MINUTES OF AGM HELD ON TUESDAY 11th JUNE 2019 IN ROTHERSTHORPE VILLAGE HALL
Present: Peter Kent (Chair), Rod Barr, Veronica Downing, Dave Hyde, Steven Israel, Phil Kibble, Iain Lindsay, Mike Perry, Bob Read, Ray Wood, Fred Wakefield, Tony Woodward. (All clubs represented).
Apologies: Ian Brown, Eddie Dennis, Alan Thompson.
Matters arising from last AGM & Committee meeting: No outstanding items, so minutes of 26th March Committee meeting and 2018 AGM signed.
Chairman’s Report: Peter thanked Divisional Secretaries for their work throughout the season and others who had contributed to the running of the league events. Thanks also to Mike and Dave for their very speedy efforts in producing audited end-of-season accounts.
Treasurer’s Report: Mike presented the audited accounts for last season and reported funds of £2,535.72. There were no exceptional issues and it was agreed that team registration fees for next season should remain at £30.
Secretary’s Report: Rod reported as follows:-
· During the last year the retirement of Sue Gibbons (at one time the oldest playing member in the County), the death of former league President John Mayes and also of Gayton player Len Schofield had all served to highlight that the table tennis community would continue to shrink unless we can introduce new people. It was undoubtedly a challenge for all of us but current players to consider what they can do to remedy or at least mitigate this situation.
· Data Protection (GDPR) – contact with some playing members was not legitimately possible because their personal membership profiles were set to ‘basic’ contact. Club secretaries to encourage their players to update their profiles to ‘full’ contact before next season.
· The County TTA had to make changes following the death of long-serving Chairman Ken Marchant. Henry Arthur is the new Coaching contact and was keen to involve all juniors from our league in County sessions; clubs with juniors (currently Daventry and Bugbrooke) to check with players/parents to ensure no opportunity is missed. Funding assistance may also be available for training of new coaches, so clubs should also consider this.
· The most contentious issue has been the national TTE v TT365 saga and even though TT365 had very recently confirmed they had enough support to survive, Rod expressed serious concern about a long term battle between the two sides. Feedback from officers and clubs had decided a ‘support TT365’ in the short term assuming a reduction in TTE fees and he advised clubs that if the TTE fee reduction was passed at the national AGM then our league as current TT365 supporters would require each player to affiliate both to TTE (£9) and TT365 (£7) for a total £16 fee (same as last season). The meeting agreed that if the fee reduction failed, then we would not expect players to pay a £7 TT365 fee in addition to a £16 TTE fee and we would therefore be reliant on the promised TTE league management tool currently in development.
· It was not ideal for some league officers to hold many different roles and although he had willingly taken on several under the umbrella of league secretary, registration secretary and webmaster, in an effort to tease out more administrative assistance from more people, he suggested that the handbook preparation should now be tackled by someone else for the new season. He would give full support and advice to any volunteer.
Annual Tournament Report: No report from Ian but general comments and discussion included:-
· Many top players missing for a variety of reasons.
· Recent experience is that weekends seem to produce a reduced entry.
· Special thanks to Dave and Bev Hyde for venue organizing, scheduling matches and allocating handicaps for each round.
· Overall a successful and well-organized event, but accepting the difficulty in venue bookings it was still valid to canvass players very early in the season to hopefully achieve the best entry possible.
· Ian had written to say he would be happy to be organizer once again.
Handicap Cup Report: Mike reported on a successful competition with no conceded matches and semi-finals featuring teams from all divisions. The final was a close affair, arguably won by one remarkable performance in the penultimate singles match which saw Bugbrooke E overcome Yardley Gobion Eagles.
Presentation Evening Report: 35 paying attendees, rather less than last year but nonetheless a well-organized event again by Mike and receiving very positive feedback. Several issues with missing trophies and incorrect engraving had not spoilt the event, but Peter was tasked with sorting these as soon as possible. Lessons to be learnt to avoid future repetition.
Proposed amendments to rules: Rod had submitted proposals (attached to these minutes) based on the rules in force from 2002 in another attempt to resolve the postponements rule issue. Considerable discussion once more ensued with Iain in particular opposed to the idea of a limit or allowed maximum per team especially if that team had not requested the postponement. Iain also suggested that a sub-committee should be formed to agree alternative proposals. Rod noted the rule had worked without problem for many years and recent amendments had only been made to ensure Divisional Secretaries were kept better informed of postponements. If no limit was prescribed, what was to prevent another occurrence similar to two years ago when Daventry Aces were seriously inconvenienced by many matches being postponed by other teams? To avoid discussion becoming too protracted, a vote was taken on the proposals as submitted which included options of either a two or three match limit. Neither proposal was supported so the existing rule remains until changed at a future General Meeting.
Election of Officers:
- All officers (except the additions/exceptions listed below) were willing to continue and were therefore elected en bloc.
- Vice Chairman – Alan Thompson had volunteered mid-season and was confirmed.
- Rod said that since it seemed his views were obviously at odds with others’ in relation to a principle of league governance and rules, it was not appropriate for him to continue in the senior admin role of league secretary. No volunteers for the secretary’s role and the handbook preparation job (mentioned previously) were immediately forthcoming but would be sought.
- Veronica had earlier asked for information on all the admin roles in the event there was something she felt able to contribute to. Rod agreed to list and circulate some key responsibilities of the various roles.
- Jane Hobson had again volunteered to produce the league fixtures.
Development/Planning for next season:
- Clubs were asked to think about their teams for next season. Rothersthorpe and Towcester detailed their closed season coaching/practice activities.
Date of next meeting: Tuesday 20th August 2019, 7.45pm in Rothersthorpe Village Hall. Mike to book. Rod agreed to circulate team registration forms for return to this meeting - all club secretaries to ensure they have confirmed their team entries in advance. (Rod updated the website and registration form the day after the AGM).
AOB: Phillip asked for help for Rothersthorpe Club because their tables were not of acceptable standard for league competition and they had no funds to purchase a new one. Peter said he had a table and could deliver it; Iain also said he could procure a table. All three to liaise as necessary
Meeting concluded at 9.35 pm.
PROPOSED AMENDMENTS TO RULES – 2019 AGM
As noted in Committee meetings and last year’s AGM, the current rules regarding postponed matches are not being applied and further clarification/changes have been called for. It certainly is not good practise, nor something I wish to be associated with, for rules to remain ‘on the books’ if they are not being adhered to. Because no proposals were received from others in time for this year’s AGM, in my role as League Secretary I have proposed the following, based on the rules that were in force for many years. A possible option is to replace the asterisked *two* matches with *three*.
PROPOSAL – Replace the current rules with the following:-
9a. Regardless of who requests a postponement, teams are permitted a maximum of *two* league matches outstanding at any one time. This is to keep league tables for all teams as up-to-date as possible and to promote an orderly league competition fair to all and not characterised by routine postponements merely to enable the fielding of the strongest possible teams. An outstanding match is one which remains unplayed after the original fixture date. Unless exempted by the Committee because of extraordinary circumstances, teams exceeding the *two*-match rule will incur a five point penalty on each occasion.
9b. Notice of an agreed postponement between teams must be given immediately to the relevant Divisional Secretary by the team requesting the postponement. It is then the home team’s responsibility to offer reasonable alternative dates and, within two weeks of the original fixture date, to agree a new date and inform the relevant Divisional Secretary accordingly. If notice is not given to the Divisional Secretary as described above, a five point penalty will be incurred by the relevant team.
9c. All league matches must be completed by the end of the season, i.e. one week after the last scheduled league matches published in handbooks. In the event of any match remaining unplayed after this deadline, the Committee will decide if and how many points should be awarded and whether any additional points deduction is warranted. Note that a) it is preferable for matches to be played in advance of the scheduled date rather than be postponed and, b) it is not acceptable for teams to ‘double-up the points’ to avoid playing a match.
CURRENT RULES - POSTPONEMENTS
9a. Teams are permitted up to two league matches outstanding at any one time. Postponements must be by mutual consent and notice given immediately to the relevant Divisional Secretary. If the two match rule is exceeded, a five point penalty will be automatically incurred by the defaulting team on each occasion.
9b. It is the defaulting team’s responsibility to offer reasonable alternative dates/venues and within two weeks of the original match date new dates must be agreed and the relevant Divisional Secretary informed.
9c. If notice is not given to the Divisional Secretary as described in 9a and 9b above, an additional five point penalty will be incurred by the defaulting team.
9d. All league matches must be completed by the end of the season, i.e. one week after the last scheduled league matches. Note that it is not acceptable for teams to ‘double-up the points’ to avoid playing a match. In the event of any match remaining unplayed, the Committee will decide if and how many points should be awarded.