BCGBA AGM - Part 1: Postponed

Bowling News

This is the first of two postings about the BCGBA Annual General Meeting. Our ruling body makes decisions that affect our sport and how we run our leagues and clubs. An important theme of a proposed restructuring is to change the current county structure and introduce a body divided into five new regions.

This is the notification about the BCGBA regarding their Annual General Meeting as printed on the Bowls Observer website. Interestingly there is no reference to any of this on the BCGBA website.

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

It is hoped that the meeting could be 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.

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.

Part 2: Tomorrow we will include details of the proposed rule changes.

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