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Winter League extends boundaries

Winter League

The End-of-Season meeting for the Winter League teams was held last Wednesday at Milnsbridge BC when 40 people attended. A number of rule changes were approved but the eye-catching change was one that didn't require a rule change at all.

An approach had been made from clubs in Barnsley about entering teams into the League. The League rules just state that the League is open to teams in the Huddersfield area with no definition of what that really means. The opening was put before delegates at the meeting and a vote of 21-6 voted in favour of permitting Barnsley teams to join the League for the 2022-23 season. It was also agreed that, for future reference, there should be a definition of what constitutes the 'Huddersfield area' so that we are clear on which teams are welcome to join us.

The awaited discussion on introducing a maximum 35-metre long mark materialised but there was little support for it. The case being that by introducing a maximum long mark it would enable some of those bowlers that struggled to reach long marks a better chance of competing and stop the procession of this practice which could lead to some bowlers stopping bowling in the League. This shortfall being compounded by the fact that the League bowls through the winter months on heavier greens and all bowlers are aged over 60. The proposed change would not be enforced in the top three divisions in recognition that this would be insulting to the standard of bowling we expect from bowlers at that level. However the vote was overwhelming in opposing any such change and the rule remains unchanged.

One rule that did get changed was the start time of all League matches. For the 2022-23 season all League matches will start at 11.30am which is 30-minutes earlier than the noon start time last season. The reasoning behind this comes from a year's experience and the clash that bowlers were finding as they drove home at the same time as schools were leaving and the additional traffic that brings. It also caused some conflict for some grandparents on school collection duties which loomed ever closer whenever a match dragged out past its supposed completion time.

Another supported rule change sees the number of positions on the Management Committee doubled to six in light of the growing interest in the League and offers already received. In addition, it was agreed that every host club should be entitled to hold a position on the Management Committee, so a further three positions have been added but this may increase again if more host greens are introduced for next season.

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