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March 2022 Meeting Minutes

Published on Mar 08, 2022

Minutes of the Committee Meeting of the DBA held online 1 March 2022

The meeting opened at 4pm.

Present: Doug Dunn (DD), secretary; Neil Marsden (NM), treasurer; Jacqui Munns (JM), North Section chair; Mike Hamon (MH), West Section; Jean Harrison (JH), East Section – left at 4.30pm.

1. Apologies – DD stated that Geoff has decided to step down as chair following his recent bereavement. Our thoughts are with him at this difficult time.
DD said that he would be happy to stand in as acting chair until the AGM in July 2022, and this was agreed.

2. Previous Minutes

Minutes from the meeting were reviewed and agreed as accurate, with one matter arising covered below in 3.

3. Section Reports

North Section (JM & NM)

  • The North Devon Congress was held on the weekend of the 25th to 27th February 2022. Although attendances were lower than for the 2020 congress, the event was felt to have been a success with over 50% of players receiving a cash and/or wine prize. Many thanks go to Richard Carter, who returned to help run the congress despite having moved out of the area, and also to Carol Ritzen, who has now stepped down from running the congress after 26 years of involvement. NM reported that the congress made a profit and that the North Section has approximately £11,000 in the bank.

East Section (JH)

  • Exmouth are continuing with their successful afternoon sessions.

  • Exeter’s initial five weeks trial period playing at ISCA has now been extended. An additional afternoon session on a Thursday will start this week. Exeter’s online Monday evening session continues to be popular. JH stated that scorers and TDs are much in demand.

South Section

  • Torquay held an EGM on the 25th February 2022 and decided to sell their premises for £200,000. It was not known whether the Torquay congress, usually held over remembrance weekend in November, was going ahead this year. Newton Abbott has changed the starting time of their session.

West Section

  • At Plymouth Bridge Club they are playing f2f on a Thursday afternoon & online and merging the results, f2f social bridge on a Tuesday afternoon and f2f every other Friday evening. They are also running lessons online.

4. Competitions

  • (i) Devon Congress 2022 At a previous meeting in the autumn, it had been decided to run this competition online for a number of reasons including the uncertainty regarding whether F2F play would be feasible by April 2022 and the unavailability of the Livermead Hotel for our proposed dates. Since then, the EBU has restricted counties to one online green-pointed event per year. In addition, since the reintroduction of F2F Bridge, the popularity of online competitions appears to have diminished – the Devon Pairs (Julia Chadwick) competition scheduled for the 6th March 2022 on RealBridge has only eight pairs entered. For these reasons, along with the fact that there is now little time for the organization and advertising required to ensure a successful event, a decision was made to cancel the event for this year.
    Action DD will approach the Livermead Hotel to discuss a 2023 Devon Congress on a weekend early in April. He will also approach the Torquay committee and ask whether the Torquay Congress is going ahead this year, and if so, whether any help or support from this committee would be of use.

  • (ii) Devon Pairs (Julia Chadwick) This competition is due to take place on 6th March 2022. However, to date, there are only eight pairs entered so far. It was decided that the competition should still go ahead even if the county makes a loss. The top four pairs qualify for the Corwen Trophy in May 2022 (provided they achieve at least 50%).
    Action NM to confirm with Jeremy Child (TD) that it will go ahead and discuss his fee.

  • (iii) Devon Teams of Eight This competition took place on 30th January 2022 online on RealBridge and involved teams from Torquay, Exeter, Exmouth and Barnstaple, with Torquay the winners.

  • (iv) The Tollemache Cup Report Devon sent a team of five pairs to this inter-county Championship competition for teams of eight. The team played in the final on the weekend of the 19th & 20th February 2022 online and won four of their eight matches against a strong field.

  • (v) Winter Pairs This monthly competition continues.

  • (vi) Western League Competition This competition is ongoing with the penultimate round taking place on Saturday 12th March 2022 on RealBridge. Currently, Devon teams in the B & C Divisions are in the lead.

5. Devon Bridge Association AGM

  • This will be held F2F in early July 2022.
    Action DD to investigate the possibility of using a venue in Bovey Tracey.

6. County Chairs meeting

  • DD attended the EBU County Chairs meeting on 23rd February 2022 on Zoom in place of Geoff. He felt it was an interesting and useful event and gave the following short summary of key points

  • (i) F2F Bridge has been slowest to return in rural areas.

  • (ii) to encourage the return of F2F Bridge, the EBU have restricted online green-pointed events to one per year per county. However, it would be possible to increase this by sharing events with another county.

  • (iii) Teaching & the supported development of novice players was felt to be the way forward. A recent online teaching course run in Yorkshire has been a success. More information is available from [email protected]

7. AOB

  • JM picked up on JH’s comment about the need for scorers and TDs. Having already had a conversation with local TD course teachers regarding a post-pandemic refresher course, she offered to follow up on this and also enquire about the possibility of a full TD course in a suitable local venue.

  • JM also mentioned that there is little extra time at meetings to discuss and develop the DBAs longer term plans, for example, for encouraging and developing new players, and that this should be considered.

There being no other business, the meeting closed at 1730.

Next meeting

Date of next DBA meeting: 5 April 4pm on zoom