Minutes of the BSF Tennis Committee meeting held at 7pm on Friday 14th June 2019 at St Margaret’s Church Hall.

Present: Messrs. Caswell, Maslivec, Prince, Smith, Taylor (in the Chair), Ms L Cartwright & Ms K Hosker.

Apologies for absence: Messrs. Broughton, Nuttall, Pearson, Mrs Brown, Mrs Francis & Dr Perry.

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

Matters Arising: Unlike last meeting, we now had a quorum and it was agreed that the Men’s Matches that had been conceded on the bank holiday Monday should not also have to pay a £20 fine in addition.

Correspondence: There had been a lot of correspondence from Clubs who seemed unaware of the need to use Dunlop balls. Slazenger are no longer part of Dunlop.
The total value of cash and balls from Dunlop was in excess of £1,000 and we do not want this to be put at risk by clubs using other makes. Clubs must comply with the rules.

Katherine Abbott has informed us of her resignation from the Committee. The Vice-Chairman thanked her for her regular attendance and contribution. Lisa Cartwright said someone else from Hawkshaw was interested in joining.

Treasurer: The food for the presentation evening was ordered from Heathcote and Company during the meeting and Liz Gatrick from the Albert Halls who had recently contacted us would be informed. The disco will be sorted in due course.

We need the Winter League to provide their accounts so that they can be included with the General Accounts when they go to the auditor.

Match Secretary Reports:

Mens: The online system was working well with all but two clubs posting their cards online.

Now that a team had withdrawn from the league, it was asked how we apply the fines. Since one of the matches was on the bank holiday which has now been discounted, that left one no-show at £20 and £5 for players short in another. It was agreed that those should be applied.

Clubs had been requested to make sure they had their permanent A players nominated. All but two had now complied. So the two remaining would have to be informed who the Match Secretary had nominated.

One club had sent two of its regular A team players to play in the B team. It was said that this was because of Ramadan. However, the two that went to play in the A team were considered not to be their strongest B team players. This had clearly resulted in the A team losing and the B team winning. This was a breach of Registration of Players and Eligibility rule 7 (a). The B teams sets, won by that pair, would have to be scored 6-0 against.

This last week’s Monday matches were affected a great deal by the weather. Out of 27 matches, 7 had been abandoned. Two of these had resulted in a great deal of correspondence with strong feelings expressed on both sides. This had been circulated around the Committee and can be read here. However, as far as the Committee were concerned, and as expressed in the correspondence, no rules had been broken. The Vice-Chairman had played on the same courts the following night in the rain, but did not find them unsafe. However, the bottom line is that, whatever the excuse, under men’s competition rule 6 any team may decline to play in the rain.

Mixed: The league is continuing to run well. Sue is doing a great job with the Google docs and chasing up unregistered players. There were quite a lot of queries about eligibility especially from one club, but these are being sorted out quickly.

Bad weather last Tuesday meant most matches were played on Thursday. One match had been rearranged for 16 July, but I had to put them right about playing within 14 days. They had scheduled for 13 June, but then one team conceded. All the others except one (and one which I am awaiting a result) were played on Thursday, though many had weakened teams. It does get harder each year to get players to commit to Thursdays even though it is not often required.

Junior: The online filling in of results has also gone very well in the Junior League with about 80-90% filed online. We are continuing to have about one match per week conceded due to lack of players which is very disappointing. I had to amend one result last week, due to ineligible players. We could do with a rethink on rules. Many involved in the junior leagues are not familiar with the open date rules and the ranking system. There is also the added situation (unique to the Junior League) of teams for one club playing at different times over the weekend, which can sometimes mean that a lower team is stronger than a higher team in a particular week, due to the times that individual players are available. Most teams chose to play on Fridays and maybe we should make that the time for all. I have a multitude of ideas of alternatives, but no time to put them down on paper now.

The Howarth Cup struggles on. We have now reached the semi-finals – to be played on Sunday. Two of the quarter-finals were decided by one team conceding. In the previous round 3 out of 8 ties were decided by a team conceding. One of the problems is that there are no spare weekends to fit the matches in, so teams are having to double-up and play a league and a cup match in the same weekend. Given that some teams are struggling to turn out their league teams, this does create an extra burden.

I am struggling for time in operating as Match Secretary for both junior and mixed leagues. I haven’t had time to do press reports for the juniors (2 missed so far). If we have any budding writers that would like to take this on that would be good. I shall manage as best I can until the end of the season – certainly the basics will be done. Beyond that, I am inclined not to do the junior role next year. My current thinking is that if no one puts themselves forward, then we don’t have a junior league next season. Maybe we should put out an appeal in the newsletter on that basis. Alternatively, if anybody will do the Mixed role, I might be persuaded to continue with the juniors for one more year, but doing both is too much.

Afternoon League: Walmer have now withdrawn.

Tournament: It was asked if we could encourage players to enter. The deadline is fast approaching. The draw will be done on the 29th June with the handicapping meeting being done on the 30th at 10am at Markland Hill.

Facebook/Twitter: Facebook was still in use.

LTA Network: New system will replace current ranking and rating system this autumn. The system has been developed by the LTA, the American LTA and the French LTA. Details will be announced in autumn.

AOB: The Cecil Cup will be retrieved from Markland Hill for repair.

It was asked if those on the Committee were aware of Recycle Ball where you could ask for a sack and fill it with 200 balls. You are then paid 20p a ball.  Alternatively, you can send in any quantity and pay your own postage and get 25p a ball. Only balls in a reasonable condition are accepted.

Date and time of next meeting: Friday 9th August at 7pm unless any other matters arise in the meantime requiring attention.