British Minigolf Association

Annual General Meeting 2015 Motions and additional information regarding proxy voting PDF Print E-mail
  

 



MOTIONS FOR THE AGM

Here are the list of motions that will be voted on at the AGM on February 28th which will take place at the Hastings Travelodge, starting at 10.30am (with an expected end time no later than 1pm).

Details of the proxy voting process is covered at the end of this document.

Please note that the views expressed in the motions below are those of the individuals raising the points and their motions have been included in full in their own words. To help add context or background information, additional information for motions is provided, where applicable, by the BMGA (highlighted in blue text).


RANKINGS & PLAYER CATEGORY INFORMATION


MOTION 1: Introduce a new revised Order Of Merit for the 2015 Season

Rationale: As discussed at the 2014 AGM a rankings sub committee was put together to look at various options relating to the Order Of Merit with a view to reporting back at the 2015 AGM. The attached document (2015 Order Of Merit proposals) can be found at the end of this article for members perusal and subsequent voting on at this years AGM.

Sean Homer, BMGA Chairman comments "I would like to thank the Sub Committee for their hard work and efforts across the course of the season in putting together this piece of work. As you will see, the attached document detailing the proposals is extensive but I would ask all tour pro's to review the contents thouroughly in recognition of the work done by the sub committee members."


MOTION 2: Category 1 player status changed to include the top 16 players in rankings, plus any BMGA strokeplay tournament winner over the last 5 seasons (ie. the current season and 4 previous years).

Rationale: The above change would remove the occurrence of a former category 1 player who had subsequently played few BMGA tournaments returning to regularly win Category 2 prizes. This in turn would release prize money for genuine Category 2 players. In addition, this change would recognise the achievement of all BMGA tournament winners over a longer period of time.


MOTION 3: Abolish the Season Only Rankings.

Rationale: The Season Only Rankings have always been well intended but irrelevant due to the controversial scoring system. But the changes to the system at the 2014 AGM (category 2 players having their points doubled, category 3 trebled etc) have turned it into a farce, which not only bears no reflection on ability, but punishes players for being good and rewards players for being bad. Scrapping the SOR would also save a lot of time.

The SOR this year proved to be quite a battle all the way to the final event of the season and saw a number of players outside of the regular tour winners get recognition for their personal performance. The idea of the SOR has always been about this and 2014 saw it take a significant change to make it less Category 1 focussed.


MOTION 4: The agreed Order of Merit rankings system must be adhered to at all times.

Rationale: According to the rules of the current Order of Merit, last October’s English Open at Nottingham should have been worth 600 points. Some players travelled the long distance (spending time and money) to play in the event because of these guaranteed points. Instead it was awarded 370 points. This changing the rules as you go along approach must never happen again. If people don’t like the current rules then they must follow the democratic system of proposing a motion at the AGM, and vote for it accordingly.


MOTION 5: Reduce category 4 to players in their first three strokeplay events (same as novice category previously).

Rationale: The introduction of category 4 has caused category 3 to be almost non-existent at many events. It is not fair that some players remain in category 4 for a whole season. Under this proposal, players in category 4 would not stay in the category for too long, and would mean the numbers in both categories are a more even split, which would increase competition within both categories.


RULES

MOTION 6: A new rule for all BMGA tournament on all lanes which feature a pipe: if the ball goes into the pipe, it counts as being holed.

Rationale: This rule, which is used in America, would make tournaments fairer by reducing the element of luck. Luck is part of all sports, but with most courses in Britain having at least 2 pipe lanes with very inconsistent pipes, luck plays far too big a part in determining where players finish in an event. This rule change would amend that. Example: on lane 15 of the Pirate course, Hastings, if a player gets their ball into the pipe on their first shot, they score an ace, irrespective of whether the ball comes out of the pipe and goes in, comes out of the pipe and misses, or gets stuck inside the pipe.

It is worth noting that there are a number of pipe holes on the Tour this year, including the 11th on the Pirate Course where getting the ball into the pipe is only part of the process. The choice of ball is key to the success on this lane (risk v reward for those players using high bounce balls for example). Getting the ball into the pipe is only part of the challenge (the same could be said of lane 3 at Margate, Lane 11 at Dorridge, Lane 18 at Star City and so on). It is also worth mentioning that the pipe hole in Eternite courses does not always go in the hole once passing successfully thru the pipe. This motion does not fall in line with existing WMF rules (these are the rules that national and International BMGA events adhere to).


MOTION 7: All tournament rules and formats to be published when the entry forms are released – no last minute surprises.

Rationale: Players should know what the rules/ball choice/format is before they enter. This is what happens in all other sports. Why should the BMGA be any different?

Example 1: The crazy crazy rules for the British Matchplay were only known just before the tournament. Had players known that these were the rules in advance, they may have chosen not to enter. Example 2: For the past 2 years, the choice of ball for the World Crazy Golf Championship has only been announced in the week or so before the tournament.


MOTION 8: The BMGA should introduce a zero tolerance disciplinary policy so that players who break the BMGA event rules are punished.


A proposed disciplinary policy has already been submitted which can be used, or another policy could be written.

Rationale: A) Players who break the rules currently gain a big advantage for doing so over those who respect their competitors and obey the rules, especially those who consistently break the 45 second rule and use excessively loud ace celebrations to intimidate their opponents (which distracts all players irrespective of the intended target). Does the BMGA really want to be the one sports organisation in the UK that rewards awful behaviour whilst simultaneously punishing those who obey the rules? That is what is currently (unintentionally no doubt) happening, though such a disciplinary procedure will change that (provided it is properly and fairly enforced, without bias).

B) By not punishing the above loutish behaviour, as well as ball throwing and club chucking (witnessed at the 2013 World Crazy Golf Championship and the 2014 British Doubles), we are rewarding those who are bringing the sport of minigolf and the BMGA into disrepute, as well as giving an awful image to the general public, putting off potential members, and risking losing our current members.

Another viewpoint on this area was submitted by another Tour Pro, offering some thoughts on the matter. "I think the ruling on noise made by players during holes and rounds needs looking at again, but more to the point openly discussed. I just felt that there were occasions when some were penalised with a warning when it was the persons who don't make noise that needed to deal with it better rather than complain. I know myself that there are occasions when that release of an Ace shout is a release of pent up frustration or joy in that moment. Everyone is different in how they deal with these moments so I think an open forum on this issue would be beneficial for all."


MOTION 9: As the BMGA was formed 17 years ago in 1998, it is imperative that both its Constitution Rules and Playing Rules are now clearly stated and located on the BMGA website.

Rationale: The constitution and playing rules are the bedrock of any sports/activity club, and they should be available to all members and other interested parties at all times. At present there appears to be no available constitution rules, and the playing rules are in various locations, some with limited access. It is clearly not right or professional to have to locate some of the playing rules via a link on a tournament players pack which leads onto a mini golf club website. A working party is required to review the present rules once located and collate them together for approval by the members of the BMGA at the 2016 AGM.

A working party to review the outcomes from this years AGM is a good idea and would be an ideal opportunity for the newly formed EC to take control of.

COMPETITIONS

MOTION 10: All BMGA Competitions’ play-offs to be on a “sudden–death” basis commencing at Hole 1

Rationale: This gives a more uniform and rational method of deciding such strokeplay / matchplay situations rather than the ad-hoc and arbitrary proposals announced on the day of many previous Tournaments.

MOTION 11: All BMGA Competitions to be on a “one ball in play” basis (excluding the final round of the WCGC);

Rationale: This allows for skill to be the deciding factor in all Competitions rather than tactical or “dirty” play, particularly as there are sizeable sums of money involved in some Competitions. The 2014 British Matchplay Championship and British Doubles Championship featured both balls in play rules, also known as crazy crazy rules, or snooker rules. This was wrong for 3 reasons:

A) These rules are illegal – they go against the BMGA Event Rules that were sent with the players pack for the British Open.

The event rules refered to are specific to strokeplay events, not matchplay, which by its nature operates to a differing set of rules

B) These rules are unpopular. For many players, these rules ruined the two tournaments and created unnecessary controversy. The normal rules for the British Matchplay and Doubles had worked well for many years. Why suddenly change them? An unofficial survey found that 12 out of 19 players surveyed during the British Doubles did not support these crazy crazy rules.

C) It was undemocratic – all rule changes should be proposed in a motion at the AGM then voted on, and implemented only if the motion is carried. This democratic process was not followed.


MOTION 12: In all BMGA Competitions only the “present” participants, designated / authorised coaches, referees and scorers to be on the course;

Rationale: This means that all non-participating players “at the time”, friends, family members/ groups and spectators stay off the course throughout all such Competitions to allow those “in play” to participate to their optimum.


MOTION 13: Abolish the golf ball for the World Crazy Golf Championship.


This can be replaced by the Hastings course ball, an inexpensive minigolf ball (Klicker) or a rule which is used in Australia, that all players use one ball for the whole tournament but they can choose which ball they use.

Rationale: A) The golf ball is far too light, resulting in the farcical World Crazies 2013 where a heavier ball would have offered more protection against the wind, creating fairer conditions. Hastings is often windy, so the choice of ball for the World Crazy Golf Championship must take that into account.

B) If players want to putt with a golf ball, they will play golf. How does the BMGA ever expect to convince Sport England that minigolf is a separate sport from golf if we use a golf ball for our most high profile tournament?

C) The golf ball is very unpopular with the players, especially among the lower ranked and novice players. Only 41 out of the 78 players who started the 2013 World Crazy Golf Championship played in 2014. Unless the ball is changed, and that new common-sense (heavier) ball is announced well in advance of the 2015 World Crazy Golf Championship, it seems certain we will see another disappointingly low entry as in 2014.

This was highlighted at last years AGM and the comments from the BMGA still have relevance today (details can be found at http://www.minigolf.org.uk/joomla/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=557:agm-motions-and-additional-information&catid=1:latest-news&Itemid=105). Regarding point c) the BMGA and Castle Golf were both pleased with the level of entrants and the financial success of the 2014 event. It is worth noting that if the event had not been a success then it is possible the event wouldn't be on the 2015 calendar.


MOTION 14: A 3 question feedback survey should be emailed to every entrant after a BMGA tournament: question 1: rate the course out of 10; question 2: what did you like about the tournament? Question 3: What did you not like about the tournament?

Rationale: This would give the BMGA immediate feedback, which could be used when planning future tournaments, as well as giving the impression that it cares about what the players thought about the tournament in question.

Again this would be an ideal opportunity for the newly formed EC to take control of.


MOTION 15: All players in the top 6 at every BMGA strokeplay event should win a cash prize. (Albeit that at tournaments with smaller fields this is likely to be £5, £10, £15 for positions 6th, 5th and 4th respectively.)

Rationale: To finish in the top 6 is a good achievement that should be rewarded with a cash prize. Whilst many members support the category prizes for players in categories 2-4, this has resulted in players who finish 4th-6th usually missing out on prize money, despite finishing anywhere between 10-50 shots ahead of these players. This is extremely unfair and would be rectified by this motion.

MOTION 16: Cap the category money prizes at events to a maximum of a category winner & aces champion per category .

Rationale: There is currently too much money split across the categories in prize money, meaning that players with relatively high finishes end up with no prizes at all, while others end up with prizes by default (i.e. only 4 players in a category so all win a prize of category winner, 2nd place, 3rd place or aces champion). It’s great to have the medals for all the categories, but too much prize money is going to players who don’t deserve it, whilst players who score much better often go home with nothing – that is not fair and needs to be changed.


MOTION 17: No outdoor events should be held in November, December, January or February.

Rationale: A) A dedicated winter break is good for the players to have a rest and prevent burnout (if they want to play then they have their clubs or can organise events by themselves), whilst allowing a chance for the BMGA to undertake other work such as administration, accounts, website, sponsorship, and growing the game. B) The BMGA should face the reality that we live in Britain not Dubai, and bad weather often ruins winter events. In addition, the BMGA could choose to host more indoor tournaments, which are generally very popular with the players.


MOTION 18: Create a Club Championship policy so that everybody knows what the format will be in advance.

Rationale: Not only will this save time and controversy in making up a new format for every year, but everybody will know the format in advance of the tournament. For example:

If there are 5 teams, the format will be…
If there are 6 teams, the format will be…
If there are 7 teams, the format will be…

And so on, so that the policy includes 5-20 teams.


MOTION 19: Nominated refs at each minigolf event.

Rationale - This should be the responsibility at some point of every Tour-Pro during the course of the season not just to Sean or seasond participants. The question within it would be would it be better to have a ref that is local to the course (up for discussion?)


MOTION 20:
There should be a £50 prize for top Cat 2 & 3 players placed outside the top 5/7 at the World Crazy Golf Championship

Rationale - It seems crazy that a player can only play this event and win the cat 4 prize, yet although cat 2 and 3 players make up over 50% of the tour and support most events, there is no prize money for them?


GREAT BRITAIN NATIONAL TEAM SELECTION

MOTION 21: Ensure that anybody who wants to play for Great Britain in Europe is allowed to play – subject to them being ranked in the top 50 of the Order of Merit, self funded, and spaces being available.

Rationale: In 2014, a player who ended the year in the top five in the Order of Merit was blocked from playing for Great Britain at the European Minigolf Championship despite being self-funded and having 4 spaces available in the team. This must never happen again. The BMGA should support and encourage players who want to gain experience abroad and represent their country, not block them.

MOTION 22: Abolish the proposed policy for selecting international teams as stated in the press release of 10th February. Instead, return to the existing selection policy whereby the top 5 ranked players in order who are available are automatically included.

Rationale: The existing selection policy was much better and fairer as it rewarded the players who have achieved the highest rankings through their own playing skills over a period of two years based on the official order of merit. Any new selection system must be proposed in a motion and approved by members at the AGM. A group of selectors is a good idea and they should be responsible for selecting the two wildcard places and providing coaching to those players in international teams. In addition, those persons interested in being a selector must put their names forward to be elected by members at the AGM.

As stated in the press release, the BMGA have taken the opportunity to review the International Team set up and are keen to establish as a priority which players are interested in getting involved. We would encourage players who haven't yet contacted us to email their interest by the 8th March as mentioned in the release.


GENERAL POINTS

MOTION 23: A BMGA feedback survey must be sent out to all BMGA tour pros at the end of each year, with full results being released.

Rationale: There are few things as important as getting feedback from the members. How else can the BMGA know what it’s doing right, what can be improved, and what the members want? It also increases the appearance of democracy. In addition, this will stop much of the negativity/resentment building up at the AGM each year, and give the BMGA feedback as to the most popular formats for tournaments. Example question: would you support the British Championship being extended from 7 to 9 rounds? This need not be a time-consuming task.


MOTION 24: All tournament rules/rankings/selection criteria can only be changed by a proposed motion at the AGM, which is then voted on, and if the motion is carried, then the rule change is implemented.

Rationale: This is a members association run by the members for the members. Therefore the members must democratically decide the rules.

The problem here lies in the fact that the AGM takes place once a year, at the start of the season, yet we have a busy tournament calendar that operates across the year. The key to taking this forward is to ensure the EC is active and involved in these decisions as the season progressed (the members of the EC will be committed to actions that asr ein the best interest of our members).

MOTION 25: All information should be sent to all members at the same time.

Rationale: There have been several occasions over recent years where important information, such as announcing the dates of events, specific tournament rules, the changing of a venue for the Club Championship, and the opening up of entries to the Matchplay and World Crazy Golf Championship, has been posted on the secret section of a club forum before being made available to all members. In the interests of fairness and democracy, as well as protecting the BMGA against accusations of bias, this needs to stop immediately.

The BMGA website is the first point of call for all confirmed information and will continue to be so.


MOTION 26: End the manipulation of proxy votes by treating all motions the same.

Rationale: In 2014, in order to be more democratic, the BMGA introduced proxy votes for the first time, so that members who were unable or couldn’t be bothered to travel to the AGM, could still vote on motions. This was an excellent move but was totally undermined by the way the motions were submitted to members. Some motions were presented with only the rationale, but others were accompanied by additional comments that argued against the motion. This is totally unfair and undemocratic, and needs to end. Each motion must be presented with the rationale only, or with the case for and against each motion. It doesn’t matter which method is chosen, provided that method is used for every motion.

Sean Homer, BMGA Chairman comments "I feel very strongly that, after 10 years working to develop the BMGA and moving the Association forward with a focus on our members best interests, it is important that I am able to offer context and background on key issues that are presented to our members. I do not believe that the proxy voting was manipulated, but firmly believe that the addition of key information alongside certain motions was necessary to help people make an informed choice. Some motions are very straight forward and do not therefore necessitate comments. The intention is not to argue against any motion but there are reasons why certain matters are the way they are and as Chairman I am best placed to give this rationale. My ultimate aim is to ensure that our members are able to make informed choices and with the introduction of proxy voting where people who are not able to attend the AGM and discuss and debate the motions raised, the comments are an important part of the process."


MOTION 27: The Annual Accounts together with the Finance Report should be distributed to BMGA members as part of the AGM Information Pack prior to the AGM”.

Rationale: The financial position of the BMGA is vital to its future, and it is important that as much time and information is provided to members to review its contents prior to the meeting, thereby enabling meaningful questions to be raised at the AGM. In addition to the existing notes to the accounts, there should be a breakdown of both Membership Income by category and number, and Tournament Income by event covering entry fees, course hire and prizes. This information should also be available for the three years shown in the accounts, and will enable all members to know more about their financial contribution to the BMGA.

MOTION 28: The BMGA should return to sending out email newsletters.

Rationale: Over the past couple of years, the email newsletters which used to be sent to members have been replaced by press releases/news updates on the BMGA website. But as email reaches everybody simultaneously and not everyone checks the BMGA website often, the BMGA should return to sending email newsletters.

The Website is the focal point for all of our communcations at present (with Facebook and Twitter adding to the reach of the information). The website originally had functionality to send emails through the database to all our registered members but unfortunately the scale of the membership has eclipsed the current functionality (something that we are working to address). Sending out emails without the website interface is currently impractical on a regular scale - certain information relating the major events was sent via email last season and will continue to be this year. With the addition of new members on the EC we should be able to implement a short term fix for this whilst we review the options regarding our website with our service provider.

MOTION 29: Defeated Motions at the AGM cannot be proposed again in the following year

Rationale - It would be frustrating to vote each year on the same topic i.e. Wildcards, the world crazy as a pts scoring major etc… We need continuity and not to get bogged down with the same proposals each year, a two year gap would seem a sensible compromise?

MOTION 30: The new BMGA Executive Committee, however assembled, to have the authority to manage and make the appropriate decisions relating to: Tour Calendar, Tournament formats, Player Code of Conduct, GB Team Selection, Rankings and any other decision made in the best interest of the BMGA and its members without the need to vote on every decision at an AGM.

Rationale - The EC, made up of current Tour Pro's, will be able to represent the best interest of the members of the BMGA, who still have the right to raise motions at the AGM to be voted on as is the case now. Members also encouraged to raise any issues or concerns in writing to a member of the EC during the season as well as nominate themselves for election to the EC as part of the AGM process. The new EC to agree areas of responsibility, and all members of the EC MUST make an active contribution



All 2015 BMGA Tour Pros are eligible to vote on the motions detailed above, either in person at the AGM on February 28th or via proxy vote, details of how to vote this way is covered after the summary of the motions. Once all the votes have been counted, the majority decision will be passed (in the event of a tied vote, the motion will be rejected). If members have any comments they would like to feed back regarding the motions then please included these as well.


Sean Homer, Chairman of the BMGA, would like to thank all the Tour Pros who submitted Motions for this years AGM and looks forward to seeing the response from our members to the proposed points.


 

SUMMARY OF MOTIONS PROPOSED FOR THE AGM


ALL MOTIONS NEED EITHER A "YES" OR "NO" VOTE


· MOTION 1: Introduce a new revised Order Of Merit for the 2015 Season

· MOTION 2: The top 16 players in rankings, plus any BMGA strokeplay tournament winner over the last 5 seasons (ie. the current season and 4 previous years)”.

· MOTION 3: Abolish the Season Only Rankings.

· MOTION 4: The agreed Order of Merit rankings system must be adhered to at all times.

· MOTION 5: Reduce category 4 to players in their first three strokeplay events (same as novice category previously).

· MOTION 6: A new rule for all BMGA tournament on all lanes which feature a pipe: if the ball goes into the pipe, it counts as being holed.

· MOTION 7: All tournament rules and formats to be published when the entry forms are released – no last minute surprises.

· MOTION 8: The BMGA should introduce a zero tolerance disciplinary policy so that players who break the BMGA event rules are punished.

· MOTION 9: As the BMGA was formed 17 years ago in 1998, it is imperative that both its Constitution Rules and Playing Rules are now clearly stated and located on the BMGA website”.

· MOTION 10: All BMGA Competitions’ play-offs to be on a “sudden–death” basis commencing at Hole 1

· MOTION 11: All BMGA Competitions to be on a “one ball in play” basis (excluding the final round of the WCGC)

· MOTION 12: In all BMGA Competitions only the “present” participants, designated / authorised coaches, referees and scorers to be on the course;

· MOTION 13: Abolish the golf ball for the World Crazy Golf Championship.

· MOTION 14: A 3 question feedback survey should be emailed to every entrant after a BMGA tournament: question 1: rate the course out of 10; question 2: what did you like about the tournament? Question 3: What did you not like about the tournament?

· MOTION 15: All players in the top 6 at every BMGA strokeplay event should win a cash prize. (Albeit that at tournaments with smaller fields this is likely to be £5, £10, £15 for positions 6th, 5th and 4th respectively.)

· MOTION 16: Cap the category money prizes at events to a maximum of a category winner & aces champion per category

· MOTION 17: No outdoor events should be held in November, December, January or February.

· MOTION 18: Create a Club Championship policy so that everybody knows what the format will be in advance.

· MOTION 19: Nominated refs at each minigolf event.

· MOTION 20: There should be a £50 prize for top Cat 2 & 3 players placed outside the top 5/7 at the World Crazy Golf Championship

· MOTION 21: Ensure that anybody who wants to play for Great Britain in Europe is allowed to play – subject to them being ranked in the top 50 of the Order of Merit, self funded, and spaces being available

· MOTION 22: Abolish the proposed policy for selecting international teams as stated in the press release of 10th February. Instead, return to the existing selection policy whereby the top 5 ranked players in order who are available are automatically included

· MOTION 23: A BMGA feedback survey must be sent out to all BMGA tour pros at the end of each year, with full results being released.

· MOTION 24: All tournament rules/rankings/selection criteria can only be changed by a proposed motion at the AGM, which is then voted on, and if the motion is carried, then the rule change is implemented.

· MOTION 25: All information should be sent to all members at the same time.

· MOTION 26: End the manipulation of proxy votes by treating all motions the same.

· MOTION 27: The Annual Accounts together with the Finance Report should be distributed to BMGA members as part of the AGM Information Pack prior to the AGM

· MOTION 28: The BMGA should return to sending out email newsletters.

· MOTION 29: Defeated Motions at the AGM cannot be proposed again in the following year

· MOTION 30: The new BMGA Executive Committee, however assembled, to have the authority to manage and make the appropriate decisions relating to: Tour Calendar, Tournament formats, Player Code of Conduct, GB Team Selection, Rankings and any other decision made in the best interest of the BMGA and its members without the need to vote on every decision at an AGM.


2015 Tour Pros that are unable to attend the AGM can vote on these motions via proxy. Votes need to be emailed to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it with the Subject “AGM Proxy Vote”. Votes must be received by 1pm on Friday 27 February. All votes will receive return email confirmation of receipt. A full breakdown of all votes cast via proxy will be communicated at the AGM. A breakdown of all votes will be published with the AGM notes in March.

To help with the planning of the AGM can all Tour Pros expecting to attend the AGM contact the BMGA via the email above so that we have a clear idea of the numbers expected

Attachments:
Download this file (RSC 2014 FINAL DOCUMENT.doc)2015 Order Of Merit proposals[Document from the Rankings Sub Committee detailing the new system for voting at the AGM][20150224]89 Kb
Last Updated ( Friday, 27 February 2015 14:07 )
 

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