(1) APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE: Apologies were received from Selwyn Houghton (Cyphers), Doreen Charlesworth (Stillington), David Randon (Escrick), Fred Wood (Easingwold), Richard Kay (Boroughbridge) and Ian Battersby (Ampleforth).
(2) MINUTES OF THE PREVIOUS MEETING AND MATTERS ARISING: The last Committee meeting had been held on 12th September 2003 and draft minutes had been distributed shortly thereafter. There were no points raised requiring correction, so the Chairman signed the file copy as representing a true record of that meeting. The Secretary confirmed that in September he had attended a presentation of the plans for new sports facilities at Osgodby. This included a visit to the planned site. No one present raised any other matters arising from those minutes.
(a) Correspondence: The Secretary reported that over 70 items had been sent/received since the last 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.
ESMBA – AGM date had been changed to 3rd July 2004 with the Midsummer Trophy – an open fours competition, taking place on the day after. 14 Verde mats were to be sold off after this years Nationals for £440 each – a reduction of about 20%. Anyone interested should contact him.
June Speed – We had learned of the sudden and unexpected death of June Speed, the Derbyshire Secretary, just before Christmas. Our Chairman went to the funeral on Christmas Eve which was attended by several hundred people. It is not known if there any candidates to take over Junes post as General Secretary of the Northern Zone.
League recognition – The Secretary had written to all 7 league Secretaries requesting up to date copies of their Rules/Constitutions as laid down in our own Constitution. All had complied apart from the Scarborough and the Yorkshire (North) Leagues. The former were currently in the process of revising theirs which would not be finalised until their AGM this year. In a recent letter from Ann Thompson, the YNL were asking for “recognition” of their existence as a “cross County league” and requesting an invitation “to submit an official League report” at our meetings before they could comply. The Secretary had replied to this listing several reasons why both these requests had already been met and he quoted several extracts from this reply to the meeting. He hoped that the full letter, once it had been made available to the YNL committee, would finally satisfy this league and enable them to submit their Constitution as required.
Proposals from London County – Copies of submissions made to the ESMBA regarding changes to the format of their Inter-County Competition had been received. The basic idea was that the country should be divided into regions and that counties should compete within each region on a divisional basis with promotion/relegation within in each region. The national finals would then take place each year between the winners of the top division in each region. We had replied pledging our support to the idea and would speak up on their behalf at this year ESMBA AGM.
(b) Finances: Brian Bennett reported that the current balance was £2221 with known outstanding expenditure of around £375. However there would be other sums both incoming and outgoing before he reported the final figures at the AGM.
(c) Membership: This currently stood at 967. Although only an increase of only 12 over last year, it was interesting to note that the figure included 143 new registrations over 2002/03 (with 131 failing to re-register).
(a) NZ Inter-County league (Winter 2003/04): The Captain reported that the County Team had had a successful season so far with 6 wins out of 7 and one game remaining. It was almost certain that we would gain promotion into division one of the NZ league. The Secretary felt that the meeting should be infomed of an incident which had taken place in our home game against Merseyside. The Umpire, after advising one of their players of the need to give a warning prior to playing with force was allegedly on the receiving end of a string of verbal abuse including an invitation to “get lost…….” He had subsequently reported full details of the incident to the ESMBA who, we are advised, will be invoking their disciplinary procedure to adjudicate on the issue. We ourselves had written to the Merseyside captain asking that the player in question be dropped from their side for our return match, pending the outcome of the ESMBA inquiry and this had been done. We now await further developments – which may take several months.
Les Hardcastle asked whether there were any guidelines that could be followed to define a “firing shot” in terms of “fender movement”. The Chairman said this would be difficult as some fenders were “velcroed” and some were not. In his mind anything that “rattled” the fender was a firing shot. Edwin Smith mentioned that the Yorkshire (North) league were seriously considering bringing in some sort of definition at this years AGM but did not know what this would be. The Secretary felt that any wood delivered with enough weight to send either wood(s) or jack onto an adjacent mat should be considered a firing shot. After all, the reason for the rule in the first place was for the safety of players etc. However, his proposals to the ESMBA Rules Revision Meeting last year along these lines had not been accepted. The Chairman felt that common sense should be used when dealing with this issue.
(b) ESMBA Inter-County Championships (Summer 2004): The Secretary reported that with about 25 interested players, we had finally decided to enter this competition soon after the last meeting. This decision was based on the expectation that only 2/3 away games would be required all being against teams in the midlands. A coach company had been found (£12 per head) and it was planned to travel on the day of the match as few felt that they wanted to incur the expense of an overnight stop. We accepted that with such marginal support there was some risk to our application but it was felt that once we were “in” and fixtures were known others would come forward. However we subsequently learnt that because several counties (including 2 we had expected to play) had not entered this year, we would in fact have 4 away games in a group that included Norfolk and Essex. Because of this, it was decided reluctantly to withdraw our application. The ESMBA have promised to look afresh at this competition and we will review our own situation once any changes have been made.
(c) ESMBA Nationals: The Competition Secretary reported that entries this year totalled 131, a rise from 110 last year and from only 45 in 2002. This was very encouraging and meant that we had been offered two places at the Finals in both Pairs and Fours as well as in the Under 18s. All Heats had now been completed over 5 separate Saturdays at Bubwith and he wished all 18 qualifiers good luck in the various Finals.
(d) NYSMBA County Championships: The Competition Secretary reported on this new venture in which the Singles and Triples Championships had already taken place with the Pairs and Fours still to be held. The first County Singles Champion was Rose Haynes (Great Ouseburn) whilst Graham Sherburn, Linda Sherburn and Alan Barningham (Flixton) had claimed the Triples crown. The four semi-finalists in each competition had been offered places at the Northern Zone Finals at Barnard Castle although the Triples winners had declined the offer due to holiday commitments. As already announced, this did not pose a problem – their place being offered to the 5th placed team. When it had been agreed that these new Championships should replace the Northern Zone Heats held in previous years, the hope was expressed that it would attract a greater entry than the competition it replaced. This had in fact happened - with a total entry of 284 compared with 237 last year. The Secretary hoped that even more of our players will enter next year to try to win one of the very attractive new cups that had been purchased for these 4 events.
(e) NYSMBA Under 18s: The Secretary reported that the 2nd County Junior Championships will go ahead on February 21st at the Galtres Centre with an entry of 12. This was 3 down on last year as the youngsters from Bilsdale SMBC have now stopped bowling. He had once again written to Easingwold school inviting a representative to attend and also to the Evening Press to see if they would send a photographer once again.
(f) NYSMBA Inter League Cup: This competition will go ahead for the 7th year at the Y&D IBC on Saturday 24th April. Since Boroughbridge had withdrawn the offer of loaning two of their mats for the day, Arthur Jackson had approached John Harforth who was happy to offer two of Helmsley’s mats for the day. The Secretary will as usual be writing to the 3 team organisers requesting a list of their respective 12 triples. Details will also be sent to all clubs prior to this.
(g) NYSMBA Cameo Shield: This competition will go ahead for the 3rd time on the day after the Inter-League Cup. No changes are anticipated and it is expected that there would be no trouble in raising the 8 triples required from across the county. Details will as usual be sent to al clubs.
Edwin Smith asked what the situation was with regards registered/non registered players in this match. He had in the past himself been criticised for playing repeat friendlies against unregistered players from Whitby and this year had registered 7 Whitby players via the Scarborough SMBC. The Chairman said he thought single annual events may be permissible. The Secretary agreed to write to the ESMBA for clarification and to check whether we may need to purchase a license to hold this event.
(5) PRESENTATION DINNER:
At the last meeting several views had been voiced but as promised, the Secretary had since written to all League Secretaries asking whether they wanted to have their Trophies presented and also to all Club Secretaries with a questionnaire on the whole subject of holding the dinner, venue, cost etc. All Leagues had replied but the level of feedback from Clubs had been disappointing. Taking everything into consideration and in spite of reducing numbers over the last few years, the Executive Committee had decided to go ahead once again and organise a dinner on the pre-arranged date of Friday 16th April. The venue will be the Galtres Centre at Easingwold and a sit down hot meal would be provided with a choice of menu. Light entertainment (including a barber-shop quartet) will be laid on and there will be a maximum of 80 tickets on sale at £10 per head. It will not be possible to take drinks but there will be a full bar available. The Chairman hoped the first drink would be supplied free. All the new NYSMBA County Championship Trophies will be presented as well as those of the Dales, Vale of York and Kyle Valley leagues. However, this remains a county-wide event and would open to ALL NYSMBA members. The Secretary will be sending an “advert” with full details to all clubs shortly. He asked that the new function currently being organised for the Scarborough/Ryedale leagues avoid clashing with 16th April.
(6) CHILD PROTECTION ACT (CPA):
All clubs had recently been sent a copy of the ESMBA guidelines on the CPA for inclusion in their “Green Folders” and the Chairman asked for comments on this. Ray Goodbold felt that they were an insult to our integrity and that placing so many restrictions upon those who may deal with children will just put people right off any involvement with youngsters at all. He had in the past been involved in football training and would certainly have thought twice about this in the light of the CPA. The Secretary pointed out that he felt the ESMBA were quite rightly only trying to make their members aware of the issues involved. They specifically stated in their notes that “Each club must decide what is appropriate having regard to local circumstances and the number of children involved”. He felt that any recommendations were as much for the protection of adults as the youngsters themselves. Judith Haffenden agreed. She had been involved with youngsters (out side of bowling) and knew that there were parents who were always looking for ways to trip up those who were dealing with their children. She felt that at the very least all should be aware of and follow the “Code of Behaviour….” listed in Appendix C. Avoiding being alone with youngsters either in a car or in a toilet was very important as was any form of physical contact (however innocent). Howard Burdock felt that any club taking on youngsters should make it clear from the start that transport to competitions was the responsibility of the parents. The Chairman felt that written permission should be obtained before taking on this responsibility. In prior discussions, the Executive Committee had agreed that the Association should not be laying down any rules on this issue. However it was felt that each club should at least seriously consider having parents sign the “Consent Form…” (Appendix D1). George Crosby felt that every case should be considered separately – where youngsters are delivered and picked up by relations there should be no need for this.
(7) LEAGUE REPORTS:
(a) Selby – (Noel Clark) - No problems. Next year may be joined by a new club (Stamford Bridge).
(b) Ryedale – No report
(c) Kyle Valley – (Roger Green) – No problems although several clubs are pushing to ban the use of Sundays for fixtures. This will no doubt be resolved democratically.
(d) Yorkshire (North) – (Les Hardcastle) Although Ousedale currently have a 36 point lead, they have yet to play two away games whilst Scarborough and Darley have two home games to look forward to. An exciting and tight finish is anticipated. Edwin Smith then reported that two end-of-season friendly games have also been arranged for 17th/18th April. The first at Bubwith will be a Fours and Singles match (against a team captained by Nobby Clark). The second, a Triples and Pairs match will be at Boroughbridge (against one captained by Ralph Parsons). He felt quite confident that the combined scores over the two days would once again result in defeat for Nobby & Ralph’s teams.
(e) Dales – (Les Hardcastle) – There continue to be problems within this league. Les felt some teams were too “laid back” and rearranged fixtures at the drop of a hat instead of sticking to pre-arranged dates. He was also unhappy that no-one was taking his advice on the Rules seriously by allowing cards to be marked off the mat by spectators and not marking touchers. The Secretary agreed to write to the ESMBA to clarify the rule regarding score keeping in a Pairs game. Les felt that the league would benefit by changing the format from Singles/Pairs to Pairs/Triples. The Secretary pointed out that although the Rules/Constitution had initially been set up by the NYSMBA any changes to these was entirely within the control of the Dales league and improvements could be proposed and voted upon each year at their AGM.
(f) Scarborough – (Ray Goodbold) – There were 7 fixtures out of 12 postponed during the recent snowy week but all have now been played or re-arranged. The 3 division leaders at the moment are Bisons (unbeatable), Barn ‘B’ and Kirkbymoorside ‘A’. KO Cups have reached the semi-final stage. The end-of-season “Top Club” competition is to be played on April 4th. Each club will field a team of 7 (a triple, a pair and 2 singles) and the winners will receive the old Jewson Trophy. The AGM is to be held on April 2nd at Cayton BC.
(g) Vale of York – No report
(a) ESMBA DRAW/INFORMATION PACK: It had been learnt this year that there is a £100 prize for the county that sells the most tickets (in addition to the 30% “commission” already received). Last year North Yorkshire was 2nd. If we could increase our sales and win this prize, it was expected that we would re-distribute it to our clubs. All clubs should by now have received their “Green Folder” updates and it was hoped that all clubs were making a point of replacing the relevant pages and allowing their members sight of the changes.
(b) NYSMBA Web Site: This had grown over the last year and now contained over 30 pages of information. It compared very favourably with the sites set up by other Bowling Associations. The “hit counters” introduced at the beginning of the season indicated about 50 visitors per week. This was expected to grow over the years.
(c) CrossGates SMBC: An application to join the Association had recently been received from what would be our 43rd member club. George Crosby informed the meeting that the inaugural meeting had been well attended with the Chairman of the Seamer Parish Council and the NYSMBA in attendance. It was expected to have an initial membership of around 50 which would include 10 players new to Short Mat. There was good floor, room for three mats and bowling was expected to take place during several mornings, afternoons and evening sessions each week. They would be applying to join the Scarborough league for next season. Edwin Smith felt that, although he applauded the formation of new clubs in principle, it was sad that this club had been set up at the expense of another club in the area. He thought that the situation should never have arisen and that perhaps the County should step in to prevent this sort of thing happening in future. The Secretary felt the Association should not be interfering in the business of member clubs unless asked to do so. All individuals had the right to choose which club they would prefer to belong to. After some further discussion, Reg Tilley proposed that CrossGates SMBC be accepted into the Association. This was seconded by Arthur Jackson and passed with 2 abstentions. Ray Goodbold pointed out that he was aware of another club at Yedingham and was hoping to hold a friendly game with them an encourage them to join. As yet he had no contact name.
(d) Dates: The Secretary pointed out that Christmas/Boxing Day this year will fall on a Saturday/Sunday making the first weekend of 2005 fall on New Years Day. Also Easter will fall on 25th-28th March – two weeks earlier than this year. Added to this were the usual problems of not knowing early enough when exactly the Northern Zone will be holding its Championships or the ESMBA its Nationals and the difficulty of arranging any Inter-County fixtures much before July. He felt that it was therefore going to be even more important than usual to co-ordinate as many of the post-Christmas competition dates as possible to limit the number of clashes to the minimum. There followed a very drawn out discussion about the advisability of having, or not having a meeting of all interested parties to come up with the best allocation of dates. In the end, Howard Burdock proposed that a meeting should be held to look at any problems. This was seconded by the Secretary and passed by 10 votes to 6. The meeting should take place by the end of March and the Secretary will write to all interested parties soon.
(e) Ties: The stock of Association ties had now run out and before going ahead to order replacements the Secretary asked the meeting to consider changing the design to incorporate our white-rose logo. Such a change would mean the price per tie would rise from £5 to £7 and increase the initial outlay from £180 to £350. The Treasurer questioned whether the latter was a good idea or not as this money would not be recovered for several years. Reg Tilley proposed and George Crosby seconded a proposition that this issue be carried forward to the AGM at which the Secretary was asked to provide an example of his proposed new design.
The next meeting would be the AGM on 19th April (Easingwold) and the pre-season committee meeting would be planned for September 10th. There being no further business raised from the floor, the Chairman thanked all those present for attending and closed the meeting at 9.25pm.