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 6th March 2024, at 7.00pm.


Bloxham,Middle Barton,OUP,Alex Fleming, Ron Smith, Sam Watts.


Including OBA Officers, Past Presidentsand Club Delegates there were17 present.

Minutes of the OBA October 2023 Council Meeting, having been circulated, were proposed byMartyn Cooper     seconded by Tony Wright

Matters arising.none

Treasurer’s Report.

Treasurer’s Report to the OBA Council on 6 March, 2024

The current balance in the OBA account is £13,566.

There has been limited financial activities since my last report to the council in the autumn. Income received includes the sale of shirts and ties for the coming season plus a payment from Bowls Oxfordshire for competitions managed by the OBA in the coming season. This year the amount was £2,498, which is very similar to last year.

Expenditure has been limited to affiliation fees and comp entry fees for inter-county activities, we also made a donation to a charity following the recent loss of Peter Cross on behalf of all county bowlers. The past presidents medal cost us £339 and there were printing costs including the competitors contact cards, which are available for you to take back to your clubs for distribution today. All other outgoings were small.

At the last GPC meeting it was agreed that we would provide funds for new bowling attire to be used by the County’s Junior squad, which has grown very well thanks to the academies that have been set up in the county. We are seeking sponsorship for the section, which will include this expenditure, but an order was placed early to ensure juniors had what they needed for the start of the season. The value of the clothing is circa £1,600.00.

Should anyone be aware of a business’ in the county who would be willing to sponsor the junior section, please put them in touch with me and we’ll see how we can mutually support each other. We also want to achieve income from advertising on the new county website which is under construction and goes live in April 2025.

All monies in the OBA will be transferred to the Bowls Oxfordshire account at the end of the playing season and before the end of March 2025.

Middleton Cup/Home Counties League/County Friendlies

In theabsence of Middleton Cup /HCL Manager Paul Demczak and OBA Match Secretary Alex Fleming, the Hon Sec summarised activity on the items mentioned, during the past month. The MC Manager sent out invites to players in both the MC and HCL squads, with a deadline of March 23rd, for replies being returned.

Obviously not known at this stagehow many will accept.

The first Selectors meeting was held on February 19th, where the above squads and other matters were discussed. Thenext Selection meeting will take place in mid-April where the sides for the opening games will be selected.

Alex Fleming has done his usual sterling job with organising County Friendlies, 17 games will be played this year, with invites sent out to players who played last year as well as Club Secretaries encouraging new bowlers to the County scene to take part. To date there had been 4or 5 new people wanting to play county friendlies.

The Hon Sec said he had received very recent notification that at the Home Counties Bowling Association meeting 4th March, Middlesex has pulled out of all matches, including HCL friendlies and under 25 games. Thisleaves just 3 Counties in each division of the Senior HCL league.


Bowls Oxfordshire matters/ Bowls Oxfordshire AGM 27.3.2024

The Hon Sec said that the Bowls Oxfordshire AGM would take place at Kidlington BC in 3 weeks’ time on Wednesday March 27th, with the agenda for the meeting being circulated a week before which would include more information on further unification, including an update from all four sections, Men, Women’s. Mixed and Junior.

All policy documents and new constitution which had been featured on the Bowls Oxfordshire website from the start of December to the end of February would need to be signed off by attending Club delegates at the AGM. During the 3-month consultation period from December to February not a single comment had been made by anyone, which was being as a positive reaction at present!

John Hurren said that work had started on the New County Website, which would contain alot more information, almost doubling in size from forty pages, to just over seventy 31st March 2025 the old website will close, and the new website will go live on 1st April 2025. Details of the website were added by John and Mike Jones.

President Mike Morris stated that Rule 9 of the Bowls England constitution was still being overhauled and would relate not only to individuals and their behaviour but also give guidelines on the use of social media.

Over the last 2 years complaints to Bowls Oxfordshire that had been made were behavioural,  between players, and one of the policy’s is on players code of conduct. Mike asked if Clubs did haver issues such as these then would they please follow the process set out in the policy, before making any decisions. Delegates were advised to check their own Clubs constitutions. Carterton delegate Nigel Rawlins said his club were currently in the process of reviewing their Constitution, and were likely to go down the same path as Bowls Oxfordshire had, with a shorter constitution, but the introduction of policy documents, which if necessary, could be altered more easily than a constitution could.


Bowls England matters. Summary of Bowls England AGM

Alan Scholan , who had attended the Bowls England AGM on the OBA’s behalflisted the main problems that Bowls England faced as lack of money, number of players within the game, which was not yet back to pre-Covid levels, despite new playerstaking up the game rising by 1.5% last year, and finallyincreasing the number of participants in the National competitions nationally, which was an important source of income for BE.

Having spent 18 months, looking at proposals for reorganisation of National competitionswith representatives from various counties, and with the news that competitions entries have gone down by 26%, 19 recommendations were put forwardby BE to be voted on by Counties at the AGM Proposals will come in in 2025.  Alan went through the results of some of the most contentious proposals and said that the decisions taken would come into force in 2025.

Bowls England were looking at an IT system, which would allow individuals to book and pay for the competitions they wished to play. Thegeneral consensus on this idea was that the current system would need considerable improvement for this to become a reality and might be beyond Bowls England’s current scope.


Big Bowls Weekend

BE instigated BBW 3or 4 years ago and have always held it over the last May Bank holiday weekend.After initial success in the first two years, last year’s attendance mostly dipped at Clubs, with Clubs that had decided to hold recruitment days earlier in the season, doing much better than those who had opted to wait for the BBW. The Hon Sec asked for a show of hands from delegates who knew their Club was organising their own recruitment event, and there was a majority who were doing this. The two previous years with the help of former Vice President Michel Grossnickel, BO had assisted with the promotion of any recruitment by the use of social media, for just £10.00. All delegates were asked by the Hon Sec if clubs would like BO to attempt this again or were they happy to organise their own publicity for their own particular event. Another show of hands, and the delegates present voted to look after their own Club publicity.


Survey of Club details forms

 Now that the Hon. Sec had agreed to taking over the issuing of the Club details form each year, he had also decided to update it, so that this year it now includes the coaching and safe-guarding officers from each Club. He went on to say that when he last sent out a survey in 2021 asking Clubs if they had even one Club coach, they all replied, but the results were disappointing with 14 of the 29 Clubs reporting they had no Coach at all.

The results of the Club details form this year showed that 9 Clubs still had no Coach, so some improvement, but not as much as one might expect perhaps, although some Clubs had hopefully rectified this with participants in the Level1 Coaching course held in January/ February, which was being completed on March 16th.

John Henwood stated that this course gives you a qualification,based on NVQ.

Current best practice stipulated that Coaching should not be on a one-to-one basis, and that there should always be another person present.

Henley delegate Kevin Browne said his club have interested parties re coaching but are put off by the course work.


Likewise, when in November 2021 Clubs were asked if they had an appointed Safeguarding officer within their Club, 3 had nobody appointed, whilst a further 3 were in the process of appointing an officer.

However, from the recent survey the results showed that 6 Clubs had no Safeguarding officer in place, so the situation had actually worsened. With the Safeguarding course being run on April, 20th, it was hoped at least some of these 6 Clubs were rectifying this situation.


Cancellation of October OBA Council meeting, replaced by Bowls Oxfordshire EGM.

The Hon Sec said that at the recent Bowls Oxfordshire Executive meeting he had proposed that the October OBA Council meeting should be cancelled this year, as there was no requirement for it, with the final OBA AGM taking place a month later, but with no appointments to be made, which was the main purpose of the October Council meeting. Instead, it had been suggested that this meeting be replaced by a Bowls Oxfordshire EGM, to take place probably at the end of November after the final OBA and BOL AGM’s.

Delegates were asked for a show of hands on this matter, and it was approved by a majority to cancel the October OBA Council meeting and replace with a BO EGM.


John Henwood said that he had been asked by two Past Presidents why they no longer received minutes of GPC meetings and other documents. The Hon.Sec said that soon after taking over from his predecessor Ian Whelpton, Ian had offeredto send all minutes etcto Past Presidents, so had been included on the OBA Secretaries list that was used by the Hon Sec to send all relevant information to Clubs.

Obviously,Ian had faced a very difficult set of personal circumstances within the last year, which might partly account for the lack of information being passed on, but minutes had recently been added to the website, and in the interests of transparency it was hoped that this could be maintained, and the service improved.Minutes of the Council meetings are sent out to all GPC members and Club Secretaries and Delegates. If one of the Past Presidents could provide the Hon. Sec with all the email addresses of all the existing Past Presidents he would be happy to put another email group together and provide them with regular updates of information when appropriate.


There being no further business to discuss the meeting closed at 8.15 pm.