Also present – David Loraine (Barn), Anne Ridge (Barn) Howard Burdock (Barn), Julie Williamson (Boroughbridge), Tony Hewlett (Kirkbymoorside)
In the absence of the Chairman who was unable to attend due to another appointment, the meeting was opened by the Vice-Chairman at 7.30pm. Representatives from seventeen member clubs, four officers and five others were in attendance – twenty-six people in total.
(1) APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE: Apologies were received from Noel Clark (Chairman), Arthur Jackson (Vice Captain), Allan Foxton (Pateley Bridge), Ian Battersby (St. Cuthberts), Andrew Leng (Yedingham), Noel Herbert (Riccall), Brian Stoker (Yoredale) and Derek Beardsley (Knaresborough). Further apologies were received after the meeting from Len Bradley (Helmsley) and David Randon (Escrick).
(2) MINUTES OF THE PREVIOUS MEETING AND MATTERS ARISING: The last Committee meeting had been held on 23rd September 2005 and draft minutes had been distributed shortly thereafter. There were no points raised requiring corrections so these were signed by the Vice Chairman as representing a true record of that meeting.
The Secretary pointed out that following the discussion regarding Insurance (5(b)) his own club (Great Ouseburn) had checked out their existing village hall cover and found it to be inadequate. They had since joined the ESMBA scheme. He had been informed by Peter Winter (ESMBA) that well over 300 clubs now used this including 14 within North Yorkshire. There were no other matters arising from the minutes.
(a) Correspondence: (RG) Of the 33 items of correspondence sent/received since the last meeting, the Secretary commented on the following.
Ø The ESMBA committee had issued a full apology to our Association regarding the “harassment” issue (see 6(c) in our September meetings minutes). This apology had been published to all counties and the offending comments had been withdrawn from the ESMBA minutes. The Secretary felt this fully justified our original complaint and now drew a final line under the whole affair.
Ø The ESMBA had now made it possible for individuals to enter the Trials for the England team. Previously it had only been possible to trial as part of a full rink of four. He had full details for anyone interested in pursuing this.
Ø The ESMBA will be selling off 12 Verdemats at £450 each after this year’s Nationals. He had full details for anyone interested in taking them up on their offer.
Ø The ESMBA was inviting any of our members who are current or past EBA coaches to join a pilot scheme of Short Mat coaching. Anyone interested should contact him for details.
Ø The ESMBA had issued a short Annual Report. This was the first time they had done this and copies will be made and sent out to all clubs for their interest.
Ø A letter had been sent to the ESMBA endorsing Derek Williams application to Umpire at the World Championships. He had since been chosen and will attend at Potters in March.
(b) Finances: Having spent five years in the post, our Treasurer, Brian Bennett, had reluctantly had to resign just after Christmas for health reasons. The Vice Chairman said he thought Brian had been an excellent Treasurer, would be sorely missed and thanked him for all his past work. He asked the Secretary to write to Brian expressing the Associations appreciation for his support and involvement. It had been agreed that, as a past Treasurer and a current signatory, the Secretary should take over the books and fulfil the Treasurers tasks up to the preparation and presentation of the final accounts at the AGM. Someone had already expressed an interest in the job and had been sent details of the tasks involved. It was hoped that the individual concerned would be prepared to stand for election in April.
(c) Membership: (RG) This year, 22 clubs had lost members, 18 had gained some and 4 had remained static. There had been 1 new club and the final total players registered was 999, an increase of 15 over last season. Applications had now been received from two further clubs, Kirklevington (nr Darlington) and Campsall (nr Doncaster). The Executive committee had decided that all applications must now have a “sponsor” – an existing member who had visited the applicant and was aware of their venue and equipment and could speak up on their behalf. For Campsall, this was the Chairman who had been involved for some time in supplying them with equipment and giving advice. For Kirklevington the Secretary had visited them during one of their club sessions. At the latter it was noted that, whilst having a good set of proper mats, fenders e.t.c., they were all using carpet bowls. They knew no different having been ill-advised by the suppliers of their mats when they were first set up 6 years ago. Also they do not wear the correct footwear, preferring instead to stay off their mats and use “scrapers” to retrieve their woods. It had been pointed out that should they be accepted and wish to take part in any of our leagues or competitions we would expect the relevant players to full comply with ESMBA rules. The acceptance of Campsall was proposed by John Bunting (seconded by Clive Scholefield) and Kirklevington by Jean Calvert (seconded by Ralph Parsons) and both clubs were accepted into the Association by a unanimous vote.
(a) NESMBA – Inter-County League: (RP) The Captain pointed out that the County team had not won a single game this year although there had been three games tied on points (but lost on aggregate – one by a single shot). With two home games remaining, very good results are required if they are to prevent a return to Division Two next season.
(b) ESMBA – National Championships: (RG) All Heats had been organised jointly between Reg Tilley, Roger Green and Eileen Bunting and were completed prior to Christmas. The winners were Arthur Jackson (Singles); Roger Green/Noel Herbert (Pairs); Geoff & Ann Whitehead/Geoff Dye (Triples); Geoff & Ann Whithead/Geoff Dye/Roger Green (Fours) and David Newsome (U18 Singles). An extra place had been awarded in the latter two disciplines and therefore the runners-up would also qualify. These were Gareth & Jacinta Townend/David & Joseph Newsome (Fours) and Gareth Townend (U18 Singles). The Vice Chairman wished all competitors well when they go down to the Finals in April and hoped they would be returning with some silverware. It had not been possible to enter any Mixed Fours this year as the minimum requirement of four entries had not been achieved. (also see** below)
(c) NYSMBA- County Championships: (RG) These had been organised jointly by Roger Green and Eileen Bunting. This years Champions were Simon Holtby who had beaten David Loraine in the Singles; Richard Clark/Dennis Jarvis who overcame Mick/Anne Ridge in the Pairs to win the title for the 2nd time and Jill, David and Joseph Newsome who pipped Richard Lund, Matt Fenwick and John Coffey in the Triples. The Fours would be decided tomorrow (4th Feb.) All Semi-Finalists had been offered the chance to go to Barnard Castle in March to represent us in the Northern England (NESMBA) Championships. Where this offer had been declined, the next best entry from the losing Quarter Finalists had been given the chance. Our final team would consist of 5 Singles, 4 Pairs, 5 Triples and 4 Fours. – 44 players in total. (also see** below)
(d) NYSMBA – Juniors: (RG) The Junior Championships will take place on Feb. 18th at the Galtres Centre and are to be organised jointly between Eileen Bunting and the Chairman who have a meeting scheduled for next week to discuss arrangements. After interest expressed during the course of the year, Gareth and Jacinta Townend have been put forward as suitable players to take part in the current round of England U18 trials. It is hoped they will join the England U18 team to play against Hampshire in March. Together with the Newsome boys, they will also be entering the Woodbridge Trophy – an ESMBA National Junior competition to be held at Milton Keynes in May.
(e) NYSMBA – Inter-League Cup: (RG) This will take place at the Y&D IBC on April 22nd. A slight change of format is being considered to streamline the organisation and all three captains and all clubs will receive details shortly. The Secretary will fully involve Eileen Bunting in the organisation as she will be running the day due to his planned absence.
(f) NYSMBA – Cameo Shield: This competition had been held for the last four years. Although those taking part had always enjoyed the novel format of combining long mat with short mat it had always been a bit of a struggle forming a full team. For the last two years the opposition had been let down at the last minute and had played with two people short. Also in view of the continued lack of an Assistant Competition Secretary, it was felt that this competition should now be discontinued. The Vice Chairman asked if anyone present disagreed with this decision. No one did so the Secretary will now write to Ian Clough with our decision.
(g) Vacancy for Competition Secretary: Eileen Bunting, who been co-opted as the Assistant Competition Secretary for the current season confirmed that she would be prepared to stand for this position at the AGM providing there continued to be a good degree of support. There was too much for one person to do, especially on competition days themselves. The Secretary said that this support would best be undertaken by someone prepared to stand for Assistant Competition Secretary – but no one had shown any interest over the last year. The position remains open should anyone feel willing to apply.
**County Championships/National Heats 2006/07
The Vice Chairman said that the Executive Committee had discussed the idea of amalgamating the National Heats into the County Championships for next season and had agreed to put this to the full committee for their opinions. He asked the Secretary to elaborate on how the change would work. Quite simply, anyone entering the County Championships could opt (by ticking a box on the entry form) to have their results count towards qualification for the Nationals. Those opting for this would pay an additional £2 being their National entry fee. The Championships would be drawn and organised in the normal way and there would be no differentiation between entries that wished or did not wish to be considered for the Nationals. Once the final results of each of the disciplines were known, the National qualifier would be the highest placed of those who had opted in. The Secretary had cleared this with the ESMBA Nationals Organiser who had in fact pointed out that several other counties already used this method.
The benefits of doing this were seen as follows –
Ø the workload of the Competition Secretary in organising separate Heats would be reduced.
Ø the cost of entry to the Nationals would be reduced (from £4.50 to £2).
Ø four Saturdays would be freed up allowing for some flexibility in the calendar.
Ø the Mixed Fours (which would still need their own Heats) could be moved away from the unpopular Saturday before Christmas. Hopefully this would lead to more entries and prevent us falling short of the minimum required number as had happened this year.
Ø the County Championship Pairs & Fours could be held over a single weekend – more convenient for mat preparation and general organisation.
Ø the change may encourage an increased entry into the Nationals
In answer to questions from the floor it was confirmed that
Ø the preferred venue would continue to be Swinton.
Ø full ESMBA rules would have to be used throughout. (This was already the case except in the Fours where currently the “threes up” rule is disallowed).
Ø the National entrants must compete be in complete teams all of whom are National entrants (i.e. both in Pairs; all three in a Triple; all four in a Fours).
Ø we are not at present considering the introduction of a County Mixed Fours Championships therefore separate National Heats would still be required for this particular discipline.
Ø The U18 National qualifiers would be drawn from the Junior Championships in the same way
The Vice-Chairman asked the meeting to consider whether it was wise to change something that had worked well for several years. He also wondered whether there may be some National entrants who would not like the possibility of being knocked out by other competitors who were not National entrants. The Secretary said he (as someone who always entered all the Nationals) would not have a problem with this. He felt that if he was putting himself forward for the National competition he should (and would) be prepared to take on all-comers to prove his worth.
In the course of further discussion it was evident that there were people who did not like bowling at Bubwith and who may very well enter their names for the Nationals if it was located at Swinton. Eventually, Edwin Smith made a proposal that the amalgamation of the two competitions be tried out for the 2006/07 season to assess the impact and benefits. This was seconded by Jean Calvert and was carried unanimously.
(5) DIARY 2006/07: The Secretary had written to all relevant organisers asking for confirmation that they would be using the equivalent dates for their various competitions next season. Apart from the VOY league and the KV league he had received no answers. The former had moved their Pairs Day from 29th October to 11th November and the latter were quite happy for their Challenge Cup to stay on 24th February but could reposition it if required.
Assuming that everyone WOULD stick to their usual dates, he had supplied the Fixture Secretary of the Yorkshire (North) League with a set of alternating dates for his fixtures and those of the Inter-County Team. Les Hardcastle spoke up to say that although there were several differences from last year, he was happy to stick with the suggestion with one exception. The Secretary suggested that as a result of the decision taken above (see **) he would like to plan to hold the County Fours on the 9th/10th December and move the Mixed Fours to 20th January. The Junior Championships would move to 18th November. He would like to keep February 11th for an Inter-County game and Matt Fenwick had indicated he could move his new Pairs competition to a free Saturday to avoid a clash.
Venue availability would have to be confirmed before anything could be finally confirmed.
(6) ESMBA DRAW/INFORMATION PACK: 27 clubs had returned their stubs with only 6 books unsold. This was an excellent return and if the remaining clubs sold the majority of their allocations our target of £500 plus would be achieved. The deadline for returns is mid March at the latest.
(7) NYSMBA WEBSITE: After a late start at updating the relevant pages at the beginning of the season, several structural changes in organisation had been made to reduce page sizes and speed up access.
(8) LEAGUE REPORTS: Of the 8 leagues operating within the county, those with representatives present took the opportunity to update the meeting with information pertinent to their own leagues.
(9) AOB: No other business was raised either from the Chair or from the floor. The Vice Chairman therefore thanked all those present for attending and closed the meeting at 9.00pm.