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Minutes of Stoolball England’s AGM on 27 November 2011

Monday 9 January 2012, 10.08pm

Stoolball England’s 32nd Annual General Meeting was held in the Renshaw Room at Wivelsfield Village Hall on Sunday 27 November 2011 at 11am.


Stoolball England Officers:

  • Shirley Reed (President)
  • John Price (Chairman)
  • Becky Hull (Vice-Chairman)
  • Kay Price (Hon Secretary)
  • Trevor Parsons (Hon Treasurer)
  • Michael Ledwich (Insurance and Governance)
  • Ruth Arthur (Coaching Development)
  • Kelvin Speirs (Umpires and Rules Co-ordination)

Honorary role:

  • Anita Broad (Research and Education)


  • Richard Emsley
  • Gwyn Griffith
  • Keith Younger

Leagues, associations and clubs represented:

  • Eastbourne Red Triangle Stoolball League: (Nick Panteney and Rachael Panteney)
  • Chanctonbury Ladies Stoolball League: (Vic Laker)
  • Mid Sussex Mixed Stoolball League: (Richard Emsley)
  • Surrey Ladies Stoolball Association (SLSA): (Michael Ledwich)
  • Sussex County Stoolball Association (SCSA): (Daphne Hunt)
  • Central Division (SCSA): (Elaine Berry)
  • Mid Division (SCSA): (Karen Speirs)
  • West Division (SCSA): (Rose Cumber, Fred Newland and Rosemary Newland)
  • North Division (SCSA): (Doris Younger and John Fitzpatrick)
  • Sussex County Umpires Association: (Kelvin Speirs)
  • Wessex Friendly Group: (Shirley Reed)
  • West Kent Ladies Stoolball League: (Richard Emsley)

1. Chairman’s Welcome

The Chairman welcomed everyone to the 32nd Annual General Meeting of Stoolball England but before the business of the meeting commenced, a period of silence was observed in memory of the following long serving members:

  • Michael Smith, a Kent county umpire and member of Edenbridge Stoolball Club
  • Eddie Mason, a West Division SCSA umpire and member of Graffham Stoolball Club
  • Peggy Thorlby, SCSA Life Member, North Division official and member of Fairwarp Stoolball Club
  • Lorna Horscroft, SCSA Vice President, Mid Division official and member of Chailey Stoolball Club
  • Molly Burgess, Mid Division and member of Isfield Stoolball Club

2. Apologies for absence

  • Melissa Mantle (Stoolball England Coaching Development and Chief Coaching Examiner)
  • Rick Mason (Website Administrator)
  • Toni Wheatley (East Sussex Friendly Teams Co-ordinator)
  • Mr and Mrs Barry Bertin (Sussex County Stoolball Association)
  • Jenny Keates (West Kent Ladies Stoolball League)
  • Cindy Cavie (Eastbourne Red Triangle Stoolball League)
  • Pat Wyatt (Coastal Ladies Stoolball League)
  • Mandy McGachie (Surrey Ladies Stoolball Association)
  • Sarah Rushin (West Division, SCSA)
  • Barbara Parsons (Central Division, SCSA)
  • Vice-President John Pritchett

3. Minutes of the 31st Annual General Meeting

The Chairman briefly went through the minutes of the 2010 Annual General Meeting. Acceptance of the minutes was proposed by Ruth Arthur, seconded by Kelvin Speirs and unanimously approved by the meeting.

4. Matters arising

It was agreed there were no matters arising from the minutes.

5. Chairman’s report

The Chairman’s report, together with a summary of Stoolball England activities during the past year, had previously been circulated with the meeting agenda to all the affiliated leagues and associations in membership and further copies were made available at the meeting.

The Chairman went through his report highlighting the most important events and emphasising the valuable contribution made by members of the Management Committee. He was particularly pleased with the publicity stoolball had received via TV, radio and ‘The Lady’ magazine and reminded the meeting that a further TV programme ‘Escape to the Country’ would be featuring a clip of mixed stoolball during 2012.

He spoke enthusiastically about:

  • the coaching work in primary and junior schools carried out by Becky Hull, Ruth Arthur, Michael Ledwich and Toni Wheatley
  • the junior festivals resulting from the coaching in Surrey and East and West Sussex and the Year 7-8 and Year 9-10 Girls County Stoolball Tournaments
  • the courses carried out by Helen Murdock (Level 1), Kelvin Speirs and Kevin Hilliard (a combined umpire and scorers’ course)
  • the website achievements of Rick Mason which have created so much interest to everyone in the stoolball world
  • the services provided by Stoolball England through Michael Ledwich (Insurance) and the equipment agents Shirley Reed, Barbara Fitzpatrick, Toni Wheatley, Trina Perry, Julie Oliver and Jenny Keates.

And finally, the most satisfying piece of news has been left till last and that is about the new clubs that will be playing stoolball next season, 1 mixed club playing friendly games and 7 ladies clubs (l in the Kent Ladies Stoolball League, 2 in the Chanctonbury Ladies League and 4 other teams playing friendly games) with a further 4 mixed teams in the pipeline.

Acceptance of the Chairman’s report was proposed by Michael Ledwich, seconded by Shirley Reed and was unanimously approved.

6. Treasurer’s report

The Treasurer, Trevor Parsons, told the meeting that the Stoolball England accounts were in a very healthy state showing a surplus for the year of £3,932. He stressed to everyone that Stoolball England’s only significant source of income was through the sales of bats, balls, wickets, DVDs, the coaching manual, boundary flags, ice packs and scorebooks. He also paid tribute to the equipment agents who work diligently throughout the year to ensure that everyone’s stoolball equipment needs are met.

In answer to a question from the Chanctonbury Chairman, Vic Laker, the Treasurer also stated that the fees received from Stoolball England affiliated members did not cover the fees which are paid annually by Stoolball England to the Sport & Recreation Alliance and Active Sussex, the county body representing Sport England. He stressed it was vital that stoolball finds a sponsor and quoted an example that a minimum donation from a sponsor of £1,000 could then be “Sports Matched” by a government funding stream which would double the donation.

The Treasurer was given a vote of thanks by the meeting and acceptance of the accounts was proposed by Gwyn Griffith, seconded by Fred Newland and unanimously approved.

7. Presentation of President’s Award

First instigated in 2009, this annual award is made by our President, Shirley Reed, to the person who has contributed most to stoolball over a period of time. A number of worthy people were nominated this year, but the decision to recognise Rick Mason for his outstanding contribution to stoolball both on and off the field was unanimously applauded.

Rick took over the administration of the Stoolball England website from Richard Emsley and since that time has put in a tremendous amount of work to develop and update our website so that today it is something that everyone is proud of.

8. Proposal from Winterfold Stoolball Club, West Division, SCSA

Winterfold Stoolball Club proposed that the rules on protective clothing (shin pads, helmets and gloves) should be standardised bearing in mind the current laws on health and safety.

Club member Becky Hull spoke on behalf of the Winterfold Club and pointed out that currently in the rules shin pads and helmets could be worn by all players but that the rules specifically stated that no-one (including a wicketkeeper) was permitted to wear gloves. It was felt by the Winterfold club that this approach was unfair in that a player’s legs and head could be protected if desired by both fielders and batsmen, but the hands, used to bowl, bat and field, were not allowed the same protection. League and association representatives at the meeting spoke for and against this proposal and a final vote of 6 votes in favour, 7 votes against saw the proposal defeated.

9. Approval of the Rules of Stoolball

Changes to the Rules of stoolball were proposed following the rules review meeting held on 2 October 2011.

It was agreed after a general discussion that the majority of the proposed changes had been made to clarify existing rules but that one rule (Rule 5.2) should be voted on individually. Rule 5.2 was introduced at the rules review in 2008 and dictated that a batsman could not score runs using the back of the bat. At the recent rules review, it had been agreed to rescind this rule. A vote was taken and by 14 votes to 3, it was agreed to remove this rule.

A vote was then taken on the remainder of the rule changes proposed and these were unanimously approved. Following this meeting a reprint will be undertaken and the new rule book will be available at the beginning of the 2012 season. The next rules review will be undertaken in October 2014.

10. Election of Officers

President: Shirley Reed

Chairman: John Price (Proposed: Richard Emsley, Seconded: Keith Younger)

Vice-Chairman: Becky Hull

Hon Secretary: Kay Price

Hon Treasurer: Trevor Parsons


  • Melissa Mantle
  • Toni Wheatley
  • Michael Ledwich
  • Rick Mason
  • Kevin Hilliard
  • Ruth Arthur
  • Kelvin Speirs

Following the re-election of the Chairman, John Price, it was proposed by Richard Emsley, seconded by Keith Younger and unanimously approved that the remaining Officers of the Stoolball England Management Committee should be elected en bloc.

11. Election of new Vice-President

There were no new Vice-Presidents proposed.

12. Independent Examiner

Stoner, Cottingham of Horsham were proposed by Gwyn Griffith and seconded by Richard Emsley and were unanimously approved.

13. Presentation by Anita Broad

Anita Broad is a member of Newick Stoolball Club who holds an honorary role in Research and Education within Stoolball England. Anita was welcomed to the meeting to give a short presentation on the stoolball projects she has been working on.

Firstly, Anita has just successfully completed a masters degree and in so doing she has created an absorbing volume which documents the history and development of the traditional Sussex sport of stoolball and its importance to the women involved. To achieve this, she has looked into the origins of the game and then interviewed a number of stoolball players, young and old, about the modern game. They all have very interesting and amusing stories to tell. Anita’s volume is called ‘Stoolball through the seasons: It’s just not cricket!’ and now has pride of place in the Stoolball England archive.

Anita’s next objective is a cross curricular project in the form of an education package for primary schools. She started work on this while still working on her degree course but had to shelve it temporarily in order to complete her masters degree. Now this has been successfully completed, she is going to concentrate on the education package and we look forward to hearing about her progress during the coming months.

There being no further business, the meeting closed at 1.15pm.

John and Kay Price
Stoolball England
5 January 2012

Tags: agm, equipment, funding, history, meetings, president's award, rules