Minutes of the Executive Committee 27th March 2014

Members Present: Roy Hurley, Martin Livesey, Richard Anderson, Mike Harber, Dave Easey and Dave Cocks.  Apologies had been received from John Spiers, Alex Kinchin-Smith, and Frank Sharpe.

1. Minutes of Previous Meeting

The minutes were agreed

2. Matters Arising

None

3. Females in Open Singles

It was agreed that females would be allowed to enter the open singles without making a formal alteration to the rules because that was not considered necessary. Should an objection be received it would dealt with on its merits by the Tournament Committee. Any appeal against their decision would be referred to the Executive Committee 

4. Refusal of St Michaels E to play Townsend 

The background to this case was outlined to the Committee by the Chairman. At a league match between the two teams a spectator interrupted a match by claiming a player’s service was foul. This had led to a heated discussion between the two teams. As a result the captain of St Michaels E had written to the Divisional Secretary to say he was not prepared to play the reverse fixture. Both sides had submitted written representations to the league on this incident. There was no impartial evidence available to the Committee. It was agreed that it was an important principle that no team can refuse to play any match without the league’s permission. In this particular case it was agreed that John Kimsey and Martin Livesey should decide whether or not to require the match to be played, having regard to the effect of the decision on the two teams and other teams’ positions in the division. It was decided that there was no need to introduce any new rules to deal with this type of issue.

Action Martin Livesey/John Kimsey

5. Printed Handbook

Members expressed mixed views about the retention of a printed handbook. They identified advantages and disadvantages for it. John Spiers had sent an email identifying the net costs of printing the handbook taking account of the income provided by advertisers. This indicated to the Committee that the handbook was good value for money and they decided that the handbook should continue in its present form for the time being.

6. The Harvey Shield

Frank Sharpe had sent an email to the meeting setting out the aims and history of the competition. He is satisfied that the teams that enter the completion enjoy their table tennis in this format. The meeting was reminded that 27 teams had entered the competition this year meaning that 22 teams had not. We discussed ways that could improve participation, particularly by players in the Premier Division as it was felt that an important aspect of the competition was for players from the lower division to play against them. Various reasons were identified why premier team players did not participate, including that they  play in other leagues and rather than play in the Harvey shield they prefer to play in those leagues. Various suggestions were made to improve their participation, such as premier team players playing in a team with lower division players. However, none of them were considered to overcome completely this problem. It was agreed to ask Frank Sharpe if there was a way of helping Premier division players’ handicaps to encourage them to play in the competition. It was pointed out that teams that did not play in the Harvey Shield had a long break from table tennis whilst the group matches were played. Various suggestions were made to avoid this, but none found complete favour. It was agreed that Roy should contact Club Secretaries outlining the various suggestions and to seek their views.

Action Roy Hurley/Frank Sharp

7. Trophy for First Division singles competition (FDSC)

Dave Cocks sought advice on the purchase of a FDSC trophy and trophies for the winners of the various competitions. He had received guidance from Nigel Noel, but had found that the previous trophies were no longer available and that the price of similar glasses from the same supplier had increased. He was exploring various alternatives for the trophies and suppliers. It was agreed to give Dave a free hand in the choice of the trophies, subject to his reasonable control of overall costs. 

Action Dave Cocks

8. Formal cut-off date by which matches should be played

It was agreed that that all outstanding matches should be played by the last week of scheduled matches for both the first half and the second half of the season. It was agreed to put this forward as an amendment to Rule 34 at the AGM.

Action Roy Hurley

9. ETTA increase in Individual Registration fees

It was agreed to support the Chairman’s proposal to oppose these at the ETTA AGM.

10. League Archivist

Roy Hurley reported that it was possible to record historic documents on a web site, but that this would require a volunteer to do much scanning and digitalizing of the various documents. It was agreed to advertise the post on the league web site. The question of paying for this service was debated and it was agreed to approach the ETTA to ascertain whether they were able to make a financial grant or to provide the service for the league. 

Action Roy Hurley

11. Proposed change to Rule 30.

The following proposal to change Rule 30 had been received from Chris Wade:

When a Club has more than one team, at least 3 players must be registered for each team in general order of merit. A player may not play for any team below his registered team but may play for any other team above his registered team; except where the 'higher team' is registered in the same division, in which case, a player cannot ‘play-up’ for the 'higher team' in the same division. However, when a player has played 4 times above his registered team, his registration will be transferred to a higher team as determined by the Fixtures Committee.

Reason for change:

I believe that the reason for the original ‘playing-up’ rule was to avoid match cancellations through shortage of players allowing games to go ahead through the use of players from lower divisions. However, I now believe that ‘the spirit’ of the rule as it stands is now being abused and is being used strategically to allow clubs to keep teams up in higher divisions or to restrict the number of points other teams could legitimately win by registering better players in lower teams within the same division and then using the better players to play for the ‘higher team’ against their closest rivals in the title race. 

Whilst Chris had supported his proposal by stating “In the spirit of fairness I think the time has come to align this rule with other leagues such as the North Herts League that do not allow playing up within the same division”, he had not indicated what had caused him to submit this proposal. The pros and cons of the existing rule and the proposal were discussed as they had been at previous Executive Committee meetings and the AGM when the league approved the current rule. It was agreed that the proposed rule should be put before the league at their next meeting without a recommendation from this Committee.

Action Roy Hurley/Alex Kinchin-Smith

12. Nominees for League Secretary

Alex Kinchin-Smith has resigned from the post due to pressure of work. Members of the Committee agreed to approach people who they thought might agree to accept the position. It was agreed to advertise the post on the League’s web site.

Action Roy Hurley/All members of the Committee

13. Date for the AGM 

Wednesday 14 May 2014.

Action John Spiers to book Shire Park

14. Any Other Business

No relevant matters were raised

    Author: via St Albans, Hatfield & Welwyn Table Tennis League
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