Buckinghamshire Short Mat Bowling Association


Buckinghamshire Short Mat Bowling Association

Minutes of 2018 Annual General Meeting

Date 2nd May 2018          Venue:  Winslow Bowls Club

Present: 17 People

Beacon: Linda Coker

Winslow: Brenda Goss, Victor Griffiths, Len Ward, Sheila Ward
Wendover Dark Greens – Ian MacMillan

Haddenham Blue: Brenda Gander, David Gander, June Swash, Ray Swash

Haddenham C: Sue Leaver, Ken Leaver

Chinnor: Barry Somers

Marsh Gibbon: John Thompson

Committee: Bob Hine, Peter Coker, Malcolm Richards

1. Apologies for absence:

Brian Latham, Alan Egleton, Hilary Richards, Mervyn Wilson

2. Minutes of last meeting 3rd May 2017

approved as a true and accurate record.

Proposer: David Gander

Seconder: Victor Griffiths

Unanimous vote in favour.

The minutes were duly signed.

3. Matters Arising


4. Correspondence

Victor Griffiths (Winslow), on behalf of his club, asked that clubs be consulted when issues of similar interest to the ESMBA Insurance scheme were being considered by the County. The committee would do this in future by notifying all club representatives.

5. Chairman’s Report

We’d like to thank Winslow for once again providing the venue for this year’s AGM – thanks Mary.

We have had just one committee meeting this year. This was to address the problems we encountered this year with arranging an Inter-County Championship schedule, something I’m sure Bob Hine will explain.

The BSMBA announced a new initiative to encourage older people to take up sport.  Short mat bowls was included. The initiative was run by the ACTIVE-IN project management team within the Adventure Learning Foundation Charity, providing activities for the community. Hawkslade SMBA was selected for a trial, with Ian Forbes and his members, but unfortunately it seems to have been unsuccessful in attracting participants despite publicity and their best efforts. Attracting new members is a problem many of us seem to face. We would welcome any suggestions that can be passed to our member clubs.

It has been another year of very enjoyable bowling, with the County progressing well in the inter-county championships, reaching the quarter finals once again. Congratulations to the County team members. I’d also like to thank Bob Hine for once again putting a great deal of work into arranging our schedules and organising the County team. It doesn’t just happen.

In the ESMBA National championships heats we ran at Handy Cross 18 members qualified for the finals. Well done them. All the results are on the website.

For the first time this year alongside the National Competition qualifying games we also used the same competitions to decide County Champions, in a bid to attract more entrants from those who did not want to take part in the National finals (were they to otherwise qualify).

It was disappointing that entrants for both the heats and the championship were no more than last year.

A number of winter and summer friendly competitions were quite well attended but depended on good support from Hertfordshire and Northamptonshire who asked us to join their games also. Without their support these games may no longer be viable.

All these competitions and games are friendly and enjoyable. When we have well over 500 registered members and only a handful take part; we have to wonder why. Perhaps many simply do not know these events exist or think they are too high a standard for them. We’d hope that you, the club representatives, could help by keeping them informed and, more importantly encouraging them to participate.

A lot of hard work goes into organising these events and I’d like to thank Bob Hine, Peter Coker and Brian Latham for their efforts.

I’d also like to than Bob Hine for all the work he puts into the website and keeping it up to date with information.

Victor Griffiths said Winslow had tried the Active-In initiative without success.


6. Membership Secretary’s report

Report submitted in his absence:

Numbers -

Clubs constant at 24

Player registration numbers 551 (currently up 2 compared with final figure for 2016/17).

Player Registration -

 A new Registration Secretary was recruited 2 years ago by ESMBA and from my point of view, he has continued to do an excellent job. New cards are issued promptly and mid-year registrations have all been acknowledged.

ESMBA Registration Fees -

As agreed last year, the Registration Fee will increase by £1 to solely cover a new initiative by the ESMBA to provide Personal Accident Insurance for every ESMBA registered Member whilst on the premises or elsewhere in connection with organised short mat bowls activities, including commuting to and from your destination.


As I am not aware of any increase from the ESMBA (but they do not have their AGM until July) I suggested that the Total Registration fee for Bucks for 2018/19 will be £7 per player.

Email Addresses -

We have received just over 200 email addresses out of 551 registered players – some clubs/players do not seem to want to know about taking the game any further, which I feel is a great shame. I have had little or no feedback (even if negative) from the following Beacon, Farnham Common, Hawkslade, Sands, Stewkley, Widmer End and Wing.

7. Team Manager

Inter County games:

We had yet another very successful season, coming top in group A having won 4 of our 6 games. We went through to the KO stages of the main competition with a bye to the quarter finals but came up against a very strong Devon team and lost quite heavily. It was unfortunate that we were missing some of our regular players, but all credit to those who played and put up a good fight.

We were due to play two friendly matches against Essex B team, but they were unable to raise teams for those games. However, Northampton were quite happy to put up a team against us and we had a great friendly match, playing to ICC rules. We won that by 22 points to 18.

Handy Cross is still working well as a home venue and visiting teams are very complimentary on the playing conditions.

Sadly, we have lost three of our players this year. Derek Carter, David Sills and Jenny Burden. Others have decided to withdraw from the county squad for various reasons, but we have gained a few new players. However, the strength of the squad is below a satisfactory level of 40 players and we would like to encourage others to consider joining the team.

For the forthcoming Inter County season, we have been informed that London County has re-entered the competition, and so there are now 5 teams in group 7. This caused a considerable amount of extra work, but eventually a schedule of matches has been compiled and this will be sent out to all squad members later in the year.

Once again, I have organised a series of friendly competitions to run through the summer months. The first one was on Sunday April 22nd, when 49 players took part in a “Spoon Drive”. This was well supported by both Hertfordshire and Northamptonshire players, without whom it would not be economically viable to run these games. The next competition is on Sunday 20th May and is an Australian Pairs competition. There is, once again, strong support from both Herts and Northants, and there will be anything up to 28 pairs taking part, with cash prizes for the winners.

Please continue to support your County team and join in with all the activities available to you as registered members of the B.S.M.B.A.


8. Treasurer’s report

The finances are in a healthy state and we do not propose any change in the County subscription. Our main expense is the National Heats and the associated Buckinghamshire Championships where entry fees do not cover the cost of hiring the bowls hall. In addition, we had a change of date due to weather and had to use the sports hall at extra cost as the bowls hall was not available.

The accounts were offered for approval.

Proposer: June Swash

Seconder: John Thompson

Vote - unanimous

9. Secretary

ESMBA coaching scheme:

The ESMBA provided details of their scheme to teach people how to coach bowlers and how to join the scheme. This information was sent by us to all our club representatives. As far as I have heard, one member was interested but they misunderstood the nature of the scheme; it is to teach people how to coach, not to be coached in short mat bowls. Currently we have no qualified short mat bowls coach in Bucks.

Vulnerable people:

In response to a member’s query about protecting vulnerable bowlers, including children, we circulated the Bowls Alliance recommendations and documentation to all our club representatives for them to decide how to implement this within their own club. We do have a County Safeguarding Office – David Gander.

I have now hopefully a complete list of all club representatives so I can distribute by email any relevant information and correspondence. Please do pass this on to your club members.   

10. National competition and County Championship organisers

I believe all went smoothly again this year with the exception of the Pairs where we could not use our normal venue and had to play in a very noisy (and expensive) badminton hall.

However, with the inclusion of the Bucks Championships this year as well as the new Over 55s Pairs competition (20 players) our total entry numbers were up by 28 to 61. However as this was over 6 competitions and was mainly the same players in a number of events.  I am disappointed that out of 550 odd registered players we only got just over 30 different players entering!!!!!! (Come on Bucks – digitum extractum).

However, for those who did enter – Thank You Very Much.

Bob had posted the results on the Bucks website, but here is a summary

“The 2018 Nationals have now been completed and the following players represented Buckinghamshire with varying degrees of success. We must congratulate them all for their achievements, particularly those who managed to get through to the second round or beyond, of the competitions. No mean feat as the opposition was extremely tough.”

SINGLES:  Sharon Drake, Arnie Jaffe (Bucks Champ Winner – Bob Hine)
PAIRS: Sharon Drake & Barry Somers, Ian Forbes & Malcolm Warwick (Also BCW )
TRIPLES: Bob East, Brenda Gander, David Gander (also BCW)  -  Irene Roberts, Val Latham, Brian Latham
FOURS:  Irene Roberts, Kevin Dwyer, Val Latham, Brian Latham (Also BCW)  -  Sharon Drake, Rosie Millard, Barry Somers, Chris Millard
MIXED FOURS: Mary Clarke, Victoria Nemar, Richard Forsythe, Peter Clarke (Also BCW)
OVER 55’s PAIRS: Brenda Gander & David Gander (also BCW)

Those highlighted also progressed through the league stages to the knock out where both the Mixed Fours and the Over 55s reached the quarter finals.

11. Fees

£7 per registered player, comprising £3 for County and £4 for ESMBA

12. Election of Officers

There were no new nominations and all the current committee members have agreed to stand for re-election.

It was proposed to elect the existing committee on this basis en bloc

Proposer: David Gander

Seconder: June Swash

Vote – unanimous.

The Committee members therefore for 2018-19 are:

Chairman:         Malcolm Richards

Secretary:         Malcolm Richards             

Team Manager:         Bob Hine    

Membership Secretary:        Brian Latham   

Treasurer:           Peter Coker     

National Competition and Bucks Championship Organisers  Peter Coker, Brian Latham  

13. AOB


14. Date of next AGM

Wednesday 8th May 2019, 7:00 pm, Haddenham Village Hall

The AGM closed at 7:50 pm.