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22/02/2012 - Umpires AGM - Malaga Province -Submitted by Sue Walker

UMPIRES AGM 2012                   Wednesday 22nd February  at Miraflores  commencing  2.30pm

Present:- Gordon Adams, John Carr, Susan Walker, Geoff Land, Bill Mann, Dorothy Nuttall, Clive Thomas, Arthur Lees, Marjorie Johns, Murray Johns, Dina Warn, Alan Bicknell, David Owen Scott, Barry Pemberton, Grant Frost, Garry Aldridge, Graham Rowley

1.       Gordon welcomed everyone to the meeting

2.       Apologies:- Michael Bone, Derek Carr, Denis Tolfree, Doreen Musgrove, John Cornwell, Jim Neilson, Amber Dineen, Bill Ogden, Ian Anthony.

3.       AGM 2011 – The minutes were accepted, proposed by Barry, seconded by Geoff and agreed by all present.  Gordon queried the amount of the fee charged for the umpires'  course. This will be decided when the next course is advertised.

Chairman’s Report :-  The  last year has been a fairly quiet one and your Committee carried on as we left off under Geoff Land´s Chairmanship. We had highlights for some of our members at the beginning and end of the year, a few issues in between and generally Umpires were provided as required. No substantive complaints were directed against us and from my own observations the Umpires have conducted themselves in a very professional manner.

One highlight for seven of our members was the Umpires course which took place last February. Nine candidates took part and seven qualified, which was one of the best results we have had in recent years. All of the participants joined in with enthusiasm and seemed to enjoy themselves and, clearly, had spent some time studying the Laws and considering practical problems they had encountered on the Green. This attitude shown by the candidates is also very pleasing to the instructors who give up their valuable time in preparing for and attending the course sessions and I thank John Carr, Susan Walker and Geoff Land for their valuable contributions.

The nine qualifiers were Michael Bone,  Alan Bicknell,  Derek Carr,  Amber Dineen,  Arthur Lees,  David Owen Scott,  and Dina Warn and they will be presented with their Certificates later. Congratulations.

When Kate and Gordon Shields retired from the Committee in 2006, the new Committee set out to ensure that we had at least one active Umpire for each club. We now have 31 Umpires on the list for eight clubs so we should be very well provided for although, as can be expected, some Umpires are more active than others. Some counties in England would be delighted to have so many on their books.

We now have a new club, La Posada which is fielding a team in our Costa del Sol Tigers League. I am not sure whether La Posada is in Malaga Province or on the Costa del Sol but I would hope that we would be able to provide them with Umpiring and Marking courses if required. John Carr has been in some discussion with them on the subject.

One advantage of having so many Umpires is that we can encourage the clubs to appoint an Umpire for their league matches, club competitions and the like which should assist in the smooth running of the games and give the umpires the experience they need to officiate at the bigger events with confidence.

This was illustrated in the other highlight I mentioned earlier. Last Sunday, and Monday, February 19 and 20, Benalmadena hosted a hotly contested match between the Spanish team and a representative team from Malaga Province. The Umpires, Markers and Scoreboard monitors were organised by Susan and they all did a thoroughly good job to assist in the smooth running of a well organised match. The Umpires were organised in teams of three for each session, with two operating at opposite ends of the green and the third “resting”. They changed around at hourly intervals and everything was very professional. The team on the first day comprised Marjorie Johns, Gary Aldridge and Arthur Lees and on the second day  Marjorie, Arthur and David Owen Scott. Amber Dineen had started as a member of the Malaga team but dropped out feeling unwell. Undaunted she put on her Umpire´s uniform and elbowed her way into the Umpire´s group for the second day. How´s that for enthusiasm. Significantly Arthur, David and Amber only qualified last February and they did a splendid job as did the others of course. I do hope that the Spanish squad and their executive took notice.

On other matters, I am only aware of three incidents which involved Umpires in the past year.

One involved a complaint to the Umpire about foot faulting. As I understand it and extremely briefly, the Umpire, after observation, decided that no action was necessary (under Law 21). The complainant was not happy and the matter rumbled on, the situation deteriorated and there might even have been problems relating to possession of the rink (Law 35), deliberate non-sporting action (Law 54) and even disturbance by the spectators (Law 58). However, I  understand that the matter has been resolved and I do not expect the matter to be debated at this meeting.

I only raised the matter to emphasise that our powers are limited in many aspects of the Laws. If an Umpire receives a complaint from a player that another is infringing the law he can observe the action complained of and if he decides that no action is required he can inform the complainant accordingly and his decision is final. The complainant is entitled to appeal to the controlling body that the Umpire´s interpretation of the law is incorrect but if he continues to complain on the green there is little the Umpire can do to stop him except report the matter to the Controlling Body.

Two other matters reported to me might appear minor but were upsetting to the Umpire.

In one , the umpire politely asked a player to place the mat beyond the bank and not drape it over it and was told in no uncertain terms to “do it yourself”.

In the other incident, the Umpire received a complaint from a player that a group of spectators had become very rowdy and they were spoiling the game. The Umpire asked the spectators if they could talk a little quieter and was quite brusquely informed that it was none of the Umpire´s business as it was a matter solely for the Controlling Body and this is clearly not the case from Law 58. 

In matters such as the latter example, I wonder if the Umpire should merely report the matter to the Controlling Body and leave him to take whatever action he deems necessary.

Penultimately, I wonder if we should have more refresher courses, discussion groups, seminars, practical sessions call them what you may where we can get together and try to resolve any problems which arise during the course of our duties. Susan is keen to organise such sessions if you feel that they would be of interest to you.

Now, last but not least some thank you’s:-

1.      To all of you for attending and offering your services during the year 

2.       The Committee, Susan for arranging our meetings, courses, umpire duties and helping out on our courses

3.      John who supervised the practical aspects of the courses, organises the markers courses and tends to get involved in most of the things we do, and

4.      Geoff who retired as Chairman last year and was immediately co-opted on to the Committee for just being around.

5.      To Grant Frost and Miraflores for once again making these facilities available for our use both at the AGM and the courses.

Finally, in the words of my Principal when I was a young lad in training, “I am sorry this is so long, if I had had more time it would have been shorter”.

5 Vice Chairman’s Report :- John reported about the Spain v Malaga fixture saying that Benalmadena bowls club green was good, the atmosphere with the supporters fantastic and  the Mayor of Benalmadena visited and actually tried his hand at bowling. The press and TV also came.  This hopefully will produce good publicity for the game.

John commended the standard of the markers and umpires but picked up on a couple of points,  i.e. a marker pre judged the result of a head and a marker measured and pushed out the bowl. After speaking to the people concerned these points were noted. With a new management team including Fred Roberts  John thought the Spanish squad were better but were rather subdued with fewer high 5s and other practises had changed. Gordon and Geoff were thanked for being part of the Controlling body  and thanked Susan for arranging the Umpires, Markers and Scoreboard monitors.

 John went to La Pasada to run a very successful training day and now they are interested in learning umpiring skills. John volunteered to spend time there to teach them the Laws. (Marjorie and Murray also volunteered to assist). A DVD showing Marking and Umpiring is available. John to follow up.

Regarding the last umpires course John reported that we had some very determined candidates, Dina, Derek and Amber who produced their own  summary sheets of Laws 28 & 33. It was agreed to run sessions for these laws and Susan will arrange.

As Federation Delegate, John emphasized the importance of belonging to the Federation and urged all non federated umpires to join. ( Dina and Clive  joined at the end of the meeting)

6.      Gordon presented the newly qualified umpires with their certificates and urged them to get involved and wished them success while umpiring.  He then did a review of the exam papers with the main problems being the misunderstanding of

 a bowl in motion and a bowl in its original course,

 Laws 28 and 33,


Foot faulting


7.      Secretary’s Report :- Susan reported that we had only one committee meeting this year. The umpires course produced 7 new umpires who have been involved in umpiring at various competitions and I have not had any problem covering most comps. I would like to thank everyone who has volunteered to umpire as this makes my job much easier. We have not held a discussion session this year which is very disappointing but only a few queries have occurred. I was appointed to arrange the umpires and markers for last weekends  Spain v Malaga matches and I would like to thank Marjorie, Garry, Arthur and David for volunteering, plus Amber who unfortunately had to withdraw from playing. You were all highly commended.

Thanks to everyone for your co operation this year and I am willing to continue as secretary if you wish me to.

8.      Proposal – to introduce an annual subscription. After discussion it was decided that the federation should pick up the costs for stationery, printing, travelling and other expenses etc. Claim forms to be given to John.

9.      Uniform :- Susan has found a supplier for the Jerzees sweatshirts. All umpires agreed to purchase one and Susan will order asap. Any umpire not at the meeting in your club would you ask them if they want one as well. (Early reply please)

10.  Election of Officers:- Gordon, John, Susan and Geoff are all willing to continue in office so Murray proposed, Garry seconded and all agreed  for them to continue.

11.  AOB :- Marjorie thanked John for taking on the Federation Delegates job and wished him well.

Murray raised Foot faulting and Rink Possession which are still being abused. We, as umpires and trainers must teach new bowlers the correct procedures and practises from day 1 and encourage regular bowlers to take heed of the correct procedures within the laws of the game. Dina pointed out that we should speak to them in a calm, polite and relaxed manner and hopefully they will take notice. Susan will create some posters re these two points to distribute to the clubs.

Clive asked if the amendment list of the new laws could be sent out. Gordon to action.

Arthur  asked if any more Law books are available. John to action.

DVD – John to investigate.

As there was no more business Gordon thanked Grant for the use of Miraflores and thanked  everyone  for attending and the meeting closed at 4.45pm