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Southampton (Old) Bowling Green

Constitution & Rules

CONSTITUTION of the Club known as the
Southampton (Old) Bowling Green
Published 28 May 2015

1. This constitution applies to all grades of Members and where appropriate to visitors that may from time to time be on the premises.
2. Every Member is responsible for knowing and complying with and upholding the principles of this Constitution and those Rules of the Club that apply directly to them.
3. In the Constitution unless the context requires otherwise the masculine includes the feminine and the singular includes the plural and vice versa.
4. This Constitution and the following Rules supersede all previous Constitutions, Rules, Customs and Practices of the SOBG.

5. The Club shall provide an environment:
a. To encourage the playing of the game of Lawn Bowls not only within the laws of the game but within the spirit of the game, so as to demonstrate both courtesy and sportsmanship.
b. To recognise and develop the unique position of the Club as caretakers of what is believed to be the oldest green in the world and recognise the need to ensure that all our actions are focused on safeguarding its future.
c. To introduce other games and activities so as to broaden the appeal of the Club to the wider community. To promote the Club house and it's catering and bar facilities as a venue for outside hire.
6. Providing all of the above are not unlawful or injurious to the interest of the Club

7. Management of the SOBG is vested in the General Committee (GC) for the day to day control of the Club.
8. The GC will be the sole arbiter in any disputes as to the meaning of the Club’s Constitution and Rules.

9. The Club aims to generate sufficient revenue so as to ensure long term security and stability so that the oldest green in the world is maintained for future generations.
10. The Club will also ensure that robust financial controls are in place, to protect any individual who is required to handle money on behalf of the Club whilst giving reassurance to the membership as a whole.

SOBG and its Community
11. Relationships within the Club shall be based on mutual respect and courtesy, and each Member shall suffer no abuse, therefore the Club aims to:
a. Create an environment in which the Members work together to support its long term future.
b. Ensure that those who become Members adhere to the spirit as well as the letter of the law (SOBG Constitution and Rules).
c. Take all reasonable steps to minimise any activity which has a detrimental effect on both the environment or the health and safety of its Members and the wider community.

12. Persons of age 18 or above are eligible to apply for membership as an Ordinary Member (Individual or Dual with Partner) with full rights both within the Club and to play Bowls at or on behalf of the Club.
13. Persons under the age of 18 can apply to be a Junior Member with full rights both within the Club and to play Bowls at or on behalf of the Club, except that they have no voting rights, nor are they permitted to purchase or consume alcoholic beverages.
14. Persons over the age of 18 can apply for Social Membership which will allow them to make use of the Club premises but will not entitle them to play Bowls, nor will they have a vote at any General Meeting.
15. Temporary Membership can be granted by the GC to any person, for example to Members of visiting teams, with appropriate rights as decided by the GC.
16. The Club operates on democratic principles and each Ordinary or Life Member shall be entitled to one vote at all General Meetings and to stand for election as an Officer of the Club at the Annual General Meeting.

Applying for Membership
17. No person who is employed in any capacity by the Club can apply to be a Member of the Club.
18. All candidates for membership other than Temporary, must complete an application form and shall be proposed and seconded by Ordinary or Life Members of the Club who are of at least two years standing as a Member.
19. The name of the candidate, together with their proposer and seconder, is to be posted on the Club notice board for not less than ten days prior to a pre-arranged interview of the candidate by Representatives of the GC. These GC Representatives can approve the Membership of the candidate or can refer the matter to the full GC for consideration.
20. In the event of an existing Member objecting to the election of any candidate, they must write their objections to the Master, marking the communication Private and Confidential. In such cases, the decision to elect or not a candidate to membership shall be made by the GC.
21. If any such application is rejected, no reason need be given and the Hon. Secretary shall inform the candidate of the decision in writing.
22. On approval of an application for membership, the subscription will become immediately due and the new Member will receive a copy of the Club Constitution and Rules.
23. The GC may at any Annual General Meeting recommend that a Member who has rendered outstanding service in the interests of the Club shall be elected a Honorary Life Member with all the privileges attached to membership and that the Club shall forfeit all claims for payment of future subscriptions and fees from such Honorary Life Members.

Officers of the Club
25. All Officers of the Club shall be elected at the Annual General Meeting of the Club from and by Ordinary and Life Members of the Club for one year, but who may be re-elected to the same office or another office in a subsequent year.
26. The Officers are:
Master Vice Master Immediate Past Master
Hon. Secretary Hon. Treasurer Facilities Manager
Publicity Officer Bar Manager Entertainment & Functions Manager
Match Secretary Competition Secretary
27. In addition to the above, two further Officers of the Club will be elected at each Annual General Meeting but will not serve on the GC:
Membership Secretary Assistant Treasurer
28. The Roles of the Officers of the Club are detailed as an Appendix to the Club Rules.

General Committee (GC)
29. The GC shall meet at least once in each calendar month.
30. At least six GC Members shall be in attendance to form a quorum.
31. The major responsibilities of the GC are:
a. To manage all the affairs of the Club on behalf of the Members.
b. To introduce new Rules or to repeal or amend existing Rules to meet the changing needs of the Club.
c. To ensure that robust mechanisms are introduced to control all revenue raised on behalf of the Club and to prioritise all expenditure in the best interest of the Club. Where necessary to seek outside funding at terms and conditions agreed by the GC.
d. To reprimand or expel any Member who contravenes either the Constitution or the Rules of the Club.
32. In the event of a vacancy occurring of any Officer of the Club the GC has the power to elect a replacement at its next meeting to hold office until the next Annual General Meeting.
33. The Master or his deputy shall chair GC meetings and have the casting vote if a clear majority is not achieved.
34. In addition to managing the daily activities of the Club the GC must, as a minimum, ensure that systems are in place and maintained for the following:
a. To record all proceedings of the Committee in the Minute Book, which shall be open to inspection by any Club Member.
b. To keep a register of all Members.
c. To make all applications required by law on the Club’s behalf.
d. To organise elections and convene meetings.
35. The GC will appoint Working Groups for Finance, Maintenance, Selection, Social Activities and Green Keeping plus District/County Delegates and Representatives, and otherwise as approved by the GC. All such Working Groups will be managed by a GC member who shall be responsible for ensuring that written reports are provided for the GC meetings.

Financial Matters
36. The Financial Year shall end on the 30th of September each year.
37. All transactions are to be through a bank agreed by the GC in the name of Southampton (Old) Bowling Green, there are to be three Officers of the Club authorised as signatories, one of which will be the Treasurer. Any two of the three signatories shall be accepted as representing the Club.
38. The GC will:
a. Keep accurate records of all income and expenditure throughout the financial year.
b. Introduce and maintain robust procedures which control the ongoing activities within the Club to ensure that individual Members who receive monies on behalf of the Club are protected whilst giving reassurance to the membership as a whole.
c. Ensure that expenditure is correctly sanctioned and paid against invoices received.
d. Prepare, and submit to the AGM, the previous year’s financial accounts, duly examined by two Ordinary or Life Members of the Club who will have been elected at the previous year’s AGM.

Complaints Procedure
39. Every Member has the right to initiate a complaint to the GC against the Club, any of its Officers or another Member
40. Such a complaint shall be sent in writing to the Hon. Secretary. It should clearly state the nature of the complaint and should contain all factual information and where appropriate the names of any other Members who can provide supporting evidence. Details of any such complaint shall be supplied, by the Hon. Secretary, to any Member concerned.
41. The GC will then review all aspects appertaining to the events and decide what action, if any, should be taken.

42. Due to the more complex circumstances relating to our freehold in tenure, so long as bowling is carried out at the Club there is a legal requirement to have Trustees in place. There shall be 3 Trustees appointed by an Annual General Meeting. The Trustees shall serve in office until death, resignation or removal from office by a resolution of the GC.
43.The Trustees are entitled to attend GC meetings as observers.

Annual General Meeting
44. At least fourteen days (14) prior to the AGM forms will be posted on the notice board giving Ordinary or Life Members opportunity to nominate or second other Members to become an Officer of the Club.
45. Members wishing to move any resolution at the AGM will need to give notice in writing to the Hon. Secretary not less than twenty one days prior to the date of the AGM
46. No amendment other than a notice for adjournment shall be moved at any AGM.
47. The AGM Meeting shall take place on the last Monday of November each year, presided over by, in order of precedence, the Master, Vice Master or Immediate Past Master.
48. The business of the AGM shall be as follows:
a. To approve and sign the minutes of the previous AGM
b. To receive and approve a report from the Hon. Secretary
c. To receive and approve the examined accounts from the Hon. Treasurer
d. To elect the Officers of the Club for the following 12 months
e. To elect 2 financial examiners to audit the following year’s accounts.
f. To elect 5 Members, at least 1 of whom shall be Female, to manage the administration and selection of teams to represent the Club in league and friendly matches
g. To receive any other business as raised by the Members though the membership resolution procedure.
h. To review Club subscription rates for the following calendar year.

Special General Meeting
49. A Special General Meeting of the Club can be called at any time subject to the following conditions:
a. A request must be sent to the Master, signed by at least 12 Ordinary or Life Members, stating the purpose of the meeting.
b. The Master shall instruct the Hon. Secretary to call a meeting.
c. At least 7 days notice must be given to Members of the date and place of such a Special General Meeting, together with confirmation of the issue(s) to be discussed.
50. For such a meeting to take place it must have a quorum of 12 voting Members for meeting to take place.

The Knighthood
51. The Club has a unique group of Club Members known as the Knights of Southampton (Old) Bowling Green
52. One becomes a Knight after entering and winning the Knighthood Competition, attending the Installation Ceremony and being dubbed by the Senior Knight present.
53. On occasion the Knights may award an Honorary Knight title to a selected person.
54. The Knighthood Competition was formed in 1776 and takes place annually when control of the green is handed by the Master to the Senior Knight. Control of the green is returned to the Master on completion of the competition.
55. Whilst the Knighthood Competition is taking place, the specific rules of the Knighthood apply. These rules are the sole prerogative of the Knights.

RULES of the Southampton (Old) Bowling Green (SOBG)
Published 28 May 2015

1. The following Rules are in addition to the Club Constitution and cover general conduct of the Club, its Officers, Members, Guests and Visitors.
2. Full respect is given in these Rules to the importance of the history and traditions of Southampton (Old) Bowling Green although it is accepted that, to ensure the future of the Club and the Old Green itself, traditions must be allowed to evolve taking due account of both current circumstances and laws.
3. In the Rules the words “he” or “his” shall be deemed to also apply to both males and females unless it is specifically stated that the reference applies to males only.

General Club Rules
4. These Rules are the complete, and only, Rules of the Club and are therefore binding on all Members.
5. Rules shall be complementary to the Club Constitution and shall not conflict with, or alter, the Constitution.
6. Whilst it is accepted that the Knights of the Green have their own Rules, including those controlling the annual Knighthood competition, no such Rules shall be in conflict with the Club Constitution, or these Club Rules, that apply to all Club Members.
7. If the GC decides, by a clear majority at a properly called Committee Meeting, that these Rules need amending, including additions or deletions, they may do so. The changes and a revised complete set of Rules should be posted on the Club Noticeboard, in the Den, E-Mailed to all Members who have registered an E-Mail address with the Club, and uploaded to the Members’ section of the Club Website. Any such changes to the Rules shall apply 48 hours after they are first posted.
8. Any fully paid-up Club Member (or Honorary Life Member) may at any time propose an amendment to any Club Rule. Such proposal, seconded by another fully paid-up Club Member (or Honorary Life Member), should be submitted in writing to the Honorary Secretary who will present it for consideration at the next scheduled GC Meeting. If a proposed change is accepted it will be written up and posted in accordance with the above. If the proposed change is rejected by the GC the Honorary Secretary shall inform the proposer, within 7 days of the Committee Meeting at which the decision was taken. as to why the proposal was rejected.
9. If it is necessary to quote, display or circulate a matter appertaining to a particular Rule, the Rule No and Date of the Rules Version must be included.

General Committee (GC)
10. The GC will discharge its duties as defined in the Club’s Constitution. Additionally the GC has the following powers.
11. The GC shall be the sole authority for the interpretation of these Rules. The decision of the GC upon any question of interpretation, or upon any matter affecting the Club and not provided for by these Rules, shall be final and binding on the Members.
12. Any complaint against a Member shall be made in writing, through the Honorary Secretary, to the GC who will consider the matter. Details of any such complaint shall be supplied, by the Honorary Secretary, to the Member concerned.
13. In implementing and enforcing these Rules, or following consideration of a complaint against a Member, the GC may take action against an offending Member as it sees fit including issuing a reprimand, suspension, restriction of Membership or expulsion.
14. No Member shall be expelled without being given the opportunity to be heard by the GC. He shall also only be expelled by a majority of two thirds of the GC present at the meeting which considers the matter.
15. There shall be no appeal against the decision of the GC to take action against a Member other than those laid down in the Rules of Bowls England.
16. The GC shall prohibit any action or game at the Club that would be unlawful or would, in the opinion of the GC, be injurious to the interests of the Club.
17. The GC shall appoint Club Members to carry out duties as defined from time to time by the GC.
18. The GC shall meet on the second Monday of each month.

19. Annual Subscriptions, the level of which shall be set by the Annual General Meeting, are due on the first day of January in each year.
20. Any Member who has not paid their subscription by the first day of April shall be considered to have resigned unless such Member shall give a satisfactory explanation to the GC whose decision shall be final.

Dress Code
21. The Club Dress Code applies to both men and ladies.
22. Bowling Shoes must be worn on the Green at all times.
23. En-route to friendly matches and during proceedings after such matches, Club Dress is a Green Blazer, White Shirt, Club Tie (for men) or Club Cravat (for ladies), and Greys below the waist.
24. For Opening Day and Closing Day and Friendly Club Matches, players shall wear a White Shirt, Club Tie (for men) or Club Cravat (for ladies), and Whites below the waist.
25. For Southampton and District Bowling Association and Southampton and District Women’s Bowling Association League Games Team Shirts will be worn by all players with Greys (Men) or Whites (Ladies) below the waist.
26. For other Club Competitions and Roll-ups, players shall wear a Team Shirt or White Shirt with Greys below the waist.
27. Whites below the waist means full length tailored white trousers (specifically not jeans nor tracksuit bottoms). Ladies may wear white skirts that are below the knee.
28. Greys below the waist means full length tailored grey trousers (specifically not jeans nor tracksuit bottoms). Ladies may wear grey skirts that are below the knee.
29. Waterproofs and/or Jumpers/Cardigans can be worn over Match Dress in inclement weather. Tops should be white, or Team Waterproofs. Below the waist should be White although Grey waterproof trousers are allowed when the appropriate dress is Greys below the Waist.
30. Any Club Member playing in a competition or match organised by any Club or Association or other body affiliated to Bowls England shall wear the dress specified for the competition or match.
31. Club Dress as above shall be worn at all times when representing the Club other than as specified above.
32. Other than when there is a specific Dress Code, Members or Guests should wear Smart Casual clothing at all times when on Club Premises or when attending Club activities.
33. Any deviation of dress must be authorised by the Master, Vice-Master, Senior Knight present or (if appropriate) the Match Captain.
34. When playing for the Club, or representing the Club in any matches, Members woods should carry Club stickers unless the Competition Rules specify otherwise.

Use of the Green
35. The Green shall be available for bowling as soon after the middle of April as the weather and condition of the Green shall permit and closed for play in October, the date to be fixed by the Green Committee.
36. Club Members are allowed to have a roll-up on the Green between 11 am and dusk, or at such times as may be fixed by the GC, provided the rinks have not been booked. The rink booking diary is in the Den. Rinks must be booked for all matches, but not for Roll-ups.
37. On Friday Club Nights Rink One must not be booked for matches, other than with the specific permission of the Master, so as to allow at least one rink for Roll-ups on Club Nights.
38. Members must always bowl in the direction as indicated by the arrows. That is from and to the Clubhouse on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays & Sundays and across the Green on Mondays, Wednesdays & Fridays. Any exceptions to this must be agreed by the Green Committee.

Bowling Rules
39. All games on the Green, with the exception of the Knighthood, shall be played in accordance with the Playing Rules and Laws of Bowls England.
40. Anyone who enters a Club Championship with any other Club is not permitted to enter the Club Green Championship.

Guest Bowlers
41. Members of Clubs affiliated to the Bowls England and kindred Associations shall be admitted as Temporary Members of the Club on the occasion of Inter-Club Matches and of Competitions, Tournaments and Matches.

Potential Members
42. A potential Member may roll-up on the Green under the direct supervision of an existing Member provided that there is no objection from any of the Club Coaches or the Master or Vice Master.
43. The supervising Member will take full responsibilities for the potential Member whilst he is on the Green or otherwise on Club premises.

New Members
44. Once their membership application has been agreed a new Member may Roll-up on the Green without supervision provided that approval has been given by a Club Coach or the Master or Vice Master.

Role of Officers of the Club
45. Detailed roles of Officers of the Club are contained in Appendix A.

Matches Games & Competitions
46. Notes on Matches, Games and Competitions, whilst not a formal part of the Club Rules, are attached as Appendix B for the information and guidance of Members.

Bowls Etiquette
47. Although the Bowls Etiquette adopted by the Club is not a formal part of the Club Rules it is attached as Appendix C for the information and guidance of Members.

Appendix A – Roles of Officers of the Club

Master To act as figurehead of the club. To be chairman during GC meetings and to act as focal point of committee. To take on the role of Captain during all matches that he attends. To ‘hand-over’ the Green when guest organisations have been granted use of it. To represent the club in formal events as required.

Vice-Master To support the Master and undertake his duties in his absence.

Immediate Past Master Giving guidance to the Master to ensure a smooth transition. To act as Master ( with other Past Masters if necessary ) during any long term absence of the current Master.

Hon. Secretary To act as focal point in receiving and reporting incoming correspondence. To keep accurate records of meetings and to issue minutes accordingly. To communicate agreed responses to people both within and outside the club. Manage the suggestion box. To organize special events.

Hon. Treasurer To receive all monies on behalf of the club and record all monetary transactions and to provide written reports of such to the GC. To manage a secure system of monetary control on behalf of the club. To provide annual accounts of club business in accordance with the club constitution. To chair the Finance Working Group together with the assistant treasurer and at least one other who shall have relevant skills and experience.

Facilities Manager Responsible for utilities, maintenance, insurance, statutory and regulatory requirements, inspections and energy efficiency. To maintain an up-to date key register. To chair the Maintenance Working Group.

Publicity Officer Responsible for the web site, advertising, club shop and maintaining a diary of events plus the club archives.

Bar Manager Responsible for co-ordinating the staffing of the bar, stock control, bar audit, hygiene of bar area and providing records of all cash received and transferring said records and cash to the Treasurer.

Entertainment & Functions Manager Responsible for arranging all aspects of club functions, including the hire of the clubhouse, Co-ordinating catering and bar requirements including liaison with catering franchise. To chair the Social Activities Working Group.

Match Secretary Responsible for arranging forthcoming season’s fixtures that are to be confirmed one month prior to match date. Arrange transport for away fixtures. Post and collate fixture sheets in the Den for members to state availability. Arrange representative games that use the facilities and green of the Club. Formulate fixture card for printing. Provide rink booking diary to be placed in the Den.

Competition Secretary Manage all club competitions. Collect all competition fees and forward to the Treasurer. Purchase trophies as necessary and arrange for trophies to be inscribed with winners names. To provide timely notification of District, County and National competitions. Receive entries and monies and forward to the appropriate competition organisers. Provide notification of any changes to the competitions and to display rules in the Den.

Membership Secretary. Responsible for preparing membership files, containing addresses, telephone nos. and email addresses and ensuring that these are kept up-to-date. To stand-in at GC meetings when the Secretary is unavailable.

Assistant Treasurer. To assist the Treasurer as required, with particular responsibility for sponsorship and grants. To sit on the Finance Working Group and to stand-in at GC meetings when the Treasurer is not available.

Appendix B – Matches, Games & Competitions

Match Captain
For all Friendly and League Games the Match Captain will be the Master, Vice-Master, Senior Knight present or another playing Member who has been chosen by the Selectors to be the Captain for a particular game.

League Sides
Prior to the beginning of the season a list is on the board for all Members to put their names down if they wish to be considered to play in a league side.
Members who put themselves up for consideration are expected to be generally available for any league game although it is understood that Members may be unfit or on holiday. When this is known beforehand the holiday dates sheet on the notice board should be filled in.
The Club Selectors will put notices in the Den at or before 9pm on Friday evenings announcing the teams for League Matches to be played the following week. Selected Members should “tick” their name to show that they have seen they are selected and that they are available.
If any selected Member is not available he must immediately advise the Club Selectors and/or Match Captain in person or by telephone.

Club Competitions
Each season, the Competition Secretary will announce procedures for entering and playing the various Club Competitions

Playing in Games
Match Lists are put up in the Den for Friendlies, District and County Games . Members may put their names down to play. The first 24 names put onto the Friendly Match Lists will play with other names being reserves if any of the first 24 withdraw.
Any Member who becomes unavailable for a Friendly Game 72 hours or less before the match time must advise the Match Secretary as soon as their unavailability is known.
If a Member puts their name down for a Friendly Game but then withdraws without due reason, or without informing the Match Secretary direct, the Match Secretary or GC may decline that person’s entry at up to four following games
When there is a meal after friendly games and Members are asked to make the effort to stay, especially as they will have had to pay for the meal before the game anyway. Members can, of course, bring guests to all games and book meals for them if required.
Please note that Home Friendlies provide a large part of the Clubs’ financial income so it is therefore important that all Members play as many of these games as possible to help support the Club.
On away coach trips the cost includes the after game meal.

Appendix C – Bowls Etiquette

Although Bowls, as with all games, is played to win, the etiquette of the game is a combination of good manners, sportsmanship & sociability that are often described as the unwritten laws of the game
Be punctual and dressed correctly.
Be positive and concentrate throughout the game.
Be still and quiet when players are on the mat.
Mobile phones should be either switched off or put on silent .
Do not distract the bowler’s attention.
Stand behind the mat while your opponent bowls.
Always stand still at the head when a player is about to bowl.
The directing player may stand in front of the jack but must retire before the bowl is delivered.
Wait for the skips instruction when on the mat.
Possession of the rink shall belong to the side whose wood is being bowled.
As soon as each wood has come to rest, possession of the rink shall be transferred to the other side, time being allowed for marking a “toucher”.
Never deliver your bowl before the previous bowl has come to rest.
Be ready to play your wood and not need to be reminded it is your turn.
Neither the lead nor the second is expected to express or indicate an opinion about the score of any end as regards a disputed shot unless specifically asked to do so by the No.3. They should also not crowd the head so as to allow the No. 3’s do their job without interference.
Never applaud, complain about or otherwise comment on lucky bowls – accept them graciously.
Walk in the centre of the rink when changing ends.
Do not delay play.
Keep track of play.
Respect the decision of the Umpire.
All players at mat end should help in collecting bowls.
Ensure that woods are to the back and sides and well clear of the mat at all times.
Respect the green’s surface – do not drop bowls, stand on the edge or banks of the green, or walk in ditches.
Always inform your opponent if you wish to leave the green.
Offer your opponent a drink after the game.
Always thank the marker and offer them a drink, it’s their time they have given to assist in your game.
Thank the Umpire if one is used.
If you lose, be a good loser, don’t blame others, the green or the conditions.
Win or lose always shake hands and thank other players on your rink for the game.
Off the green both at home and away pay respect to the Captain of the day by waiting for him and the Captain of the opposing side to take their places at their table before eating.