Agenda: Shires League Meeting
Saturday, 6th July 2019, 11am to 1pm
at National Badminton Centre, Bradwell Road, Loughton Lodge, Milton Keynes, MK8 9LA
1. Welcome and apologies
Ian Rizzotto, League Secretary, Mark Downie, Badminton England, Graham Hall, Independent, Raymond Ng, Berkshire, John Lau, Buckinghamshire, Teak Liew, Buckinghamshire, Joseph Eluekunnel, Hertfordshire, Mike Newlove, Hertfordshire, Stuart Mo, Lancashire, Alan Cowperthwaite, Leicestershire, Greg Howes, Leicestershire
Michael Shaw, Leicestershire, Jason Wood, Lincolnshire, Les Diggle, Lincolnshire, Alison Wadmore, Middlesex, Karam Bhogal, Middlesex, Robin Cooper, Norfolk, Andy Brierley, Nottinghamshire, Neil Franklin, Nottinghamshire, David Soanes, Oxfordshire, Edward Twigge, Staffordshire, Tony Lovatt, Staffordshire, David Driver, Suffolk, Linda Sheppard, Suffolk, Sue Driver, Suffolk, Christine Thompson, Surrey, Claire West, Sussex, Mark Bourne, Sussex, Dave Tomkins, Warwickshire, Sarah Beckett, Worcestershire, Steve Cosgrove, Worcestershire, John Ellis, Yorkshire
Ray Warren, Avon, Derek Batchelor, Badminton England, Eric Brown, Badminton England, Andrew Goldsmith, Buckinghamshire, Emily Stapley, Cheshire, Cathryn Bick, Cornwall, Stuart Atkins, Derbyshire, Sue Jarvis, Devon, Roy Carder, Dorset, Alan Adkins, Essex, Adrian Morris, Gwent, Sarah Thompson, Norfolk, Richard Taylor, Northumberland, Helen MacMullen, Oxfordshire, Geoff Mascall, Wiltshire
· Badminton England was thanked for their continued support, both moral and financial. Regretfully, due to financial constraints that BE were operating under, it has been limited to providing the room for the meeting and refreshments today. However, it is the moral support that has always been much appreciated and this continues in generous abundance.
· The League Secretary reported that Eric Brown and Derek Batchelor have both resigned from the BE board this year and in addition to the personal letter of thanks he had sent, the League Secretary proposed a vote of thanks from the Shires League, for their support and help over many years. Ian had known Eric for over 40 years and his commitment and dedication to Junior Badminton was astonishing. Furthermore, the positive encouragement received has been a significant factor in the success of the SL. The meeting whole-heartedly supported the proposal.
2. Appointment of League Secretary
· There were no other nominations so Ian Rizzotto continues as League Secretary.
3. Appointment of Management and Ranking Committee
· The following members of the committee agreed to stand for a further year; Mike Hedges of Avon, Stuart Atkins of Derbyshire and Chris Haysom of Sussex.
· We need a new member of the committee from Leicestershire to stand for 2019-20 season please.
· Volunteers were requested for the ranking committee; giving their name at the end of the meeting, together with the age group(s) interested.
· The League Secretary would write to all members requesting additional volunteers, should a ranking query arise in the season.
Graham Hall, U12, U14
Jason Wood, all age groups
John Ellis, all age groups
4. Matters for discussion / voting
§ The League Secretary was asked to review our policy on food allergies earlier in the season. Counties were asked whether they were in favour of providing food for county matches still. Of the 11 counties that replied, 8 were in favour and 3 were against. We shall discuss the next steps at the AGM.
§ An initial vote during the AGM indicated that members still wished to continue providing food at matches by 12 votes to 5. Consequently, we need to ensure that a policy is developed that strives to minimise the risks that food allergies may pose in these situations. We also discussed the problems with secondary contamination, where for example someone eating food containing peanuts, like a Snicker, might have a serious effect on someone with a peanut allergy.
§ Considering the concerns with food allergies, it was questioned if counties should be compelled to provide food under these circumstances. It was unanimously agreed that counties will no longer be expected to provide refreshments at county matches. However, such counties should still ensure develop a policy to reduce the risk created by allergies, including secondary contamination. Furthermore, they should ensure that the opposition are aware, well in advance, that food and drinks will not be provided at the county match.
§ It was agreed to formulate a committee to recommend the policy we adopt. Mark Curtlin was asked if he would be willing to lead that group and two other members volunteered to support Mark in this venture. We will report to the members as soon as possible.
§ With the changes to BE Age Group Policy, the membership voted 10 in favour and 1 against to keep the SL age groups the same for this season. This means that Shires League matches for 2019-20 must be played from September 2019 until March 2020 approximately, with the Play-offs in April 2020 and finals in April/May 2020.
§ Whilst it is understood that the membership still need to consider the impact of the age group changes afoot, the membership were unanimous of the opinion that they would prefer to maintain the status quo, running the SL season from September through to May for subsequent years. If this is the case, then it was suggested by Richard Taylor of Northumberland that we should also consider renaming the league; for which there was considerable support. Therefore, for example the U14 Shires League, might be renamed as the U13/14 Shires League. This should reduce the confusion as players would start the season in September as U13 players, changing to U14 players on the 1st January.
§ Badminton England have no plans to change the U18 ICT, hence it will continue to take place during the Easter holiday. Senior leagues will still run from September to April. School year groups will continue to start from September through to July.
§ One such proposal, which was not supported during the AGM proposes that we could change SL matches so that matches are played from 1st January until 31st May. Play-offs are played in June/early July. Finals in September. Plan for next season in October/November. Have AGM in November and make fixtures for next season. There were concerns regarding booking venues as it was felt that all the slots in the year would have been taken. Also, while starting a new school year, finals in September may leave players wondering what it was all about.
§ It was agreed that SL members should email the League Secretary with any alternative proposals they have before the end of September 2019.
§ We shall vote by email on final decision by 31/12/2019
§ Graham Hall was thanked for his role in seeding the counties in the league and scheduling the fixtures for next season. Graham has done a great deal of work in EXCEL to automate the process, speeding up the operation and reducing the possibility of errors. Graham is more than happy to continue with this role next year.
§ The League Secretary explained that the results of the 2019 U12 finals will be one of the measures used in 2020 to seed the U14 teams for 2020-21 season. Hence, a two year cycle. For a full explanation of how the seeding is performed, please contact the League Secretary requesting the complete break-down. Whilst the system is complex, it is by no means fool-proof.
§ Every season when sorting the fixtures, counties do request that they are not scheduled to play specific other counties. In most cases the county feels that their players are significantly weaker than the opposition and the match would be of little benefit to all concerned. However, in order to ensure that the best 8 county teams are invited to the final, it is most important that all counties are challenged equally. From 2020-21, all second teams and some lower ranked county teams* can opt to not play the seeded teams provided they relinquish their right to play in the Play-Offs or finals. Preference would be given the lower ranked teams when necessary. (* a maximum of 30% of the total teams entered for that age group.) They would only be scheduled to play 5 matches.
6. Reminder of things that fixtures secretaries need to give league secretary
7. Date and venue of next meeting
Probably around end of June/beginning of July 2020.
The last hour is given to making fixtures for the forthcoming season. Each county should make 3 home and 3 away fixtures. Away fixtures should be a mixture of both shorter, medium and long distance journeys.