"I am a Norfolk man and Glory in being so." Horatio Nelson

Bob Weafer hits out in Indoor Bowler

Former England Manager Bob Weafer has not pulled any punches in his criticism of the English Short Mat Bowls Association in the latest edition of the sport’s international magazine Indoor Bowler. He called the ESMBA “a pretty useless body when it comes to publicity and many other things” and commented how immensely disappointed he is with the development of the sport. Weafer was also critical of their involvement in the World Championships last year in Sweden accusing them of a lack of respect for the Swedish Association. The England Team Management was not immune from his criticism as he wrote of the language used by England players against domestic opponents and of an alleged streaking incident in a hotel “without apparently incurring any disciplinary action.” Weafer also spoke of rumours circulating that indicate the possibility of a new breakaway Association being formed by a number of counties who are becoming increasingly frustrated by the actions of its National body. From Norfolk’s point of view, under its current Chairman, the NCSMBA has always been rock solid in its belief that short mat bowls in England should have one National Body controlling the sport and that any move to set up an alternative Federation or Association should be actively discouraged. Unfortunately Norfolk’s view is not helped by what appears to some as an inability of the ESMBA to follow its own Constitution. Only this week the Norfolk CSMBA Management Committee received an apology from the ESMBA for failing to abide by its Constitution regarding proposals for the upcoming ESMBA RRM. When the NCSMBA Management Committee met on Wednesday evening they were informed that details of motions, which should have been sent to all County contacts on 7th February, were not received by the NCSMBA until 2nd April which was almost two months late. As the date for County Associations to submit any amendments is the 31st March it was therefore already too late for any amendments to be submitted. With the controversy still fresh in the minds of County Associations regarding the handling of Officer Nominations for last year’s AGM by the ESMBA Management Committee chaired by Barry Hedges, it does not bode well for this years AGM/RRM that once again the National Body is seen to fall short of expectations that the Constitution is followed. The ESMBA were not alone in drawing adverse comments from Bob Weafer. Commenting on the lack of articles and news being submitted for publication in his Indoor Bowler magazine he highlighted the absence of submitted articles from not only the ESMBA but also from the Welsh, Scots, Sweden, Norway and the SMPT as Weafer  wrote “So folks it is up to you, if you want to go beyond the Spring or Summer issue next year, I need to hear from you.”