Also present – David Loraine (Barn); John Bunting (Hambleton); Edith Collier (Kirbymisperton); Maureen Lilliman (Raskelf); Elaine Clark (Tollerton).
The meeting was opened by the Chairman at 7.30pm with representatives from eighteen member clubs, five officers and five others in attendance – twenty-eight people in total.
(1) APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE: Apologies were received from Selwyn Houghton (Cyphers), Doreen Charlesworth (Stillington), David Randon (Escrick), Richard Kay (Boroughbridge), Graham Sherburn (Flixton), Brian Stoker (Yoredale), Linda Etherington (Wilberfoss), William Knapton (Tollerton) and Trevor Collier (Kirbymisperton).
(2) MINUTES OF THE PREVIOUS MEETING AND MATTERS ARISING: The last Committee meeting had been held on 6th February 2004 and draft minutes had been distributed shortly thereafter. There were no points raised requiring corrections, so after a proposal from Ian Battersby (seconded by Arthur Jackson) the meeting unanimously endorsed the minutes which were then signed by the Chairman as representing a true record of that meeting. The Secretary confirmed that he was now in possession of copies of the Constitutions/Rules for all eight leagues except for the Rules for the new White Rose league which he expected to receive soon. With regard to the case of “umpire abuse” reported in 4(a), he informed the meeting that the alleged offender had eventually written to umpire Derek Williams with an apology. As a result of this, Derek had asked the ESMBA not to pursue their disciplinary hearing and a letter had then been sent from our Association to Merseyside SMBA drawing a line under the whole incident. No other matters were raised arising from the minutes that would not be covered later in the meeting.
(a) Correspondence: (RG) Over 30 items had been sent/received since the last meeting and a summary list of all of these would be sent out with the minutes as usual. Further details on any item could be obtained on request. The following four items were specifically mentioned.
Ø Disabled players: The ESMBA has reviewed and rewritten the “Guidelines for players with disabilities” that are contained at the back of the Rulebook and copies of these were available for anyone who would like them.
Ø England Rink Trials: Anyone seeking to play for the National Team must enter this competition which is held annually (April/May). Entry forms are available.
Ø Mats: The ESMBA has three ex-England mats available at £250 each. Although four years old they state that the wear on these is only the equivalent of one year at club/county level. The Secretary had asked the ESMBA for first refusal on these.
Ø Bowls International: There were a few flyers available with details of the forthcoming “BUPA Care Homes” competition to be held in Sheffield at the end of October.
(b) Finances: (BB) The current balance was £1480, a drop of £360 from the end of year balance reported to the AGM. Expenditure had included a loss of £100 on the Presentation Dinner, £100 for travel expenses to the AGMs of the ESMBA and NESMBA and administration expenses.
(c) ESMBA AGM (3rd July): The Chairman and Vice Chairman had attended (in Northants.) and between them they reported back as follows.
Ø They were hosting the next World Championships (2006) – expected to be a costly affair.
Ø They were entering a joint coaching scheme with other bowls disciplines – again at some cost.
Ø They were looking at acquiring some permanent office space from which to operate and in which they could hold their meetings.
Ø A proposal to increase subs by a further 0.50p for 2005/06 was agreed.
Ø Most of the 37 proposals to change their Constitution were passed (many were cosmetic) although one to introduce proxy voting and another to fine counties for non attendance at the AGM were withdrawn “on a technicality”.
Ø Stockport Metros proposal to recognise Greater Manchester as a separate county from Lancashire was defeated for the 3rd year running.
Ø A proposal to prevent the repetitive submission of the same proposal year after year without a gap was approved.
In the Open Forum which followed on from the AGM, the idea of reformatting the Winter Inter County competition on a regional based division system had been put forward by London and was supported by us. We also asked whether there were to be any changes to the Summer Competition. On both these issues, the ESMBA said that the current formats had worked well for many years and unless they received detailed proposals of how any changes would work in practice, they were not inclined to initiate any changes themselves and risk upsetting the apple-cart. We had also written to the ESMBA asking for discussion regarding the validity of Umpiring games in the NESMBA ICC league but this topic was not covered as our point had already been agreed at their previous committee meeting. The “county” status of three of our Umpires has now been re-introduced as a result of this.
(d) NESMBA AGM (20th June): The Vice Chairman and Vice Captain had attended (in Stockport) and the former reported that it had been a long meeting with several proposals as follows.
Ø Change of title. Known up to now as the “ESMBA (Northern Zone)”, the name was changed to “Northern England Short Mat Bowling Association” following a request from the ESMBA to drop their initials from the title. This necessitated a dozen or so changes to the Constitution.
Ø Roll up time. A proposal from Humberside to replace the period of practice prior to Inter-County games with two trial ends was supported by us but defeated.
Ø Promotion/relegation: A proposal from Derbyshire for only one team to be promoted/relegated at the end of each season (rather than two), was agreed.
Ø Remove Fours: A proposal from Humberside to discontinue Fours but increase the Triples in the county team to four, reducing the team size to 18 was supported by us but defeated.
Ø Finals Day: A proposal from Humberside to discontinue the end of season playoffs between the top two teams in each Division was agreed.
Reg also reported that there was still no one willing to take on the post of Competition Secretary. However the Championships at Barnard Castle would still go ahead as David Rutt had agreed once again to do all the preparatory work as long as others were prepared to administer the competition over the actual weekend itself.
(a) NYSMBA Heats for ESMBA Nationals: (RT) Full details and entry forms had already been sent out to all clubs. All disciplines will be played out at Bubwith on five Saturday dates before Christmas with the Finals in early April. The entry fee has gone up to £4 to reflect an increase in the ESMBA fees (necessary to cover increased venue costs).
(b) NYSMBA Junior Championships: (RT) The Galtres venue (Easingwold) was booked for 19th February and the competition would very likely follow last years format provided there was a large enough entry.
(c) NYSMBA 8th Inter-League Cup: (RG) The Y&DIBC was booked for 23rd April and the competition will go ahead according to the format used in previous years as no changes were requested from the floor.
(d) NYSMBA 4th Cameo Shield: (RG) The Y&DIBC was booked for 24th April and the competition will go ahead provided we can find the requisite 8 triples for our team. The Y&DIBC had expressed a wish to continue with this event even though their team was two short last year!
(e) NYSMBA 2nd County Championships: (RT) Last years inaugural competition went very well and will be repeated this year. Four Saturdays will be used in January/February and full details and entry forms were contained in the envelopes to be distributed at the end on the meeting.
(f) NESMBA Inter County League (Winter) (RT) All eight dates have been agreed with our opposition and this had resulted in just one clash with the Yorkshire (North) fixtures – an improvement over last year when there had been two. There may well be clashes with clubs internal competition or league fixtures where Sundays are used. This was unfortunate but unavoidable.
(g) ESMBA Inter County Competition (Summer): (RG) The conditions that caused us to withdraw from this last year remain the same so we will not be attempting to enter for 2005. However the possibility of a friendly with either Warwickshire or Worcestershire is being investigated as there is still a core of people who showed interest last year.
(h) NESMBA Championships: (RT) These will go ahead once again in mid-March (see 3(d) above) and places will be offered to those reaching the final stages of our County Championships following the precedent set last year.
(5) LEAGUE REPORTS:
(a) Selby – Nobby Clark reported that Tate & Lyle were last seasons league champions whilst he was pleased that his own team (North Duffield A), which included four junior players, had won the second division. No changes to format or teams this year.
(b) Ryedale – Reg Tilley pointed out that this was the only league still playing three wood triples and he felt that although they only had six clubs, it remained a very competitive but friendly league. John Harforth felt that Welburn’s success in winning the Tilley KO Cup deserved a special mention – especially as they beat his team in the Final!
(c) Kyle Valley – Ian Battersby reported that the league had changed its structure from two geographical to two merit based divisions. The allocation of teams to each division had been based on the league results from the previous two years. Ampleforth BC, which had moved venues to Crayke, had been renamed as St. Cuthberts. This year they will enter and additional team into Division 2 making it 13 teams strong with Division 1 having 12 teams.
(d) Yorkshire (North) – Les Hardcastle reported that last years winners were Ousedale and this year the competition will get under way in about three weeks time. There were no changes to report.
(e) Dales – Les Hardcastle reported that he had recently resigned as Secretary/Treasurer of this league. He felt sad about this as he had always done what he felt was right within the league. However he felt that there were many who had little regard for the Rules (e.g. no warning before firing and not chalking touchers). Another major issue was that teams rearranged fixture dates too regularly and did not always inform him as Results Compiler. Although he agreed that the Rules did allow captains to agree to re-arrange fixtures, he felt that this was being done too often for trivial reasons. However he could get no support to change this rule. He had also suggested a change of format from teams of 6 to teams of 10 which he felt would help but this also gained no support. Finally he felt that he had no option but to resign. The Chairman, Tom Parker had also resigned but he was not sure of the reasons why. No one had come forward to replace either himself or the Chairman so he did not really know what the future held for this league.
Bernard Marshall felt that the Executive Officers of the Association should meet with the Dales league to try and sort out any problems. However the Secretary pointed out that we can really only do this if invited by the league committee who are initially responsible for managing their own business and resolving difficulties themselves. The Chairman said he would be willing to get involved if invited.
(f) Scarborough – Ray Goodbold reported that with one team dropping out but five more entering, the league now has 28 teams. Battle commences on 3rd October.
(g) Vale of York – No report
(g) White Rose – John Bunting reported on a very successful 2nd summer season that was to be concluded on the coming Monday (13th) at the “Lookers” showroom in Northallerton. There, the league champions, Great Ouseburn, are to play a combined team from the other clubs and the league trophy will be presented. He also summarised the three “test matches” the league had played against Durham, an innovation he hoped to repeat next summer. If the Association were successful in arranging friendly games against other counties (see 4 (g) above) he was confident that a team could be raised. He was also investigating the possibility of a weekend tour to Belgium for members of the leagues five clubs.
(a) Mats for NYSMBA Competitions: The Secretary reminded those present of the continuing need for clubs to be prepared to loan mats not only for NYSMBA competitions but for the NESMBA Finals at Barnard Castle. A year ago Boroughbridge had withdrawn their offer to do this and Bilsdale had recently done the same. As he had not been aware of any other clubs who would be prepared to do this, he had initiated executive discussions on the possibility of buying some of our own. The availability of the ESMBA mats currently on offer (see 3 (a) above) seemed a very good opportunity to consider this at reasonable cost. Any such mats obtained would of course also be available for use by any club or league within the county. However, Kirkbymoorside had since volunteered two mats and from the floor Clive Scholefield said that his club (Crossgates) had three that could be used. For any club worried about the insurance implications, the Secretary had also investigated ESMBA Insurance cover. If we as an Association took out equipment cover, this would cover any mats on loan both in transit and at the destination. A proposal from Ray Goodbold was seconded by Clive Scholefield that we go ahead and take out £2000 of equipment cover, was carried.
John Bunting then spoke at length and with some passion on how he felt that the Association should be taking a pro-active role rather than re-active one. He felt it should be the NYSMBA that lends mats rather than having to go cap in hand to borrow them. He strongly felt that all our members should be prepared to support the idea of mat ownership and suggested a one-off £1 levy on all members to help finance such a project. There was further general discussion on this which was concluded after a proposal by Ian Battersby was seconded by Don Glensor that the Executive Committee look at this whole fundamental issue and report back in detail to the next AGM. This was passed without dissent.
(b) NYSMBA Presentation Dinner 2005: The Chairman said that he felt last years dinner was very enjoyable but the change of venue and format had not resulted in the hoped for increase in numbers. In fact the total was the lowest on record. The Executive Committee had therefore reluctantly decided to propose that a dinner would not be organised for 2005. This was seconded by Ian Battersby and passed by a substantial majority.
(c) ESMBA Draw: Our participation in the 2004 Draw had resulted in increased sales (£425) and consequently an increased rebate (£127.50). After excluding six clubs which had failed to sell any tickets, the Treasurer organised a draw in which resulted in £25 “prizes” being given to Helmsley, Barn, Strensall and Sutton-on-Derwent. The Treasurer pointed out that for the last two years we had been the second highest county in terms of sales. The top county receives an additional £100 so he urged all clubs to try to do even better this year. The Secretary said that it would only require each club to sell one additional book (5 tickets) for us to achieve the top slot.
(d) NYSMBA Web Site: This had been updated ready for the new season and pages had been added for the White Rose league. The county Diary had also been added and had been available to view since mid-summer. A “site map” showing the inter-relation of all 42 pages had been produced and copies were made available to those present.
(e) NYSMBA tie: The Secretary circulated copies of a proposal to add the counties white rose logo to the Associations tie and replace the green stripe with gold to match the colours on the county badge. This proposal was being put forward now as we had run out of stock and needed to re-order - a similar proposal for the ladies bows would be submitted when existing stock ran out. Ian Battersby felt that replacing one without the other was not on. The Secretary felt that the current design lacked any distinction and was somewhat anonymous whilst the new design would be much more distinctive and fully identify the wearer as belonging to our Association. There would be no compulsion to change from the old to the new but it was hoped that most tie owners would want to. The Treasurer felt that it would take many years to re-coup the initial £345 outlay for the minimum order of 50 ties and that it would be more prudent to stay with the existing design which could be ordered for £180. Reg Tilley was very sceptical about whether or not owners of the existing ties would want to fork out another £7 for a replacement – a view echoed by Len Lofthouse who had only just bought his. A vote to adopt the new design was then proposed by the Secretary and seconded by Simon Holtby but was defeated by 16-6.
(f) Dates: As announced at the AGM and contained in the Handbook, the next meeting will be on February 4th with the AGM on April 18th. As a result of 6(b) above, the date announced (and published) provisionally for the Dinner (April 15th) now becomes free.
(g) Handbook for 2004/05: Those present all collected their allocation of this years Handbook together with a large envelope containing membership renewal details and entry forms for the County Championships. Items for clubs not present were all taken on their behalf by others.
There being no further business raised from the floor, the Chairman thanked all those present for attending and closed the meeting at 9.25pm.