The League's 2020 Handbook may become a collector's item marking as it is celebrating the Association's 50th Anniversary but some would say that it is time that we stopped producing a printed copy altogether.
This year we are paying over £500 for 750 copies. Under league Rules every team (not club) has to purchase six copies for £6. Extra copies are available at £1 each. That fee, along with sold advertising space, means that we don't lose money on producing the handbook, it is self-financing.
In an age where the handbook is out of date as soon as it is printed (due to Club Reps changing, fixtures changing etc) and where everything in the handbook is also available (and up to date) on either our Bowlsnet site or the HDVBA website where is the justification for continuing to produce printed copies. Neither of those websites cost clubs anything.
But lets remember this is a Veterans League, we are going to be the last generation to stop using paper because that is what we have always been used to and, despite there being a lot of silver-surfers around, we still have less people using laptops and smartphones than any other generation. Are we to alienate these members through a hasty retreat from the physical copy when some have no alternative means of getting that information? Many would say that there is something very comforting about having a physical copy of the handbook tucked away in the bowls bag to be dragged out when a club's contact details are suddenly required or a rule query mid-match that needs resolving.
So what do you think? Is it really time to ditch the book? The Saturday League has moved to a very slimmed down version of their handbook. Is that the answer or is there still a case for preserving the paper copy?