IR commented that he had seen further comment concerning Individual Membership in VE’s 2017 AGM minutes, although there were no traces of any such proposal in the pre-2018 AGM papers that he could see. It’s probable that VE have had significant Governance issues to overcome in the last 18 months (a condition of ongoing Sport England funding), so the IM question has probably had to take a back seat for the time being (but has clearly not gone away).
IR commented that it had once again been a challenging season for all of us. He had had more issues & problems to deal with / consult with the committee on than he could remember before.
IR commented that it was a bit of a shame that we hadn’t seen as much continuing development and participation as we would have hoped, of those people who took the Grade 4 Ref’s course at Maidstone last year.
- The exceptions to that are Cathy, Alice and Shadi who have been active regularly throughout the season (and Cathy and Alice gained some additional experience with their helpful support at Finals Day).
- Overall, IR believed the Kent Referees Facebook page had a positive impact this season, with teams sourcing refs on more occasions than they would otherwise have done. But there is still a long way to go as we do not have as many active (and available) qualified refs as we would like.
The Registrations process worked well for 2017-18.
- IR reminded the meeting that it had been necessary to introduce new registrations documentation for next season – a later agenda item.
- Teams have often been slow to tidy up their rosters before the season starts, but it is important that everyone gets on the case early, please:
- There were 263 players registered on team rosters for this season – an increase of over 120 in the last 2 seasons.
- However, from IR’s tracking of players throughout 2017-18, there are over 70 names on the rosters who did not play at all last season.
- IR requested that team secretaries should take this season’s start as an opportunity to remove players from rosters who, realistically, are not going to play this coming season. If they suddenly reappear out of hibernation, it is very simple to get them added back in again.
- IR also reminded clubs that if they wish to play a Foundation League player in any of their primary teams, then that player must go through the same registrations process as everyone else. Dispensation is given that we do not require players to be registered to play in the Foundation league, but they must be registered in order to play in any other division (Mens or Ladies).
IR reported that the Reward Points system had operated more or less as intended:
- Only 3 league points had been awarded during the season – 1 each for Strood and Dartford Ladies and 1 for Strood Men.
- Several other teams got close to earning an additional league point. But it needed to be remembered that we had never intended the system to be a ‘game-changer’.
- IR reminded members present that he physically needed to see a ref’s registration card before being able to allocate Reward Points:
- Unlike NVL player registrations, referee registrations are not published online, so that avenue is closed for validation purposes.
- IR only needs to see the referee card once. If he were at a match and saw a referee’s card, he would accept that for the entire season (making a note of the registration number). It would, of course, be preferable for IR to hold a photo of the card so that he could prove to others that he had seen it, if challenged.
- For active NVL referees, IR would accept that registrations are valid where they had been appointed by refcom (it is a requirement that they be registered for those appointments to be made).
IR thanked all clubs and teams for sticking to the fixture schedules.
- All matches in Ladies division were completed.
- 2 matches did not get played in the Premier division, including the decider for the runners-up pool between Oasis and Rainham, which was a bit of a shame.
- 9 fixtures from 30 were not completed in the Foundation League, but that’s somewhere around par for the course. Very well done to Tonbridge who were the only team to complete all their 10 Foundation matches.
The schedule became demanding at the end of the season when the Cup competition came into view.
- The shifting of a Dartford NVL match from February wiped out one of the spare weeks IR had factored in for Dartford men and it had quite a knock-on effect.
- We had limited spare weeks in April for the first phase of the cup competition and zero spare weeks in May, as it transpired.
- But well done to all the teams for getting the cup matches played – often these were played at the away team’s venue!
IR commented that he had been fortunate to referee 2 of the best matches in KCVA that he had seen for many years:
- The Premier Division decider between Maidstone and Team Medway was a corker of a match, with Medway winning 15-13 in the final set. Only 8 points between the teams over the course of 5 sets.
- But this was later eclipsed by the Cup semi-Final match between Maidstone and Strood. It had everything: powerful serving and hitting, strong blocking and fantastic defence. Only 4 points between the teams over the 5 sets. What a shame we had no live streaming!
Fixture schedules 2018-19
From what IR could see of the provisional NVL schedule for next season, it looked like being just as big a challenge, with very few weeks currently showing as ‘spare.’ IR asked that to give him a fighting chance of doing anything meaningful, please remember that he needed to know:
- teams for the coming season
- teams’ wishes to have home fixtures synchronised / opposite
- Tonbridge Sunday dates already booked through 2018-19.
- He also needed to know NVL commitments as soon as possible, please. He suspected that some of the fixture rounds may become ‘available’ once a few triangular fixtures are set up.
- IR reminded the meeting that it takes him about 5 days to do everything and check for best fit. So the reality is that he only gets one go at it as he had no desire to start the process all over again.
As IR had mentioned at Finals Day, the Kent teams had mixed fortunes at the SEVA tournament.
- Dartford ladies had been acknowledged as the true winners of the Ladies tournament as they lost a close final to a SE Regional U-17 squad which subsequently finished 2nd in the National Under-17 Inter-Regional competition the following weekend.
- Maidstone ladies (with a little support from Medway) finished 8th of 9 teams.
- Team Medway men finished joint 9th, with a slightly depleted squad.
- Maidstone Men finished 8th. It’s fair to say they found themselves in a really strong pool, with 4 teams fairly evenly matched.
- Maidstone finished 4th in the pool but saved their best result of the day for their penultimate match, when they beat the eventual tournament champions (Maidenhead) by a single point over 2 sets.
- It was Maidenhead’s only defeat of the day. Richmond were the only other team to take a set off them.
- It was also worth noting that the 2 teams progressing from Maidstone’s pool were resounding winners in the semi-finals. Both matches went 2-0 and the opposition failed to score more than 14 points in any set.
- Maidenhead beat Richmond in the final, 15-11 in the deciding set.
Finals Day 2018
IR thanked all who took part and/or gave their time on Finals Day.
- There had been 3 good matches, rounded off by a really close Stan Hastie Cup Final, with Strood running out winners by 18-16 in the 5th set. Only 6 points separated the teams over the 5 sets.
IR offered the usual reminders:
- Please start to collect your photos of new players, now.
- Please remember that VE affiliation is due from 1 August. It lasts until 31 July 2019 and it is a mandatory requirement. He would expect all clubs to have completed affiliation by 1st September, or at the very latest before our leagues begin.
- IR requested that members share news items which we can include on the KCVA Facebook site.