The annual BCGBA report

On the day that Graham Jackson took over as President of the national governing body the delegates at the annual meeting were left in no doubt of the problems the association has faced in 2018.

2019 BCGBA Deputy President Ken Howarth (Cumbria) with BCGBA President Graham Jackson (Derbyshire)

With the loss of long standing officers, expenditure exceeding the planned income and a desperate need for a reorganisation of the associations structure and governance, the year has been a challenge to say the least. Perhaps this is highlighted by the fact on the day that decisions are made to shape the future of the sport not all counties could find enough delegates to attend the meeting.

The rules revision meeting was held in the morning and passed an increase to the club fee, which should bring in over £10,000 more this year with a further increase in 2020, but rejected the introduction of an annual player fee by just one vote. The cost of registering a new player has also been increased to £12 and this will only affect the five thousand or so new players who are registered each year.

A new role will be created to take some of the administration work from the officers. This replaces the Coaching administrator as this role is no longer needed any more as the BCGBA has joined a nationally recognised scheme called Coach Bowls. This is an independently administered cross-code coaching scheme and will award its coaches with nationally recognised qualifications and may well be the only way to be allowed to teach school children in future years.

A move aimed at reducing the numbers attending meetings sees the Past Presidents and Life Members  no longer able to receive expenses or have voting rights at meetings. This rule has been discussed in one form or another for a few years. At one stage over fifty people were allowed to attend and vote at meetings and only a little over a third were representatives of the county associations. The annual meeting, had county votes making up over three quarters of the votes cast, which is well over the two thirds majority required to pass any proposed rules.

A couple of changes to the permitted clothing on a bowling green sees sandals or other open toed footwear no longer allowed but shorts will now be allowed in BCGBA events.

The fines given to clubs who do not have a safeguarding officer were agreed. They start at £25 and will increase every three months before the club is suspended from playing after twelve months. It must be said that this proposition came from one of the counties themselves and went against the advice given by the BCGBA Safeguarding Officer. His advice was to impose a smaller fine and then have twelve months to work with the clubs to bring them up to the level required.

It was also sad to hear of the verbal abuse that has been directed at the CEO and Safeguarding Officer during their work in assisting clubs over the last few months. The requirement to have a safeguarding officer is something that the NSPCC and Sport England would like to see in all clubs across all sports. It is not something the officers of the BCGBA have dreamt up themselves. To hear that officers who are here to help clubs make bowling clubs a safer place face criticism from the very people they are helping is sad indeed.

After lunch the Annual Meeting took place and reports from the Chief Executive and Financial Officer explained the on-going work for the year and the challenges ahead.

BCGBA Interim CEO – Mark Bircumshaw

Mark Bircumshaw, interim CEO, went into detail of the work undertaken to ensure the BCGBA leads the other bowling codes in Safeguarding work. In the year since the club safeguarding officer was required most counties have been able to get full or nearly full compliance. Though the current requirements may be known in future years as phase one. With concerns over the soon to be discussed balance sheet Mark also advised that there would be a reduced number of meetings in this coming year.

Finance Officer’s Graeme Underhill’s work on behalf of the association has been widely praised. In a comprehensive report, taking up most the afternoon, he spelt out the need for reform of the association’s income and expenditure following a loss on the year

Graeme thanked the interim CEO and the Safeguarding Officer for bringing in over £1,000 on their safeguarding training courses. This helped the income to rise by over £5,000.

Expenditure increased by £3,895, partly due to a club fee rebate to the counties of £2,685 and a sizeable donation to the Mel Evans MBE fundraising appeal.

Of major concern was the Competitions account which showed a large loss. Prize money for the events was recently increased at the request of a couple of counties. The reasoning being that the cost of playing in the competitions had increased so the prize money should also increase. This led to an increase of £5,865 on the expenditure in this account.

The cost of TV and Internet coverage is also now shown in this account and although this had only shown a very marginal increase it does stand out as a large expense. When first introduced the funds for the broadcasts were taken from the Trustee managed account.

This fund manages the new player registration income and has been expertly managed since 1991. This is when the BCGBA life membership was established and from the meetings I attended it was made clear that the funds were only to be used to develop the game. It was clear from the outset that use of the funds as part of the general administration of the game was not what the membership would want. The trustee funds now stand in excess of £188,000 and, due to loans made to the general fund over the years, the general account is in deficit by over £40,000.

In order not to confuse broadcasts with the work done by the Development officers this was recently moved to the Competitions account though any income would still be listed in the Development account. It was only a couple of years ago that the income received from the broadcasts was growing towards being the biggest external funding of the association.

Mel Evans MBE

This was testament to the work done by the late and very sadly missed Mel Evans MBE. During his time as Commercial Officer Mel was able to offer sponsorship packages covering fifty hours of broadcasts across the BCGBA and Waterloo competitions. This developed from single camera broadcasts to bringing professional production companies. The sport was broadcast around the world and returned to national television. By modernising the commercial appeal of the sport sponsors were attracted and delivered financial support of over £11,000 only a few years ago. Mel did so much to promote the game and, as it has been stated repeatedly, it will take a committee or a group to replace him.

Sadly the BCGBA had little other to offer sponsors other than the broadcasts. For example a link on the BCGBA website has so far provided Fred.Olsen Cruises with only single figure enquiries for their holidays. Clothing suppliers have found little business in return for their investment in the sport.

The 2015 British Senior Merit production

Indeed the broadcasts were seen a highly important promotional work for the sport. An idea for funding of promotional videos of the sport was approved but has got lost somewhere in the BCGBA administration. I think that when found any anniversary gifts for it should be wooden. When completed this was to be distributed to schools showing the benefits of crown green bowls.

However the business climate is much different to that of 2015 and despite all efforts by the CEO and Commercial Officer there has been no income for the last two years. An obvious measure to reduce the pressure on the competitions account would be to end the BCGBA broadcasts.

Apart from the Sterling work of the Development Officers, and its website, the BCGBA, doesn’t really have any other means of promoting the game. The danger of course is that this may now regress by ten years or more. A huge credit should be given to the competitions, leagues and associations who have been able to attract and retain sponsorship this year. I believe we as a sport have a product to sell, we have an atmosphere, an excitement, at matches that no other bowling code can rival.

Keith Andrews – BCGBA President 2018

It was also stated that not all the money supplied to the hard-working Development Officers has been spent this year so it has been returned to the Trustees. Sadly not all the counties have Development Officers so some areas saw little or no work done at all but most counties have officers that can be rightly proud of the work they have and continue to do.

The meeting gave thanks to out-going President Keith Andrews from Lancashire for all the work he has done to support the sport during his term in office. The meeting then duly elected Derbyshire’s Graham Jackson as President for 2019. Graham spent a busy 2018 supporting Keith during his term as President. Supporting Graham in his year as President will be Ken Howarth of Cumbria who was elected as Deputy President.

The results of the voting were as follows:

Proposal 1 – Passed (For 84 – Against 0 – Abstentions 0)

Bye Law 3 3a-6 (p35) –

Remove National Coaching Administrator and renumber as appropriate and add role of National Administrator. (Proposed Interim CEO)

Post made redundant in 2018 with the Coaching scheme replaced by Coach Bowls. Coaching course coordinator’s created on a regional basic in addition to Coach Bowls Tutor workforce for the delivery of Coaching Courses. National Administrator role to work with the CEO to take on the administration functions from the current CEO role along with other administration duties to support the officers and committees of the association. (Job role to be confirmed by the remuneration and performance committee).

Proposal 2 – Passed (82-1-1)

Bye Law 3a.1.13 (p35)

Addition of a new 13. The Ladies Competitions Committee Competitions Officer.

Rationale – To ensure all BCGBA competitions are coordinated to run on one central calendar and give equal opportunity for sponsorship, promotion and media coverage we propose that the Ladies Competitions Officer becomes an Officer of the BCGBA and works alongside her Men’s competitions counterpart when the Associations merge for the 2019 season.

NB. The current occupants of the Ladies role are managing the work into 2019 when a new Officer can be advertised for, interviewed and appointed as per the current BCGBA Bye Law 3a-2-2

Management Committee (Proposed Interim CEO)

Proposal 2a – Withdrawn

Bye Law 3a.1.13 (p35)

Addition of a new 13. The Ladies Competitions Committee Competitions Officer.

Rationale – To ensure all BCGBA competitions are coordinated to run on one central calendar and give equal opportunity for sponsorship, promotion and media coverage we propose that the Ladies Competitions Officer becomes an Officer of the BCGBA and works alongside her Men’s competitions counterpart when the Associations merge for the 2019 season.

NB The current occupants of the Ladies role are managing the work into 2019 when a new Officer can be advertised for, interviewed and appointed as per the current BCGBA Bye Law 3a-2-2.

Proposed BCGLBA will be withdrawn if above rule change is passed

Proposal 3 – Passed (84-0-0)

Bye Law 3b.1.4 (p36). Management Committee Representation

Bye Law to be changed to read as follows – ‘A representative from the BCGBA Ladies Competitions Committee and the British Parks Crown Green Bowling Association’.

Rationale – A House-keeping exercise which continues the ladies only counties representation on the Management Committee as currently.

Management Committee (Proposed Interim CEO)

Proposal 3a – Withdrawn

Bye Law 3b.1.4 (p36). Management Committee Representation

Bye Law to be changed to read as follows – ‘A representative from the BCGBA Ladies Competitions Committee and the British Parks Crown Green Bowling Association’.

Rationale – A House-keeping exercise which continues the ladies only counties representation on the Management Committee as currently.

Proposed BCGLBA will be withdrawn if above rule change is passed

Proposal 4 – Defeated (49-31-4)

3b The Management Committee (p35) to amend by law 3b Page 35 as follows:

(Proposed Warwick & Worcester) (Seconded National Development Officer)

Clauses 1, 2, 3 and 4 to maintain.

Clauses 5, 6, 7 and 8 to delete.

Rationale

The decision made last January to marginally reduced membership of the Management Committee was welcome yet the continuing attendance of so many members’ impacts against rapid effective decision-making which should rest with the Chairman, the appointed paid officers and 18 County Representatives only

This proposal again seeks to redefine the make-up of the Management Committee by removing the posts of Past Presidents and Life Members from the Constitution does not exclude their personal contributions in that they may each become their County Representative.

The amended management team constitution as proposed and if approved will generate an improvement of management approach and in a strong ownership of decisions made by a smaller focused group.

The need for more than 30 Committee Members to discuss current issues and then make quality management decisions falls short of any logical justification.

The AGM is invited to approve the above proposed amendment to the composition of the BCGBA Management Committee.

WWCBA BCGBA Bye-Law_Proposal-2

Proposal 5 – Passed (61-16-7)

3b The Management Committee (p35-36) Remove and replace

Remove

The Committee:

The Association shall be governed by a Management

Committee, which shall consist of the following:

  1. The Officers of the Association.
  2. The Chairman.
  3. One representative from each County Association in Membership.
  4. A representative from the British Crown Green Ladies Bowling Association and the British Parks Crown Green Bowling Association.
  5. All Active Past Presidents.
  6. All Active Honorary Life Members.
  7. Past Presidents and Honorary Life Members who have not attended a Management Committee Meeting in the previous 12 months shall render themselves ‘inactive’.
  8. Applications for Honorary Life Membership must be made in writing to the Chief Executive Officer.

3b. The Management Committee (p35-36)

Replace

  1. The Committee:
  2. The Association shall be governed by a Management Committee, which shall consist of the following:
  3. The Officers of the Association.
  4. The Chairman.
  5. One representative from each County Association in Membership.
  6. A representative from the British Crown Green Ladies Bowling Association
  7. A representative from the British Parks Crown Green Bowling Association.
  8. The immediate Past President.
  9. All other Past Presidents and Honorary Life Members may attend at their own cost, may contribute to debate without voting rights unless they are represented in the above list, sections 1 to 6 inclusive.
  10. Applications for Honorary Life Membership must be made in writing to the Chief Executive Officer.

BCGBA Management Committee

The change of rule last year and the narrow defeat of WWCBA’s proposal has needed this subject to be reviewed again.

The current rule includes past presidents who are immediately considered active if they attend a single meeting whether or not they act on behalf of BCGBA or their own County the rule also allows an imbalance where a county may have a disproportionate amount of votes on management matters due to the attendance of a past president.

Changes are still needed to prune the management committee to reduce costs and improve decision making for the benefit of the Associations members and not preservation of past presidents status. With recognition to the roles carried out by the President and Deputy President, these people do an immense amount of work for the BCGBA and during that time they are treated as VIP’s everywhere they attend and have the honour of hosting of the NGB major national events.

The inclusion of the Deputy President, President and Out-Going President on BCGBA Management Committee is considered a must to maintain continuity at that level.

In effect once, the presidential person has served their 3 years for BCGBA it should, with respect, then be left up to the counties to determine whether they want that person to represent them on BCGBA Management Committee as their elected delegate.

Should an ex-president wish to attend a management committee meeting then, giving due respect to their historic work and knowledge they should be permitted to attend and help with debate but not at any cost to BCGBA. They should have no entitlement to vote unless they are the representative of their county.

An exception should be considered where an attendee without voting rights is specifically requested to attend the management committee meeting to present any work they may done on behalf of BCGBA, however consent to their expenses must be approved in advance by BCGBA Management, Finance Committee or Officers Working Group.

The proposal is:

The BCGBA Management should consist of the following:

• President, Deputy President, Out-Going President. Officers with voting rights, one delegate from each county, Ladies and Parks Representative and the Chairman.

• All Officers should provide a written report to delegates in advance at least 14 days before regular meetings in order they can be discussed at county level.

• Past Presidents over 2 years and life members shall be welcome to attend but they shall have no voting rights or expenses paid unless they are representing their county.

• Any other attendees shall have no rights to speak, vote or have expenses paid.

• Any other attendees shall have no rights to speak, vote or expenses unless specifically requested to attend where they shall be permitted to speak and receive expenses if previously agreed and will have no voting rights.

Rational

The effective running of BCGBA with a reduction of the BCGBA Management Committee numbers will be improved, this proposal will reduce costs and speed up decision making without losing any significant knowledge or representation.

Proposal 6 – Passed (84-0-0)

Rule 5(g) Safeguarding update in 2019 (p42)

Delete “From 1st March 2019” and replace ‘This Bye Law will not take effect until 1 March 2019’.

5(g) Every Club must have a named Safeguarding Officer who holds a current DBS. Failure to comply will result in an appropriate [Definition required] penalty.

Management Committee Paul Ashmore National Safeguarding Officer

Rule 5 (g) Add

Good practice DBS should not exceed 3 years old. Applications should be carried out in accordance with BCGBA guidelines which is Crown Green Bowls Specific, Official DBS applications and BCGBA & GDPR Data protection forms are completed and checked by BCGBA Counter signatures or BCGBA Trained Evidence Checkers then forwarded to BCGBA National Safeguarding Officer. The DBS process is only complete when the DBS Certificate is witnessed by the evidence checker and details recorded, failure to complete the process will be determined as “failure to comply” in Bye Law 5(g)

Proposal 7 – Defeated (48-26-10)

Bye Law 5 (h). (p42)

Club Fee Remove and replace ‘Club Fee will be based on £1.00 per registered player’

Management Committee Proposed G Underhill

Proposal 8 – Passed (50-25-9)

Bye Law 5 (h). (p42)

Club Fees go up by £5 in 2019 and a further £5 in 2020.

This will change to read: Change fee to £30 (to increase by a further £5 in 2020)

This will mean that clubs with 35 members will be paying £1 per player in 2020. I still regard this as grossly unfair on small clubs as a club with 70 members will be paying just 50p per member when they would naturally have far greater resources at their disposal.

Management Committee Proposed G Underhill

Proposal 9 – Passed (57-20-7)

Bye Law 5(m) (p42)

Increase membership fee to £12

This is to reflect changes in the rebate to County Associations and a general inflation increase since the last change.

Management Committee Proposed National Registrar Pat Crowther

Proposal 10 – Passed (Sorry didn’t get the voting numbers)

Bye Law 7 (p44) General Meeting Representation

Bye law to be changed to read as follows – ‘Each County Association shall be entitled to send four representatives to any General Meeting in addition to its representative on the Management Committee, each shall have power to vote. Officers of the Association, with the exception of any salaried Officers, shall have the power to vote, together with past Presidents of the Association, Honorary Life Members and four representatives of the BCGBA Ladies Competitions Committee’.

Rationale – A Housekeeping Exercise, As the BCGLBA will no longer be a County Association in its own right, this change ensures the Ladies only counties continue to have a vote at General Meetings through their four representatives.

Management Committee (Proposed Interim CEO)

Proposal 10a – Withdrawn

Bye Law 7 (p44) General Meeting Representation

Bye law to be changed to read as follows – ‘Each County Association shall be entitled to send four representatives to any General Meeting in addition to its representative on the Management Committee, each shall have power to vote. Officers of the Association, with the exception of any salaried Officers, shall have the power to vote, together with past Presidents of the Association, Honorary Life Members and four representatives of the BCGBA Ladies Competitions Committee’.

Rationale – A Housekeeping Exercise, As the BCGLBA will no longer be a County Association in its own right, this change ensures the Ladies only counties continue to have a vote at General Meetings through their four representatives.

Proposed BCGLBA will be withdrawn if above rule change is passed

Proposal 11 – Passed (84-0-0)

Bye Law 9a (p45) Remove and Replace

The annual subscription for an Associate Member shall be £30 in 2019 and £35 in 2020.

This brings the fee into line with Club membership fees.

Management Committee Paul Ashmore National Safeguarding Officer

Proposal 12 – Passed (84-0-0)

Bye Laws 12 -13- 14 -15. Protests, Appeals and Deposits (p46-50) Remove and Replace with

Protests, Appeals and Deposits refer to BCGBA Discipline and Punishment policy. (Appendix)

Adopt- Discipline and Punishments policy. Renumber all following bye-laws.

Management Committee (Proposed Interim CEO)

Proposal 13 – Passed (84-0-0)

Bye-Law 20 Punishment (p52) In conjunction with Bye Laws 12-15

20 Delete and replace with BCGBA Discipline and Punishment policy.

Renumber remaining bye laws as appropriate.

Replacing the Bye Laws with policy provides the flexibility to amend policy as legislation and practice changes. This provides a sensible way forwards to ensure we comply with Local and National Government policy and legislation changes.

Management Committee (Proposed Interim CEO)

Proposal 14 – Passed (84-0-0)

Powers of Management Add rule 18a (p51) Policy and Procedures appendix.

The Management Committee as necessary can adopt policies and procedure as required to a Policy and procedure appendix.

Management Committee (Proposed Interim CEO)

To formally adopt:

18a (i) Safeguarding policy

(ii) Ex-offender policy

(iii) Discipline and punishments policy

(iv) GDPR policy

(v) (Expense policy)*

(vi) (Human Resources policy)*

(vii) (Membership policy)*

*currently under development formal adopting 2019.

Policy updates and additions to be approved by the Executive/ management committee between AGM’s to comply with any legislative amendments where necessary and to be formally approved at the next AGM.

Proposal 15 – Defeated (20-58-6)

Add new Bye-law 24(b) Re-number 24 to 24(a) Page 53

No BCGBA competitions to be held on any artificial surface.

Proposed South Yorkshire

Players dress code

Proposal 16 – Passed (74-9-1)

Bye Law 25 ~ 1. Delete the whole bye-law and insert (p54)

“Suitable footwear must be worn. Hard or block-heeled footwear, sandals or other open-toed footwear must not be worn whilst on the green in any match played under the Association’s jurisdiction.”

Management Committee Proposed David Williams Referee Secretary

Proposal 17 – Withdrawn

Bye-law 25 – 1 (p54) Replace the whole rule with

“Players must wear footwear. No hard or block heeled footwear, open-toed sandals or flip-flops to be worn whilst on the green in any match played under the Association’s jurisdiction”

(Proposed by the British Crown Green Ladies Bowling Association).

Proposal 18 – Withdrawn

Bye-Law 25. 1. (p54) Delete and replace with.

‘Hard or block heeled footwear must not be worn whilst on the green. Flat Soled Shoes or Trainers are the permitted footwear to be worn in any match played under the Associations jurisdiction. No spikes, studs, sandals or flip flops permitted@. Reasoning behind this with litigation now a days this is to safeguard our members and clubs. (Proposed W& W CGBA)

Proposal 19 – Withdrawn

Bye Law 25 ~ 2 (p54) (a) Renumber existing bye-law as 2 (a) (i) and insert new bye-law

2 (a) (ii) Shorts – Players may wear shorts, black in colour, as approved by BCGBA and supplied by the BCGBA approved supplier.

Management Committee Proposed David Williams Referee Secretary

Proposal 20 – Withdrawn

Bye Law 25~2 (p54)

Add 2(a) (ii) Shorts – new rule regarding dress code it is tailored shorts can be worn in hot weather the reason is that last year during the hot weather black trousers absorbed the heat.

(Proposed Yorkshire CGBA)

Proposal 21 – Withdrawn

Bye-Law 25. 2(a) (p54) remove black and replace with any colour.

Proposed South Yorkshire

Proposal 22 – Passed (77-7-0)

Bye-Law 2a (p54) Delete and replace with.

(a) Trousers: These shall be full length, single coloured trousers, in Black only. Tailored Shorts: knee length, Single coloured shorts, in Black only are permitted in any match played under the Associations jurisdiction. Studs, rivets and zipped pockets are not allowed, nor are external pockets on the legs. Nothing in this rule shall prevent exceptions being made for individuals with a relevant disability. (Proposed by WWCBA)

Proposal 23 – Passed (71-12-1)

Bye Law 25 ~ 2 (d) (p54) Delete the whole bye-law and insert

“In team contests uniform clothing must be worn by team members”

Management Committee Proposed David Williams Referee Secretary

Proposal 24 – Withdrawn

Bye Law 25.3 (p54) Remove line 2 ‘ except that lady bowlers playing in BCGBA competitions must conform to the BCGBA Dress Code ‘

Replace with ‘Where a lady (Seniors and Juniors) play in a BCGBA competition the ladies dress code shall apply in addition to the Men’s dress code for men.

(Proposed South Yorkshire)

COMPETITION RULES

Proposal 25 – Passed (84-0-0)

Add rules for the Champion of Champions (p176)

  1. The competition will be played at a venue determined by ……………….
  2. The thirty-two contestants shall be determined by their success in their Senior County Merit Competition, the winner of the All-Britain Senior Individual Merit, the Junior Individual Merit, The Jack & Jean Isherwood Veteran’s Merit and the winners of competitions, in order, determined by …………
  3. Any player receiving a bye in the first round shall be entitled to 10 minutes practice starting at the time they would have played the first- round game.
  4. All games shall be 21-up off scratch.
  5. The Dress Code for the competition will be the BCGBA Dress Code plus the following – Players must wear the appropriate shirt (red or blue) provided by BCGBA for the competition. If the player deems it necessary to wear protective clothing over the shirt they must wear the provided coloured ‘tabard/bib’ on top of that protective clothing.
  6. Referees appointed for the competition shall be allowed match expenses, and BCGBA shall be responsible for payment.

Proposal 26 – No seconder

Add new Bye-law competitions to apply to each competition rules appropriately.

The winner of the current years BCGBA Senior Merit (All Britain) and BCGBA Champion of Champions Events is allowed to defend their trophy by being given an automatic entry into the following years competitions.

Proposal from North Midlands CCGBA

Proposal 27 – Passed (83-0-0)

Add new Competition rule 12 to apply to for the All Britain Merit and Junior Merit P123

  1. The Dress Code for the Competition will be the BCGBA Dress Code plus the following –
  2. Players must wear the appropriate shirt (red or blue) provided by BCGBA for the competition. If the player deems it necessary to wear protective clothing over the shirt they must wear the provided coloured ‘tabard/bib’ on top of that protective clothing.
  3. Proposal from North Midlands CCGBA

Proposal 28 – Withdrawn

Senior County Championship

Page 75 add New Bye-Law 13 Senior County Championship each county can nominate a Junior bowler in their 12 man 1 home and 1 away to play in the Senior County teams.

Proposed South Yorkshire

Steve Davies

Throughout his bowling career Steve has always supported the admin side of the game as well as a keen player of the game. As a club secretary, association secretary, county delegate on the BCGBA (National Governing Body) Management Committee, Media Officer for the BCGBA, Merseyside champion in 2002 and Merseyside County President (2014-15) Steve has always been keen to promote the game especially through the broadcast of the game on TV or Internet. Steve set up the LIVE BOWLS YouTube channel which became the Bowls Observer channel and, through the LDBA, runs national competitions. Seeing an avenue to report on and promote the game Steve set up the Bowls Observer on-line magazine.