Somerset Short Mat Bowls Association

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The SEPTEMBER draw for the 200 Club has now taken place and the results are:
1st Prize £40.00 Celia Jeans 2nd Prize £20.00,  David Martin, 3rd Prize £10.00 Carol Wyatt

September County Newsletter

Many clubs are starting to play again but there is still a large degree of caution from many players.  This is understandable and as we have said before the SSMBA will help any registered club secure a Safe Play Certificate and will also offer help to unregistered clubs with any information that we can. 


Registrations – Can you be persuaded to reconsider?
If you haven’t had them already clubs will soon be getting registration forms for membership to the both the ESMBA and the SSMBA and we are sure many clubs and members will ask
“What do they Do for us/me”. “Why Should I join”. 

It’s a valid question especially as many clubs were unable to meet all last year and how things will develop and how many clubs can survive is still uncertain.  Social Media Chat has always been critical of the Governing Bodies and the reasons are wide and varied.  What cannot be argued is that these volunteer groups work hard to raise the profile of our sport and provides a platform for all the counties to play competitively, runs National Competitions for all age groups and coaching for players and umpires.  You will know that getting volunteers at club level is not easy and it is no different at County and National level.

 It also has to be remembered that the ESMBA has no real home and has had to find a venue that suits most counties.  This costs a lot of money but cannot be avoided.  Somerset like many other counties also has no real home and to ensure we give our members as much opportunity to play as we can we have to fund the hire of the Huish Leisure Centre and the storage of equipment.  Selected team players are not subsidised as many think.  Travel costs, hotel costs and shirts all have to be purchased by the players and they pay a match fee for the privilege  of representing the county.  We do, where we can pay a contribution regarding the cost of fuel. The SSMBA like your club has to cover costs and just to put things in perspective to hire the Leisure facility at Huish and any other bowls facility costs in excess of £200.00 per day.  Most, if not all is met by the players and we run raffles and fund raisers to keep on top of things.   

The Pandemic has created a lot of work both at Government Level and County level and, although some feel the solutions are too restrictive has, with the Safe Play Certificate, provided a solution that helps clubs get back to playing.  It is not an ideal solution but Nationally over 370 clubs have secured the certificate.   Having the certificate now provides a “Fall Back” position should restrictions be re-introduced.  All done by volunteers. across the country to help clubs.  Our Safe Guarding Officer will help your club, registered or not, with up to date information. 

One major criticism is that Grass Routes Clubs have been forgotten.   This criticism is made of both the National Governing Body and the County Associations and it has to be said could be better.  Both appear to forget that not everyone understands how things are structured,  why things are done the way that they are and what benefits are available at what cost.  Communication could be vastly improved by the ESMBA and the SSMBA and we will endeavour to improve in this area with a regular newsletter.  We have a new committee and our area representatives will, after registration is completed, try and meet with clubs in their area and offer help if they can. What is also true is that if all clubs could be persuaded to become members and could be persuaded to register all their players administration at all levels would be so much simpler.  There would be less questions, less arguments and we could all concentrate on doing what is best for our sport.   

Membership of the ESMBA/SSMBA includes a Personal Accident Insurance, makes available to clubs a discounted Civil Liability Insurance and discounted holidays at the TLH Leisure Group in Torquay. The membership fees in Somerset are some of the lowest in the country and are broken down as follows per member.

£2.00 goes to the Somerset SMBA to support our teams and help fund the home venue.
£1.00 goes to the ESMBA to provide membership to the Group Personal Accident Insurance.
£3.00 goes to the ESMBA to support our National Teams and help fund venues.

At less than £0.12 pence per week (£6.00 / 52 weeks) per club member, the Personal Accident Cover alone is surely attractive and begs the question “why would you not provide this benefit to all your players”?  The discounted Civil Liability Insurance also offers your club the opportunity to secure excellent cover and the TLH Holidays are just fantastic and well organised at a good discount. The foods not bad either.

Please circulate this article to your members and let’s try to improve things nationally.

Open Day – All are Welcome

This coming Sunday the 12th September 2021 there is an open day at the Huish Leisure Centre in Langport.  The venue has taken all the required Covid precautions and the venue has attained a Safe Play Certificate.  Alan Berry and Sue Smith will be looking after attendees on the day.  Start time is 9.30 am.   Face masks are optional, sanitising stations are on site and social distancing advised.


2020 Nationals.

Harrison Sheen was regrettably our only available qualifier for this carry over event and represented Somerset in the U18 Nationals Event.  Results have yet to be published and will be made available as soon as they are.  Harrison also tried out for the Under 21 National Team.


2021/22 Nationals.

Interest in the County Competitions is currently very low and for this reason we have opted not to put forward any county players for the 2022 Nationals to be held in April of next year.


Inter County Competition

Somerset has entered an A Team into this competition and matches have been arranged with Avon, Wiltshire and Dorset.  It is a brand new format with a Home Game and an Away Game being played on the same day.  Home matches will be played at the Huish Leisure Centre on the following dates.


30th   Oct 2021 SOMERSET  V AVON

21st   Nov 2021 SOMERSET V WILTSHIRE

5th    Dec 2021 DORSET       V SOMERSET