BCGBA AGM proposals & postponement

The 3rd Saturday of January is the traditional date the annual meeting of the British Crown Green Bowling Association. This year it has once again fell victim to the public health restrictions that protect us against the COVID-19 pandemic.

It is hoped that the meeting could he held in March when, hopefully, we will have fewer or no recommendations to follow. As well as the votes in the rule’s revision meeting in the morning there was also going to be a vote in the afternoon to continue to change how the sport is governed. The BCGBA CEO Mark Bircumshaw has had a stunningly busy couple of years and has led the review of the BCGBA Governance.

BCGBA CEO – Mark Bircumshaw

The Governance proposal are some of the most important in the sport and I have liberally copied and pasted from the document published to support this.

BCGBA Governance proposals

All national sporting bodies, of which we are one, that receive funding from central Government are required to adopt the relevant government legislation and governance requirements that relate to sporting bodies. To comply with such, over the last few years the BCGBA has initiated safeguarding requirements with the introduction of safeguarding Officers at Club and County level, has joined Coach Bowls, the cross-code coaching body, and has this year re-joined the Bowls Development Alliance (BDA).

During the last 12 months I have been working with the other Bowls codes and the BDA to prepare the next funding Sport England bid for the development of Bowls. This is currently with Sport England, and we are waiting on final feedback. When final approval is given, we will be able to update you on the development options available over the coming years. This bid covers a programme of activities that we see necessary to develop the sport of crown green bowls over the next 5- 10 years.

The time has now come to Establish a Board structure which will replace the Executive, this will consist of (eventually) an independent Chairman, CEO, Finance, and Safeguarding Lead, along with a number of Independent Board members. These will be elected at the Annual General Meeting formally every 3 years. The board will consist of a maximum of 8-12 members, to include a total of 5 County representatives one from each regional groups.

Proposed BCGBA Board Structure

To accommodate this, the Management Committee will be restructured into regional groupings who will each nominate a potential Board member to sit for the first 3 years, with a rotational membership to ensure that all Counties have a representative able to sit on the Board. (The actual period of office is up for discussion. No member can sit for longer than 9 years in total).

Road Map to an Independent Board. (Provisional)

  • January 2022, Agreement to proceed to a Board Structure
  • July 2022 Nominations to Interim board- elected at July Management Committee
  • July 2022- Jan 2023 Board members elected, Ratified at AGM 2023.

These proposals should be considered by all members of the association as it will be a permanent change to how the sport is governed.

The proposals for voting in the morning at the rules revision meeting are:

The introduction of the £10 annual registration fee for leagues and associations.

The reason for this proposal is that the leagues and associations benefit from having Public Liability Insurance in the same way clubs do but the clubs also pay an annual registration fee. This may prove to be quite contentious as I am already aware of some league’s thoughts on the BCGBA and a proposal to introduce a fee may not be popular.

Closure of a loophole in the definition of a club member in Senior and Junior county championship

It was found last year that players have played for clubs as a guest rather than a member. This was a problem in the Senior County Championship as no home bowlers are allowed but the rule did not prevent “guests” playing.

A change in the deadline for publishing teams in the Senior County Championship

The current deadline is three weeks to allow for teams and venues to be sent to counties in the post. As it is all done on-line now the deadline can be reduced to two weeks. Though I’m sure booking coach travel to games will not be made easier by a reduced deadline.

Neutral referees for Senior County semi’s and final only

With the pool of referees dwindling finding suitable referees prepared to travel the country is getting more difficult each year. This will allow for approved referees from the local area to be appointed and has been used in the Ladies County Championship without any problems.

Junior Merit qualifiers to be the same as the Senior Merit.

With some counties able to have large entries in the Junior Merit qualifiers it seems unfair to limit them to just two qualifiers for the final’s day.

If agreed the changes to the law of the game will be to clarify that:

  • A DEAD BOWL is a bowl that cannot be counted and, if on the green, shall be taken off the green so as not to interfere with play
  • Before commencing play the number of points to be scored to win the game shall be fixed.
  • A player must not attempt to affect the running of any bowl
  • In the event of a suspension under Law 9.9 or any other unforeseen circumstances, the points scored by each player shall stand and the position of the jack shall be marked. Ends should be completed, if possible, games being restarted from an agreed point as near as possible to where the jack lay at the last end played.
  • Ends should be completed if possible. Games shall be restarted from an agreed point as near as possible to where the jack lay at the last end played
  • A VOID END is an end to be replayed with the footer remaining or placed as near as possible to where it originally lay during the void end.
  • A MEDICAL DISPENSATION: can only be provided by the referee’s society on the evidence of a medical practitioner. The Dispensation letter should be available for the Referee if requested prior to the commencement of a game.
  • To clarify what is a Game and what is a Match.
  • The FOOTER, which shall be round, shall have a diameter of not less than 125mm and not more than 155mm.
  • At the commencement of a game the footer must be placed by the leader within three metres of the entrance to the green, on either the left or right side and one metre from the edge but no more than two metres from the edge
  • Any dead bowls are reinstated for the new end. Any forfeited bowls are not reinstated for the replayed end.
  • After each end is concluded, the footer shall be placed at the jack by the last player. The footer may only be repositioned by the leader of the next end and before the first attempt to set a mark, anywhere within a space of one metre from where the jack lay at the conclusion of the last end but at least one metre in from the edge of the green. The footer must not be moved after the first attempt to set a mark by either the leader or the opponent until the end is concluded.
  • When an end is concluded i.e. all the bowls have come to rest, a player may remove their own non-counting bowl without incurring a penalty
  • If either the jack or a bowl being measured is displaced by a player, that player shall lose the point in question.
  • Electronic devices e.g., mobile phones, pagers, smart watches etc. in active mode are not allowed on the green. Should a player fail to comply, that player shall forfeit the game. The offender(s) to receive no further score and the opponent(s) to receive the maximum score
  • Smoking: Smoking, vaping and the use of electronic cigarettes is not allowed whilst participating in the game of Crown Green Bowls. The offending player(s) shall receive no further score and the opponent(s) shall receive the maximum score.
  • Footwear: Hard block-heeled or open-toed footwear must not be worn whilst on the green in any game played under the Association’s jurisdiction. The offending player(s) shall receive no further score and the opponent(s) shall receive the maximum score.

It should be a long day for those going!

About Steve Davies 171 Articles
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.