The British Tenpin Bowling Association

NC Meeting 1st Aug. 2015 Minutes

Meeting of the NATIONAL COUNCIL held Saturday, 1st August 2015  at the Holiday Inn Luton


Office of the Chairman:                Ron Griffin  (Director)

Membership Services:                 Dan Bonfield,  Emma  Ashton, Colin Laing

Sport Development:                      Terry Searle (Director), Karen Parslow, Martyn Wenger

Finance and Business:               Ken Iredale, Stuart Watson, Fraser Bowen

Legal:                                              Dave Steiner Director)

Also Invited:                                    Matt Miller (Chief Executive) and Bernice Bass (Head Office Manager and Clerk to meeting)


The Chairman welcomed everyone to the meeting and in particular Emma Ashton who was attending her first National Council (NC) meeting.    He also took the opportunity to record that he was sorry to see Lisa John taking a back  seat.   Her input over the last few years has been of great benefit to the Association and thanks are extended to her for all her hard work..


Received from Marcus Buckley Bennion, Jo Cundy, Mark Heathorn, Chris Hillman, Jerry Moll. and Matt Miller.

It was confirmed that Jerry Moll had been given consent to absence because of his health problems.


Colin Laing advised that he had a change of career and would need to sign a new form.   NC members  were reminded that should circumstances change during the course of their tenure, they should contact HO and arrange to complete a new declaration.


There were no matters arising from the previous minutes which were agreed as a true record.


Following the 2015 BTBA AGM the feedback had been good,  The new format was well received and, information which had not previously been available was much appreciated. Delegates left the AGM comfortable that they had had the opportunity to put forward their views and  the Chairman thanked everyone for their contribution insofar as the Q and A session was concerned as all answers had been well thought through and fully prepared in advance.  This had demonstrated that everyone is working together and reflects well on the Association. This level of reporting should be continued quarterly with the aim to produce the next update in  August/September. A reminder and some ideas for consideration will be sent out as soon as possible to get people started.


The 2 day Strategy Meeting will be held 26th/27th September, venue to be confirmed.   Each NC member, supported by their Director will be expected to provide a walkthrough of their strategy.   The concept is to set out where we expect to be in three years time.  What are our key objectives? We will also include the key items we expect to do that will help us achieve these objectives, especially within the next 6-9 months. We also need to highlight  any interaction with other sections so that the strategy as a whole joins up. The Chairman will provide a template within 7 days and is happy to give any help needed on an individual basis if required.   First drafts must be sent to the relevant Director before the September meeting. To make sure that everyone is aware the minutes of the current NC meeting will be made available within 7 days. In the event that a current NC member is not re-elected/appointed, they will still be invited to attend the forthcoming strategy meeting, as they will have developed the strategy and may give their support to the person taking up the position they have vacated.

We were all reminded that Regional Officers are our interface with the membership and they need to be kept up to date with all developments. They should be given information as soon as it becomes available rather than just seeing in on the website as this makes them look reactive rather than knowledgeable about what is going on.


Finance & Business Director        Marcus Buckley Bennion – 2 year tenure

Sport Development                         Terry Searle  - 2 year tenure

The CEO position was also advertised but there have been no applicants.  Matt Miller did not feel he could continue in the role for the full term due to other commitments. He will continue in the role on a temporary basis and will continue to carry responsibility for the process of re-structuring Head Office.  All other aspects of his position will be taken on board by other members of the Executive Council (EC). The EC will review this at their next meeting and report back to the NC.

It was disappointing that people did not seem interested in becoming part of the EC/NC and further the interest in our sport and we need to encourage people to apply for position as they become available. Even though only one candidate can be successful knowledge of people interested will allow us to engage with them and solicit their support throughout the year. As before their positions are advertised Frazer Bowen, Jo Cundy, Mark Heathorn, Martyn Wenger and Stuart Watson should look at their current job descriptions and any amendments required must reach Head Office by Friday, 7th August.  Advertisements will be placed on the website on Monday, 10th August.  (Attached is a current list showing the terms of office for NC members)


Although unable to attend the meeting due to holiday, Jo Cundy had submitted a report which confirmed that both Seniors and Adult had played two rounds of trials with the final two in September and October. The payment system needs adjustment and should start earlier next year but all appears to be in order.   There has been good feedback from all participants.  Team England men were very successful in Denmark in June and returned with a bronze medal in the singles and a silver in the team event.  The forthcoming Triple Crown in Scotland has created some problems with the ladies team as two members have been forced to withdraw. After discussion, it was agreed that having gone down every available avenue, if unable to find a replacement with someone who had taken part in the trials, the NC would support Jo forming part of the team.

All is going well insofar as plans for competing in the ECC IN San Marino in October is concerned and the Women’s World championships in Abu Dhabi in December are concerned. The seniors are approaching final preparations for the World Championships in Las Vegas later this month and are wished the best of luck.

Following adverts for a Junior Team England Selection, Roger Hunter has been appointed.   Jo asked about linage payment for ICC rounds and it was confirmed that a pro-forma invoice should be received at HO on the Friday prior to the event, enabling money to be transferred.    All information relating to the Finals will be sent out when participating counties are confirmed to HO.    Jo finally confirmed that there would be an ICC Think Tank during November and she would be re-applying for her current position as she felt that there is still much to do and finish.

Terry Searle reminded us about the Tokyo event where the England players did extremely well. The Japanese Open was a prelude to the Olympics and we are waiting anxiously to see if we will be invited to participate in 2020 This was a major tournament at which England had been one of only three countries to receive an invitation for 2 people. .


In the absence of Jerry Moll, Daniel Bonfield  presented a document entitled League Secretary’s Guide which he had produced in conjunction with Lisa John   It was agreed that this was an excellent document with just a few minor adjustments required prior to publishing.


Daniel stated that there was a 4% year by year drop and he intended contacting league secretaries in an endeavour to ascertain the reason/s for drop, or in some cases, the increase.  One person from Worcestershire had been trying to re-form the Local Association but was constantly thwarted by a previous Committee Member who is looking to form a Local Association outside of the Governing body.    Daniel will look into the possibility of Worcs joining with Gloucestershire which would allow both counties independent representation in the Inter Counties.   It was confirmed that Buckinghamshire had set a precedent and Hertfordshire had not lost their Charter.

A tournament had been held at Martlesham Heath and been extremely successful as well as a learning curve.   It was hoped that this would rejuvenate  interest in Suffolk and early signs were encouraging.   The Bedfordshire Committee had produced leaflets about joining a league and also a roller banner for league nights.

It was agreed that League Secretaries Guide, Mr Admin and the Mem and Arts should all go on the website.


Colin Laing reported that numbers were relatively stable.   Lancashire was struggling but Glos. Had increased from 3 to 30 members  He was looking to focus on unsanctioned leagues, hoping to see them sanctioning.   He said that Substitutes were a problem in some leagues and it was confirmed that two pilot schemes were taking place in Sheffield and Ilkeston   If these pay as you go schemes are successful, they will be made generally available.



In the absence of Mark Heathorn, Terry Searle reported that changes have been made to reflect ETBF requirements and at a meeting in Finland later this year, it is hoped to make it a World rather than European accreditation.   The USBC does currently recognise ETBF qualifications.   FUNdamental courses have been held resulting in 46 people currently qualified to teach someone to pick up and throw a ball, pretty much as was a Phase I Instructor.   The next step is a Foundation course, for which we have 31 people trained.

It was noted that three initial courses were established with planned dates but have had to be cancelled because of lack of applicants which is very disappointing.   Advertising needs reviewing but the cost of £190.00 is also proving an issue.  Communication about the benefits of the new programme  is failing and people must also be made aware that many Local Councils have training grants available on application.  Coaches that are qualified to assist at disabled schools are needed, for which money is also available.  Testimonials are to  be sought and a new coaching website will shortly be launched.


Karen Parslow confirmed that Hayley Rumkee (BTBA Safeguarding Officer) is proving invaluable  advice and guidance.   Nikki Harvey has had to withdraw from the WNC but Katherine Allen is coming on board.   Street Games were again attended and the women only tournament, the Diamond  Trios,  will again be held in October.


Martyn Wenger reported that outlook was hopeful with the potential inclusion of 8 new YBCs.  Terry Searle mentioned that there were lanes at the YMCA in Blackpool which might be a venue for a YBC.


Ken Iredale reported that the membership figures are about 4% down on last year with the biggest loss attributed to juniors and affiliate membership.   Membership income is ahead of prediction and although down on last year, not as bad as anticipated.   Level of reporting is dealt with quarterly by the Treasurer and there is 95% accuracy with occasional analysis errors. We still have substantial reserves but we must establish a break-even budget as promised at past AGM's.  Individual budgets going forward should address income and expenditure expectations and are needed urgently as we come to the end of a financial year. Ken will send out budget request forms in the format required.  It should be remembered that when preparing budgets we need to be mindful of both the financial year (Sept-Aug) and the Annual plan (Jan - Dec) therefore the  period August 2015 to December 2016 should be covered within these submissions.


Frazer Bowen confirmed that the next Inside Line would be issued on the 10th August and any further items for inclusion must reach him by the evening of Wednesday 5th August.


Stuart Watson said that he is looking to providing pages for individual winners and sanctioning events online.   The Executive are looking at a Contact Management System and Dave Steiner will get together with Stuart to discuss requirements which need to be established before any further action can be taken.



Chris Hillman had submitted a report to Dave Steiner who reported that there was a new process for lane inspection which would be put into practice in September.   All inspectors are to be given a copy of the database showing the centres they are to inspect and, arrangements will be made direct with the Centre by the due date.   There will be a Gold, Silver and Bronze grading shown on the certificate. Should a centre fail to meet requirements,  a grading of "BTBA inspected" will be given and the Inspector is expected to advise how the centre can reach the minimum Bronze standard.  A list of Inspectors, the centres they cover and grading will be made available online.   All MFA Centres to be inspected over the next three years and a plan of how we will achieve this should be drawn up by the Technical team. We remain aware that certification is an annual programmr so it is the balance between getting centres inspected for the first time and then put onto a cycle that is going to be important.    The Chairman asked for a detailed programme of MFA inspections, indicating probable costs so that we can then work out how to balance the income vs expense..   Chris indicated that Lane Inspection were showing a profit of £7000.00 but the Treasurer expressed surprise and requested more detail.   An increase in the fee for Inspectors was sought and it was agreed that this was possible if  satisfactorily covered in the Technical Budget.


Dave Steiner confirmed that along with the chairman and Terry Searle he had attended the ETBF Congress in Denmark  where the Olympics had been a topic of discussion.  The proposal for a Senior European  Championships was rejected but a North Sea Championships for all ages is being considered.  Following a decision by the World Governing Body to follow USBC rules, Mr Steiner will not continue re-writing the BTBA Rule book but will adapt the USBC rules to meet BTBA requirements, with the exception of the Youth Section which is not entirely suitable.  The three sections will be sent to all NC members asking for notification of any conflict with current BTBA rules or, any other comments with a view to placing the new Rule Book on line on the 21st August.


Terry Searle proposed reinstatement of the student affiliation membership of the BTBA and after discussion which included concern relating to ex-students being included, it was agreed that Frazer would provide a proposal showing exactly what is wanted.  While we may fall short of providing full membership it was felt that allowing BUC members and BTBA members to participate in joint events was going to be an advantage to both groups.

Seconded by Stuart Watson and agreed unanimously.

Mr Steiner brought up the subject of scores for a National Average but it was agreed that this should be discussed at the strategy weekend.

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The British Tenpin Bowling Association

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