20th January 2020

Held: Lauro Golf Bowls Club

Present                :                   Chairman            Ron Jones
                                                Treasurer            Julian Thomas
                                                Technical             Craig Lewis
                                                Benalmadena    David Mainwaring
                                                Benavista            Roy Saunders
                                                La Posada            Jeff Rowe
                                                Lauro                     Jane Richardson
                                                Miraflores          Carol Frost
                                                Mijas                     Robert Wright
                                                Santa Maria        Brig Gunn
                                                Saydo                    Tom Maclean
                                                FAB Umpires     Gordon Adams
                                                FAB League        David Mainwaring
                                                FAB VP                 Bixio Foletti
                                                Secretary             Bill Neal

Apologies                           Susan Walker, Paul Hughes

The Chairman welcomed all members to the meeting, the first of the season.
There were no matters arising from the previous meeting (August 2019) and members voted unanimously to accept the minutes as a true record.
Before the traditional order of Treasurer’s report, the Chairman explained in some detail, the information that he, Julian and Bixio had gathered whilst attending a meeting at FAB headquarters in Cazorla, Jaen two weeks previously.
Due to the election of a new government in Andalucia there were major changes ahead in the way the financial business of all sports in Spain, including Bowls, is to be conducted.  The new government expressed their concern that previous procedures were not suitable for them and all sport bodies were to adapt the new financial systems and procedures immediately, and in some areas, retrospectively, causing a great amount of extra work for the Treasurer and the Administrative staff in the headquarters.

One of the major differences being adopted immediately is the procedure for bodies to spend and then recover costs incurred.  ALL business will now go through head office.  There will be no cash outlay.  All services provided must be correctly invoiced from the supplier, (an example of a correct invoice was shown). After receipt of the correctly completed invoice, head office would do their best to pay invoices, direct to the supplier, within a few days but as was pointed out, staff at all levels involved in the process only worked two days a week, so be accurate and correct with your documents was the message being delivered from Head Office.
Our operating budget is to be monitored by Headquarters. The Treasurer must now forecast the expenditure to be as accurate as possible as any overbudgeting, even if allocated, could incur a financial penalty. Submitted budgets must relate to Calendared events.  Any changes to the calendar, for whatever reason, has to be submitted immediately to head office to be forwarded to the Junta. Even the change of a date during a competition needs to be reported on the day the decision to change is made.
The new Junta has stressed very strongly that from now on a complete, 100% auditable trail, is the only way business will be carried out.  Without the correct invoice, no payment will be made, with no exceptions.
The Chairman congratulated Julian for his excellent submissions to date.
Julian went on to explain that the majority of the new procedures fell on his position but stressed that Clubs should take on board the accurate and correctly completed invoice matter.  For instance Club invoices should be accurate, on time and must contain the Clubs bank details for payments to be made, and they are to be typewritten .  Federation fees should not be held by Clubs but submitted immediately on receipt.  Julian acknowledged that the way we operate with many local suppliers (florists, printers, trophies etc) may have to change their way of business to accommodate the new procedures. Where possible we will open accounts with regular suppliers but those without an account may have to invoice us in advance of supplying their services and may need to be paid in advance. We will need to be aware of this and not leave any ordering of things like trophies or printing to the last minute. We know pretty much when the season starts what trophies we need , for example, and so should order them at the start of the season.
Brig asked about the money collected for members who joined after the start of the season. Julian explained that there were no changes from Clubs to him in this area.
Julian concluded that a sharp learning curve was upon us but luckily, only small changes were going to affect Clubs.  He also informed the members that he now has to re-submit the budget forecast for this year and any surplus funds currently shown on the account sheet  would swiftly reduce to zero as he accounted for known small costs incurred.
Ron and Julian continued to inform members that a few of the current practices being used by clubs was now in direct contravention of the new procedures.  Umpires are now classed as a professional body and therefore payment made to them should include the necessary tax element held back by the payee.   To take this into account Umpires payments will now be allocated as Volunteers remunerations rather than directly as Umpires.
Cash prizes are still not allowed under the new system and members discussed the interpretation of cash prizes including the use of sponsors donations, and the Chairman stressed that as all clubs are Federated, the same as any other sport here in Spain, then they must follow Federation rules so therefore be very careful when considering awarding cash payments, as any sport payments in cash should reflect the tax element deducted which is then subsequently submitted to the authorities. This applies to Club “Open” competitions as well as Federation events. It should also be noted that Sponsorship for Federation events, should we be fortunate to receive any, should be paid by the Sponsors directly to the Federation.
 Treasurer Report
Julian then distributed a detailed accounts sheet and read through all the entries.  A couple of questions from members asking about the sundries expenditure and Team Malaga expenditure were explained by Julian to all member’s satisfaction.
Presidents Tour – March
The chairman provided a sheet to the members containing the breakdown of the figures, dates and costs per person, of the tour.  It was evident that due to the proposed numbers visiting, some clubs would find it necessary to approach other clubs for help.
The propose fee of 20 euro per visitor was for green fees and a lunch meal and non players would pay 11 euros.
Ron informed members that this was a great opportunity and advert for bowls on the Costa Del Sol and bowls in Spain.
Jeff from La Posada explained that the date agreed for his club clashes with a club tournament but he recognises the importance of the visit and would go back and discuss with his club a possible alternative solution.
Carol explained that she had the details of the representatives of the tour and would pass on their contact details to all clubs to allow discussions to get underway regarding play times, amount of rinks, catering issues and the like.
Conditions of Play
Carol from Miraflores reminded all clubs that ideally, the Conditions of Play should be sent out with call notices for competitions and that they should not include any items not relevant, such as who buys who drinks etc. The high standard of production currently employed by all should be maintained. Gordon  Adams reminded all members that an example of conditions of play can be found in the Laws of the Sport of Bowls, Appendix A.
Robert from Mijas discussed the current agreement by all clubs of the cost of fees per competition Federation or not, as there were examples of clubs charging different amounts.  A proposal was raised that the fee should be 8 euros for all competitions and all members voted unanimously in favour.
All clubs requested that entries should be legible and on time and contain the contact details of at least one player to allow swift communication in the event of delays, cancellation etc.
Postponed League Matches
Carol from Miraflores, explained that a previously published rule regarding postponement procedures had been removed from the handbook.  The chairman said that this would be discussed later under the handbook agenda point.
Carol went on to raise an issue that took place between Miraflores and Benavista regarding a postponement request from Miraflores.  Benavista explained their position and action taken on the day.  Carol asked for members to share their opinion regarding in the main, what event constitutes exceptional circumstances, when postponement was being discussed between clubs. Ron Adams offered the printed ruling regarding the position regarding postponement and whilst clear in its intent, still left uncertainty. 
League coordinator David offered his understanding of the event and after further discussions, the chairman advised clubs of the ‘appeal procedure’ and suggested that as all clubs are present, they should vote on the appeal submitted by Miraflores against the earlier decision to award maximum points against Miraflores for failing to send players.  A vote was taken which resulted in the appeal being upheld and both clubs were informed that the tie should now be played on 24 January.
Clarification of Law 33
Miraflores raised an important issue regarding the sometimes non compliance of law 33, players leaving the green during the course of play. Should this law be ‘flexible’ or adhered to.  Gordon Adams confirmed the rule and its clear instructions, and like any other rule, it should be obeyed.  The chairman distributed a copy of Law 33 and invited members for their comments.  After discussion the chairman reiterated that common sense must always be used even when rules are read and the overall reason why we all play bowls.
Andalucian Championships, the future.
Chairman Ron distributed an e mail received from  Ruth Compton, Delegada of Almeria Province, offering proposed changes to the championship format and composition. As the championships this year were scheduled for September any changes would not be made for this year but for 2021.
Ron reminded all members that this was a very important competition. Discussions took place including date/month change and the format and it concluded with a general agreement that the championships should remain as is. Further discussions for the future could take place later this year if members thought it was necessary.
Changes to Handbook
Ron asked members of the general response to the handbook and its present format including the section of previous winners.  All agreed the format was very good and any information regarding previous winners can be found on the website.
The inclusion of the rule regarding postponement with examples will be reintroduced in the new handbook and that he will start next week on the production draft for next season’s handbook. He asked that if anyone had noticed anything incorrect (such as Carol’s example) or needed any changes to their Club information, to let him know as soon as possible. He appreciates that many Clubs hold election in April and assured everyone that changes can continue to be made to Club details to cover this if necessary.
Ron suggested and it was agreed by all that this agenda point will be discussed at a later date to allow the technical committee to have its meeting.  This meeting was to take place on 2 February at Santa Maria.
Ron led this area of discussion informing that he was displeased by remarks he heard whilst playing at Santa Maria regarding team Malaga and its selection process. He reminded all clubs that previous minutes from this committee detailed the decisions made by the committee and the procedure to be followed regarding team selectors.  All clubs were represented at this meeting.  At no point did Paul Hughes (team manager) do anything underhand or use less than the correct procedural process in the way he delivered his appointed roles responsibilities.  Ron asked all members to brief their own members of the facts and the current position regarding Malaga team and its selection process.
Clubs were also reminded that if any of their players are deemed suitable for the vacant selectors positions, please pass their details to the chairman.

Tom Maclean stated that delays in start times of matches (Jaguar) had a serious effect on his players and if possible, could an earlier start time be considered. Robert added that sometimes a delay in the morning game seriously impacted on the afternoon game so perhaps 14 ends could be played.  All members strongly disagreed with this suggestion and asked all teams to do their best to be punctual.
David reminded clubs of the correct start times for games and that he would send out a reminder to all club league coordinators.

Gordon raised the timings of the Federation events and expressed the opinion that the Summer Championships, in particular, discriminated against those Federated members who returned to the UK in the summer or who had a limited 120 day clause in their insurance cover. After some discussion it was agreed that the calendar should not be set with “snowbirds” in mind, rather those who spent part of the year outside the Province should adapt their travel arrangements to take our calendar into account should they wish to enter a particular tournament.

Robert proposed the purchase of 50/60 pushers for all clubs but was advised that under the new rules mentioned earlier this was not possible. Bixio explained that if Robert obtained two quotes/tenders from suppliers and submitted them to him, he could possibly help through the Federation, Andaluza .

Ron informed members that Elections and the AGM will take place in March and a call notice will be issued soon.

A date for the next meeting will be advised via the Club Reps.