The HSMWBL is formed

Updated: Aug 7, 2020

The teams in the new Winter League held a conference call meeting on Tuesday and advanced plans for the start of their inaugural season from October. They have decided to call themselves the Huddersfield Seniors Mixed Winter Bowling League (HSMWBL) which is quite a mouthful (although four letters shorter than the HDVBA full title) but catches all the elements of what they are about.

With the rejection of membership for their approach to join the Huddersfield & District Veterans Bowling Association (HDVBA) they were already prepared to go it alone and have subsequently advanced their plans by forming a management structure. Mike Ralph (Springwood) was elected Chair, Jeff Jacklin (Kirkheaton Con) assumes the Secretary role and Bob Haigh (Huddersfield Recreation Club) is the new Treasurer. In addition two Committee positions were agreed and these are taken by Michelle Booth (Lowerhouses) and Glynis Philbin (Lindley BC).

Sponsorship amounting to £200 has already been secured with the promise of a new trophy to be awarded to the end of season Champions. This is regarded as more than adequate to meet all the startup costs of the first season.

A 15th team has joined the ranks with Dalton coming forward but this is balanced out by Marsh Utd withdrawing from the competition. That leaves 14 teams which are expected to start the first League season in two divisions of seven teams. Six playing on each of two greens (Springwood and Milnsbridge) each week with two teams having a week off. This means that 24 bowlers will be at each green keeping the numbers below the 30 that the Government continue to stipulate is the maximum allowed for a social gathering.

The roll call of the14 teams signed up for the opening season is Springwood, Milnsbridge, Denby Dale, Huddersfield Recreation Club (2 teams), Lowerhouses (2 teams), Kirkheaton Con, Thorpe Green, Lindley BC, Rastrick, Meltham, Clayton West and Dalton.

Before the League can actually commence there will need to be a relaxation in the BCGBA guidance regarding only club members being allowed to bowl on a home green. That is the only thing that is now stopping the launch of the new League.

Ironically the Veteran's League started life with 14 teams in two divisions of seven teams exactly 50 years ago. In line with that setup, it is likely that the two divisional winners of the first Winter League season will meet in an end of season play-off match.

Further applications from teams are still invited but they will be put on a waiting list in the event of any team withdrawing or in preparation for the following season when it may be possible to extend membership. It is conceivable that a team KO competition be run sometime during the inaugural season with the potential to invite teams on the waiting list to join in at that time.

The HSMWBL is proud to be the first independent bowling league to be launched in Huddersfield in the last 50 years (I might be wrong about that and I am sure that someone will put me right).

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