Committee Meeting Minutes 2nd December 2016






Present: Fred Swarbrick, John Powell, Peter Rhodes, Ian Cosens, Greg King, 

Craig Hine, Andy Thompson, Paul Whiston & Jon Daldry.

Special Guest: Barry Allen

Apologies: Reg Robinson, Sara Shackleton & Tommy Hughes.

Meeting opened 15h30


Chairman’s Address

Chairman, Fred Swarbrick opened the meeting by greeting everyone and referring them to his prepared address previously sent to members by e-mail. Briefly he confirmed that the season was going well and our organization was still the envy of the Rugby Union family throughout the rest of the country. Rules 13 and 19 are still a contentious issue and will be discussed later in the meeting. The number of teams who have left us so far this season is the same as last but concedes are up and more teams than usual are with only one life left. We will continue to try and find ways to mitigate this.


Matters Arising

None.  Minutes of the previous meeting were passed as a true record.



Ian Cosens reports that sponsorship is currently in a healthy position largely thanks to Sale Sharks taking on the remaining unsponsored leagues. All payments are either paid or in hand and no problems are envisaged.



Greg King presented up to date accounts showing a healthy balance in both the Main and Benevolent Fund accounts. Some funds from our sponsors were still to be collected as was the final instalment from the RFU. He wished to clarify the expense claims made by committee members when representing the committee at other clubs. It was generally agreed that expenses should not be claimed when travelling to watch one’s own club with the exception of the Chairman who goes to specifically seek out the views of other clubs. League Secs allowances for telephone, stationery etc are to be reviewed and adjusted where necessary.



Applications from clubs who wish to host the cup finals are now welcomed and a notice will appear on web site immediately. Finals are to be held on 6th May 2017 and all applications must be received by Friday 27th January 2017.  Short listed clubs will be visited during February and a decision published in early March.



Arrangements for the Prize Giving Dinner are in hand at Preston Grasshoppers. Mark Ashley William will once again act as M C with Guest of Honour expected to be Rosie Williams from the RFU.


Rules 13 & 19


Peter Rhodes, our President, expressed concern regarding Rules 13 & 19. Although he appreciated the reason that these two rules exist he felt that implementation of the sanctions allowed under these rule was not in the interest of the sport or the players involved. This is in direct conflict with the reasons the leagues exist and their main purpose of getting as much rugby played by as many people as possible.

Match cards and player registration were discussed but again rejected as being too difficult to administer by a small, amateur committee such as ours. Peter asked if it would help if certain games could be played on a Friday evening or on a Sunday. It was pointed out that this was already possible by prior arrangement. He also asked that if a higher team in a club is excluded could the lower teams be left in but this would make the lower league totally out of balance. Such adjustments can only be made in a new season. A possible hefty points deduction could be considered for lower teams but loading would still be a problem. 

Peter was reminded that this had been discussed many times at previous meetings and the current wording is the best we could come up with so far. If any club or individual with in North West rugby can think of an improvement the committee would be glad to consider it and put it to an AGM. Committee members to continue to seek views from clubs and attempt formulate improvements.

A further revelation from Peter was that he had heard that the RFU was considering inviting 2nd teams from larger clubs to join the RFU leagues. Clearly this would have a major effect our leagues and it is not known if the affected teams would wish to take this option.



 Ian Cosens raised the matter of promotion and relegation. Promotion is well understood but some clubs are confused by the pink shading on the web site showing the bottom 2 or 4 teams in a relegation position  regardless of the number of teams currently in that league. New wording will be drafted to make this clearer and possibly Jim Gooch will be asked to remove the shading altogether. Effectively, whether or not a team is relegated, will be at the discretion of the committee when the leagues for the following year are formed. To avoid confusion in relegation or promotion, when concedes are involved, the committee may decide to impose a nominal score to the winning team where a ‘concede’ has occurred.


Meeting closed 17h30




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