Huddersfield Billiards and Snooker Association

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Minutes of Meetings

MINUTES OF MEETING HELD 14th MARCH 2022

 

APOLOGIES – Dean Poutney

MINUTES OF MEETING HELD 8th NOVEMBER 2021

There were no issues relating to these minutes, which were passed unanimously.

Proposed – Neil Hinchliffe / Seconded – Derek Hey

CORRESPONDENCE  - No items had been received by the Secretary.

TREASURERS REPORT (Rod Taylor on behalf of Dean Poutney)

After a couple of frustrating years we have finally been able to complete 2019/20 season and consolidate the League A/c following payments of all Prize Monies, Refereeing Fees, New Trophies and Engraving Fees.

Whilst this has seen a protracted completion of the Associations full accounts for a couple of years due to the Covid Pandemic, we remain in a strong financial position due to the cost cutting exercises undertaken by the Committee.

The Treasurer will provide a full breakdown of the 2019/20 and 2020/21 A/c’s when presenting the current season A/c’s at the AGM to be held on 20th June 2022 at Lindley Liberal Club.

Entries 2021/22 – as mentioned at the November meeting, Club Entry & Affiliation Fees had declined from £3970 (2019/20) to £3645; due to the reduction of Clubs which subsequently lead to a reduction in the numbers of Snooker / Billiards & Vets teams. However we had not been as adversely affected as some Associations throughout the country.

Competition Entry Fees – The League saw an increase in entries this season. We will always endeavour to increase Prize Monies whenever possible, providing entry levels are maintained.

However, whilst increase in entries facilitated by payments by Bank transfer, as opposed to Cash, Cheques, etc has been a result of this; it is still causing problems when Individuals pay separately as opposed to one payment covering all entries from one Club. This causes the Treasurer difficulties when trying to reconcile payments from different sources. Therefore he has requested that only one person per Club is responsible for collecting all entry fees appertaining to Individuals and Teams and subsequently then submitting one payment accordingly prior to the commencement of any Competition. Delegates will be reminded of this at the AGM.

Cost Reduction & Investment – As mentioned in November cost reductions had been achieved by introducing a new host for our Website (thanks due to Peter Gilbert) and a reduction in the number and content of the Handbooks saving approx.. £300-£400 each year. We have invested these savings in covering ‘course’ costs for two new Referees and also the purchase of a League Laptop Computer for use by the Competitions Secretary to ensure the effective running of Competitions.

Current Balances held by the Association

CURRENT A/C  - £7651.53  /  DEPOSIT A/C – 5159.51  / CASH IN HAND - £170

We no longer hold any monies within the PayPal A/c which has now been closed.

Adverts -The Association is keen to utilise the Website for Advertising.

SECRETARY’S REPORT

There have been issues with Conduct and Behaviour during matches recently which is being covered in more detail by the League Secretary during his Report.

No further matters to report currently.

WEBSITE

Pete Gilbert announced his retirement from his position as Website Administrator after the AGM.

However he will be available to facilitate arrangements during the ‘close’ season this year in preparation for season 2022/23, He will also work closely with John Bastow during the season to ensure a smooth running and changeover to a new system which is currently being researched.

Pete will then finish his duties completely after next season. A vote of thanks was taken to show the appreciation by all Clubs and Delegates for his work during the past seasons which have proved invaluable to the smooth and efficient running of our Leagues and the Website.

John Bastow will outline future possible actions during his Report.

COMPETITIONS SECRETARY’S REPORT

Paul reported that all outstanding Competitions from season 2019/20 had been completed successfully during the current season.

All Competitions for the current season were being completed on schedule with the Semi-Finals to be completed during the next few weeks followed by the Finals in May to be held at Levels and Crosland Moor Con. respectively.

Entries to the Junior Championship had resulted in only 3 entrants as of the meeting date; but a 4th has now also been included which means we will now be able to play two Semi-Finals & Final in the coming weeks,

LEAGUE SECRETARY’S REPORT

Covid – Due to the Covid Pandemic 50+ games have had to be rearranged. The season has gone very well considering how things might have turned out only 6 months ago and all the uncertainties. We were at real risk of the Leagues being spoiled and teams and players have gone to great lengths to rearrange games and to keep us on track. A list of 31 names of Team Captains and Players were read out and given special thanks. John also asked that thanks be passed to officials and clubs for the flexibility they have shown. He also reminded the delegates to ensure that all final matches are completed by the scheduled dates by the end of the season so as to avoid any unfair advantage in Final League positions.

Byes – the number of ‘Byes’ had been an issue this season and some lower handicap players had dropped out or played less because of the reduction in matches and the opportunity to play different teams and venues. We may need to think about the way we address this issue in future. John asked for comments from the room and said that he would publish a player consultation form with a view to making proposals.

Website – following Pete’s retirement announcement earlier, we are able to ensure continuity of access for next season but thereafter we may have to seek a new solution. This gave us new opportunities (eg. Making the Website more ‘mobile’ friendly) but this would probably involve spending more money developing a replacement Website. John announced the launch of a test Website and if anyone wished to be involved or provide ‘input’ – then to let him know.

New Player Handicaps – We had 70+ new player registrations this season – all of whom had to be given a starting Handicap and we had done 2 things to improve this. (1) Changed the registration process for new players to compel whoever is making the request to declare information about the player, (2) Writing more detailed explanations of how we make our decisions which we will share as part of the AGM documents.

Conduct & Behaviour – Following Rod’s reference to this earlier, there had been a number of issues in the Snooker League which have involved further actions by the Committee.

  1. At the lower level we have had accusations of bias, refusal to accept rulings, refusal to accept Committee processes, threats to involve other Team captains (in order to ‘browbeat’ the Committee to change its’ mind).
  2. At the more extreme end (and on more than one occasion) a small number of instances of abusive behaviour – both in person and on-line. In a couple of cases physical threats were made to League players.
  3. Two separate cases this year from disgruntled players who experienced something unpleasant during a match, but felt unable to make a formal complaint through fear of intimidation from the player or team concerned.

‘Behaviour’ and different perspectives on what is ‘OK’ and what is not ‘OK’ have been recurring themes for a number of years – and urgent action now needs to be taken. We will now spell out what is or isn’t acceptable – and if players ‘stray’ beyond these boundaries there will be consequences. Therefore to ensure ALL players can enjoy participation in the future; relevant proposals will be put to the AGM regarding behaviour and sanctions and a vote will be taken.

Handicap System – possible amendments for next season.

These proposals were put on the Website and a few people have asked what is happening. Some changes may need to be put on ‘ice’ and remain under consideration with more clarity at the AGM.

JUNIOR SNOOKER

Following on from the November meeting, Dave once again pointed out that there were not many young players becoming involved. This was the responsibility of all Clubs to encourage Juniors as they ultimately become part of a successful ‘fabric’ of any Clubs future prosperity. Whilst the Association will facilitate these younger players in future it is up to the Clubs themselves, at ‘grassroots’ level to encourage them and develop their potential. Dave once again stressed that he is prepared to offer his help and share the past success he has had at Deighton.

ANY OTHER BUSINESS

The issue of Delegates attending prior to the start of Meetings – simply to sign the Attendance Register so as to avoid Points deduction penalties – was raised.

It was unanimously agreed by everyone present that this was ‘bad practice’ and needs resolving for the future. A proposal will be put to the AGM – and voted upon – with the view that this will no longer be allowed and anyone attempting this will be deemed as not being present for that particular meeting and liable to the same consequences.

There being no further business the meeting closed at 8.10pm

 

.MINUTES OF MEETING HELD MONDAY 8th NOVEMBER 2021

From the 39 Clubs in our Association - 35 Clubs were represented / 3 Vets did not attend (not compulsary) & 2 were not in attendance ( these 2 have had League points deducted as per attendance rule ). There were 57 delegates in attendance.

Chairman Derek Frost opened the meeting at 7pm by reading out the names of all those 14 playing members who had passed away since our last meeting held on the 9th March 2020. This was followed by a minutes silence in memory of their passing.

 

Apologies for absence       Dean Poutney (Treasurer)

 

Minutes from meeting held 9th March 2020  (Rod Taylor – Secretary)

Rod explained that any matters arising from that meeting had been dealt with at subsequent Zoom Committee Meetings and AGM's, as we had been unable to meet 'face-to-face' in the past 20 months due to the Covid pandemic. There were no urgent matters outstanding, which was duly accepted.

 

Correspondence  (Rod Taylor – Secretary)

No correspondence had been received.

 

President's Message  (Tony Clegg – President)

Tony said he hoped that the new season, which had recently begun, would not be 'blighted' again due to the Covid pandemic; which saw us having to 'null and void' season 2020-21 completely.

The Committee had worked hard, holding regular Zoom meetings, in the hope that we might be able to salvage some kind of League fixtures; albeit in a reduced format with the restrictions appertaining at the time, but this was not possible. Therefore a reluctant decision was taken in January to cancel the season entirely.

We were able to put on 'hold' the outstanding Competitions from the previous season until restrictions allowed them to continue, as most of them had reached the Semi-Final and Final stages, prior to the 'Lockdown' in March 2020. Paul Schofield, Competitions Secretary, is currently working hard to achieve this and as of today only the Len Oldham Pairs and Billiards Championship Finals remain outstanding. Therefore the Committee had decided to hold a Presentation night, immediately following this meeting, as we would be able to present most of the Trophies and Cash Prizes, accordingly.

He also paid special thanks to both John Bastow and Pete Gilbert during the past few months in preparing for the new season.

 

Treasurer's Report  -  (Rod Taylor – on behalf of Dean Poutney)

After a couple of frustrating years we had now been able to bring our Accounts for season 2019-20, fully up-to-date. The Association remains in a strong financial position due to some cost cutting exercises which we had undertaken recently.

Entry Fees and Club Affiliations were down from £3970 to £3645 which had been due to a reduction in Clubs leading to a reduction in Fees received.

On the subject of cost reductions the two main contributors  were (1) a new host for our Website arranged by Pete Gilbert and (2) a reduction in the quantity and number of pages for the new seasons Handbook – which should save the Association approx. £300-£400 annually.

There still remains  a substantial amount of monies owing for Competition entries and delegates and team captains were asked to remind all entrants to ensure payments are made urgently. These can be paid either through a Bank Transfer or alternatively by cheque to the Treasurer.

As of 8th November 2021, the Associations Balances are as follows:- Current A/c £8015.93  /  Deposit A/c £5159.51  /  Cash in Hand £308. We no longer hold monies within a PayPal A/c which has subsequently been closed, due to the cost incurred in receiving payments.

We have the opportunity to utilise our Website to raise funds by way of advertising and we would ask that delegates speak to their respective Clubs in the hope that they will support us. Also it is a good opportunity for local businesses connected with the League to raise their profiles by way of taking advertising space. Anyone wishing to place an advert can contact the Treasurer or speak to a member of the Committee.

 

Secretary's Report  (Rod Taylor)

As there had been no League activity and a reduced input from Clubs there was nothing of significance to report.

With regards to the Handbook; the Committee had decided to reduce the format together with the quantity produced. This meant that there was no longer any photographs included nor advertising, as mentioned already. These have now been fully augmented in to the Website.

 

Competitions Secretary's Report  (Paul Schofield)

Paul confirmed that all outstanding Competitions had now been concluded, apart from the Len Oldham Pairs Final ( to be played 20th November ) and the Billiards Championship Final ( to be played 10th December ). We had been able to engrave all the trophies with the exception of these two, in time for tonight's Presentation. These will be presented following these two matches and engraved next Spring when all the other trophies for the current season are done.

Normally the closing date for Competitions is 31st October. However Paul has decided to extend these dates until mid / end November to take account of the completion of the outstanding matches so as to avoid too much overlap. Also entries were slightly down in some cases and the slight extension might attract a few more entries.

 

League Secretary's Report  (John Bastow)

John reported that we now have 115 teams registered this year (compared to 124 in season 2019/20). We have lost 4 Snooker teams / 4 Vets teams and 1 Billiards team.

As a result we had to change section numbers, which meant some teams missing out on promotion. Unfortunately when teams drop out there is no simple alternative.

On a positive note, as of today's meeting, we have 517 active players, 984 registered players and around 70 newly registered players on our books.

Overall we have fared much better (post Covid) than some Leagues in surrounding areas.

Use of the Website for submitting results is now 100% and he thanked everyone for their efforts in achieving this.

He also reported that very few games had been affected by the pandemic and thanked everyone for working around this to ensure that fixtures are played.

He also thanked those Committee members who had been responsible for organising the Presentation evening and the considerable effort which they had put in.

 

Any Other Businesses

Dave Wenzel addressed the meeting and explained that he was now making initial enquiries to Clubs, with the aim of promoting the game to younger players. He has been responsible for achieving success with Juniors at Deighton which has not only produced some capable players who are an asset to the Club and the League, but also some good lads who are showing maturity.

He asked delegates if they would raise the matter within their respective Clubs as to how best we might achieve this objective and report back to the next Association meeting on 14th March 2022, with a view to implementing something positive at next year's AGM.

 

There being no further business the meeting closed at 7.30pm

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Huddersfield Billiards & Snooker Association

THE HUDDERSFIELD BILLIARDS & SNOOKER ASSOCIATION DOES NOT OPERATE OR CONTROL ANY SOCIAL MEDIA SITE SUCH AS A FACEBOOK OR TWITTER ACCOUNT.

THE ASSOCIATION HAS NO CONNECTION OR INVOLVEMENT WITH THE HUDDERSFIELD SNOOKER FACEBOOK GROUP AND CANNOT BE HELD RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY COMMENT OR CONTENT PUBLISHED ON THIS SOCIAL MEDIA SITE.

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