(1) APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE: The only apologies received were from Selwyn Houghton (Cyphers) and Judith Haffenden (Knaresborough).
(2) MINUTES OF THE PREVIOUS MEETING AND MATTERS ARISING: The last Committee meeting had been held on 7th February 2003 and draft minutes had been distributed shortly thereafter. The Chairman asked if there were any points requiring correction. As there were none he then signed the file copy as representing a true record of that meeting. The Secretary confirmed that he had written to Kirbymisperton with the Associations thanks (re. catering at past Presentation Dinners) as directed. No one present raised any other matters arising from those minutes.
(a) Correspondence: The Secretary reported that around 50 items had been sent/received since the AGM and a summary list of all of these would be sent out with the minutes. Anyone wanting more details should phone him and he will be happy to expand. However the following four topics were elaborated on.
Child Protection Act : The ESMBA had sent brief details (circulated to those present) of a scheme enabling those working with children “to be checked” by the Criminal Records Bureau. It was not clear from this exactly what advice we should be passing on to our clubs whether to take any action or not. He had therefore written to the ESMBA Secretary requesting clarification. Brian Bunker had replied saying there was “NO requirement (for clubs) to do anything……..IF THEY SEE NO REASON TO DO SO”. There was some debate about this matter and several present were already aware of some of the relevant issues when dealing with youngsters. The Chairman was in possession of some more comprehensive guidance notes issued jointly by the four flat green Associations which are recommending that clubs/Associations adopt a Child Protection policy. The Secretary said that this was an important issue that needs to be looked at in more depth before we felt able to pass on some concrete guidance to our clubs.
England Trials – Anyone interested in earning a place in the England team should contact the Secretary who has details and application forms for the annual England Rinks Trials.
White Rose Summer league – We had been informed by John Bunting (Hambleton) of the launch of this new league involving five of our clubs. The Secretary had replied offering support for the project and requesting that in order to be treated on a par with our other seven leagues they should consider formally electing Officers and adopting a written set of Rules and formulating a Constitution. If this were done they would receive space in future Handbooks and on the NYSMBA Web site in common with the other leagues. Brian Bennett pointed out that the new league was having and end of summer finals night the following week that was being held in the “Lookers” Toyota showroom in Northallerton. There is the possibility of some local TV coverage (Tyne Tees).
Osgodby Village Hall Trust – This project, which includes a permanent four mat hall, is slowly progressing and three invites to meetings/workshops had been received. The Secretary had been unable to go to the first two but intended going to the third which was being held next week. He would offer our support and answer any questions regarding our potential use of the venue.
(b) Finances: Brian Bennett reported that the end of year balance of £2153 declared at the AGM had reduced to £1719. This was mainly due to the remittance to the ESMBA of the £310 being held from the sale of Draw tickets. There had been a small profit on the Presentation Dinner and the Inter League Cup and travel expenses had been paid out to our delegates at the ESMBA and NZ AGMs. The Secretary had been remunerated for administration costs.
(c) ESMBA AGM & RRM: Chairman and Vice Chairman had attended. Brian Bunker had replaced Dorothy Roberts after 5 years as General Secretary. Stockport Metro had failed once again to get Greater Manchester accepted as a county in its own right and will remain as part of Lancashire. Only two of eighteen proposed rule changes were passed and these affect Rule B5 Line Decisions and Rule B6 Bowl displacement (details were circulated). A new issue of the Rule book will not be printed - existing ones should be modified manually. There will eventually be changes issued to the master copy held in clubs ESMBA “Green Folders”. Subsequent to the AGM, clarification was also issued regarding Rule 11 Directing play which is shown in our Handbook.
(d) Northern Zone: Chairman, Vice Chairman and Secretary had attended. Several minor changes to their Constitution were passed including three put forward by ourselves. The main issue was David Rutts confirmation of his resignation as Competition Secretary and the failure to find anyone to replace him. Members were given a final deadline of August 3rd to seek a replacement to this post after which, if not successful, the Northern Zone Championships would cease to be held.
(a) Inter-County games (Winter 2003/04): After being relegated to Division 2 last season our games this year would be against Durham, Lancashire, West Yorkshire ‘B’ and Merseyside. All fixtures have been set and appear in the Handbook.
(b) Inter County games (Summer 2004): The new White Rose summer league was a response to the need for competitive summer bowling and it was thought to be an opportune moment to see if this interest was strong enough for us, as a county, to consider entering a team in the ESMBAs Summer IC Competition. The Secretary had already written to the five White Rose clubs and had received back a substantial list of those who say they would support such a move. It was now time to see if there are any other players in any of our other 37 clubs who are interested.
The main problem would be the cost of away games as our nearest participating counties are likely to be in the south midlands. Games are played on fixed Sunday dates but anyone interested should be prepared to travel on Saturday for an overnight stop. Because of this, the total cost of an away fixture when travel, meals, accommodation and fees are all considered would probably work out at around £75 pp. However no detailed costs have been done and there are many I’s to be dotted and T’s yet to be crossed. If the level of support shows this to be a popular idea to pursue, further details will be quickly worked out. We need to submit our entry by October 31st. We will not go ahead unless a very high level of commitment can be shown as once entered, apart from the amount of organisation required, failure to fulfil a fixture would incur a substantial fine.
The Secretary had circulated an “advert” which gave brief details to be passed on to all club members. Anyone interested should contact him or Arthur Jackson (who has agreed to Captain the team) urgently.
(c) Heats for ESMBA Nationals: Reg Tilley confirmed the five Saturday dates allocated for the various disciplines that had been announced at the AGM in April and are all in the Handbook Diary. An “advert” and entry forms have already been circulated to all clubs.
(d) Juniors: After the success of last years inaugural Junior Competition we will be repeating this once again on February 21st. Although we have only twenty registered members under 18, fifteen of these took part last year. Easingwold SMBC had once again agreed to support the competition by loaning their equipment for the day. The Chairman expressed his wish to see more Juniors taking part and asked all clubs to do what they could to recruit young members.
(e) Inter-League Cup: This will go ahead once again on 24th April. No changes were requested.
(f) Cameo Shield: This match against the Y & D IBC will go ahead once again on 25th April. Should either side not be able to find eight triples, a reduced competition will be considered.
(g) North Yorkshire Championships: The idea of holding County Championships was first raised last year when there was a good level of support. It had been further discussed by the Executive Committee after the NZ AGM when it again looked highly probable that the NZ Championships were “dead”. However for the second year running, these Championships had been resurrected at the last minute. Therefore, although we could carry on just holding the Heats for them over the first weekend of the year as usual, the Executive Committee was now asking the meeting to consider another possibility.
This was to go ahead and hold “County Championships” but allow these to “double up” as the qualifying competition for the Northern Zone. David Randon asked for clarification as he knew of several people who would like to enter a County Competition but would not be interested in going to Barnard Castle. The Secretary said this was no problem. No one would be forced to go to the NZ Finals. Places would be offered to the top four in each competition but should any of these players decline to go, the place would be offered to the next best player(s). It was hoped that this format would attract a greater entry – it would also be simpler to organise.
However, it was not considered feasible to attempt to play all disciplines over a single weekend as to play down to a finalist would require two extra rounds per discipline. This would extend an already tiring and long weekend. So four separate days were required and it was suggested that in addition to the 3rd/4th January we make use of Saturday 7th February and Sunday 14th March – these being the only free days left in the entire calendar. Finally, it was pointed out that the St. Albans Centre venue at Ampleforth, used for many years was now unlikely to be available due to the development of a fitness centre on the balcony area. Alternative venues had been evaluated and it was proposed that all four disciplines be held at Swinton which had several advantages, not least of which was the reasonable cost. The Competition Secretary had already confirmed with Matt Fenwick (BSA) that the required dates were all available.
Discussion followed during which no major problems were foreseen and no objections were raised. David Randon then proposed that we go ahead with the Executives suggestion and this was seconded by Arthur Jackson and passed with no votes against. The Secretary then added that it will be necessary to purchase four new Cups to award to the eventual champions. The Chairman said he would welcome offers from anyone willing to donate one or all of these. Brian Bennett confirmed that we had enough in the kitty to fund them if required.
(5) LEAGUE REPORTS:
(a) Selby – (Dave Randon) – Fixtures begin in October after an opening Whistle Stop at Eggborough – Wilberfoss have joined main league after a season in the Tuesday Triples league. All teams will also be playing for the Tate & Lyle Cup (KO) as usual.
(b) Ryedale – (Reg Tilley) – All six clubs once again participating after some uncertainty during which two clubs thought about withdrawing.
(c) Kyle Valley – (Ian Battersby) – No changes – fixtures start at end of month.
(d) Yorkshire (North) – (Les Hardcastle) – No changes – fixture schedule was published last April. First matches due to be played on 4th/5th October.
(e) Dales – (Les Hardcastle) – It was disappointing that Knaresborough had not joined. Although they would like to, a full diary prevents this and they are not prepared to drop a team out of the Kyle Valley league to make space. Last year, in clubs with two teams, the idea of having floating players who could play for either team was tried. Initially this was to encourage Bolton Abbey to enter a second team but this did not materialise. This year this bending of the rules will not be allowed and Sawley are now threatening to reduce to a single team. Les’s report generated some general discussion about the pros and cons of having fixed squads or semi fixed squads with floating players. The Secretary reminded Les that Leagues are perfectly entitled to modify their Rules/Constitutions – it is simply a matter of agreement amongst their members.
(f) Scarborough – (Ray Goodbold) – The season starts with a “Top 10” competition and the leagues begin in October. In view of the discussion above Ray outlined the rules in this league that requires only four players to nominate for each team – all others are floating. The four nominated players are the only ones allowed to skip. He felt this had allowed the league to expand whereas having fixed squads would have restricted the total number of teams taking part.
(g) Vale of York – (Fred Wood) – Boroughbridge will be entering a second team.
(a) Presentation Dinner 2004 – Attendance last year had fallen once again (to around 60) and although several present expressed their enjoyment at last year’s evening the Chairman asked the meeting if they wanted the Association to organise another one again next year. A good discussion ensued in which many, sometimes opposing opinions were voiced. Some held the view that a dinner at which all league trophies were presented had always taken place and should continue whilst others felt that each league should be now responsible for the presentation of their own awards at their own dinners (although currently only Selby organised their own). The Chairman felt that a change of venue to the Galtres Centre may encourage better attendance. Fred Wood felt that representatives should canvas their own club members to see what they felt before any decisions were taken. The Secretary suggested that he include a brief questionnaire with the minutes in order to obtain some concrete feedback before any firm arrangements were made. It was left that some sort of function should go ahead (even if poorly attended) and the Executive Committee would consider the arguments made and any feedback received subsequently.
(b) ESMBA Draw – Only one club had opted out of participation in this draw last year but another twelve had either “lost” their tickets or failed to sell any. Nevertheless the remaining 29 clubs had increased total sales over the previous year and this had resulted in a rebate from the ESMBA of £101.25. The Chairman proposed that £75 should be shared by three of these clubs with the rest being retained by the Association to cover expenses. David Randon suggested that this money could go towards the cost of the new cups required for the County Championships. The Secretary felt that clubs should be rewarded for their participation and John Harforth agreed. The draw, excluding the 13 non participants, resulted in North Duffield, Pateley Bridge and Knaresborough each receiving a payback.
(c) NYSMBA Web site – This had recently been moved to a new server under the simplified address of www.nysmba.com. The cost will be about £80 per year – double the estimate made at the AGM. All pages had been reviewed and amended as required, in preparation for the new season. Two new pages had been added covering Meetings and Minutes. There had been no requests for any changes to either the content or the format of the site.
(d) Dates of future meetings – Proposed dates are February 6th (Committee), April 16th (Dinner) and April 19th (AGM). These are all in the Handbook.
(e) Handbook 2003/04 – This years “orange” issue was passed out to those present for distribution along with a covering letter relating to the registration of this year’s members.
There being no further business raised from the floor, the Chairman wished everyone present “good bowling” for the season ahead and thanked all those present for attending. The meeting was closed at 9.05pm.