Sad News…

It is with much sadness that I write to inform the League’s bowlers and followers of the sad passing of Barry Griffiths.

A stalwart of the St Georges club, Barry passed away on Thursday 11th April at the Severn Hospice.

He was assistant secretary of the BCGBA for many years and was made a life member of the association for his efforts. The same honour was bestowed on him by the MSBL in 2017.

St Georges secretary Ian Gaut said: “He had been unwell for some time and passed away in the early hours of Thursday.

“Barry was a good man and St Georges through and through.

“He worked tirelessly on behalf of the club, SCGBA, BCGBA and the Mid Shropshire League.

“Our heartfelt commiserations go out to all his family and friends.”

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It’s Back!

A packed programme of action in the Monday divisions – 4, 5 and 6 – starts tonight (8th April) with four new sides in a 13-strong sixth division.

Newport D were Monday evening champions last year and must be among the favourites to take the title again in 2024.

Meanwhile, delegates at the League’s April meeting heard there was a new progressive vibe surrounding the sport’s governing the body this year.

Positive news from first meeting of new-look BCGBA management was reported with a much improved feel at the meeting.

A new CEO & National Administrator are in place and the new Board launched with county chairman Phil Scott one of 5 regional reps. They want total transparency and are eager to cater for the 85,000 grassroots bowlers – not just the 2,000 elite players.

Closer to home, on the SCGBA front, no successor to County Development Officer Pauline Wilson has been found so the county executive has agreed to split role into 2 by creating a new coaching post, with an honoraria.

And the executive voted that anyone taking the referees exam should have the fee paid – on the proviso that they at least commit to officiate at local league level.

Sponsorship news was encouraging, including £300 from Dennis UK for the Shropshire Best Kept Green comp. Deadline for entries will be 30th June, with local judging in July and then August for the finalists. Trnech won this cdrown last year.

Another county-organised greenkeepers day is set to be held at the end of the season and will concentrate on winter maintenance work.

 MSBL COMPETITIONS LOOMING

Dixon and Driscoll Doubles– Sunday 28th April at 10am at Allscott Heath – £10 entry fee, enter on the day.

Under 25 Merit– Wednesday 8th May at Donnington Wood at 630pm – £5 entry fee, entries by end of Saturday 4th May.

Over 60s Merit – Saturday 18th May at 2pm at Sir John Bayley (bottom green) – £3 entry fee, enter on the day.

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Born Again!

ROUND-UP FROM THE APRIL MEETING:

The League’s Saturday Division has lift-off again!

Seven teams will play matches of 4 singles and 2 doubles starting at 2pm in June.

The division has been in cold storage since the 2019 campaign due to the pandemic and officers will now try and recruit an 8th team so there are no byes in the fixture programme.

Changes to the seasonal info reported from Highley, Shifnal & St Georges have been updated on the Club Contacts section of the site.

Albrighton have made a generous gesture in the countdown to host the League’s Junior Day competitions on Saturday 22nd June. Club secretary and MSBL vice-chairma Steve Wall said: “As an incentive for people to enter, we will be offering on the day, to all competitors, free Burgers, Hot Dogs, and canned drinks. Alas spectators will be asked to pay. We hope that this offer will make the day a little more special in the hope to seeing as many junior bowlers as possible. “

New £100 per annum backing from June Lewis of the Thursday Merit announced, but the sponsorship deal with Local Print Pros has been terminated.

Scorecards will cost clubs £15 per 1,000 and £2 for each Captains Book. The amount owed will be added to their end of season account.

Thanks to changes to the Shropshire inter-league rules, meaning both the seniors and veterans championships will be 6-a-side this year, the League hopes to field 2 teams in both in 2024. The set dates are:

Veterans (6-a-side) on Saturday 15th June in North Shropshire

Seniors (6-a-side) on Saturday 31st August in Shrewsbury

Juniors (6-a-side) either 9th June or 14th July) in Mid Shropshire

COMPETITIONS LOOMING

Dixon and Driscoll Doubles– Sunday 28th April at 10am at Allscott Heath – £10 entry fee, enter on the day.

Under 25 Merit– Wednesday 8th May at Donnington Wood at 630pm – £5 entry fee, entries by end of Saturday 4th May.

Over 60s Merit – Saturday 18th May at 2pm at Sir John Bayley (bottom green) – £3 entry fee, enter on the day.

DATE OF NEXT MEETING:

July Executive on Tuesday the 2nd at the Bayley (7.30pm)

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Pick Up Time

It may not be an executive meeting, but the League’s April gathering on Tuesday the 2nd is vital for many reasons – including collection of scorecards, captains books and BCGBA handbooks!

And they will be needed soon as the first fixtures of the season are on Thursday in the Afternoon Division and the Dennis Lewis Division.

The April meeting is open to all new team captains and club officials to attend the meeting, when they will have the chance to ask officers questions.

Given the number of rule changes made at this year’s AGM, including the League’s use of the Mike Beckett results system, it might be wise if as many captains attend as possible!

A last gasp application from Shifnal means that the re-launch of the Saturday Division, with matches of four singles and two doubles starting at 2pm, looks set to go ahead – a final decision will be made at the meeting.

The division has been in cold storage since the 2019 campaign due to the pandemic and officers had set a target of a minimum of six teams to see it resume.

AGENDA for the April Management meeting on Tuesday 2nd April at Sir John Bayley Club at 7.30pm:

1  Chairman’s remarks to open the meeting

2  Apologies & In Memoria

3  Minutes of the March Executive Committee Meeting

4  Matters arising

5  General Secretary’s report

6  Correspondence

7  Treasurer’s report

8  Competition Secretary’s report – confirmation of dates for 2024

9  Fixture Secretary’s report

10 Saturday Division – to be, or not to be?

11 Questions to the League officers – for new team captains, club secretaries/delegates

12 Dave Ellis ladies v gents venue for 2024 – Weds 2nd October?

13 Life Members for 2024

14 County matters – report of executive meeting on March 11th

15 Any Other Business

16 President / chairman to close the meeting

COMPETITIONS LOOMING – Dixon and Driscoll Doubles– Sunday 28th April at 10am at Allscott Heath – £10 entry fee, enter on the day.

Under 25 Merit– Wednesday 8th May at Donnington Wood at 630pm – £5 entry fee, entries by end of Saturday 4th May.

Over 60s Merit – Saturday 18th May at 2pm at Sir John Bayley (bottom green) – £3 entry fee, enter on the day.

DATE OF NEXT MEETING: July Executive on Tuesday the 2nd at the Bayley (7.30pm)

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Best Wishes

Happy Easter vintage sign with eggs on white background 8 eps

There’s less than a week to go before the first League fixtures of the new 2024 season.

But, before then, the League’s officers would like to wish all of its bowlers, friends and clubs a happy, healthy and peaceful Easter.

The new campaign opens with first matches in the Afternoon Division and the Dennis Lewis Division taking place on Thursday 4th April.

In the afternoon reigning champions Donnington Wood entertain divisional newcomers St Georges in a 6-a-side match while in the evening it is Sinclair who have the tough task of heading to Shrewsbury to take on 2023 title winners Castlefields in the 8-a-side division with its unique points scoring system.

Action in the main Friday divisions starts on 19th April while Monday night sides return to action on 8th April.

And League chiefs are still hoping to re-launch the Saturday Division this season with matches of 4 singles-2 doubles that mean a minimum of just 4 bowlers is required to fulfil fixtures that start at 2pm.

This division has been in cold storage since the 2019 campaign due to the pandemic, but already 6 potential teams from 5 clubs – Allscott Heath, Charlton, Donnington Wood, Wrockwardine Wood and Worfield – have expressed an interest.

A final decision will be made at the League’s April meeting on Tuesday the 2nd.

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Born Again?

It’s Saturday and the afternoons will be soon be a lot warmer . . . and YOU could be playing bowls in a unique division the League is hoping to re-boot in 2024.

Matches in the Saturday Division are four singles-two doubles and that means that a minimum of just 4 bowlers is required to fulfil fixtures that start at 2pm.

This division has been in cold storage since the 2019 campaign due to the pandemic, but already 6 potential teams from 5 clubs – Allscott Heath, Charlton, Donnington Wood, Wrockwardine Wood and Worfield – have expressed an interest in re-launching it.

Now the big questions for League officers are can we get to 8 teams? And will we have lift-off again come May?

The divisional rules are already in place – and available to see on this site under Admin and the League Rules – and a final decision on whether the division gets re-born will be made at the League’s April meeting on Tuesday the 2nd.

So if you have enough bowlers at your club interested in some Saturday afternoon action, please contact your club secretary and get them to express an interest to either fixture secretary John Palmer or general secretary Malcolm Fletcher.

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Diary Dates

Now that the League’s fixtures have gone live, the finalised 2024 Competition and Team KO dates are now available on this website.

They have been emailed to the secretaries of all 27 member clubs with entry deadlines and fees, plus venues if known at this stage.

Ahead of the start of the new playing season, all bowlers interested in learning about the rules of the game are encouraged to attend a special free seminar.

David Williams, the chief of the British Crown Green Referees Society, will be the man in the spotlight on Tuesday, 26th March, starting at 7pm at Tilstock BC, near Whitchurch (SY13 3JL).

Delighted Shropshire Referees Society secretary Louise Cotton said: “This is a great opportunity for club captains, officials and those interested in being a referee to update their knowledge and ask questions from the expert.”

 “It’s aimed at those wishing to continue to sit their referee exams or for club officials/captains that would like the opportunity to refresh their current knowledge.

“David is an expert who will help people to understand the correct rules and provide greater confidence when you have rule issues during a league game.

“This is likely to be a popular event so to ensure we are aware of numbers expected, please can you let myself ([email protected]) know the names of those attending and which bowling club they are representing by March 21.”

Looking further ahead to the League’s April meeting, the plan at this stage is to open the meeting to all team captains to take them through all the new rules passed at the AGM in January.

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They’re Live!

We are ready to roll! The fixtures for the 2024 season are now LIVE on the website.

And the finalised competition and team knockout dates, entry fees and venues if already known, will be posted by organiser Rob Burroughs today on the relative pages.

The Club Contacts for 2024 are now Live too! And big thanks go to webmaster Steve Wall for that.

Rob and hard working fixture secretary John Palmer have worked methodically for the last 5 days to formulate as fair a programme as possible, and with as few clashes as possible too.

The last push now for League officials is to try and recruit at least two more teams so that 4 singles-2 doubles Saturday Division can be re-launched.

There’s already 4 clubs expressing an interest and a final decision will not be made until the April meeting.

“We are looking for a minimum of 6 teams to compete and I feel we have a bit more time with regards to a potential Saturday Division as fixtures won’t have to start until May,” said general secretary Malcolm Fletcher.

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Nearly Ready!

A brand new club and 11 new teams were accepted into the League for the 2024 season at the season-defining March executive meeting.

Meole Brace from Shrewsbury were voted into the Dennis Lewis Thursday Division along with the returning Sir John Bayley and B teams from Allscott Heath and Prince of Wales Hotel to give it a perfect 14 sides.

Four new teams – Edgmond C, Newport F, Allscott Heath E and Much Wenlock C – will feature in a 13 strong sixth division, with 12 in divisions 4 and 5 on Monday nights.

Horsehay’s successful application to the Premier League leaves the Friday division with 36 teams divided into 3 divs of 12.

And the Afternoon Division, only launched last year, has grown to 9 teams with the addition of St Georges, Albrighton Blue and Edgmond B.

There’s still hope too for the re-launch of the 4 singles-2 doubles Saturday Division with 5 clubs expressing an interest. A final decision will be made at the April meeting in the hope of being able to attract a minimum of 6 sides.

For the record, a total of 5 teams withdrew from the League’s various divisions, including Horsehay from the top flight.

With the structure agreed on, fixture secretary John Palmer is now working hard on producing start and finish dates and avoiding fixture clashes for all divisions while comps sec Rob Burroughs confirms his calendar. Both will publish their results as soon as possible . . .

Match fees will rise to 60p across the board this year and the affiliation fee will return to £10 per team after being cut in half in 2023 to try to help clubs recover from the Covid hiatus.

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Time’s Up!

The new 48 hour deadline for new team applications or old team withdrawals before the March executive meeting has passed!

And that means fixture secretary John Palmer is able to finalise the proposed divisional structures for the 2024 season.

He will be working closely with competition secretary Rob Burroughs to ensure all their dates marry up in what looks like being a varied and packed programme.

They and their fellow League officers hope it will get official approval from club delegates at the March executive meeting . . .

 Agenda for the March 2024 Executive Committee Meeting

To be held on Tuesday 5th March at Sir John Bayley Club at 7.30pm

1  Chairman’s remarks to open the meeting

2  Apologies & In Memoria

3  Minutes of the December Management Committee Meeting

4  Matters arising

5  General Secretary’s report

6  Correspondence

7  Fixture Secretary’s report

(a) Applications for new teams / withdrawals (note new 48 hour rule)

(b) Constitution of Divisions for 2024

(c) Start dates & green choices

8  Re-launch of the Saturday Division ?

9  Treasurer’s report – match fees for 2024, entry fees & prize money

10 Competition Secretary’s report – finalised dates for 2024

12 Plans for pre-season meeting – for new captains, conduct & safeguarding

13 Approval of 2024 AGM minutes

14 Annual Presentation Dinner review

15 County matters – updates from AGM & BCGBA

16 Any Other Business

17 President / chairman to close the meeting

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