EXECUTIVE SUMMARY OF THE NWFCC SPRING MEETING
About 27 representatives attended the NWFCC Spring Club meeting at Culcheth on Saturday 5 March 2016. Chairman Garry Wilson welcomed everyone and briefly described some of the highlights to be covered in the meeting. Secretary Liz Wilson updated members on the latest co-ordination of Fed and CA procedures – our Disciplinary and election processes are now compatible with CA documents. Treasurer Bob Connop reported a healthy bank balance for the Federation.
CA representative Peter Wilson updated the meeting on how individual and club member records are to be reconciled in the next year. As all club members become full CA members, they will have ‘on-line’ access to their records and receive the Croquet Gazette. A vote of thanks was given to Peter, who will be resigning from this position. His replacement will be John Dawson from Chester.
League Manager, Tony Thomas, thanked Secretaries for the wealth of information provided about lawn availability for 2016. The draft fixture list received the lowest number of amendments on record. All captains had been sent fixture lists and a copy of the League Rules containing cosmetic changes and the new criteria for the B League (minimum player handicap ½ and total minimum team handicap of 6). There was a discussion about using a zero base for Association Doubles games and whether we should adopt the new granular CA method of determining Doubles team handicap as recommended by the CA Handicap Committee. The meeting decided not to make any further changes for 2016.
Development Officer, James Hawkins, informed members about promotional materials becoming available from the CA and urged clubs to discuss Development Grants (up to £5000) with him. Pendle and Penrith have received substantial improvement grants recently. Coaching Officers Elmyr Hughes and David Crawford reported coaching activities were being planned for 2016. There is also a new Golf Coaching Manual available on the CA website. Garry Wilson will manage the NW Festival this year and also captain the Pennine Cup team.
Handicap Officer, Don Williamson, updated the meeting on the major changes to the Golf Croquet Handicap system. It is essential all Golf players have their Handicap Cards amended by their Club Handicapper, new cards are also available. There is a new test criteria for beginners and a new chart for converting Association Handicaps to Golf Handicaps.
Peter Wilson drew members attention to the CA recommendations for assisting players with Colour Vision Deficiency. These include sympathetic choice of clips, identifying Brown and Green clips with a painted white strip and dot, encouraging players to provide information on the position of balls and clips.
Club representatives updated the meeting on developments over Winter. Bowdon have maintained play throughout Winter with a weekly One Ball competition. They are pleased to announce the hosting of GB v USA in 2016 and the Home Internationals in 2018. There will be a Fast Improvers Course on 22nd May. Chester will be hosting visits by croquet clubs from Zurich and Carrickmines in 2016. They are looking for expert advice on techniques for levelling lawns. Culcheth now have a record membership and their indoor matt has been well used over Winter. Salford are developing their facilities with a new kitchen and new paths around the lawns. The club was featured in a CBBC film shown on television recently.
There has been no winter play at Bury due to wet weather, but the Whitehead pavilion has had a new kitchen. Their lawns are to receive specialist drainage treatment next month. Penrith has been severely flooded, with ground and equipment contaminated and ruined. Southport are delaying their season opening as the lawns are too wet to start lawn maintenance. Westmorland lawns have been under 5ft of water (see post on Facebook) with devastating effect upon equipment – the mower is still to be extracted! However, relationships with their landlords – Levens Hall – have never been better.
There was a brief discussion on planning for National Croquet Day – Bury will be celebrating with the Grand Opening of their Whithead Park facility. The final announcement was for clubs to review their pages on the website and let Tony Thomas know of any amendments required.
The next meeting will be the AGM, to be held at Culcheth on 19th November 2016 and the next Spring Meeting will be 4th March 2017.
This Executive Summary is not an official Federation document, it is a personal view of the Meeting written for the website (as remembered by Tony Thomas) – he takes full responsibility for any errors.