Executive Summary of NWFCC AGM held at Culcheth, 2nd November 2013
An excellent attendance of 47 people descended on Culcheth for the Federation AGM last Saturday. Chair, Liz Wilson and Secretary Paul Rigge, welcomed delegates and reported on a busy and successful croquet season. Treasurer Bob Connop presented a healthy set of accounts and raised the question of how should we spend surplus money.
Development Officer, Janet Davies, gave her final report, having done an excellent job for five years. Potential new croquet clubs in the pipeline could be Macclesfield, Congleton, Trinity School Carlisle, and Preston. League Manager, Tony Thomas reported on a successful but packed season involving 180 matches in which the new league rules had worked well. Roger Schofield described how eight coaching courses had been delivered across the Federation. Keith Roberts described the 2013 Festival as one of the best to date.
Dates were agreed for the various Millennium tournaments, Festival and other matches.
For 2014 league play, there will be a few changes – the wrong ball law trialled in 2013 will be discontinued (proved very unpopular), calculation of doubles handicap in association play will be based on players individual indexes rather than handicaps (fairer system and details will appear on match scoresheets). There was lots of discussion on a convoluted set of motions but it was eventually agreed the Advanced League would retain its present format but a new B Level Advanced League will be established – 3 player teams, 3 hour games, one doubles, four singles, bonus points available, doubles pairing at captains discretion, minimum individual player handicap to be ‘One’. The League Rules for Golf Croquet need to be revised to clarify differences from the official CA rulebook (times of games, eight turn rule, etc.) – Bob Connop agreed to bring proposals to the Spring Meeting.
With time at a premium it was decided to abandon the traditional verbal reports from clubs since members can read these in the Minutes. Whilst this was agreed it was also noted this was not satisfactory and it will be imperative this is covered appropriately at the Spring Meeting.
Christine Irwin was elected Coaching Officer and Ron Welch elected Development Officer, all other officers were re-elected.
Trophies were presented by NWFCC Chair, Liz Wilson to: Ken Eccles, (on behalf of Bury Level Play team); Jack Pattenden, (Llanfairfechan Short team); John Dawson, (Chester Advanced team); Jim Allcock, (Westmorland Midweek team); Maureen Ivens, (Golf Handicap team); Brian Storey, (Bowdon St Marys Handicap team).
The Croquet Association have established a Working Party to examine the relationships between the CA and the Federations, their report is on the CA website and everyone was urged to read it since it contains some potential far reaching suggestions. Brian Storey gave a short presentation in which he described the system being adopted by the CA to consult all members as deeply flawed. The suggested role of Federations in future is confusing being a mix of autonomous and subservient roles. Most controversially is a proposed system whereby all players would pay an individual levy each time they play in a Federation formal match. There is also a more sensible proposal for increasing CA membership by scrapping individual subscriptions but raising the individual club member levy, but as always the devil will be in the detail of charges. The CA will be holding a Conference to explain the report and listen to opinions in Huddersfield on 15 February 2014 but places are expected to be very limited. The Federation will hold a club conference to discuss the report at Culcheth on 1st February 2014.
The next scheduled Federation Club Meeting will be in Spring at Culcheth on 8th March 2014.