Winter League


Notes of a Telephone Conference Call meeting
held at 10:00am on Tuesday 16 June 2020


INVOLVED:      Jeff Jacklin (Kirkheaton Con)

                          Mike Ralph (Springwood)

                          John Pix (Springwood)

                          Alan Sharpe (Almondbury Lib)

                          Neale Wallace (Denby Dale)

                          Jim Baxter (Milnsbridge)

                          Bob Haigh (Huddersfield Recreation Club)

                          John Sunter (Huddersfield Recreation Club)

                          Malcolm Waddington (Meltham)

APOLOGIES:   Kenneth Broadbent (Kirkheaton Con)

                          Brian Faichney (Huddersfield Recreation Club)

                          Brian Swift (Marsh United)

                          Tony Lockwood (Lowerhouses)



    1. Jeff Jacklin updated members with the present situation regarding the formation of the Winter League. Springwood is confirmed as the host club although Milnsbridge have also offered their green to the competition as well and this will be covered later.

    2. Tuesdays are Springwood’s preferred date for matches to be staged.

    3. The start date can be as soon as there is a relaxation in the rules which would allow competitive bowling and clubs should prepare for an early September start date.

    4. Almondbury Lib have withdrawn from the League due to bowler concerns regarding their health safety means they cannot guarantee to field a full team. They have been invited to continue to attend meetings in the interim and are represented today.

    5. It was agreed that should any item require a vote during the meeting then there would be one vote per team.

    6. An outline paper had been circulated with the agenda for this meeting and this listed all the areas to be covered by today’s meeting.

    7. The purpose of the meeting is to help formulate a set of League Rules to be placed before the new ruling body for approval and to be in place for the start of the first season.

    8. Jeff Jacklin indicated that although there was no rush to finally decide on many of the items on today’s agenda one decision that must be taken to allow matters to progress was which organisation would become the League’s ruling body.


    1. Representatives considered the four options open to them as regards which would be the over-seeing body that would run the new League.

    2. Springwood indicated that they would not be putting themselves forward for this role as the host club. The option for an individual to act as the ruling body was also eliminated at this point.

    3. After discussion there was unanimous support for the League to come under the auspices of the HDVBA rather than create a new body of the clubs involved in the League.

    4. Members felt that they would like to work closely with the HDVBA and would like to see League representation on the HDVBA Management Committee. John Pix put himself forward to act in this role and this will be followed up.


    1. Representatives agreed that this should be a League for veteran bowlers with age eligibility mirroring that of the HDVBA. A suggestion that it should be raised to 65 failed to gain support.

    2. It was agreed that bowlers could only bowl for a club that they had represented in the previous Summer League season unless they had just become age-qualified to play in a veteran’s league.

    3. No in-season transfers will be allowed.

    4. Where clubs have more than one team in the League bowlers will only be qualified to bowl in one of these teams in the season.

    5. After discussion on a suggestion that lady bowlers should be invited to play in the League the members fully supported this move. There would be no requirement for a minimum or maximum number of male/female bowlers in each team.

    6. Starred Bowlers will be allowed to play in the League.


  1. It was confirmed that the teams would consist of four bowlers.

  2. After considering the implications of social distancing and member concerns about this it was agreed that matches in Year 1 would consist of four Singles games. This is a change from the previous agreed two Singles and one Pairs games. It is recognised that this will mean that matches will take longer than using the previous format.

  3. It was agreed that points would be awarded as:
    1 point to the winner of each Singles game
    2 points for the better Aggregate score with 1 point to each team in the event of an identical Aggregate total.

  4. All games will be 21-up


    1. It is anticipated that the League fees will be set by the HDVBA and then that would determine any prize money to be awarded to the successful teams. Prize money was not considered to be a major driver for clubs at this stage.

    2. Springwood indicated that they would be looking to charge £1.50 per bowler per week to cover their costs. Each bowler would receive hot drinks, biscuits and a raffle ticket for this fee. This was agreed by the representatives. Each team will be responsible for collecting this fee and paying Springwood £6 each week.

    3. The annual fee to use Bowlsnet to manage fixtures and playing records is currently £10 for a League of this size.

    4. BCGBA and YCCGBA affiliation fees are expected to be covered by HDVBA’s current affiliation but this is to be checked.

    5. Tony Lockwood has confirmed that he is still prepared to sponsor the League in the opening season.

    6. Jeff Jacklin reported that he had been approached by the family of John Hoyle about a permanent memorial to John. He had suggested them presenting a new trophy to the HDVBA which could be used to be awarded to the winners of the Winter League. Members welcomed the idea of competing for the John Hoyle Cup. This has to be confirmed with the Hoyle family.


  1. There was some support for running team and individual competitions alongside the League programme but it was agreed that this would be left for a later decision once the number of teams was determined and the extent of the League fixture programme more fully understood. In addition the weather would always be a factor in setting the number of dates available to any programme of KO competitions.


  1. The nine teams currently forming the new League is hardly an ideal number for running a programme where every team plays every week which is the intention. Members were informed that Thorpe Green had already expressed an interest in joining the League. After discussion it was agreed not to recruit any other teams until the rules about the lockdown situation and social distancing were progressed prior to the start of the season.

  2. If there are stringent limits to the number of bowlers allowed on the green at any one time then the offer to use the green at Milnsbridge becomes a major asset. Fixtures could be split between the two greens to overcome any such restrictions.

  3. If the rules are more relaxed then there is the opportunity to open up the League to more teams. Ideally it could run to two Sections/Divisions of 8 teams in each. Promotion and relegation could be introduced.

  4. The problem of car-sharing under the present rules was discussed and recognised that this could present a parking problem at Springwood with more cars being used. The introduction of using the Milnsbridge green could ease this difficulty as well.

  5. Tentative enquiries from potential new teams are to be sought but no offer of membership can be made to any club until the Government rules on meeting numbers are further developed.

  6. It had been originally planned to hold two Trial Days in preparation for the introduction of the Winter League and members would still like to do this if timescales permit.

  7. Jeff Jacklin took to producing an initial draft of a new set of League Rules for the Winter League which will be circulated to the participating clubs for further discussion before being presented to the HDVBA Management Committee for approval. Once these rules have been circulated it is anticipated that another meeting will be required to finalise and formally approve them. This date has not been set yet.


The meeting closed at 11:30am.



Notes of a meeting held on Monday 9 March 2020 held at Paddock I&C

All ten teams involved in the Trial Days for the proposed Winter League were represented. 

i.e. Springwood, Marsh Utd, Milnsbridge, Kirkheaton Con, Lowerhouses, Denby Dale,

Huddersfield Recreation Club (2 teams), Meltham, Almondbury Lib


Trial Days

  1. Jacks and scorecards to be provided by Springwood.

  2. Shortage of parking places at green so teams agreed that each team would use one car only for greenside parking.

  3. Ten 4-man teams playing 1 x Pairs and 2 x Singles.

  4. Aggregate score to determine winner. In the event of a draw then most games won will identify winning team. All matches 21-up.

  5. Cost of each Trial Day to be £1.50 per bowler (£6 per team) and this to include tea and biscuits and a 50p raffle ticket with three prizes to be won.

  6. Captains to collect their team fees and pass on to Springwood on the day.

  7. In the event of bad weather, Springwood will determine if green playable or not. Each team provided a mobile phone number which would be used to text any cancellations directly to that team. Teams then responsible for informing their own team members.


Match Format

  1. Printed copies of match format circulated and agreed (copy at the back of these notes).

  2. The format may be changed for Week 2 of trial following experiences of Week 1.

  3. Match playing order designed to ensure that there are not 5 pairs matches on the green at the same time.



  1. Members took the threat of coronavirus seriously and agreed
    a) to heed guidance to be issued by HDVBA.
    b) Springwood will provide bucket(s) of water at start point for the washing of the jacks at any time during the day.


Longer-Term Matters

  1. Springwood indicated that Mondays are not suitable for playing of matches should the League start in October. Preference for Tuesdays or Wednesdays.

  2. Springwood indicated that they would be looking for a 2-3 week break between end of Summer competition and start of Winter league to undertake remedial work on their green and prepare for Winter League season.

  3. Agreed that Bowlsnet would be used for any League competition. Cost of £10 per season for a 10-team league.

  4. Tony Lockwood had offered to provide some sponsorship of the League and this will be explored further if the League competition goes ahead.

  5. Question asked who would run the League. Currently seen as being four options;
    a)  The Veterans League Management Committee
    b)  The host club (Springwood)
    c)  The member clubs involved in the Winter League
    d)  A nominated individual

  6. A set of rules would be required to be in place for an October start.

  7. If more than 10 teams interested in playing in a new Winter League consideration to be given to having two divisions playing on different days. Springwood may have reservations about the increased wear and tear on their green.

  8. Suggested that a different start point should be identified each week to help even the wear and tear of the green.


Next Steps

  1. Trials Days to go ahead on 23 and 30 March with a 1pm start time on 23 March. Start time for Week 2 may change depending on Week 1 experience.

  2. Soon after completion of the two Trial Days a meeting of participating clubs will be held to decide if the 2020 season should start in October or not.

The PDF document link below provides details on the Trial Days Match Draw, playing order and some other details.

© 2020 Jeff Jacklin