Buckinghamshire Short Mat Bowling Association

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Minutes of BSMBA 7th Committee Meeting

14th December 2021 on ZOOM

1. Attendance:- Chair – Malcolm Richards

Secretary – Malcolm Warwick

Competitions Secretary – Bob Hine

Treasurer - Peter Coker

Clive Cook, Ian Forbes, Chris Millard, Tony Short, Terry Wagstaff

Apologies:- Alan Egleton, Ann Hine

Resignation:- David Gander, in view of his move away from the area.

Not present - Peter Clarke

2. Approval of Previous Minutes

The minutes were approved by email and were distributed to member clubs. They have been posted on the website.

3. Matters Arising.

Previous Action from AOB

o Malcolm W to write to Terry explaining that leagues are free to customise ESMBA rules and the reasons why they have done so. - DONE

o Malcolm R to ensure revised Vale league rules are effectively publicised. - DONE since it was clear the information was published for the AGM, all but one club attended the AGM and it was in the minutes of the AGM

No further actions not covered by Agenda headings

4. Communications to Club Membership

Previous Action

o Tony to contact Chris Yates (secretary@cheddingtonbowlsclub.org.uk) as a follow up. Tony reported he had missed this action but would complete it.

o Malcolm W to contact Stewkley & Datchet for membership payments - There had been no response by email but Stewkley are playing in the league. Malcolm W will now telephone the contacts.


o Tony to contact Chris Yates (secretary@cheddingtonbowlsclub.org.uk) as a follow up.

o Malcolm W to contact Stewkley & Datchet by telephone for membership payments

5. Developing Membership and Player Participation in BSMBA

Previous Action

o Committee at next meeting to agree actions concerning equipment loans to schools and identifying willing school participants - see discussion below

o Tony to produce Edition 1 of a Newsletter (if willing to take this activity on) - Tony confirmed he is willing to do this.

It was felt that with current uncertainties about COVID, this would not be a good time to contact schools about offering to bring equipment to them for pupils to be introduced to the sport. However, preparations could be made so that when the future is less uncertain, we could be ready to act. Westcott have expressed a willingness to make surplus equipment available and in due course, other clubs should be asked. In the meantime a "standard letter" should be drafted and an approach to a county level schools contact should be tried.

Bob commented that he believed an outdoor club in Oxon had a junior academy for outdoors and that the players involved played short mat in the winter. Outdoor  BSMBA member clubs might be interested to do the same. Malcolm W was willing to propose this to Chesham.


o Malcolm R and Malcolm W draft a "standard letter" for schools and identify a County level schools contact

o After contact with schools, Committee will seek equipment from member clubs

o Bob to send link for Oxon club with a junior academy to Malcolm W

o Tony to produce set up format for  a Newsletter so that Committee members can make contributions to Edition 1

6. COVID Guidelines

There was discussion about whether the BSMBA should issue any guidelines in light of the new situation. Clive reported that the official line for county run venues was that masks are recommended for spectators but not for participants in a sporting activity. Adequate ventilation and sanitising should be the norm and hiring clubs should provide the sanitising materials. Bob confirmed this is the same at their school venue. Tony, who is responsible for a hall agreed that this was the guidance he gives. In general, clubs have been adopting a "commonsense" approach to roll-ups and league matches. It was agreed that the ESMBA website would be monitored for changes to their policy and that Malcolm W would draft a guidance note for clubs to be reviewed by the Committee in preparation for sending this out in the New Year before inter-club games re-start.


o All to monitor ESMBA guidance

o Malcolm W draft for committee comment guidance notes for member clubs

7. Club Insurance

Previous Action

o Malcolm W write to S&W for clarification of the insurance status of BSMBA member clubs and all their members. Advise the committee the outcome ASAP - DONE, see below

o IF clubs are not fully insured, Bob to put in place new umbrella insurance - NOT REQUIRED

S&W were very helpful in their reply to the enquiry from Malcolm W. Over a couple of emails they confirmed that they recognised that many short mat bowlers were "social" rather than competitive players and would not have a reason to be registered with the ESMBA. The criteria for joining the S&W scheme were simply that at the time of taking out the policy, the club should have six ESMBA registered players and that it should be possible to identify those people who were legitimate members of the club concerned. Under these circumstances, all members of the club were covered until the expiry date of the policy. It was agreed that by paying a membership fee to play, clubs were defining who was a member.

In the light of ESMBA guidance notes about S&W insurance and league organisers, Bob was asked to check with the N&F policy to be taken out in March what their guidance on this would be. At the same time, he will ask for a quote at the earliest possible time for a 1st March 2022 start to ensure maximum time to enrol member clubs. Bob's decision to include public liability, equipment and personal accident insurance in the umbrella policy was supported.


o Bob write to N&F for clarification of the insurance status of members involved in organising inter-club leagues  ASAP

o Bob to set up getting a quotation from N&F at the earliest date for 1st March cover

8.General Competitions

Previous Action

o Bob to report the outcome of the Handy X meeting re our invitation to play their bowlers - DONE see discussion below

There was a good turnout of Bucks players for the friendly competition but the team triples was cancelled due to lack of support. Support for the Turkey Drive was low but the event was enjoyable and the Committee thanked Bob for the organisation.

Bob made a call for teams for the Super League in an effort to plan Handy X bookings for 2022 but there was almost no response and so this competition must be considered a non-starter at the moment. Depending on the situation at Haddenham, there may be an opportunity to use a Handy X booking for final stages of league competitions eg Vale league and South Bucks SM leagues.

Handy X were very supportive about future commitments and agreed to allow Bob to book summer events while leaving winter bookings to be agree later. It was concluded that a booking every 6 weeks would probably be sufficient in the summer. Handy X agreed to holding a long mat/short mat tournament (probably the end of March) and Malcolm R/Malcolm W had circulated a draft format for the committee to consider. This was approved with the amendment that both disciplines should start with 1 shot counting for the first two ends.


o Bob to submit schedule of summer 2022 games to HX

o Bob to submit proposed format for long mat/short mat tournament to HX

9.Bucks Open Competitions

It was agreed that the remaining Bucks Open competitions (pairs, triples, Australian pairs) should be publicised since the first of these is in January. Bob would also place a note on the website


o Bob post note on website concerning remaining Bucks Open competitions

o Bob/Peter to invite entries to the remaining Bucks Open competitions using the contacts email list

10.Any Other Business

There were no items raised under this heading

11.Date of Next Meeting

  Monday 24th January 2:30pm - online.

The meeting closed at 8:45pm