Buckinghamshire Short Mat Bowling Association

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Extraordinary General Meeting

Wednesday March 31st 7:00pm

Online via Zoom

Attendance – 31 members attended

Mary Arnold (Winslow); Darren Brown (Farnham Common); Peter Clark (Iver);

Clive Cook (Hawkslade);  Terry Darvill (Widmer End);  Bob Day (Holmer Green);

Brian Drew (Amersham);  Alan Egleton (Amersham);  Rosemary Followell (Farwell/Farnham Common); Ian Forbes (Hawkslade); David Gander (Haddenham); Ann Hine (Chinnor)

Ken + Sue Leaver (Haddenham);  Ian Macmillan (Wendover); Chris Millard (Chinnor);

Jan Miller (Chinnor); Irene Roberts (Bellingdon);  Chris Russell (Amersham);  Ian Rutherford (Thame); Tony Short (Beacon);  Eric Smith (Wendover);  John +Linda Thompson (Marsh Gibbon);  

Terry + Carole Wagstaff (Hardwick); Malcolm Warwick (Chesham)

Committee – Peter Coker; Bob Hine; Brian Latham; Malcolm Richards     

Malcolm (Chairman) welcomed everyone.

He outlined the purpose of the meeting was to consider the future of the BSMBA.

Documents about the possibilities for discussion had been circulated prior to the meeting.

Bob Hine

Bob described the situation re. County matches prior to Covid….

When picking teams it was becoming more and more difficult to get people to play, plus the change of County match format would involve more games on the match day, and longer travelling distances (eg to Cambridge).

Also disillusionment with the ESMBA in general. The only benefit seemed to be the insurance.

The Committee was about to resign, no one had come forward to take on the posts, so it had become an impossible situation.

A possible scenario would involve withdrawing from the ESMBA and forming an independent BSMBA.

Bob declared himself willing to organise competitions and suggested a ‘Superleague’ of 12 teams playing once a month. It would be open to every club in Bucks, there being no restrictions about which clubs could play….totally Open competitions.

Peter Coker expressed disappointment about the numbers of members who took part in the National competitions prior to Covid. He was prepared to support the Super-league

Brian Latham felt responsible as he had been the first on the committee to resign.

Normally pre Covid there were approx 550 registrations. Now there are 381, so a decline. There was also a decline in interest in National competitions.

There would be no effect on club-level players on leaving ESMBA.

A side effect would be that the registered umpires could no longer umpire.

On balance he felt it would be better for Bucks to withdraw from ESMBA, but we would remain as an affiliated county.

Malcolm (Chairman) said that registered players only being permitted to play against other registered players is an obstacle to bowling, and this action would remedy that. We want to involvemore clubs and players in the county if posible.

Malcolm then asked for comments….

Darren Brown  (Farwell) wants to enter the Nationals so would need to register with another County.

Brian Latham answered that members who have already qualified for the 2020 Nationals are eligible to play in those events, this has been corroborated by Barry Hedges…Nationals organiser.

Malcolm Warwick   (Chesham) commented on ‘Safe bowls status’ to play from April 12th at club level. In Winter 2021 we may need the support of the National Organisation to enable clubs to play through restrictions if they are reintroduced in the winter.

Otherwise he supports the withdrawal, but thinks we should remain affiliated.

Clive Cook   (Hawkslade) responded that venues governed by the Local Authority have to follow Government restrictions. (they may close completely, so ‘safe bowls status’ is negated) Present restrictions change on May 17th, when the Rule of 6 still applies.

Rosemary Followell (Farwell) confirmed that closure of LA halls negates ‘safe bowls status’.

Brian Drew  (Amersham) also confirmed from Parish Councillor point of view, that Halls cannot allow bowls unless they ask for Safe Bowls Status.

Eric Smith  (Wendover) asked if the Superleague matches would be at weekends?….yes

Also would it be financially viable?......yes it would be self-financing

Jan Miller  (Chinnor) thanked everyone on the committee for keeping the BSMBA going for the enjoyment of its members.

Brian Drew also expressed thanks

Carole Wagstaff  (Hardwick) asked if it would be less work to keep the status quo. Bob replied it would mean the same amount of work

Terry Wagstaff (Hardwick) wondered if the constitutional could just be kept the same but modified. Malcolm replied that there was more to it than that.

Terry Darville (Widmer End) said we should try to make it as easy as possible for the people doing the organising

Bob (team manager) mentioned that Peter Brown at Handy Cross was concerned about dip in membership, so the availability of Handy Cross as a venue may be affected.

Ian Rutherford  (Thame Bowls Club) said that they were collecting subscriptions now. There were 114 members pre Covid, and 80 have paid already, expecting at least 100 to rejoin.

Malcolm Warwick (Chesham Bowls Club) is down on numbers for outdoor bowls, but that doesn’t relate to Short Mat, and are yet to find out numbers for winter Short Mat bowls.

Bob (team manager) If the proposal goes ahead we would appreciate help on the Committee. 3 volunteers had already come forward, and it would not involve much work, more input to ideas and how to organise new competitions.

Malcolm (Chairman) moved the meeting to a vote.

First vote to dissolve the BSMBA in its current form….

30 in favour. 0 against. 1 abstention

This is then an overwhelming majority.

Second vote to transfer the assets and create new BSMBA with a new constitution….

29 in favour. 0 against. 2 abstentions

Also a majority.

Malcolm is to draft a new constitution and send it for perusal prior to an AGM when it will be discussed and agreed.

Brian will organise the withdrawal from the ESMBA by not re-registering when the time comes, and it will lapse.

Bob to enquire about alternative insurance.

The meeting closed at 8.03.