Minutes of Meetings

Hon. Treasurer

John Hurren

11 Church Meadow

Milton-under-Wychwood, OX7 6JG

Tel: 07786 072 937

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Hon. Secretary

Chris Weller

Church Farm, Middletown,

Hailey, Witney. OX29 9UB

Tel: 01993 357047 / 07393 663564

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Hon. Match Secretary

Alex Fleming

45 Swinbrook Road,

Carterton. OX18 1DX

Tel, 01993 842649/07908 782548 Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

OBA Council Meeting

Held at Kidlington Bowls Club on

Wednesday October 11thl 2023, at 7.00pm.

Apologies.

Clubs, Henley on Thames, Bloxham, Shiplake and Adderbury.

Past Presidents, Ian Whelpton.

Michel Grossnickel

Attendance

Including OBA Officers, and Past Presidents there were 16 present in total with just 12 Club Delegates out of a possible 29 attending. This to my knowledge is the worst ever attendance at a Council meeting.Very disappointing.

Minutes of the March Council Meeting, postponed toWednesday April 5th, having been circulated, were Proposed by Martyn CooperSeconded by John Henwood.

Matters arising.

There were no matters arising.

Middleton Cup/ HCL Managers report

In my report of 2022, I highlighted the availability of players’ and their commitment to play in the Middleton Cup and Home County matches.

Invitations were sent out to 38 players to become members of the Middleton Cup Squad and 32 players to become members of the Home Counties Squad.

Details of the matches concerned were highlighted in both competitions. Commitment to these dates was essential. Several of the experienced players declined to become members of the squads, plus new players who were invited also could not commit to becoming members also.

Therefore, we ended up with the squad for the Middleton Cup of 31 players and in the Home Counties 20.  However, this was without commitment for every match.  This also meant when we came to selection for the matches the balancing of experience and personalities within the rinks was a difficult one.

Balancing the teams began early in the year with many meetings and discussions with the Team Captain and input from other senior players within the county.

Middleton Cup 2023

We had two trial matches this year at home to Gloucestershire Kidlington.  This proved to be a successful trial played in horrendousconditions but not showing the true abilities of the players selected.

The second trial was against Wiltshire at Wootton Basset.  Many of the players selected could not attend so a below strength team was selected with Home County players. Wiltshire had their full-strength team on view and although Oxfordshire produced a spirited performance, we were comprehensively out-bowled.

This years’ Middleton Cup was on a league basis.  In depth reports for each game are on our website.

 

June 3rd     vs   Sussex                      -    Lost

June 17th   vs   Buckinghamshire      -    Won

July 8thvs   Berkshire                  -    Lost

 

A disappointing result in the Middleton Cup but the effort and commitment of the players cannot be faulted.

 

Balcomb Trophy

 

Full reports available on our website. The first match vs Middlesex

Away was an excellent win at the Hendon bowls Club.  This enabled us to progress to the regional finals at Bromley, Kent.  An exceptional win in the Semi-Final against Kent put us through to the final against Buckinghamshire. Although a gritty performance by the players unfortunately the match ended in defeat.

In this competition, travel is always a constant 160mile round trip to Hendon and 300 round trip to Bromley for the final meant early starts and late home.

Home Counties

Full match reports on the website.  Home County rules only allow 8 Middleton Cup players for selection in any game, so balancing the rinks is always a headache.

Vs Sussex at Worthing Pavilion - 8 new players introduced to Home Counties league – A win for Sussex.

Vs Berkshire at Kidlington - This was a very tight affair with us losing on the last three ends.

Vs Surrey at Cranleigh Bowls Club – A much changed team was selected for this match with 16 dropouts from the team.However,the players drafted in all produced excellent performances.

A very disappointing year for results but could not fault the individual performances from the players.  New players were given the chance in both squads, so I sincerely hope this stands us in a better position for next season. A huge thanks to Alex as Match Secretary, home and away, also to Mark and Nick for their support this year and also confident 2024 will be more successful.

Under 25’s Managers report

To my fellow bowlers and officials,

My first season as manager has been overall a successful one, I would say.

The season started with two friendlies again two well established counties in Wiltshire & Warwickshire respectively, and although the overall result did not go our way, this was never the objective.

My objective as a new manager was to see who I had to work with, and who worked well with who and where. But what I saw across both games, especially the later was a real fight from our young talent in this county; a proper hunger to win and punch above their station, really making their more established oppo work for it. Which at this stage is exactly what I want to see, the results will come, but first they need that desire to win every single end.

 

What followed next was exactly what I wanted to see, a strong and fierce performance in our first competitive match of the season, a first tie against Buckinghamshire in the White Rose.

Bucks who have been strong, but this season losing 4 players to the sands of time, were definitely there to be toppled, and that’s exactly what happened; leading from the very first end, our young, and in some areas, very inexperienced side, showed a real ruthless streak to take a steady lead going into the final third of the match. Of course, our opposition were not to go down easy, and fought back strongly, but the boys held out to win by 3 and make the regional semi-final in Horsham.

 

After the elation of their underdog victory, the boys faced another strong team in the ‘intimidating’ Sussex. Loud, confident, and self-assured, it’s fair to say they took us for granted, and our boys were here to win. Again, leading from the start, they blocked out the constant noise and bluster from their players and support, and went about consistently knocking them back into the ropes, end after end. 

With another professional display from our young team, they were ruthless in seeing off their far more experienced opponents, giving an even greater underdog display than the first round, to reach the regional final, and a game away from Nationals.

 

And to be the best, you have to beat the best, and they faced (probably) the best in the juggernaut of Kent.

Last year’s winners arrived with 13 players, so had strength in depth, each as good as each other, (something to build towards for us), and had no desire to go home empty handed, but neither did we.

And at 11 ends, we were leading by a single shot, and holding our own.

However, Kent unfortunately for us had a few more gears to shift through, and after a long and intense morning beating Sussex, our younger side started to tire, and Kent showed the ruthless you’d expect from the Champions and saw us off.

 

However, after two big wins, and high praise from both the England Under 25s manager and Kent’s manager, (who likened us to a younger Kent side), I think the lads did themselves and the County, very proud indeed.

And as the England boss said to me, this very much puts Oxfordshire Under 25s, “back on the map”. 

So, plenty to be proud of and plenty to build on.

 

As well as White Rose, we had the JHCL to fight for. And after a good win, again against Bucks, we had a showdown with Hampshire to reach the final.

However, it was not to be, and our momentum came to and end down at Bannister Park, and for the first team in the season, we didn’t quite show up as we had done though out the season. 

But again, we have a young and fresh side, and we will learn just much, if not more, from our defeats as we do from our victories.

 

We are currently on the upwards curve of a transition period in Oxfordshire for Under 25s, and fortunately I am the one who gets to reap these rewards. I would not have any of this if it were not for the hard work of my predecessor, Dave Leighfield, who kept our juniors going through a very sparse period, and he should be greatly praised for all he has done. Fortunately, he still very much involved, even filling in for me whilst I was away for a match, and it’s a pleasure to work with him, on something we share a great deal of passion for.

 

I must also give my thanks to my captain this year, and for the last few years, Ben Dickson, a strong and steady bowler, who played some outstanding shots throughout the season to clinch us some big wins. It was unfortunately Ben’s last season for Under 25s and I wish him every success going into the senior side, a chance which he undoubtedly deserves.

 

For me, I must say what a privilege it has been to be Under 25s Manager for Oxfordshire this season. This young team we have, really do have the potential to do brilliant things, and it is down to all of within the county to support and facilitate them as best we can. They are our future, nothing less, let us not forget that.

See you next season! 

Best

Ryan Alexander Full

 

Competition Secretary(acting) report.

It is all over for another year with the Champion of Champions the last competition to be completed on Saturday 23rd September. Blue skies and warm sunshine made it an ideal day for bowling and spectators. 16 bowlers took part which made my life very easy.

Coming in at the quarter final stages of the competitions due to Bryan Flitter’s poor health and thinking that it was going to be a one off, what a surprise.  Although at times I felt like     “Billy no Mates”  with the lack of support from the Presidential side of the OBA

I would like to thank all the bowlers who supported me and the clubs that went the extra mile to ensure that everything was just right for the occasion. Starting from the quarter finals right through to the County Semi-Finals and Final, which also includes the Domestic Finals, Hawker Cup, and lastly the Champion Of Champions.

With everything done and dusted Trophies / Cups plus details of all the winners and runners -up with the engravers, we can all start to look to the County dinner so we can support the winners and runners-up picking up their hard-won trophies.

Considering the summer, we have just had we were very fortunate with the weather; I did have the good fortune to watch some very good bowling being played at all the matches.

We only seem to talk about the winners without runners-up there are no winners! A very big thank you to everybody that entered the competitions this year, please enter again and get your bowling mates to also enter. It is important that Bowls Oxfordshire maintain their position in the league table, which should still give both sets of finalist the chance to go to the Nationals at Leamington in 2024. 

Thank you all for getting your results in early so the section secretaries could promptly put the results on to the Bowls Oxfordshire website.

We will be looking at dates for next seasons quarter finals, semi-finals and finals before the end of the year.  Hopefully you will all be available next year to stage an event and once we fix the dates, we will be in touch so watch this space!

Thank you all, in a strange way I did enjoy helping with making it another successful season.

Winter Well.

Acting OBA Competition Secretary

John Henwood

County Competition winners for 2023.

2 Wood Singles:   C. Charles (Banbury Borough BC )

Singles:    L. Young (Banbury Central BC )

Pairs:   N. Silford, S. Cooper (West Witney BC )

Triples:   G. Mayles, J. Nicholls, C. Charles (Banbury Borough BC )

Fours:   D. Leighfield, H. Alder, K. Alder, S. Cooper (West Witney BC )

Senior Fours:   B. May, P. Comley, R. Gaskins, H. Watts (Headington BC )

Under 25’s Singles:   J. Justin (Carterton BC )

Under 25’s Pairs:   B. King (Headington BC ) J. Justin (Carterton BC )

Domestic Finals winners

Allison Cup:    I. Gilbert (Banbury Central BC )

Officers Cup:   B. Bloomfield (Witney Town BC )

Longford Cup:   O. Shariff (Oxford City & County BC )

 

Champion of Champions

M. Charlett (Headington BC )

 

Hawker Cup Winners

Headington BC

 

 

Treasurer’s Report.

The bank balance at the time of the last OBA Council meeting at the start of the outdoor season was £11,851 and we recorded a deficit over the 2022 season of £631.84, largely due to high expenditure on our clothing stocks. Much of this clothing has been purchased over the 2023 season.

This year, with only 20 days to go before the end of our financial year, our bank account shows a figure of £14,053 although I have yet to settle costs for the Presentation evening, trophies and engraving. So, with this in mind I’m unable to confirm we will have a deficit or surplus this year, but I suspect it will be the latter.

The increase of income this year has largely come from a full programme of outdoor matches and a larger number of entries into the National championships and domestic cup competitions, in the case of the nationals, this enabled us to send most finalists to the National finals and not just the winners of the county finals. It would be good to do this every year, as it is the goal of most decent bowlers to play at Leamington Spa.

I’d like to thank Alex fleming for his role as match secretary, which includes collecting match fees and paying out for meals, rink fees, travel costs etc and I’m pleased to confirm a surplus this year with income from matches being £8,618.50 and expenditure of £8,172.50 and carrying forward a surplus of £446 which will help to keep the match fees at the same level again next season.

I will provide a full break down of the income and expenditure at the AGM in a few weeks’ time.

 John then went on to give details of the Presentation evening dinner. He said he was disappointed by the response this year, having acted on criticism from previous years, with a different day, venueand menu options. Those attending now numbered 57, and although viable, was less than attended last year. Only a small percentage of the winners had decided to attend. Late additions could still be catered for if they contacted him that week, and as always raffle prizes would be welcome.

When the Treasurer had finished giving his report, Match Secretary Alex Fleming said that he just wanted to state that the support from ALL Clubs who had hosted County games, whether friendly, or representative, had been excellent this season, and he hoped this would continue next season.

2023 Officers and Committee nominations update

The Hon Sec read through the list of nominees for the various officers, which had at least one nominee for almost every post.

John Henwood said that the Tournament Committee was currently in a state of flux, and would be subject to some changes before the beginning of next season, which he would keep everyone updated on.

It was understood that Bryan Flitter was currently very poorly, and all sent him their best wishes.

Bowls Oxfordshire Matters

Treasurer, John Hurren reminded everyone that Bowls England were raising their affiliation fees,perperson, from £5.00 to £7.00 , a large increase , and the first for a number of years.

It had been agreed next year Bowls Oxfordshire affiliation fees would be matching those of the Ladies, rising from £2.75 to £3.00. It was possible that fees might need to rise again the following year, by perhaps a pound her person, male and female.

Affiliation fees had not kept pace with the current financial situation, therefore other avenues of revenue were going to be explored, including sponsorship and advertising on the Bowls Oxfordshire website which received many hits each week.

Bowls England matters

Bowls Oxfordshire Administrator Alan Scholan reported the following items.

National Finals Leamington 2023  

Some of the stats:

  • 43 matches were streamed over the duration of the event, with all counties featuring at least once, including Carol and Donna’s great win in the Ladies Pairs.
  • Over 65k hours of live viewing
  • 83 public members brought the VIP packages
  • 144 VIP’s were invited and attended

There were visits from Tim Hollingsworth (CE of Sport England) and John Steele (Chair of CWG England).

Working Parties Requests

Counties were asked to:

  • Give consideration to creating the role of a County Disciplinary Officer.  Bowls England will assist with a job description and training as part of the disciplinary working party Review.
  • Complete a short survey in relation to unaffiliated clubs, which will shortly be sent to myself from the Affiliation Working Party.

 2023/24 Operational Plan

The Bowls England priorities for 2023/24 operational plan include –

  • making more progress with the Play Bowls and Bowls Bash initiatives,
  • concluding the four Working Party projects
  • a plan to better manage the data held by Bowls England. 

2023/24 Budget

Whilst the affiliation fee has increased, Bowls England will be tightening budgets in a number of areas in order to get close to a break-even budget.  This includes only paying for one county delegate at the conference this year, with Counties being able to purchase additional places. 

 The 2023/24 Operational Plan and Budget will be sent to me in a few weeks.

 Late Affiliations

 Bowls England consider that new members after the May census do not get free affiliation, free affiliation is a perk only available to clubs who take part in BBW. 

Bowls England ask all County Associations to undertake a late affiliation process to both support County and Bowls England finances but, importantly, to have a more accurate gauge on playing numbers and the impact of our collective efforts.

JVP and Board Nominations

 There will be three adverts circulated shortly.  Two for Board Member roles and one for the role of Junior Vice President.  The closing date is Monday 30th October at 9 a.m.  All the positions are member elected, they will need to be put forward by a county and if there is more than one, there should be a county ballot.

JVP

 The JVP role, is a gender rotation role therefore we are looking for a Male application in the first instance.  This is a great role for anyone who feels they have ambassadorial skills, and enjoys celebrating the sport with members and clubs. 

Board Members

 All board members, whether member-elected or independently appointed, will be directors, contributing on all aspects of board business.  

 

The appointment process will articulate the following skills and experiences that would add most value

 

  • Performance Sport experience

 

  • Digital/IT/Technology

 

  • PR/Communications/Media

 

  • Human Resources/People

 

 Performance Strategy Survey

 

 Counties are asked to pass on the name and email address of anyone in their County who helps with their performance, team management and/or coaching.  They will then be sent the short survey which will assist the development of the new strategy. Names to me please by 31st October. 

 

Benevolent Fund

 Bowls England is looking to explore how the charitable landscape within our sport currently operates and how we can best support disadvantaged groups to grow our sport.  Counties are asked to contact BE, if they feel comfortable, to discuss how their benevolent funds work and who can benefit from them.

Afurther discussion followed on the recent decision by BE to ask Clubs to pay affiliation fees for any player joining a Club between May and September who had taken up the game because of BBW. The general view was that this would amount to very few people, and that all it did was cause speculation as to the financial security of BE.

 

Further Unification update.

There had been a number of meeting both subcommittee, and a full BO Executive meeting just 2 nights before on October 9th.

The main topics at this meeting were the draft policy on Financialgovernance and Job Descriptions which produced considerable debate.

A further 15 policy documents were released from the middle of the year to all the Clubs for them to review, and there were still another 9 to be issued.

After all are issued, and the BOL and OBA AGM’s have taken place it was hoped that a consultation process would take place, which would include a new tab on the website where people could place constructive comments, for and against any aspect of the further unification process that they wished to discuss.

Proposals

Proposal from Headington BC to play the Semi- final/Finals on one of the best greens available in theCounty, rather than the home green of the current President.

 

John Henwood spoke on behalf of Headington BC who had drafted the proposal explaining the tradition of playing the County Finals on the Presidents green, irrespective of the quality of the green. The gist of the proposal was that at the start of the season 3 or 4 of the best greens in the County would be notified that they were, if they wanted to be, in contention hosting the Finals, and then a decision would be taken about 5 or 6 weeks before finals were to be played as to which green to use.

John Henwood proposed, and Alex Fleming seconded it.

After a brief discussion on whether Clubs would be willing to keep the day free in case it was chosen, a vote was taken.

The proposal was approved and carried unanimously.

 

Proposal to reduce the number of ends played in the Hawker from 21 to 18 in 2024. All other rules in this competition to remain the same.

The proposal had been debated a number of times through the season by a number of individual and clubs.

The was no discussion, and when voted on was approved and carried unanimously.

Both proposals will be ratified at the OBA AGM.

 

AOB

Nigel Siford told John Henwood that his name had been misspelt in the Competition Secretaries report. John said he would rectify this.

The Hon. Sec commented on the very disappointing attendance at the meeting, he thought it likely that it was probably the worst ever, 16 in total, and just 12 delegates, who he went on to thank for their presence.

Everyone was reminded that the AGM would take place on Wednesday November 15th at Kidlington BC, starting at 7.00 pm. The Hon Sec said he hoped to circulate all documents regarding the AGM about a fortnight before the event.

 

There being no further business the meeting closed at 20.15 pm.