The Executive Committee would be meeting prior to the AGM to discuss all these and decide on whether we would support them or not. 


(a) CHAIRMAN: Noel Clark felt that it had been another very good year for the Association culminating in a marvellous Dinner last week. He was pleased with the progress of the Juniors and congratulated Gareth Townend on his performance at the National U18 Championships. It was also good to see the County Team Captain bringing home the ICC Shield this year. Finally he gave thanks to the work carried out during the year by his fellow Officers.  

(b) SECRETARY: Roger Green took the opportunity of his 2004 report to review the developments of the Association over the past 5 years. He felt we had achieved much since the uncertainties of 1999 when most of the Executive Committee members had stood down. After itemising the many developments that had taken place, he concluded by asking those that had doubted the ability of the new Committee to run the Association successfully to judge them on results and not on personalities. (A full copy of this report is attached to these minutes).      

(c) TREASURER: Brian Bennett had circulated a Statement of Accounts at the beginning of the meeting. He pointed out that the opening balance had included the sum of £310 from the sale of ESMBA Draw tickets. Ignoring this, the true opening figure was £1843.75 and this had fallen very slightly to £1843.37 over the year. However we had made a one off purchase of trophies for the new County Championships of around £250 without which the balance would have increased once again. He therefore saw no reason to increase NYSMBA subs from the current 50p level. The ESMBA subs were going up by 25p to £1.50 so assuming no increase in the Northern Zone subs at their AGM in June, the total fee payable for next season would rise to £2.30.    

(d) CAPTAIN: Ralph Parsons reported on a very good season for the county team who came top of Division 2 after winning six of their eight matches. This enabled them to attend the ICC playoffs which were this year held at Sharley Park in Derbyshire. In spite of an under strength team (with 5 attending the National mixed fours), they played well in the semi-finals against the Division 1 runners up – Derbyshire. During the season he had been able to offer games to 8 new players. All in all he felt that the team was a credit to the County Association. Finally he mentioned that during the previous weekend, there had been a friendly match between two  teams raised from across the county in which his own team (jointly raised with the Chairman) had won against another team raised by David Randon.      

(5) MEMBERSHIP: Final membership for last season was 967 – a rise of 12. An application to join us had been received from Andrew Leng, the Secretary/Chairman of Yedingham SMBC. This club had 14 players and played on two mats in the local village hall. They were located about half way between Malton and Scarborough. They had already provisionally been accepted into the Scarborough league for next season and their acceptance to the Association was proposed by George Crosby, seconded by Derek Dowson and approved unanimously.

(6) ELECTION OF OFFICERS:The Vice Chairman took the chair to take nominations for the post of Chairman. Noel Clark was nominated by Brian Foster and seconded by John Bunting. There being no others willing to stand, the meeting then voted Noel back into the chair with a unanimous vote. Ian Battersby then proposed that if the remainder of the committee were willing to stand once again and there were no other nominations, they should be re-elected by a block vote. This being the case, his proposal was seconded by Richard Clark and passed unanimously.    


(a) ESMBA Nationals: Reg Tilley proposed that all the heats for the Nationals next season should be played prior to Christmas on 5 separate Saturdays and subject to availability should again be played at Bubwith. He proposed the following dates.

            November:      13th (Singles)                                     20th (Pairs)                                        

            December:      4th (Triples) 11th  (Fours)                18th (Mixed Fours & U18s)

No objections to these proposals were voiced.

(b) NYSMBA County Championships: Reg Tilley proposed that the County Championships next season should be played after Christmas over one full weekend plus two additional Saturdays and subject to availability should again be played at Swinton. He proposed the following dates.

            January:         8th (Singles)               9th (Triples)                22nd (Pairs)

            February:       5th (Fours)                               

No objections to these proposals were voiced.

(c) NYSMBA Junior Championships: Roger Green confirmed that that this years 2nd County Junior Championships had gone ahead in February as planned with 12 entrants. The only change had been the introduction of a semi-final stage after the round-robin. The Final was won by last year’s runner-up, Francis Boatman from East Cottingwith who was playing in his last Championship before turning 18 and going to uni next year. It was proposed to repeat this competition next season. 

(d) NYSMBA Inter-League Cup: Roger Green confirmed that all was now in place for the 7th annual competition on the coming Saturday. He thanked those clubs who were loaning mats for the day, including Helmsley who had filled the gap left by Boroughbridge’s withdrawal of their offer to lean their mats. George Crosby reported a complaint from some members of his Scarborough league team last year that the buffet had run out of various items during the last lunch session. He requested that the order of lunches be rotated so that the same league was not always last. Roger agreed to do this but said he would also speak to the caterers to prevent the situation recurring again. Everyone paid for a meal and all should have an equal choice wherever they were in the order.    

(e) NYSMBA Cameo Shield: Roger confirmed that a full team had at last been raised and the 3rd running of this competition would take place as planned on this coming Sunday.

(f) Northern Zone Inter-County League: Reg Tilley said that after negotiating with Les Hardcastle by ‘phone, he felt hopeful that there would be no clashes between the dates for the County fixtures and those of the Yorkshire (North) league next season. This was provided there were no changes made by the Zone at their AGM in June and that other counties were able to make use of the dates set aside.   

(g) Northern Zone Championships: Until the AGM in June we have no idea whether or not these will be held next season. The Zone is still looking for a Championship Secretary as well as a General Secretary to replace the late June Speed. If they do go ahead, our county qualifiers will once again be drawn from the top players in the County Championships.


(a) Selby – David Randon reported that the main league had been won by Tate & Lyle, with Market Weighton ‘C’ second and Escrick third. In the second division, the Chairman’s team, N. Duffield ‘A’ had lost only 2 of their 18 games to come first with E. Cottingwith second. These two would be promoted with Holme Moore ‘B’  and Riccall ‘A’ being relegated from division one. In the Tuesday Triples league, a very close measure on the last wood of the last end of their last game against Escrick had gone in favour of Tate & Lyle, making them winners over Market Weighton 1. Escrick had come third. In the KO Cup final, Market Weighton ‘C’ had a narrow win over second division Melbourne.

(b) Ryedale – John Harforth reported that Kirbymisperton had won by a substantial margin over Helmsley and he was very pleased to report that Welburn, who do not normally enjoy great success, had won the KO Cup, beating Helmsley in the final.

(c) Scarborough – Ray Goodbold reported that the first division winners were the Kirbymisperton Bisons with Flixton as runners up. Division 2 had been won by Cayton ‘B’ over Barn ‘B whilst the third division had been headed by Kirkbymoorside ‘A’ with Cayton ‘D’ in second place. Flixton beat the Scarborough Hawks in the KO Cup whilst the Kirbymisperton Bisons took the Plate by beating Kirkbymoorside ‘A’. For next season the league will grow to 28 strong with the addition of four Crossgate teams and one from Yedingham. One team from Cayton will drop out. 

(d) Kyle Valley – Ian Battersby paid tribute to the good competitive nature of the season. He reported that on Finals night, the West division winners Easingwold ‘B’ had beaten the East division winners Hambleton ‘B’ for the overall title whilst Hambleton ‘A’ had beaten Bilsdale in the 3rd/4th place playoff. The Challenge Cup had seen Great Ouseburn beat Easingwold and the Knockout Cup was won by Knaresborough ‘A’ who beat Boroughbridge ‘A’.

(e) Yorkshire (North) – Les Hardcastle reported that Ousedale had won by a comfortable margin from Selby in second. However he pointed out that the final fixture between the Whitehorse and Scarborough Regions had not been played so it had been necessary to “invent” a result. This had been done jointly by Jean Calvert (Ousedale Region) and Trevor Collier (Ryedale Region) who had decided that Scarborough should receive 25 points and Whitehorse 14. As this resulted in only 7 points separating the 2nd, 3rd and 4th placed teams Les wondered if the final order would have been different if this cancelled game had in fact been played out.    

(f) Vale of York – No report was made.

(g) Dales – Les Hardcastle felt disappointed and frustrated that many players in this league were really only interested in bowling socially and showed little inclination to get to know the rules and improve their standard of play. This did not apply to all clubs some of which were keen to do things properly. Also too many fixtures were being changed just because an odd player was not available. Burton Leonard and Bolton Abbey had played their last game two weeks after the end of the season, so this result was not included in the final tables. The league was won for the first time by Pateley Bridge with Darley ‘B’ second and Darley ‘A’ third.  

(h) White Rose – John Bunting started by giving the reasons behind the creation of this new league and then reviewed the activities of its first season last summer. These involved 5 clubs – a number that gave a comfortable program of fixtures that did not impinge too much on players other summer activities. Knaresborough had become the inaugural champions. He then elaborated on the plans for 2004. In addition to fixtures between the same 5 clubs, they will be repeating the social day at Knaresborough with a buffet and having another at Dalton (the new summer venue for Hambleton) with a BarBQ. The season will again end with an evening in which the new league Champions for 2004 will play the “others” at the “Lookers” Toyota showroom in Northallerton. Last summer, the enthusiasm of many of the leagues bowlers had led the NYSMBA to form a squad to enter this years ESMBA Summer Inter-County competition. However, it had been necessary for the Association to withdraw from this due to unforeseen changes in the teams to be played and the consequent distances to be travelled. To compensate for the resulting disappointment within the league he had sought alternative arrangements and had been successful in setting up three “test matches” against County Durham. These would take place on 6th June (at Knaresborough), 27th June (at Murton, Sunderland) and on 5th July (at Middlesborough FC). All these games would be in standard Inter-County format and it was hoped that they would provide players with experience of a higher level of play. League members will also take part in a match at Spennymoor. Arthur Jackson had been chosen to captain the leagues team in all these games.

Before moving on to AOB, the Secretary asked Ian Battersby if he would update the meeting with the developments at Ampleforth BC. Ian confirmed that they have now moved to Crayke and will henceforward be known as St. Cuthberts BC. They had also applied to put a second team in the Kyle Valley league which would be considered tomorrow.

The Secretary then asked Ray Goodbold if he would speak about the experiences of the Scarborough league when they moved from two to three divisions a couple of seasons ago. Ray said that they had opted for this when it became apparent that they would need such an early start and late finish to the season if they carried on with 2x12.  By moving to a 3x8 format, they were able to schedule Cup games into the season and introduce the Cup Plate competition. From an organisational point of view, there was also much more elbow room for fixture rearrangements made necessary by bad weather etc. This year they had expanded to 10x9x9 and he personally felt that 10 was the ideal maximum size for any one division. The Secretary thanked Ray and said that his comments may prove helpful to the Kyle Valley members present who were to consider a similar proposal at their AGM the next day.              

(9) AOB:

(a) County Tie design: The Secretary had not had time to obtain and example of his proposed change (to incorporate our White Rose logo) and asked that further discussion of this be deferred to the next meeting.  

(b) Dates for 2004/05: The Secretary proposed the following dates for 2004/05.

The pre season Committee meeting on 10th September.

The mid season Committee meeting on 4th February.

The Dinner on 15th April and the AGM on 18th April.

All would need to be confirmed together with venues.

There being no further business raised from the floor, the Chairman wished the White Rose league another good summer and hoped that all others would come back in September refreshed after their seasons outside.  He thanked all those present for attending, wished them a safe journey home and closed the meeting at 8.45 pm.      


NYSMBA - Secretaries Report to the 13th AGM 2004

Looking back at the business of this Association during the last year I only notice one significant change over previous years and that is the introduction of our 1st County Championships. However by looking back a little further quite a few more changes have taken place and I would like to use my report this year to remind you of some of these.

It is now 5 years since you voted in John Dawson to replace Fred Wood who had stepped down after 5 years as Chairman. That was a very uncertain time for this Association as we were all fully expecting that the proposed Short Mat Federation (the ESMBF) would be launched in direct opposition to the ESMBA and many seriously thought that such a development could spell the end of this Association, or at the very least cause it to split into two.

Added to this uncertainty, was the fact that we operated for most of the next 2 years with no elected Secretary and the various members of the new Executive Committee, as well as lacking experience in the Associations affairs had also to cope on a personal level with bereavement, floods, broken limbs and illness. Our member clubs and their leagues were of course not directly affected by this and continued to provide the bulk of our bread and butter bowling as they always had. But could this Association itself survive and continue to provide the additional opportunities for its members over and above those provided by the clubs and leagues? I feel that the answer to this has proved to be a resounding “Yes” and I would like to remind you of some of the developments that we have achieved together since that time.

In 1999 a computerised membership database was created and this enabled printed membership listings to be sent out to you all each year since. This removed the need for you to manually rewrite a list of all your members every year as well as making it much easier for us to provide the ESMBA and Northern Zone with a listing of our total membership, something that previously also had to be laboriously written out every year. In that year also the format and content of the annual Handbook was revised and a more comprehensive version was produced. From a document that simply contained mostly lists of league fixtures it has now more than doubled in size and contains 44 pages covering a much greater variety of information. 

In 2000 a comprehensive review of our Constitution was begun which proved to be a long and time consuming exercise. Although this was seen as unnecessary by some, after 18 months and five separate drafts you all approved the final version with a unanimous vote at the 2002 AGM. Although most of the changes were aimed at improving the structure, removing spelling and grammatical errors and clarifying meaning, there were some very specific changes. These included streamlining the Executive committee by removing 3 positions that were seen as redundant and defining a financial year.

In 2001 you voted to change the format of the Heats for the National Championships to make the qualification process fairer and in the hope that this would attract more entrants. Up to that point the total annual entry had varied between 30 and 50. Although the first year of the new format showed no improvement on this, the entry in 2003 was 110 and this year improved again to 131. So now, because more members are entering this National competition the county has at last benefited by being allocated an additional place in both the Pairs and the Fours thus improving the chances of entrants to go down for the National Finals. That year also saw the first entries to the National U18 competition and this year one of our best youngsters, Gareth Townend made his 3rd trip to the Finals to represent our county. 

In 2002 the Cameo Shield – a novel competition in which entrants play both short mat and long mat was introduced. Although only a relatively small scale competition for 16 triples it is enjoyed by both sides and has persuaded many good indoor bowlers at the Y&D IBC that we are most definitely not a mickey-mouse sport. Because this competition is held at the end of the season, we do struggle to put out the full team but I believe it is worth persevering with if only because it promotes our game in the wider community. At the end of 2002 you gave your approval for the launch of our own Web site which now contains nearly 30 pages of information about our activities. It compares very favourably with the Short Mat sites set up by other counties and is now being accessed regularly to the tune of about 200 visits per month. Apart from reports on most of your competitions, photographs of winners and much general information, all the leagues are able, if they wish, to have their latest tables displayed for all to see. This latter facility has in fact been used by all leagues except for the Ryedale.             

2003 saw the introduction of our first County Junior Championships – which in spite of a small reduction in numbers was repeated this year. Although we have less than 20 Juniors in total across the County, it is felt that they deserve this annual opportunity to compete against each other without any of us old fogies being involved in the play. It is hoped that they will continue bowling, or at least return to it, once they leave their younger years behind. 2003 also saw this Association agree to take over the responsibility for running the Inter-league Cup after originating in, and being run for its first 5 years by the Kyle Valley League. This will be run for the 7th year at the end of this week and will once again involve over 100 of our members from about 25 of our clubs. 

As I mentioned at the beginning of this report, the main development in this current year has at long last been the introduction of our own County Championships – something most other counties have had for years. To play down to a final Champion it has been necessary to use a complete day for each of the four disciplines making the post Christmas weekend calendar even busier. However it has allowed a much more manageable competition with comfortable early finishes and maybe because of this, the entry across all disciplines has exceeded any previous year of the old style Northern Zone Heats in which all 4 disciplines were crammed into one weekend. Four very decent trophies were obtained for this and it is hoped that from now on this Competition will grow in popularity and stature.    

On top of all these specific developments, there are other points that are worthy of a mention.

Our Chairman & VC now always represent our Association at the AGM of our national body - the ESMBA, and contribute to their debates wherever it is appropriate. Two years ago a sustained campaign was mounted to reverse what was seen as an unfair rule change regarding entry to the Nationals and whilst this eventually failed, it had a lot of support from many other counties and generated much debate. Our participation in the ESMBA Annual Draw has been renewed and our recommendation that the tickets be re-priced was accepted by their organisers. The total cash we receive back from the ESMBA for this will this year reach £300 and most of this has been and will continue to be passed back to our clubs. I was present at the Nationals when this years Draw was made a few weeks ago and was very pleased to see that Len Rose, one of our members from Knaresborough SMBC was the first name out of the hat, winning the top prize of £500.

Anyone who wishes to play at Inter-County level has now only to submit their names to the Team Captain to be considered and over the last 5 years nearly 40 people have taken part in these for the first time. The team itself has seen much success, particularly during the current year when they won Division 2 for the first time ever.

We have continued to give everyone the chance of qualifying for the Northern Zone Championships although this year specific Heats were no longer held. Instead, the top players in our new County Championships were offered this opportunity. In 2002 Arthur Jackson led his Rink to success at the Finals, whilst the following year Ken Calvert brought the Singles Trophy home to North Yorkshire. Although there are very few Northern Zone meetings we make sure that we are represented and we have been active in making changes to their new Constitution as seen fit.   

This year saw the holding of our 13th Presentation Dinner which was held last Friday and was, I believe, enjoyed by all who went. From small beginnings in 1992 this is the only social function organised by the Association and several years ago the demand for tickets could not be fully satisfied with some people being turned away. Since then interest has declined each year, and this year 3 leagues voted to organise their own dinners and present their own trophies, as indeed the Selby league have always done since they were formed in the late ‘80s. Social occasions work best when they are of a modest size and locally organised and perhaps the time has come for us to discontinue attempts to have a county-wide Dinner. However, as usual, next season you, the committee members, will have to decide whether you want a 14th Dinner to be organised in 2005 or not.

In the last 5 years we have welcomed 7 new clubs and our total membership has grown nearly 20% (from 821 to 967) Organising all these activities, and communicating with all these members about them does not come cheap. But, in spite of the increased costs of producing the Handbook, buying new Trophies, taking on 3rd party insurance, paying out Honorariums and paying the cost of hosting the Website, our bank balance, which had fallen in 1999 to £350 is now up over 500% and stands at a very healthy £1800. This is partly because our subs were increased a little in 2000, but also because we have so far managed to run the National Heats, the County Championships and the County Team at a healthy profit. All in all I believe we continue to provide our members with very good value for the 50p they pay to the Association each year.

Finally I would like to say thank you to the many members who support, both by word and deed, the work of the Executive committee, in their efforts to organise all these activities. We are all well aware that it is just not possible to please everyone all the time, and that there will always be a few who are never pleased with anything that is organised on their behalf. However, in spite of this, we have tried very hard to ensure that we continue to provide increasing opportunities for our members in those areas that are not catered for by their own clubs and their leagues. To those, who five years ago, doubted our ability to run this Association successfully, I would simple say please judge us now on the record of our achievements and not on our personalities.         

Roger Green (April  17th 2004)