BSF Executive Meeting Report: 13 February 2020

Mon 17 Feb 2020

The BSF Executive held its most recent conference call meeting on the evening of Thursday 13 February.  Below is a journalistic report on the main discussions and decisions.


Attendance

Present:  Jenny Fromer (President), Laura Burkhardt (Treasurer), Liz Graham (Competitions Officer), Mike Jennings (General Officer), Stella Ackrell (General Officer), Bob Fromer (Administrator).

Apologies:  Chris Moon (Technical Officer).


Finance

BSF accounts for 2018-19 have been revised slightly after two expenditures were moved to the 2019-20 financial year at the suggestion of the auditors, improving the operating surplus for 2018-19 by around £1000.  A revised summary of these accounts and the proposed budget for 2019-20 will be circulated in hard copy at the AGM.

The BSF has had a promising response to its ad for a new GBMC/GB Teams National Team Treasurer, and interviews will be conducted soon with applicants.


BSF AGM

The Executive reviewed final arrangements for the BSF AGM on 29 February in Manchester, and will try to find out in advance from League Heads and others which of the three workshops on offer between the League Heads Forum meeting and the formal AGM they plan to attend: NSL Rules and Play, Safety and Safeguarding, or Inclusive Rules.

The BSF has had a nomination from Mike Lott to fill the vacancy on the Executive for a General Officer: Coaching, and Mike will be introduced and the nomination voted on at the AGM.

The BSF Executive will hold a short meeting following the AGM to pick up on issues raised.


International matters

The Executive heard a brief report on the WBSC and Softball Europe Congresses attended from 6-9 February in Vilnius, Lithuania by BSF Administrator Bob Fromer and by Mike Jennings in his capacity as Softball Europe’s Competitions and Technical Director.  A full report on the Congresses is on the BSF website here

One of the key issues at Congress was a new Constitution for WBSC Europe, a new organisation formed last year by the European Baseball and Softball Federations, who now become WBSC Europe divisions.  Members of the WBSC Europe Board had developed a Constitution that was to have been discussed and hopefully passed in Vilnius, but the international governing body, the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC), threw something of a spanner into the works by sending its own version of a Constitution for WBSC Europe about a week before the Congresses began.

After much discussion, it was agreed that no Constitution would be discussed or passed in Vilnius, and that WBSC Europe would seek views from members and then negotiate with the WBSC to produce an agreed document.  Jenny Fromer, Bob Fromer and Mike Jennings will meet soon to put together a BSF response.  The BSF believes, as did many in Vilnius, that the WBSC’s version of the Constitution gave too much power to the WBSC and too little to WBSC Europe and that, while recognising the sovereignty of the International Federation, more balance was needed.

Meanwhile, the BSF has had an enquiry from the Egypt Baseball and Softball Federation to talk about cooperation and exchange, and this will be followed up in due course.


Registration

Competitions Officer Liz Graham, who doubles as the BSF’s Membership Officer, reported that some eager teams have already completed registration forms and paid for the coming season.

In general, however, registration will begin after the AGM.


National Championships and tournaments

League Nationals.  BSF General Officer Stella Ackrell will take on the organisation of the 2020 Co-ed Slowpitch League Nationals, scheduled for the weekend of 8-9 August at Farnham Park.

Softball World Series.  The annual Softball World Series Tournament can no longer use its long-time venue, the Imperial College Heston Venue (formerly the BA Concorde Club) in Cranford, and is currently considering two possible sites for this year’s tournament.  One is Farnham Park (though this would mean a reduction in the number of pitches and thus the number of teams); the other is a venue that would be close to Heathrow Airport and convenient for the overseas-based teams that play each year.  It is hoped that a decision can be made before the end of February.


Next meetings

The BSF Executive will hold its next meeting as a face-to-face session after the AGM on 29 February, and will hold its next conference call meeting on either 12 or 19 March.

Anyone with topics or issues to raise at either meeting should contact BSF Administrator Bob Fromer

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