Have A Look!

The Competition Dates for 2022 so far finalised by organiser Phil King can now be seen on the Competition News section of this website

To mark its 90th anniversary, the League aims to use the greens of founder members clubs like Trench, Horsehay and St Georges

Saturday 30th July is the big day on the calendar – Senior Merit finals day – when £125 from a new sponsorship package from Shropshire Vertidrain & Turf Services will be added to the prize fund

New eligibility rules for the Senior Merit and changing the Harris Cup to a five home-five away team knockout will be up for approval at a League executive meeting on Tuesday 5th April

And two bits of news from the BCGBA – the insurance portal for the renewal of Public Liability and Personal Accident Insurance will go live from Friday 1st April.  The renewal period for 2022 will be from 1st May to 31st December. 

And the updated membership forms (CR1/CR2) are now available to download for the completion of your club details and confirmation of your club members.

 These forms should be returned to your County Register.  You can access the insurance portal and download the membership forms via the Membership link on the BCGBA website.

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Diary Dates

Please see below the Competition Dates for 2022 so far finalised by organiser Phil King.

All entry deadlines will be 2 weeks before each competition or its starting date.

To mark its 90th anniversary, the League hopes to use the greens of founder members clubs like Trench, Horsehay and St Georges

Saturday 30th April – Dixon Driscoll Doubles

Saturday 14th May – Over-60 Merit (hopefully at Trench)

Wednesday 15th June – Senior Merit qualifiers

Saturday 30th July – Senior Merit finals day (with new £125 sponsorship from Shropshire Vertidrain & Turf Services to add)

Saturday 3rd September – Ashton Cup & Shield finals

Saturday 10th September – Harris Cup final

The League plans to stage its Under-25 Merit at Horsehay on a date yet to be announced – and dates are still being worked on for the Junior Merits and Junior Doubles.

New eligibility rules for the Senior Merit and changing the Harris Cup to a five home-five away team knockout will be up for approval at a League executive meeting on Tuesday 5th April

Team knockout dates in  the calendar are:

Weds 4th May: Ashton Cup prelims, if needed

Weds 25th May – Harris Cup & Ashton Cup

Weds 6th July – Harris Cup and Ashton Cup & Shield

Weds 27th July- Harris Cup and Ashton Cup & Shield

Weds 24th August (or possibly the 10th) – Harris Cup semi-finals and Ashton Cup & Shield semis

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Fixture Time!

The 2022 fixtures are now live on this site – and they show that two years hit by the pandemic has not done the League any favours.

New fixture secretary John Palmer reports: “We’ve lost five teams from Friday nights, two from Mondays and two from Thursdays, which is somewhat offset by two new teams on a Monday and two on a Thursday.

“Promotion/Relegation has been dependent on where we’ve lost teams – but, generally, 1 or 2 teams have been promoted and similarly relegated.

“Two clubs requested that their teams play in a lower division due to loss of players. (Albrighton & Donnington Wood).

“Consequently there will be 12 teams in Divisions 1 & 2, 11 in Divisions 3 and also 4, 5 & 6 and a full house of 14 in the Dennis Lewis Thursday Division.

“Friday leagues will start 2 weeks after the Premier League on 22nd April (missing Easter the week before) and finish one week before the Premier on 23rd September.

“This is because I’ve taken the opportunity to move the Queen’s Jubilee fixtures (Friday 3rd June) en bloc to 23rd September rather than play them on Wednesday 1st June.

“Thanks to Mike Beckett, we’ve been able to match the existing Premier fixtures almost exactly. There is one exception – the division 1 fixture between Wrockwardine Wood A and  Newport A – which has to be rearranged.

“Monday Leagues will start on 11th April and finish on 26th September, missing Easter Monday, May Day and the August Bank Holiday.

“The Thursday league will be the first to start on 7th April and finish on 29th September.”

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2022 Divisions

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The pdf within this post contains the MSBL’s divisional structure for the 2022 season produced by new fixture secretary John Palmer, which has already been sent direct to all clubs.

It also details the start and finish dates for all the divisions, plus the plan for dealing with the numerous (and extra) Bank Holidays this year.

This has involved a lot of diligent work by John to try and avoid any clashes with various other leagues and his fellow officers thank him for his efforts.

The actual fixtures for 2022 will be released and go live on this website  on Wednesday 23rd March – after an officers meeting the evening before, at which any feedback on the divisional structure will be dealt with.

The officers meeting will also set a budget and the match fees for 2022, do a thorough review of the Competition Rules after two coronavirus-hit years and try to set in stone some 90th anniversary plans now that the county dates have been finalised.

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Local Heroes

The League’s 2022 AGM marked the official agreement of a new two-year sponsorship deal with Local Print Pros.

The Hadley-based company are specialists in top quality printed clothing, including printed t-shirts and printed hoodies. They also print banners – one of which has already been presented to the League – business cards, decals and much, much more.

Well known Horsehay bowler and club secretary Steve Reeves represented the company and is seen handing over the sponsorship cheque to League President Mike Potter and treasurer Celia Miles. The League’s sincere thanks go to Local Print Pros.

Meanwhile, new fixture secretary John Palmer has been working hard since the 2020 teams deadline passed at the weekend to finalise the divisional structures, start dates and the actual fixtures, trying to avoid any clashes with other leagues.

Officers aim to get the fixtures out to clubs and published on the website ASAP so we can get any feedback quickly and deal with it.

Then they plan to hold an officers meeting next week to look at any matters arising, work on a budget, set the match fees and prize money accordingly, and also have a look at various Competition Rules and try and progress 90th anniversary plans.

And if there needs to be a quick EGM before the April meeting – which will be an executive – on Tuesday the 5th then so be it.

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Clock Ticking

Clock seconds before midnight isolated on white.

The clock is ticking and midnight tonight – Saturday 12th March – is the deadline for all member clubs to let League offiicials know how many teams they will be entering and in what divisions this year.

John Palmer is the person to contact as the League’s new fixture secretary (email midshropshirefixtures@gmail.com) and as of the start of play today he was waiting to hear from five clubs.

They were Chelmarsh, Donnington Wood, Horsehay,  Shifnal and Wrockardine Wood.

All rules have now been updated on the League’s website after changes approved at the AGM – and the Club Contacts section will be updated shortly now that all 2022 Club Info Sheets have been received.

Any orders for scorecards (£13 per 1,000) and captain’s books (31) each) must be received by the general secretary by tomorrow – Sunday – at the latest

Just to remind everyone, in 2022:

*All matches in the Friday and Monday divisions will now be 10-a-side

*There will now be registered 6s instead of 8s for clubs with two or more teams

*Doubling up in fixtures will NOT be allowed

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AGM Facts

There was a kind of poetic symmetry to the fact that, on the cusp of the League’s 90th anniversary season, the 2022 AGM was one of the most important in its history.

That’s why all 25 current member clubs were represented in a full house at Wellington’s Sir John Bayley Club on Tuesday 8th March when the following key votes were taken . . .

* All matches in the Friday and Monday divisions will now be 10-a-side

*There will now be registered 6s instead of 8s for clubs with two or more teams

*Doubling up in fixtures will NOT be allowed

*Clubs with two teams in the same division will now only have to list 8 players for each team, rather than 10

*John Palmer is the League’s new fixture secretary and he can be emailed using this address: midshropshirefixtures@gmail.com

*Clubs have until midnight on Saturday 12th March to let him know how many teams on which nights they will be entering for the 2022 season

Fixtures will be published as soon as possible after that date – but clubs can now log in and update their registered players on the Mike Beckett system using the same log in code as last year

All other rule change proposals were passed unanimously at the AGM when Steve Wall was voted in as the League’s new vice-chairman and all other officers were re-elected en bloc

Treasurer Celia Miles reported a £436 profit on 2021 and competition secretary Phil King said that 75% of his dates for 2022 were now set in stone

General secretary Malcolm Fletcher added: “There are still plenty of positives for the League to be proud of – Molson Coors continuing their main backing, despite difficult trading conditions, and 2 new sponsorships deals agreed with Local Print Pros and Shropshire Vertidrain & Turf Services Ltd. Our sincere thanks go to all 3. 

“A new and more user friendly website has been launched and will very soon give us everything we could ask for. Sincere thanks go to Steve Wall for this.

“We’ve actually got people willing to stand for office too, in these days when very few put their hands up and most have to be press-ganged into taking on a role they really didn’t want.

“And we have exciting plans to mark the League’s 90th birthday in style, including holding competitions at clubs who have been playing Mid Shropshire bowls since 1932 – and with our very own President Mike Potter serving as County President for a second time.

“As he said at the county AGM 24 hours earlier, 2022 promises to be quite some journey!”

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Potter Power

League President Mike Potter can expect a warm reception at the 2022 Mid Shropshire AGM tonight (TUES) – just 24 hours after stepping back into the county spotlight.

He was made County President for the second time in front of a packed house at Wem USC for the SCGBA AGM, and here’s the speech that nominated him:

Madam President, ladies & gentleman,

It is a real honour to formally nominate Mike Potter to serve for a second time as County President in 2022, once again representing the Molson Coors Mid Shropshire League.

The pandemic has meant that he has had to wait two years to step up to the figurehead role again but I know that, having watched at close quarters how he tackled his first year as President in 2015, Mike will give first class service to the county.

He’s already doing that as the association’s competition secretary, a role that has only served to widen his sphere of his influence in the sport he loves in Shropshire.

For Mike is a man who lives and breathes bowls, having been widely recognised as Shropshire’s top referee for many years after a pretty impressive playing career on greens all over the county.

He took up the game in 1979 and has played for Corporation (winning their averages for four years in a row), Minsterley in division one of the Shrewsbury League, then GWR, Donnington Wood (where he served for 3 years as club secretary), Wrockwardine Wood, Edgmond in the Whitchurch League, Coddon and is now at home at Trench.

His best claims to fame as a bowler are winning the Clare Cup for the best newcomer at the County Handicap in 1984 and then triumphing in the Mid Shropshire Merit in 2006 – a remarkable feat for a third division bowler.

Sadly, in 2009, Mike was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease and playing is no longer easy for him. But Mike bears the illness with great bravery and is simply not prepared to let it stop him from participating in the game that is his life.

If Mike Potter deserved to be County President in 2015, then the Mid Shropshire League feels he is even more deserving now – given his continuing and outstanding services to crown green bowls in Shropshire.

Mike is pictured with Rob Roden, then with Bowring, who won the County Merit in his first spell as President in 2015 at Allscott

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Get Ready!

While organising the fixtures for the forthcoming season is the top priority for League officers right now, they are determined to see the Competition scene move back towards normal too.

Comps secretary Phil King has already announced that he will be running the main team knockout for the Harris Cup and the Ashton trophies for Monday night teams.

And, with prize money boosted by a new £125 sponsorship deal with Shropshire Vertidrain & Turf Services Ltd, he has high hopes that the 2022 Senior Merit will attract a bumper entry.

Phil is currently working on his comps calendar, looking to avoid problematic clashes with the county dates, other leagues and the Shropshire Ladies.

HE’s also working on some great ideas for events to help the League celebrate its 90th birthday so watch this space!

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Don’t Miss It

The 2022 AGM has all the makings of being one of the most important meetings in the League’s 90-year history.

There are crucial votes to be made and new officers to elect on Tuesday 8th March at Wellington’s Sir John Bayley Club, starting at 7pm.

Delegates will have the final say on whether Friday night fixtures this year stay at 12-a-side or become 10-a-side – and then if  registered 8s are cut to 6s to give more flexibility and if bowlers are allowed to double up in matches.

A straw poll taken at the League’s February meeting by the 19 clubs represented showed that the players per team vote at the AGM is likely to be very close – and with one vote per club and the majority deciding, attendance on Tuesday will be vital.

Following the votes at the AGM, clubs will have until midnight on Saturday 12th March, to inform the fixture secretary who succeeds Ric Hudson how many teams they will be entering on Fridays, Mondays and in the Dennis Lewis Thursday Division.

And it looks likely that another vote will be needed to decide who takes over the fixtures with Bylet stalwart John Palmer keen to follow his late father Jim into a key role with the League, while current minutes secretary Rob Burroughs and county delegate Martin Gaut are making a joint bid.

Former fixture secretary and chairman Steve Wall is willing to stand as vice-chairman as Dave Evans stands down, the Trench man having played a key role in working out a budget for the 2021 Covid-curtailed season which ended with the League making a £436 profit.

AGM AGENDA

1  Chairman’s opening address – followed by Apologies & In Memoria

2  Minutes of the 2021 AGM

3  Matters arising

4  President’s Report

5  General Secretary’s Report

5  Treasurer’s Report (accounts circulated with agenda)

6  Auditor’s Observations

7  Fixture Secretary’s Report

8  Competition Secretary’s Report

9  Proposals for Rule Changes (see pages 3 to 7)

10 Honoraria for 2022 – any increase to be based on CPI in September and approved at October executive

11 Election of Officers (see page 2)

12 Any Other Business – at the discretion of the chairman 

Note: Each club is entitled to one vote. All decisions shall be by a simple majority. Clubs not represented at the AGM will be fined £5 as per Management rule 6 (e).

LIFE MEMBERSHIPS CEREMONY

Due to issues with availability of all 3 recipients – Keith Pessall, Angela Gaut and Colin Rudrum – this ceremony will be held after the October executive meeting. And all 3 have been kept updated.

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