The 2016 PBA AGM took place at Potters Leisure Resorts at 7:30pm on Sunday 17th January 2016. The minutes from the meeting are as follows: -
PROFESSIONAL BOWLS ASSOCIATION
MINUTES OF THE ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
HELD AT POTTERS LEISURE RESORT 17TH JANUARY 2016 AT 7.30 PM
David Corkill, Richard Maddieson, Martin Gale, John Davies, Ray Cutting, Rob Paxton, Marion Purcell, Steward Anderson, Darren Burnett, Andy Thompson, Sharon Davies, Jonathon Ross, Janice Gower, Ellen Falkner and Nick Brett
Keith Renwick, David Gourlay and Mervyn King
CHAIRMAN’S OPENING REMARKS.
The Chairman welcomed all those present and thanked them for their attendance.
The minutes of the 2015 AGM, which had been published on the web site, were signed by the Chairman.
These were covered by Agenda items.
Had been an interesting 12 months, with difficulties with sponsorship. We had introduced a new event here at Potters, namely the Under 25s World Championship. On behalf of the Executive and Membership he wished to thank John Price for all his years of service to the PBA.
VICE CHAIRMAN’S REPORT
I would like to confirm my intention to retire from the role of Vice-Chairman and not to seek re-election. Due to increased work and personal issues at home with family health I have been unable to devote much time to the role over the last two years and it is the right time for some new blood to be introduced.
I would like to thank the Officers and all the players for the support they have shown me over the many years I have served on the PBA Executive and also when I was involved as a WBT Director. I believe it is important for the Top 16 to have a link to the Executive and the WBT Board therefore I would like to see a senior player succeed me in this position.
I was a Founder Member of the PBA and a Founder Director of WBT and I still believe in the fundamental principles that led to the formation of both bodies. Unfortunately we have never been to achieve the main aim of the first WBT business plan all those years ago, the establishment of ten ranking events worldwide offering a minimum first round prize of £1000, so offering every player the chance of a basic yearly guarantee should they be good enough to establish themselves in the Top 16. Despite the best efforts of various staff and officers this dream proved to be elusive, and to my great disappointment it would seem to be further away today than ever before.
Nevertheless I believe this still should be the main ambition of both PBA and WBT and I believe that we must ensure we concentrate our efforts and our limited financial resources on the “core business” which is the Professional Ranking Tournaments rather than maybe getting distracted by other projects, no matter how well intentioned. I know that CEO Richard Maddieson continues to work very hard in those areas and I wish him every success in what is a very difficult financial climate with regard to sponsorship generation. It is very important that we can attract other companies to our sport, so as to make it a competitive market, there is a danger that our WBT brand can be too closely linked to one company or sponsor, which though may be beneficial the short term, but can mean that we can have little attraction to other business in the long term. I am also a little concerned that prize money for early rounds and qualifiers has been eroded badly in recent years and this is an area that will need to be addressed in the future, otherwise players become disillusioned when they are out of pocket and feel their efforts in qualifying and reaching early rounds are not rewarded. For example the difference between winner and quarter final and even semi-final at the World Championship is, in my opinion, not right and I believe shows very little respect to the efforts of some players who may have come through several rounds of qualifying and the games in the main event to possibly fall at those later stages. I would hope this is an area that PBA and WBT will look to address in future years. WBT still holds the TV rights to the World Championships, which I believe is still the jewel in the crown for televised bowls, therefore we can maybe flex our negotiating muscles with some of our more aggressive business partners.
I would wish PBA and WBT success in the future in whatever they do and also to my fellow bowlers good luck and good bowls in the years ahead. I will continue to offer any support and advice from the “back benches” when required.
He would like to thank all those members who took part in the qualifiers that he had run for their cooperation and support.
Would also like to thank the Executive for their help and support during the year, and was sorry to see John Price’s retirement.
This year has been one of uncertainty for the PBA with World Series Bowls looking to dominate the running of bowling events worldwide. Up until their demise in August I was unsure how they would affect the finances with the September/October qualifiers coming up & what affect these would have on the PBA finances for 2015. I am pleased to report that I can present the accounts showing that the PBA made a very small profit for the season but again this is mainly due to the Executive Committee receiving a reduced honorarium for yet another year.
The membership has increased during the year with the majority of the new members taking advantage of the reduced fees for young players; in fact 25% of the membership is now under the age of 25.
Our expenses for the qualifiers slightly increased because we had an additional venue for the Open events and which meant that the PBA paid out more in prize monies to those reaching the latter stages of the events because of the additional venue. For the coming year we will probably need to reassess some of the venues as the charges at certain venues are becoming unviable to hold the event there.
To finish on the accounts once again the General Expenses are kept to a minimum with a majority of correspondence to the membership being conducted electronically which has resulted in a small reduction again in 2015.
I will finish the report with a note of caution as I do not think that the Association is over the damage that has been caused in the bowling world by WSB. I know that a number of our members lost a great deal of money on WSB in the last year and that may affect our membership for this year. The number of renewals received this year is very slow compared with previous years so I do expect a reduction in our membership this coming year. However the introduction of the Under 25 event may offset this with more young members joining to enter this event. I would also hope that a number of lady members may increase again this year.
I would like to thank the rest of the Executive Committee for the work that they have put in this year.
TOURNAMENT SECRETARY’ REPORT
All qualifying events were run successfully. Tour card is losing money, due to lack of entries and maybe revamped for 2016 with only 4 venues. WSB effected discussions with sponsors and potential sponsors. YouTube has been a great success and is continuing to grow. The future will be internet based rather than satellite.
South Africa had not replied to any communications from the Executive for over two years. The suspension of South Africa from the PBA was agreed unanimously by the meeting. Their place in the World Championships would be taken by the other overseas countries in rotation. The proposed changes to the Rules for Replacement at WBT Ranking Events was agreed nem con.
The Ladies World Match play Championship will be revised for 2017 – comprising the reigning Champion, an overseas qualifier, WIBC Ladies Champion, the 3 top ladies off the PBA Ranking List and 2 qualifiers from PBA run open qualifiers. This was proposed by Janice Gower and seconded by Ray Cutting and agreed nem con.
Following are the highlights of the 2015 PBA season.
Qualifying singles tournament for the Scottish Open Championships – Shalom Ben Ami.
Qualifying singles tournament for the International Championships – Kobi Hadar.
Qualifying singles tournament for the World Indoor Championships – Shalom Ben Ami.
Qualifying pairs tournament for the World Indoor Championships – Boaz Markus and Beverley Polatinsky.
ISRAEL PBA 2015 TOURNAMENT DIRECTOR
2015 has been another encouraging year for the New Zealand PBA branch with continued increase in membership, a new venue in New Plymouth with the addition of the Paritutu Bowling Club, increased promotion and new sponsors, a good convivial atmosphere between members, and a healthier financial position thanks to the professional stewardship of Feona Sayles.
Unfortunately we could not run a sub-branch in Hamilton this season with only 5 members (4 of them new or returning from on hold) paying subs by the beginning of May. Wayne Stewart has indicated willingness to come back on as a co-coordinator with Henry Te Moni to take a role in promoting membership for next year.
Don Christensen succeeded in building a new sub-branch in New Plymouth navigating through a steep learning curve having not been a PBA member for several seasons. The Taranaki area provided a solid base of players to build on for the future. Don will be handing the co-ordinator reigns on to Gareth Kahui for next season.
Thanks go to all our coordinators for promoting membership, running the venues with minimal problems and being a conduit to the players. Particular mention goes to Craig Merrilees for picking up calculating the rankings, and assisting with organising team travel to Australia. Garry Banks has put in a lot of effort especially to host Finals Weekend including finding a sponsorship for the weekend from the Graham Doreen Family Trust, and Dave Porteous and Ken Walker continued their tireless efforts in running our biggest two sub-branches.
Membership breakdown by venue was as follows:
The Graham Doreen Family Trust Finals Weekend returned to the birthplace of the NZ PBA branch at the Pukekohe Cosmopolitan Club for the first time since 2003, and as usual provided excellent displays of bowls with three worthy winners to contest the World Bowls Tour singles events. Andrew Kelly made a welcome return to PBA to win the Scottish entry, Rob Ashton continued his strong form to pick up the World Indoor Singles berth, and Murray Glassey capped off an unbelievable year surging to the year-end number one ranking and taking the International Singles invite.
The Trans-Tasman Challenge against the Australian PBA took place in Sydney for the first time at the Cabramatta Club in late September. The NZ team were sponsored by Scotty’s Meats of Martinborough and competed in the Victoria club’s prestigious invitation pairs in Wellington as good match practice and as an assembly point before crossing the ditch and in Cabramatta’s City Masters Singles after the Challenge. The Australians again dominated the early rounds Ben Twist and David Holt particularly impressive, but the NZ team turned the tables in the finals with wins to Craig Merrilees and the evergreen Ken Walker over those two Australians.
I think it is appropriate to start my annual report by wishing everyone
“Good Health and the Very Best for the New Year”.
Membership in the US continues to struggle as we are competing with local and National events where travel expenses are affordable compared to airline cost going overseas.
In our 2015 National Open, US PBA participated by sponsoring an Ad with Bowls USA and had flyers about our Association in every participant’s package. Interest in joining the PBA has increased but I will have to wait until our Qualifiers draw near to our qualifying dates in April 2016 for increase in membership.
Not having indoor facilities in the US is a disadvantage for our qualified members to compete at a level displayed especially by UK bowlers who really specialize in the indoor sport. As a competitor in our sport for over 66 plus years I have to convenience our bowlers that it is such a great experience to compete against world class bowlers in the PBA Championships and to do this without going through the selection process.
I have been appointed, one of five, Bowls USA National Selector and the Chairman and Team Manager for the US squad in the 2016 North American Challenge in Vancouver, Canada.
I will continue, as the US Representative, to recruit new members and encourage members from Team USA to join our ranks.
In closing, I want to thank all the Executive Committees for all the support I have received over the years. It is really an honor to be a part of PBA.
ELECTION OF OFFICERS
It was agreed to leave the position of Vice Chairman in abeyance.
ELECTION OF AUDITOR
It was agreed to remain with our current auditor.
The meeting closed at 2120