Staffordshire & Shropshsire Contract Bridge Association
Minutes of the Committee Meeting
held on Monday, 14th March 2022 at 6.30 pm on Zoom
||Chairman Pam Booth-Jones (PBJ), Secretary Judy Mitchell (JM), Treasurer Jane Sheehan (JS), County Captain Paul Cutler (PC), Membership Secretary Ann Sleightholme (AS), Tournament Director James Vickers JV), Carol Kane representing Stafford, & Rita Shepherd representing Newcastle.
||Apologies: Marion Adams (Border), Joan Kershaw (Newport) and Pat Ramsay (Oswestry);
||Minutes of Meeting held on 27th July 2021 and Matters Arising: (i) The County is still without a Competitions Secretary. (ii) One Club had taken up the offer of some financial help with setting up beginners’ classes, and no clubs asked for financial help at the re-starting of face-to-face bridge. (iii) The No Fears Pairs F2F scheduled for early March was cancelled due to lack of entries, and the Championship Pairs was postponed to 8th May. (iv) The one league match not played by the end the league season was eventually played.
||Treasurer’s Report. JS stated that the County had about £20,000 in the bank. Last year she had negotiated with Alma Richards, Treasurer of Wolverhampton Bridge Club and agreed that the County would pay £300 to the club to cover the costs of holding the No Fears Pairs, the Championship Pairs and the Mixed Pairs face-2-face at WBC. Once the future of face to face bridge was clearer, negotiations between the County and WBC would take place – perhaps in May. She reported that the County online club recorded small losses during the late summer but numbers improved thereafter; and JM reported that she had negotiated with the Director to reduce his fee from £40 per session to £30. Wolverhampton BC was still concerned that the online bridge club had an effect on numbers playing face to face there. It was pointed out that those WBC members who played in the online club were not members who would normally play on a Wednesday evening. JS thanked John Withers for checking the year-end accounts and reported that Roger Turner had replaced Alma Richards** as Treasurer and that Norman Jones remained Chairman of WBC
||Captain’s Report: a) Dawes (now called Midland Counties Online Leagues): the last match was played on Sunday, with the 1st team losing, the 2nd winning and the 3rd losing. The final results were: out of 8 tems the 1st team came 8th, 2nd came 5th and the 3rd came 7th. A decision will soon be made regarding future – on-line or f2f, though PC thought it more like to be online. b) The current County League matches were up-to-date all played online. PC expressed the need to make changes for the next season, particularly to have matches played on a single day in each month if possible, as well as asking that if a match had to be re-arranged weekday matches would be expected to be in the evenings outside normal working hours, unless both teams agreed otherwise.. He would conduct a survey amongst the current players in the league on whether matches should be played on line or face-to-face and whether a set day should be set aside each month for these matches. It was mentioned that matches could be re-arranged, in certain circumstances, with regard to date and venue. Over the summer the Midland Counties Working Group sub-committee would discuss the format next season, but PC envisaged that they would stay online.
i) Championship Pairs: PBJ had carried out a survey amongst the players from last year as to whether to hold this on line for face-to-face. Several did not mind which, but the majority favoured on line. The decision was made that it should held on-line with BBO. Sarah Amos had agreed to run this and to deal with BBO, and JM would chase up the quotation for her fees, which was very slow to be forthcoming. JV offered to look for another TD if necessary.
ii) Mixed Pairs. It was agreed to have this f2f at WBC in June. PBJ offered to liaise with Norman Jones at WBC for a suitable date. £3 would be the entry fee, If there were insufficient entries for f2f competition it would be abandoned..
iii) Leagues: A decision about online or f2f would be made after the survey, and the favoured day in Committee appeared to be Thursday, at the moment, so that the online club could continue.
iv) Staffs Cup KO teams: It was agreed to replace this with a one-day multiple teams event on a Sunday. Although the event is to find a team to represent the County in the Pachabo, JV suggested that that should not a prominent reason for the event. It should be promoted as the County’s Championship Teams.
||Competition Secretary. Stressed the need to find someone to take on this role.
||Any Other Business.
a) Ukraine Charity Events: JM reported that she (and clubs) had received an email from Gordon Rainsford (EBU) dated 9th March which stated that the EBU would waive the UMS fees for any event designated to raise funds for charity to aid Ukraine, and he had asked if Counties would waive their own P2P fees. It was agreed that we should do this, and JM would inform clubs and the EBU. It was suggested that our Summer Simultaneous Pairs could be designated a charity for Ukraine event.
b) Capital help for Clubs. Similarly an email addressed to JM and clubs from Gordon Rainsford stated that the EBU would not be able to offer financial help for Clubs for capital expenditure this coming year, and he asked that if counties felt able they might be able to help in this way. It was agreed that we did not have any clubs in this situation.
c) With regard to promoting competitions within the county, JM suggested that she should specifically ask Clubs to print out posters for club notice boards, as well as emailing members. Before the era of emails JM used to send out ready-printed notices, but in view of the fact the Clubs paid no membership fee to the County we should be able to ask them to print any necessary documents to save on postage in addition to emailing members.
d) PC reported that The Midland Counties On Line No Fear Pairs continue. The next one - a 9-Hi Swiss Pairs - is on Saturday, 26th March, and a few pairs have entered to represent S&SCBA.
There being no further business, the meeting was closed at 7.45 pm
** Alma Richards is still Treasurer.