INTER COUNTIES SCRATCH LEAGUE
Minutes of AGM held at Gerrards Cross GC
Friday 22nd November 2019
Present: Gordon Jones (Hon. Sec), Ivor Stratford/Matt Culley (Berkhamsted), Callum Keogh/Mike Brandon ( Burnham Beeches), Tommy Obergan/Adrian Robson/Henri Botha (Gerrards Cross), Bob Welfare-Ford/Jim MacFarlane (Harleyford), Steve Geary/Dan Macfarlane (Maidenhead), Robin Carter (Mill Ride), Tony Lee/Neil Haynes (Northwood), Geoff Roberts (S Herts), Keith Cunnington (Sandy Lodge)
1. Apologies for Absence
Craig Buttivant (Chairman), Mike Cresswell (Berkhamsted), Guy Stacey/Dan Jeffries (Sudbury), Chris Rowe (Flackwell Heath), Richard Sivers (Ashford Manor), Seb Brock (Castle Royle), Tom Evans (Beaconsfield)
In the absence of the Chairman, the chair was taken by the Hon Sec.2. Acceptance of Minutes of 2018 AGM and Matters Arising
The minutes were accepted unanimously.
There were no matters arising which are not covered elsewhere in the agenda.
3. Election of Chairman and Divisional Representatives.
The only nomination for Chairman was Mike Cresswell (Berkhamsted), proposed by S Herts and seconded by Castle Royle. Mike Cresswell was declared elected.
Divisional Representatives were elected as follows:
Div 1 Geoff Roberts (S Herts)
Div 2 Keith Cunnington (Sandy Lodge)
Div 3 Guy Stacey (Sudbury)
4. League Report 2019
This has been a very poor season for the League. Obviously, several teams are finding it difficult to fulfil fixtures and/or put out full teams. This season, there have been a total of 11 matches resulting in walkovers - an unprecedented number. In addition, a number of matches have taken place with incomplete teams. We must take a hard look at both match formats and team s, if the League is to continue successfully. Several clubs have suggested that we move to Pairs Betterball matchplay, 3 pairs per team. Not only would this make life easier for clubs struggling to raise a team, it would also ease the burden on clubs scheduling tee times. Obviously, it is easier to schedule 3 x 4-ball matches than 7 x 2-balls. This is an agenda item for later in the meeting and we must seriously think about our future.
Our second Winter Pairs Knock-out was concluded at Harleyford in early-April with Castle Royle retaining their title against Sandy Lodge. Congratulations to both teams and to Harleyford for hosting the event. The 2019/20 event is underway with 14 teams taking part.
Commiserations to Sandy Lodge who were defeated by the Herts Scratch League Champions Hadley Wood in the Scratch League Challenge Cup, played at Letchworth GC. This year, ICSL will be represented by Mill Ride, against Berkhamsted the winner of the Herts Scratch League. This time, it is the turn of ICSL to host this event.
Congratulations, also, to all the Divisional winners and runners-up.
Caversham Heath, after their merger with Reading GC have indicated they wish to withdraw from the League. Best wishes to them in their new endeavours. Mapledurham have also withdrawn.
We also welcome Ashford Manor back into the League for the 2020 season, having sorted out their difficulties.
These changes will require a re-jig of the Divisions which is an item later in the agenda.
Financially, the League is in reasonable state as you will see later. However, as we have operated at a small loss for the past two years, it is time to levy a small increase in subscriptions. Subscription fees for the 2020 season will, therefore, be increased to £115 - this is the first subs increase since the league started in 2009! Subscription Invoices will be sent out shortly, payable by 31st January 2020.
Finally, I am sure everyone will join with me in thanking Craig for his service to the League over many years. He inaugurated ICSL in 2009 and has been involved as Chairman ever since. Many thanks Craig.5. Financial Statement
The Hon Sec distributed a draft financial statement to the meeting which showed that we made a loss of just over £249 this season. However, as most of our costs are fixed, regardless of the number of clubs in the league, it will be necessary to raise subscriptions for 2020 to compensate.
Invoices for 2020 will be going out soon, payable by 31st Jan 2020.6. Presentation of Trophies and Vouchers
In the absence of the Chairman, Henri Botha - Captain of Gerrards Cross GC - presented awards as follows:
Div 1: Mill Ride and Castle Royle/S Herts (Joint Runners-up)
Div 2: Northwood and Ellesborough (Joint Winners)
Div 3: Gerrards Cross and Burnham Beeches
Div 4: Harewood Downs and Flackwell Heath7. Winter Pairs Knock-out 2019/20
With 14 clubs taking part, this is progressing well. Round 1 is underway and due to complete at end-November. A new draw will be done for each round. If a tie is drawn the Away team will go through, as currently. 8. The Future of ICSL - match format and team size
There was considerable discussion on this thorny issue. A majority of those present felt that singles scratch matchplay was the most competitive form of golf and the reason why the league was set up originally. Many felt that a move towards a betterball pairs format would degrade the league. The argument that many clubs were finding difficulty in fielding teams to play singles was not accepted. There was an acceptance, however, that reducing the team to 6 players - rather than 7 at present - would help clubs to schedule league matches more easily, enabling 4-ball matches (2 x singles) if the home club decided.
The proposal to reduce the team from 7 to 6 players was passed by 4 - 3.
The proposal to change the match format from singles matchplay to betterball pairs was tied at 7 votes each - after 6 proxy votes were taken into consideration. The acting Chairman declared that the proposal had not been successful and, therefore, made his casting vote to preserve the status quo - ie. singles matchplay.9. Proposed Rule Change to Resolve Ties anywhere within a Divisional Table
Rule 5.02, as currently written, has caused problems this year resolving ties when promotion/relegation issues are not involved. It was proposed that Rule 5.02 was amended to allow ties anywhere within a Divisional Table to be resolved purely on the head-to-head matches between the clubs involved. AGREED
It was also suggested that 'goal difference' between clubs would no longer be relevant and would not be used to differentiate between clubs tied on points within league tables published on the website. This would also remove the 'skewing' effect that matches conceded by walkover could have. If head-to-head matches were tied, then an overall tie would be declared. AGREED
The Hon Sec undertook to update the ICSL Rules accordingly and, also, amend the website procedures for publishing league tables.10. Divisional Split 2020
With 17 clubs currently remaining in the league, it was suggested that we move to a 3 Division format, rather than 4 as current. In 2020, therefore, we will have 3 Divisions as follows (after promotion/relegation has been actioned following 2019 results):Division 1 Division 2 Division 3
Mill Ride Sandy Lodge Harewood Downs
Castle Royle Gerrards Cross Flackwell Heath
South Herts Burnham Beeches Sudbury
Northwood Ealing Maidenhead
Ellesborough Beaconsfield Ashford Manor
Berkhamsted Harleyford 11. Any Other Business
a) The Hon Sec proposed a vote of thanks to outgoing Chairman Craig Buttivant for all the work he has done over the years after setting up the League in 2009.
b) The Hon Sec asked all clubs to check the current Contacts List and advise any amendments. A copy of the Contacts List will be sent out with these minutes.
c) The Hon Sec thanked Gerrards Cross GC for hosting the AGM and providing refreshments before the meeting.
d) The Hon Sec advised that he will be retiring at the end of the 2020 season. He asked for any volunteers willing to take on the task of Hon Sec to contact him. Ideally, an early appointment would enable that person to work alongside during this coming season to allow a smooth handover.
The meeting closed at approximately 8.45pm