Minutes for October 8th 2012





Minutes of committee meeting held at Preston Grasshoppers on October 8th. 2012


Present.    Fred. Swarbrick;  Reg. Robinson; John Powell;  IanCosens;  Howard Hughes;  Craig Hine;  Andy Thompson;  Jon Daldry;  Tommy Hughes (rep. Lancashire CB.)

Apologies.  Tony Ayin;  Peter Rhodes;  Greg King;  Alan Johnson     (rep. Cheshire CB.)


Meeting Opened 1930.

Matters arising:            None

Finance:                        John Powell reported a healthy balance in the funds including the benevolent fund. No significant liabilities were pending and all kits promised to association referees had been purchased and paid for. It was reported that these kits were very much appreciated by our valued referees.

                   John also reported that our bank were discontinuing one of the accounts that we use and not replacing it with a suitable alternative. It was agreed that John, with the assistance of others, would cast around for a new bank with whom we could conveniently do business. Possible alternatives are Lloyds TSB or Barclays.

                   John further confirmed that the annual request for RFU funding had been sent and the first instalment was expected shortly.


Report of the Season.            The committee was reminded that they had agreed to award a prize for the best match on the web site during the season. It was agreed that a report on a game involving Ormskirk would be the winner and Fred. would attempt to identify the author and award the prize. (as yet undecided)


Referees.             On the subject of referees Fred Swarbrick stated that, although our referees are well provided for the four regional organisers do a great deal without any material recognition. None claim any expenses even though they know they may if they wish. Fred. suggested that a single cash gift per season might be made. All agreed.


Sponsorship.                 In the absence of Tony Ayin a full update on the position regarding sponsorship was not available. However Fred. reported that no decision had yet been made regarding the idea that Raging Bull would support both league and cup competitions. It was far preferable that a second major sponsor could be identified. It was also agreed that it was a good idea that each of the 14 leagues should be individually sponsored by someone with a business; or strong business contacts; and also playing in the appropriate league. All league secs. to contact team captains in an effort to identify suitable persons.


Cup & Finals.                In the new format this season there will be 6 finals to accommodate this season. It is thought unlikely that any club would be able to host all 6 games on the same day with pitch and changing capacity a priority. It was decided to hold finals at 2 different clubs on the same day with Premiership, Div. 2, and Div. 4, at one venue with Div. 1, 3 and 5 at another. These will be held on May 4th. 2013. Opportunities to bid for these finals will be published on the web site shortly.


Dinner.                It was reported that the original plan to hold the Prize giving Dinner at Preston Grasshoppers has been thrown into doubt as PGH are bidding to hold a county game on the same week-end. To avoid being left with no venue Fred. took the step of booking Bowdon RUFC for the required date and cancelling PGH. This has been confirmed. Mark Ashley has once again agreed to be M C and will donate his fee to charity as before.


Premiership Meeting.           Reg. reminded the committee that a commitment had been entered into at the AGM to hold a meeting with all Premiership teams and top Div.1 teams to try and find a solution to the problem of mis-matches in the top league. John Powell and Greg King have agreed to convene this meeting and hope to report to the committee at the next meeting.


Pitchero Website.                  The question was asked “What do we think of the new Pitchero website?” Opinions varied but it was agreed that it was more colourful and attractive than the current site. However it was noted that it was not yet producing all facilities we require and so we will reserve judgement until all requirements are met. The two sites will then run side by side for a while to prove suitability.


A.O.B.                  Howard Hughes was concerned that recently 2 games had taken place on a Friday evening under lights instead of the scheduled Saturday. He felt that there was a great opportunity for team loading here. Fred. and Reg. and John Powell all came to the defence of this decision stating that requests to change the date had been received and approved according to league rules and anyone who watched the games would see that they were so competitive that players would be highly unlikely to be in a fit state to play another game the next day. They were confident that this would not happen.

                             Some teams had complained about late cry-offs when catering etc. was already in place with subsequent wasted costs. The committee felt powerless to act on this matter apart from a general request to all teams to try and avoid late cry-offs and keep opposition informed at all times if a problem is likely.

                             It was reported that on a few occasions a team had gone away without a full front row but a lower team did have a full front row. The committee acknowledged that this is sometimes unavoidable and is not against the rules. Any team that finds itself in this position is urged to keep their opposition informed at the earliest opportunity to allow them to adjust team selection if they wish.

                             When pitches are unfit teams are urged to try and swop venues whenever practical. Captains please try and keep your players available and motivated as long as possible.