On the 20th November the Birmingham Bobcats Softball Club held their 2011 Annual General Meeting. The meeting was open to all club members and the agenda included a season review, the Bobcats 5 year plan and the nomination and voting for the 2012 Committee. It also offered the opportunity for members to ask questions and express their opinions about the management of the club. It was a lively and well attended meeting, full of positive outcomes and targets. The following report is a summary of the minutes written by the Club Secretary Justin Evans.
BIRMINGHAM BOBCATS SOFTBALL CLUB ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING 2011
Present: Alex Levine (Chair), Debbie Evetts (Treasurer), Kate Page-Smith (Social Secretary), Justin Evans (Club Secretary), Chris Williams (Committee Member), Jeff Nash (Committee Member), Trent Nash, Chad Farmer, Pete Burgess, Tad Ukai, Sarah Bishop, John Bishop, Meg Gallahan, Jayne Welsh, Sapin Patel
Apologies: Reinout Mildner (Committee Member)
2011 Season Review/State of the Club (Alex & Kate)
Overall a great year for the club, very well attended training sessions, 34 paid members (+ small number of “gratis members”) on the books, an overseas trip and an overall result of 11 wins and 12 losses at tournaments.
Highlights included: sponsorship, an active committee, softball for beginners courses, blog, facebook page, twitter, new website, coaching courses for 3 people, Newslitter publication, indoor training, video competition winners, good relations with Bristol and Leicester, BSF affiliation, good relationship with BSUK, good presence of BSUK website, structured coaching programme, structured social programme, training programme for West Midlands teams, successful start of a community outreach programme – Police, Waterworks, Handsworth Sports Day.
Finance Report (Debbie)
- The club had £41 opening balance at the start of the year and Jeff was credited with bringing in sponsorship and raffle money and with dues this resulted in total receipts of over £2,500.
- Expenses included tournaments, ground rent, coaching courses, BSF affiliation, website, uniforms, socials and umpiring.
- A possible increase in dues was mentioned in order to cover expected increase in costs, however this has not been decided upon yet.
- Some tournaments may have to be “pay to play”, to be discussed.
- Other venues were mooted, Alumell School was mentioned by Meg and she agreed to investigate the cost. Sarah mentioned Langley senior school, this might be a possibility.
Committee Positions (Alex)
The role and responsibilities document was distributed to all.
Nominations and elections were secured as follows for the 2012 year:
Chairman - Alex Levine
Secretary - Justin Evans
Treasurer - Debbie Evetts
Operations Manager - Sapin Patel (could possibly be a trial period if he wishes)
Events/Marketing Manager - Kate Page-Smith
Indoor League (Chris)
- Chris said that he hoped to send out all details to members on Monday 21st November. This would include a poster, rules, map/directions and other details.
- We have throw down bases and will have other equipment needed.
- It will start on 10th January 2012 at Kingsbury Leisure Centre.
- BSUK/BSF are aware of it and we hope to have it published on their website.
- Cost per session will be £2 or players can pay £18 for whole season via BACS.
- Kate said Bristol and Leicester leagues are interested in an indoor tournament.
- Alex outlined some details, examples: 1 hour session, 4 teams, 2 games per week night, 8 fielders, unlimited batters. Suggestion is that team captains will act as umpires, quick timed plays, pitch clock, variety of home run/extra point options.
2012 Plan (Alex)
- We will continue to play at Hallfield unless other grounds are sourced and provide better/cheaper.
- Fees – will probably stay as is, unless the committee decides to increase. Everyone should be committed to sourcing new members where possible via friends/family/workplace and continued use of Facebook and website.
- We have 3 or 4 new interested players who have contacted us recently.
- Games – Kate said Bristol and Leicester in interested in playing us and also interested are Warwick University and the Birmingham Razorbacks baseball team.
- Tournaments – only brief schedule released so far, this includes Manchester, Windsor, Leeds, Edinburgh. Justin said he hoped to pick up a fuller schedule at the League Heads Forum on the 26th November.
- The consensus is that we should enter more tournaments next year and have a proper plan in place so we know who is going to each and, preferably, with field positions for everyone.
- Kate mooted the Central Incubator league and this is to be firmed up.
- The Tourcats will hopefully be travelling to Germany or Austria in 2012 !
- Charity tournament in April/May, would act as a pilot for Brumball tournament. Birmingham Childrens Hospital is the chosen charity and Alex, Reinout and Kate have met with the hospital. The plan is for 5 or 6 teams to take part. It will take place at Hallfield and they will hopefully enter a team. Bobcats may enter with others helping out on the day. We will need catering, drinks, and probably 3 pitches. Reinout says the hospital could arrange emergency medical assistance.
- 29th March 2012 is proposed first date for outdoor training
- 11th October 2012 is proposed last day for outdoor training
- 13th October 2012 is possible date for end of season party
- Rosie Benson has volunteered to organise the 3 main social events of the year – Start of Season, End of Season and Christmas.
Bobcats Five Year Plan (Chris and Kate)
- The plan document was distributed to all.
- Chris has produced it with input from Kate and other committee members.
- It emphasises the long term vision and goals of the club.
- Responsibilities column will be populated as next step.
- The aim is for a professional approach, remembering we are still a recreational/social team.
- Every member is encouraged to read it and provide feedback.
- BSUK accreditation is something we will work on with Debbie leading and with help from others.
- Chris and Justin will raise the plan at the League Heads Forum on 26th November.
- Meg raised a discussion item of how we should prepare for tournaments, and how we should view “success” of the club, i.e. winning or having fun as a priority. Everyone agreed having fun was a major factor, but it was recognized there are those who would like to progress. It is a problem where we have a lot of players turn up for tournaments and everyone is expected to play. How do we keep everyone happy? Do we enter two teams, or have a two-tiered (A and B team) approach? Some tournaments, such as the National Championships, may require a different approach.
- Jeff commented that maybe priority should be given to people who regularly turn up for training. Everyone agreed to give this matter proper thought as part of long term goal of the club.
Any Other Business
- Kit update from Meg (and Jeff), both have been in contact with Uniform Express.
- Meg handed round option sheet and discussed cost options. Just about everyone agreed on a front buttoned grey top with purple sleeves. These shirts should last several years. Need to decide on buying approach, ie. batches or individually and whether to buy embroidered or do it ourselves (would probably be cheaper).
- Meg to have further discussions, with the aid of Jeff, with Uniform Express.
- Kate mentioned possible bad press about the Bobcats behaviour. The view is this may have been caused, either in whole or in part, by the umpires at Leicester and Monmouth. If it is deemed appropriate it will be raised by Chris and Justin at the League Heads Forum.
- Justin and Chris are representing the club at the League Heads Forum on 26th November and Justin will distribute the minutes of this meeting when they are prepared.
Next Annual General Meeting
18th November 2012 at The Old House at Home, Harborne
Next Committee Meeting
29th January 2012 (11.30am) at The Old House at Home, Harborne