Halbro North West Leagues Providing grass roots rugby since 2002

Minutes - AGM 2018

Minutes of Annual General Meeting held at Aldwinians RUFC on 13th. June 2018

Committee Present.    Fred. Swarbrick;  Reg. Robinson; John Powell;  Peter Rhodes; Jon Daldry;  Greg King; Ian Cosens; Andy Thompson; Craig Hine; Steven Branch; Tommy Hughes (Lancashire)

Apologies. Paul Whiston; Sara Shackleton.

Meeting Opened 19.30hrs.

Chairman’s Report

Fred Swarbrick opened the meeting expressing great delight when noting that over 60 delegates representing more than 20 clubs were present. This in itself was a record possibly due to the number of resolutions to be discussed later in the meeting. He thanked the other members of the committee for their continued support and included a special mention for Barry Allen who had assisted with the fixtures and over 400 re-arrangements caused by the weather. Unfortunately it had been necessary to use the "pools panel" system to determine certain results as the season ran out of opportunities to play those games. Once again a very successful Presentation Dinner had bee held at Bowdon RUFC plus the various cup finals held at Widnes RUFC and Burnley RUFC. He noted that the time between the end of the season and the dinner is short so the problem of finalizing numbers can be difficult. Cup finals next season are already scheduled for Oldham RUFC and Bedians RUFC and the practice of awarding finals will continue to be 18 months in advance to assist clubs in planning social occasions. Fred also expressed his thanks to LBS and to BEST for their Cup Sponsorship over recent seasons but this had now come to and end and he was glad to welcome Robinsons Brewery of Stockport as the new sponsors for a 3 year period. Credit goes to Ian Cosens for his work in arranging the contract with Robinsons and also with Halbro who have taken over the mantle of League sponsorship from Raging Bull. Fred admitted that he was aware of a suggestion that the concede system in our leagues should be overhauled but the committee would resist this on the grounds that the number of cancelled games in our leagues is still only about 8.5% whereas in other parts of the country this can be anywhere between 30% and 50%. It is this discipline that makes our leagues what they are with over 3000 players taking the field on a Saturday as a regular occurance. Finally he introduced Steven Branch of the Macclesfield club to the meeting who he hoped would be voted on to the committee later in the proceedings. Stevens' role will be to establish and run a casual league for teams who have left the leagues and would like an occasional game and for other teams who are ubable to field a side on a weekly basis. 

Matters Arising


Treasurers Report

Greg King produced a balance sheet and accounts showing the leagues to still be in a healthy financial position, but with extensive expenditure forthcoming as we develop our new Web Site we need to strictly control our expenses and outgoings. Greg noted the Benevolent Fund surplus as 10,461.28 pounds. These monies are, and will be made available to any player actually playing in the Leagues who might be affected by a serious injury. It is known we have supported a number of players in the past and will continue to do so. This season the gap between income and expenditure has narrowed considerably mainly due to re-branding of trophies. Next season an operating loss is expected as a full re-vamp of the web site is due plus other "one off" expenses.

Fixture Secretaries Report

This season has been one of the most difficult to date due to both weather conditions and concedes. It is therefor proposed to make minor adjustments to league formats for next season. How these will work is somewhat dependent upon decisions made at this meeting Concedes this season have been higher than in previous seasons but still run and less than 10% which is considered good.There are 21 applications for teams to join (or re-join) our league system for next season but the format is still to be decided. Due to the poor weather experienced during recent seasons it is decided that in league 5 any postponed games will be resolved by "pools panel" unless teams re-arrange a game independently, in which case the result will stand. Pools panel results will not be decided until the second half of the season at which time some idea of form and strength will be known.

171 teams are expected to contest 15 leagues with slightly adjusted numbers at the lower end with the hope of getting as many ganes as possible actually played. There will be no League 5 South as there are not the teams to support it. John expressed his thanks to MADREF and to Alan Farmer of the Liverpool society for their support and also to Barry Allen for his help in sorting out fixtures. Fixtures for next season cannot be made until RFU league fixtures are know with a possible further delay as certain Lancashire clubs have chosen to form their own leagues independently from the RFU.


1 Proposed by Caldy, seconded by Fylde and Sedgley Park.

  1. Max 20 players in match day squad
  2. Lower teams in club should not be punished if higher team in same club does not play.
  3. Teams should not be removed from league after 3 concedes. Another sanction should be introduced (ie points reduction)
  1. Meeting agreed that keeping 3 subs max was conducive to keeping as many players as possible actively taking part and lowering impact on junior teams in clubs.
  2. All teams in affected club will lose points accrued plus and extra two but winning points will not be awarded to opponents.
  3. Concede rule still applies but other matters not in the power of the committee.

At the vote above decisions approved by large majority.

2  Proposed by Barry Allen (Broughton Park) seconded by John Powell (Preston Grasshoppers)

  1. Teams losing by less than 7 points shall receive a bonus point.

Carried unanimously

3 Proposed by Steven Branch (Macclesfield), seconded by Mike Somers (Congleton)

  1. Reduction in league fixtures to 18/20 in league 4 and 5, partly acheived by later start to season.
  2. Cup entry not compulsory. Hopefully reduction in league fixtures will encourage teamd to enter cups voluntarily.
  3. Cup concedes should not count in league.
  1. This already in hand and no vote required
  2. Carried on a team and not club basis. 27 for  21 against.
  3. Carried 32 for and 15 against

4        Proposed by Cecil van Onselen (Chester) seconded by Ian Taylor (Macclesfield) and Dominic MacKenzie (Waterloo).

  1. "Man Off" law should apply in Premier league as too many game go to uncontested scrums.
  2. Points deducted to a team should not automatically go to opposition.
  1. For Premier League only carried 22 for  3 against.
  2. see above.

5  Proposed by Chris Hughes (Caldy) seconded by Cecil van Onselen.

  1. Postponed games not to be re-scheduled for next available Saturday but at convenience of teams concerned.
  2. Certain Saturdays to be ring fence as rest week-ends to allow teams to plan week-ends away etc.
  1. John Powell agrees to liase with teams concerned. No vote required
  2. John Powell will attempt to comply with this request when making fixtures. No vote required.

6        Proposed by Ged Hall (Sandbach) seconded by Mike Woolacott (Moore)

  1. Start season later to allow for holidays/cricket etc.
  1. Agreed elsewhere.

7        Proposed by Tyldesley, seconded by Wigan.

  1. Scrap all entry fees and bonds.

Treasurer explained to meeting cost of running leagues and reasons for fees. For 8 : Against overwhelming

8        Proposed by Littleborough seconded by Aldwinians.

  1. Do away with concedes, no team to be excluded.

Committee feels chaos would ensue and leagues would be dis-respected. Furthermore the advent of the casual league to be run by Steven Branch should aleviate this problem. Defeated unanimous.

9        Proposed by Aldwinians seconded by Wigan

  1. Cumbria teams should play in Cumbria Shield leagues.

Committee believed leagues should be as inclusive as possible. At this point representatives from Cumbrian clubs implored the meeting not exclude them as they believed it would destroy grass roots rugby in Cumbria. Defeated unanimous

10     Proposed by Aldwinians seconded by Littleborough.

  1. Lower leagues to start later in season.
  2. Action needs taking to stop "team loading"
  1. Agreed elsewhere.
  2. All clubs sign "Code of Conduct" but the committee have to rely on the integrity of clubs and find this problem impossible to police.  No vote taken

11     Proposed by Wigan seconded by Littleborough

  1. Cup entry should be optional
  1. Agreed elsewhere

12     Proposed by Greg King (Committee) seconded by Reg. Robinson (Committee)

  1. League winners and runners up would be required to purchase a minimum of 5 tickets for the Presentation Dinner.
  1. Withdrawn

13-18         Proposed by John Powell (Committee) seconded by Fred Swarbrick (Committee)

13 Rule 4

  1. Rule 4,  Add "Teams using more than allowed number of replacements in a cup match shall be deemed to have lost the tie.
  2. Rule 4, Change, 1) Only 3 replacements at all levels. 2) Lowest team in club may negotiate with opponents greater number of replacements before play commences.
  1. carried large majority
  2. carried large majority

14     Rule 9(a)  

Add, If a team gets a walk over due to a concede the non offending team shall receive a bonus point on top of the 4 points already received. In the event of a draw both teams receive a bonus point as within 7 points. Losing bonus point to apply in all leagues.

Carried. large majority

15     Rule 16 

A team conceding a cup match shall not have a concede added to their league record, instead 2 league points shall be deducted.

Carried. Unanimous

16     Proposal withdrawn.

17     Rule 16  

When looking at head to head results.

  1. If one of the teams has concede a head to head game threy shall be placed in the lower position.
  2. If one of the 2 head to head games has been subject to a poold panel decision the Chairman will toss a coin to determine league position.
  3. If 3 games have been played only the first 2 to count.        
  4. If three or more teams are involved a mini league will be constructed using principles above.

Carried. Large majority

18     Rule 11.  

Add. Trial for season 2018/9 Division 5 only.

Pools panel results will apply for all games postponed due to weather.
No re-arrangements. 
Requests to postpone for reasons other than weather must be agreed by both teams and a suitable date found to play. 
League games only will be played to end of March with cup games thereafter.

Carried. large majority

19      Proposed by Dave Kelly (Heaton Moor) no seconder

In leagues 4 and 5 if a team uses more than the allowed number of replacements without prior agreement 2 points shall be deducted.

No seconder could be found, therefore this matter not discussed.

Meeting closed 21.40

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