Minutes of the BSF Tennis League Committee meeting held at 7pm on Wednesday 28th June 2017 at St Margaret’s Church Hall.

This was an unscheduled meeting which had to be held as there was a number of issues that had all arisen around the same time that needed attention.

Present: Messrs. Al-Chalabi, Broughton, Caswell, Latham, Maslivec, Pearson (in the chair), Prince, Smith, Taylor, Mrs V Browne, Ms L Cartwright & Mrs S Francis.

Apologies for absence: Ms K Abbott, Ms K Hosker &Ms L Perry.

Minutes of the last meeting: These had been circulated and were agreed.

Matters Arising: The treasurer has given the Chairman details of the honoraria and this will be picked up at the August meeting.
The suggested presenter has accepted our invitation.

Correspondence: We had had an enquiry from Burnley Tennis Club as to whether they could join our league. It was not felt necessary to wait until the AGM as the estimated distance from sat/nav of around 25-30 miles and the time of travel 40 – 45 minutes were thought to be too great for people to get to matches on time. We have suggested that if they could rent space at another club around half way between us then we could reconsider.

Match Secretary Reports:

Men’s League: There had been a text to say that at one club in a Division One match there had been a big bust up in the first set with opponents swapping swear words with each other. Later personal reports had confirmed that this was a terrible exhibition of poor sportsmanship. Some said it was the worst case of its kind ever seen in their lives. Although we had not had any written or emailed complaints which would help us to instigate disciplinary procedures the Committee took a particularly dim view of the reports and we need to take steps to encourage people to officially report their dissatisfaction. Since we know the names of those involved we will have no hesitation to instigate disciplinary proceedings should there be any officially reported repetition.

In a Division Three match it was alleged that one person had become aggressive and obscene after a foul shot was called by the opposition. Here there was an official written complaint and this is a pending issue while we await reports.

An appeal had been received from David Lloyd Abitare A re a match that had been awarded to David Lloyd Chorley A. This had happened in the same week as the June meeting. David Lloyd Abitare A had inferred that they did not intend to turn up due to the very bad rain that had been persistent all day. However, David Lloyd Chorley had said that their courts were playable with little rain at match time. The Committee discussed the details for a half hour. The opinion of the Committee was that for a match to be called off, the away team must attend and wait until 7.15pm. If the conditions then are not favourable, then a team can claim the match as being abandoned with one point each. Also, to prevent a team travelling unnecessarily both teams can agree unconditionally between themselves that there is little prospect of play and again count the match as abandoned. However, both captains must be in absolute agreement without any reservations at all. Having considered both reports of the conversations that night, the impression was that it did not end on a fully committed unconditional agreement by both sides that the match should be abandoned. It was the decision of the Committee that the Match awarded to David Lloyd Chorley should stand. However, it was recognised that since this had happened so fast without the usual copy to the other party for a response then the £20 appeal fee would be refunded. The Chairman would respond.

There had been two long emails from David Lloyd Abitare D raising various points re the set up at the club; higher teams wanting players form lower teams; the effect of abandoned matches due to rain on scores; penalties applied when a club’s higher team are short of players which affect all teams below in the squad. The Match Secretary had written a comprehensive reply on all the points which having heard them the Committee completely endorsed. It was repeated that the four teams must abide by the rules in the handbook as they had elected to be all part of the same squad at the start of the season despite emails from the General Secretary and Match Secretary to the effect that if they wanted to be self-contained then all they had to do was give themselves a slightly different name.

Mixed League: There had been a problem due to the resurfacing of courts at David Lloyd Bolton. This had been compounded by poor weather conditions and court availability and with one away team conflicting accounts of when the match should be played. It was rumoured that David Lloyd  Bolton B v Barrow Bridge A intended to play the coming weekend. However, if not, the match would be set by the Committee to be played on Thursday 6th July with the reminder to teams not to play anyone who had already played in that fixture week. The match David Lloyd Bolton D v Markland Hill C must be played within 14 days. If the teams cannot agree a date then the Committee would select one. Again they would be reminded not to play anyone who had already played in that fixture week.

An official protest had been received from Holcombe Brook B re their match against Barrow Bridge A where Barrow Bridge A had claimed the fourth mixed set as the second pair were not available to play at 6.30pm. The Committee discussed all aspects of the protest including the ethics of claiming sets on the longest night of light in the season. In the end however, they had no option to apply the rules as they stood. Holcombe had said in their report that the second couple arrived at 6.35pm. However, this was contrary to the second paragraph of Mixed Match Rule 3 which implies that that second pair should have already been on court ready to commence their set at 6.30pm. There appeared to be some confusion with the previous rule that was in place a few years ago where the early start only applied to the first two  matches of the season. Since 2015 it has been the whole season for two court clubs. It is always best to keep up to date with rule changes so that mistakes do not occur.
Holcombe also expressed concern over the safety of the two tier Barrow Bridge courts. We would refer this back to Barrow Bridge asking if they could take any steps to mitigate any risks.

The meeting closed at 9pm.

Date and time of next meeting: Friday at 7pm on the 11th August 2017.