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Minutes of General Committee meeting on 24 September 2006

Sunday 24 September 2006, 10.52am

The General Committee of the National Stoolball Association (NSA) met at Cowfold Sports Pavilion on Sunday 24 September 2006 at 10.30am.


NSA officers:

  • John Price (Chairman)
  • Shirley Reed (Vice-Chairman)
  • Kay Price (Secretary)
  • Peter Cheesman (Treasurer)
  • Michael Ledwich (Rules Officer).

Association and league representatives:

  • Chanctonbury Ladies Stoolball League: Vic Laker
  • West Kent Ladies Stoolball League: Edward Keates
  • Surrey Ladies Stoolball Association: Michael Ledwich
  • Sussex County Stoolball Association: Daphne Hunt (Mid Division), Sybil Voller (North Division), Chris Moon (West Division)
  • Sussex County Umpires’ Association: John and Barbara Fitzpatrick.


  • Richard Emsley (Insurance/Publicity)
  • Gwyn Griffith (NSA Officer and Surrey)
  • Sue Verrall (Eastbourne Red Triangle League)
  • Sally Morris (Hailsham Mixed Stoolball League)
  • Kay Turner (Coastal Ladies Stoolball League)
  • Doris Younger (SCSA, North Division)
  • Jenny Keates (WKLSL)
  • Melissa Mantle (Coaching Development Officer) Toni Wheatley (NSA Officer and SCSA, East Division).

Financial report from the Treasurer

The Treasurer, Peter Cheesman, reported a very successful year with good levels of income received from sales of stoolball equipment and coaching courses. He said that the current financial picture was very similar to that which would be presented at the AGM. The surplus for the period of £2,205 was very encouraging and went a considerable way towards funding the new coaching DVD which was currently being edited. Peter thanked the equipment agents for their sterling work during the year and it was agreed that they were a very necessary part of the NSA setup.

Child protection – club welfare officers

The Chairman, John Price, spoke about how important it was for firstly, leagues and associations and then clubs, to have welfare officers in place. He said that even if stoolball had never had, and did not foresee, a problem in their dealings with young players and vulnerable adults, all sports were being asked to comply with the regulations. Therefore, he asked that every body and club elect someone to the role just in case and that he would be the NSA person to contact in the event of any difficulty.

Club registration forms

The Chairman reported that only 27 forms had been received so far and that clubs must make a more concerted effort to complete them for the NSA records. It was agreed that supplies of forms would be sent to West Kent LSL (via email), the Chanctonbury League and to SCSA Mid and North Divisions so that they could be completed as soon as possible.

Sport England

The Chairman reported that, in response to a telephone call from Richard Clarkson of Sport England, a second “recognition” application had been submitted for discussion by the various Sports Councils during June and July. Before making the submission, the Secretary, Kay Price, had asked if the criteria had changed because, although a great deal of work had been put into updating old documents (Constitution and Rules of the Game) and creating new ones (Child Protection), we were still only a regional game.

Richard gave assurances that it would not be a waste of time and he was very confident that an updated application would be well received. Having heard nothing from Sport England, the Chairman phoned Richard Clarkson during August only to be told that our second application had also been turned down. The Chairman reminded everyone that stoolball had a lot to be proud of but he questioned the integrity of Sport England.

Update since the meeting: On 26 September we received a letter to say that each sports council had turned down our application on the grounds “that stoolball does not meet the criteria for recognition requiring organised national or international competition to be in place where appropriate”. However, the letter went on to say that the sports councils were happy that stoolball meets the other recognition criteria. (Words fail me!!)

Coaching programme

The Chairman reported that this was another success story. There are now 36 coaches with Level 2 status and 197 Level 1 coaches, which augurs well for the future. For this, we must sincerely thank Melissa Mantle who volunteered to add stoolball to the Chichester curriculum and thus gave our game a terrific boost.

At the same time, we must also thank Shirley Reed for masterminding the ‘Let’s Play Stoolball’ video (now in DVD format). We had all talked about producing something for years and had even been given an anonymous donation of £3,000 towards its cost, but Shirley was the person who finally did something about it. This video/DVD is now an important part of the Level 1 package which the students are given on completion of their course.

Edward Keates took the opportunity to mention that Rotherfield Junior School in East Sussex were interested in starting stoolball and he passed on the address and telephone number of a contact there. He added that Bidborough Stoolball Club would be happy to supply the school with bats and balls – this will be followed up.

At Horley Stoolball Club this summer, Michael Ledwich told the meeting that following adverts in local newspapers/freebies, 12 new ladies had come to the first practice which was an amazing response. Barbara Fitzpatrick commented that, in addition to focusing on the younger players, we also needed to concentrate on getting players from the 25-40 age group.


Following the launch of the revamped website during the summer, it was agreed that it was important to communicate the right messages on it and that the out-of-date information must be removed. The chairman told the meeting that the NSA were very grateful to the work that Rick Mason, who plays for Maresfield’s mixed team, had put in reconstructing our website.

Barbara Fitzpatrick asked if it was possible to add a small video clip showing what stoolball was all about and it was suggested that she contact Rick to discuss this. It was agreed that this would be a useful addition.

Vic Laker’s suggestion that using car stickers would be another useful tool to publicise stoolball was also well received.


The chairman reported that there had been a good response for public liability and personal accident insurance this year and thanked member clubs for their prompt response to the renewal forms. He stressed that the civil liability cover included in the public liability insurance was particularly important because of the litigious society that we live in.

Rules of stoolball

Following the revision of the Rules of the Game, it was mentioned that any feedback should be passed to Michael Ledwich who was collating comments in preparation for the next review at the end of the 2008 season.

There were a number of comments about the new rules made from the floor:

  • Edward Keates said that the main problem was a general lack of knowledge about the rules. They had been distributed and needed to be read through carefully.
  • Chris Moon said that it was a pity they were not available right at the beginning of the season. Another opinion was that as there was a change in how to score the “no ball which is hit” rule – scorers needed to follow the new ruling
  • John Fitzpatrick said that Umpires were against the ball being placed on the wicket – they felt there was a safety issue with that ruling.
  • Shirley Reed suggested that there needed to be a trouble-shooting section in the rule book
  • Daphne Hunt felt that the clean catch rule definitely needed to be reviewed at the end of the three-year period
  • Another suggestion was a reminder that a player acting as a “runner” must carry a bat

Stoolball equipment – short-handled bats, coloured balls

The chairman said that in response to a demand for shorter handled bats, the NSA had approached Gray-Nicolls and they had quickly supplied us with an initial order of 10. Until now, we have only ordered bats from Gray-Nicolls, but we have been asked to consider bats made by Newbery’s, who operate out of the Sussex County Cricket Ground in Hove.

Barbara and John Fitzpatrick had visited their premises in Hove and were most impressed with their bats. It was agreed that the NSA should visit Newbery’s and see what they look like.

Regarding coloured balls, the NSA were approached by the National Rounders Association to see if there was a need for a coloured ball. Apparently the Rounders Association have been asked to consider them as it was felt that a coloured ball would stand out better in the grass than a muddied white ball. Chris Moon agreed that with the majority of players wearing white, a white ball can get lost against a white background. Vic Laker also voiced the opinion that whereas the first batches of balls had been excellent, the last batch from Waft Sports had not been as good. This was backed up by Edward Keates who also said that Kent teams had found that the balls had lost their shape quickly. It was agreed that these problems would be looked into.

Any other business

Edward Keates told the meeting that in Kent, in a 16 over game, bowlers were limited to 6 overs and therefore a team had to have a minimum of three bowlers.

Sybil Voller said that in the indoor league, the opposing team can name two bowlers who cannot bowl twice.

It was also discussed as to whether the convention should be held annually or bi-annually. The general consensus was that it should be held every two years, therefore the next stoolball Convention would be in March 2008.

Date of next meeting: AGM – Monday 27 November 2006.

The meeting closed at 12.45pm.

Tags: meetings