Devon Association of Cricket Officials – Annual General Meeting 2014

November 18th, 2014.  The Dolphin Hotel, Station Rd., Bovey Tracey, TQ13 9AL.

Meeting opened 19:25 GMT

The Chairman, Gavin Lane, opened the meeting and extended a warm welcome to all who attended the seventh DACO AGM. The Chairman introduced our President, Mr Roger Moylan-Jones.

  1. In Memoriam:

All present stood for a minute’s silence in memoriam of Gary Aldridge & Andy White along with all those involved with Devon Cricket who had passed-on during the previous year.

  1. Attendance:

A register of attendees was recorded on a sign-in register circulated at the meeting; a copy of which is available on request and held by the Hon. Secretary. A total of 65 attended.

  1. Apologies:

A register of apologies is available on request and held by the Hon. Secretary.

  1. Opening Address from the President:

The President, Roger Moylan-Jones, opened by commenting that he had two pieces of good news. Firstly he welcomed the evening’s guest Mr Nick Cousins, the Senior Executive Officer of ECB ACO, and thanked him for taking time to attend our AGM and for agreeing to address the meeting on completion of business. Secondly the President said that under these circumstances he was off the hook and the meeting didn’t have to listen to him for much longer on this occasion!

Continuing, the President said that he had two brief points to make. He complimented the members of the Association on their efforts during the past year, saying how well he appreciated the range and complexity of the task they performed in providing the umpiring & scoring services as volunteers to the required standard in a geographically large and varied county; he felt privileged to be acting as their President.

The President then spoke of his concern that too often players’ behaviour on the field of play was not all it should be in terms of the Codes of Conduct and the Spirit of the Game. Whilst he recognised the captains’ responsibility for his players’ behaviour on the field and the Club Chairmen’s responsibility for ensuring that the captain and his team met the required standards, it remained the umpires’ responsibility to police these standards. In this respect the President felt that umpires did not always use their authority to best effect; it was up to them to take firm and timely control of the situation. He finished by stating that he would be grateful for Mr Cousins’ views on this when he addressed the meeting.


  1. The Minutes of the previous AGM (held on 14th November 2013)

All members had received a copy in advance of the 2013 AGM.

The minutes of the 2013 Annual General Meeting were proposed by Bill Pinhey and seconded by Eddie Dymond. The proposal was unanimously agreed.


  1. Matters arising from those minutes.

There were no matters arising from the Minutes.


  1. Chairman’s Report:

            Mr President, Life & Honorary Members, Ladies and Gentlemen.


On your behalf I warmly welcome Nick Cousins from the ECB ACO and Jim Wood from the Devon Cricket Board.  Nick will be speaking to us later – assuming I leave him any time! Once again it is my privilege and pleasure to provide you with my report.  As I said a year ago, we have come a long way from the days of the ACU&S and the DCU&S.  We are now firmly established and respected as the Devon ACO.

Our membership is around the 205 mark – we need more members, especially scorer members. Scorers make up about 5% of our membership and that is too low.

When you consider on a normal Saturday in the Devon Cricket League Season 70 or more matches are played, ideally supported by 140 umpires and 140 scorers, of these 40 would be Panel Umpires.  The research I did a year ago clearly showed that over 160 people regularly umpire in the DCL and about the same regularly score during the season who are not members of the ACO. We need new members to balance those that stop officiating and also to give us more active members to help us meet our current commitments. 


I therefore think we should strive to UP our membership total to around 300 and that we should try and achieve this target over the next 2 years.

Despite the very best efforts of our Appointer, Pete Bamber, DACO could not fulfil our DCL commitments and some games had only one official.  Despite the very best efforts of Pete and his Area Appointing team, DACO was not able to fulfil some other umpire requests and as a result several youth matches had only 1 or no independent umpires.  This was not good.

Over a year ago I informed the DCB Ltd that numbers might be an issue and it is disappointing and annoying that we have fallen short – and let down people in the process.


My thanks to those who stood alone – you all did really well!


Equally annoying was the fact that we were not able to fully support the Youth Programme – a matter of grave concern to me:  Young cricketers benefit immensely not only from good officiating but also the guidance and advice that officials can provide to ensure the game is played in the right way. 

You will recall that we agreed at AGM 2013, to support Youth Cricket umpiring costs to the tune of £500 in 2014 and again next year in 2015 but it is also important that we support Youth Cricket by providing the appropriate officials to their games.


On a more positive note: Your team of elected officers have continued to work hard to manage DACO whilst ensuring we remain financially strong. 


DACO provides an essential service to cricket – we all know the great game of cricket is even better with properly trained officials – a point highlighted in the outcome of the ECB Player Survey.  Much of this is down to the provision of EDUCATION – high quality courses, delivered by enthusiastic, well-prepared and trained tutors, supported by mentoring and appointments.


On your behalf, I applaud and thank the quite excellent work done by Martin Webb as our Education Officer.  He has brought outstanding administrative skills to this role, enabling tutors to rock up and do their job because he has prepared everything for them.  Martin has handed this role to Paul Dawe, a willing volunteer.  I have written to Martin to say thank you and have asked him to support the DACO Management Committee, perhaps once a year by invitation – to which he has agreed – so that DACO can continue to have the benefit of his wisdom and understanding of Devon Cricket.  Paul Dawe has my full support for his new role and I hope you will too by electing him as our new Education Officer.


Whilst on the subject of education, Paul Dawe and Steve Lavis are well on the way to qualifying as UL2 Tutors – I hope they achieve that this winter.  We have been blessed with Brian Pearce and Tom Waldock, both of whom are top-notch tutors, but it is essential that we qualify new people to ensure continuity and Paul and Steve are part of this continuity.


Pete Bamber has continued to manage our appointments admirably and is increasing the use of WhosTheUmpire (WTU) across the county.  In 2015, he aims to have the standard DCL reports on WTU  - that is both the umpires’ facilities and pitch marks, and the captains’ reports on umpires.


We really must make the maximum use of this excellent resource and I am grateful to Pete for assisting with this.  WTU also hosts our ACO paperwork and education materials for tutors to download.


To assist Peter and his team DACO needs to generate more Panel Umpires for 2015 – although we had a Panel of about 65 people this year (our normal sized Panel), that number could not support the DCL requirement of 40 umpires each Saturday this year, so we need more. 

AND the DCL is responding to the ECB Player Survey and is considering Regionalising the 1st XI Divisions and the 2nd XI Divisions in some way – there is a DCL EGM late this month for clubs to decide what they wish to do.  The result of the EGM may be a subtle change in what DACO is asked to provide the DCL in 2015.


Andy Forward, our vice chairman, continues to play a full and supportive role and is working hard on your behalf in his role of DACO Representative on the DCL GMC.


Nicholas Evanson, our Scorer Officer, continues to champion the cause of scorers. He would agree with me that DACO has far, far too few scorer members – Scorers need not by shy, we need to welcome them to DACO and together move forward.


Ken Jeffery has managed our financial affairs in his own very special way to ensure we are financially solvent.  We have money and I have tried very hard to spend it.   Ken will tell us about our funds shortly.  He had suggested he might stand down, but as you can see, he is here and willing to soldier on and we should all be very grateful for that – more from him later. 

I would add that to encourage more people to attend courses this winter, we have literally halved the sales price:  That means DACO finances will take a hit but – as I am sure Ken will inform us – the funds are there!


Our Secretary Paul Dart allocates most of his precious time ensuring we have an accurate membership list, and has become rather good at easing people through the DBS cross-country course. I believe he is joined at the hip to Martin Gentle – Nick Cousins’ tireless membership guru.  Paul works very hard for us and I am delighted he is making a great recovery from his recent back operation. 


The DACO Management Committee is very reliant on your Area Representatives providing accurate, timely two-way flow of information between management and areas.  Please, please, make your representatives aware of local issues AND EQUALLY IMPORTANT quiz your representatives when they return from Management Committee Meetings.  This is vital for Management to come to the right conclusions and to make the right decisions.


All your elected officers and your Area Representatives have done their best for you in the last year and I think it would be very appropriate if you would join me in showing them your appreciation.


Mr President, Ladies and Gentlemen, I am pleased to say that your officers, with Paul Dawe in lieu of Martin Webb, stand ready to be considered for election or re-election.


Other Matters.  2014 had both good and bad. Under the Bad banner would be the shortage of umpires, the lack of scorer members and the sad and untimely demise of two members.


The passing of Gary Aldridge and Andy White led to an excellent suggestion by Ray Allen that we should have an award for our best umpire, not something we have at present.


As you know, our AGM is held in a different Area each year and it is the pleasure of the host Area to make two awards: the “Tony Miller” award and to propose one or more individuals for “Life Membership”. 


Gary Aldridge and Andy White were enthusiastic and dedicated officials, who willing gave of their time to support the DCL Panel and local cricket.  Andy had also become a Result Secretary for the DCL.  In other words, both did rather more than normal.  This new award, The DACO Memorial Cup, reflects this.  I will say more a little later about this award.


I should add that Ray Allen has also been instrumental in organising a DACO recreational polo shirt and I have been surprised and delighted by the number of members who wish to take advantage of this and actually purchase a shirt!


Education wise, DACO trained less new umpires in the last year than for some time but has gained some new UL1A successes and a few umpires have completed UL2C – One is converting his UL2C to UL2 and should complete his journey mid 2015.  


I mention this because he stands proudly before us, with his colleague on one of the banners around this room.  These banners are to help us promote ourselves, to add value to gatherings like these and to support our education programme.  On the one hand costly, but on the other hand, I see them being really beneficial to give us another way of saying who we are.


Nick Evanson has qualified as a SL3 and next week I hope Steve Lavis and Andy Forward will complete their UL3 journeys.


Our officials have had a pretty good year.  In the DCL performance based on Captains’ Marks has risen across the board slightly – so very well done to all Panel umpires. 


However, and interestingly, the recent ECB Player Survey indicated that in Devon Player Satisfaction for having umpires was pretty high but that their satisfaction with respect to Umpire Performance was lower than the National Average – Nick Cousins may pick up on this later.  What it tells me is that the more qualified umpires we can provide the better and that those that DACO appoint need to be on the top of their game.


Gradings have been completed and the results are displayed on your score sheets.  A new innovation for 2014 was arranging for Premier umpires to stand with new colleagues in the B or C Divisions for one or two games per season.  This has proved to have been very beneficial and has helped standards to improve in the B & C Divisions, so it will continue in 2015.



Roger Tolchard, Phil Matten, Jim Anning, Andy Forward and Steve Lavis are all a part of the group of the top 80 or so recreational umpires who stand in D List and MCCA games. Roger Tolchard was selected to stand in the 2014 Royal London Club Championship Final.  I think Devon has done exceedingly well to have 5 at this high level and I congratulate each and every one of them for their contribution.


Our young umpire Rhys Callicott has continued his progress and recently joined Paul Smith and Matthew Dominey for the classroom part of their UL2 course in Truro, Cornwall.

All three will aim to complete their UL2 journey late next year. 


Whilst Cornwall is in mind, the Cornish League and the Devon League agreed to swap umpires in 2014 – on balance this was a good idea and showed that not all that we do in Devon is bad! 


DACO umpires were appalled by the bad language of the Cornish Players: Feedback from a Cornish captain highlighted the zero tolerance of the DACO umpires and now the Cornish League are considering how to spread this practice, using DCL rules – written I should add by David Moseby – so well done DACO!


DACO has UL1, UL1A and SL1 courses planned for early 2015, so if you know anyone who might be interested, please let Paul Dawe know.  Added to which:


Due to the concerns I have had with umpire numbers and with the low standard of officiating in the DCL lower Divisions, the DCL has taken upon itself to provide education and CPD courses for DCL clubs.  This education will be provided by DACO, paid for by the DCL and delivered locally as far as possible.  The planning crunch comes shortly.  Added to which, all Panel Umpires will have a CPD session before the start of the season, in place of the more usual “Balls Meeting”.  All this work is to try and support our umpires so that they can do the best possible job on the field.  And in case anyone is wondering or even worrying – the planned CPD sessions will be facilitated discussions so umpires can share practices and a common line can be established.


Your DACO officers attended the ECB ACO S&W Region Conference at Sarum College, Salisbury on 16th November.  Regional Officers and Officers from 11 counties, South Wales and the Combined Services met to discuss matters of mutual interest and to share best practice.  It was a stimulating affair and I very much hope everyone who attended from Devon found it worthwhile.


Looking around our county during the summer has made me only too aware of the immense amount of time and effort so many of you, and many of those who are not with us tonight, put in throughout the cricket season – I appreciate the fantastic job all of you have done officiating – as we know, without officials cricket matches are quite tricky yet, even now, it amazes me the number of lower league games that take place with no officials at all, just players who turned up to play but have to do their 10 overs as umpires! 


My thanks to all of you, to your area officers and other volunteers who contribute to making our association what it is.  Our county is big and our area groups are vital to ensure our corporate progress and success.


I have a special word of thanks for Danny Daniels and David Moseby for their work in supporting and assisting new umpires to progress.

The impeccable arrangements for tonight have been made by team leader David Moseby supported by his henchman Chris Shelton – on your behalf, my thanks to them for a job well done.


Mr President, my thanks to you for your support during the year and your continued oversight of this association, even from a distance on the high seas.


In conclusion, three targets for 2015,

Up membership,

Up the number of Panel Umpires

Up Umpire performance.

That completes my report – thank you.


  1. Treasurer’s Report:

Ken Jeffery started his report by stating that members had received a copy of the 2014 accounts via email prior to the meeting. He had hard copies available for those who had not received them.

In contrast to 2013 when there was mild scepticism about a surplus of £1583, in 2014 we made a deficit of £1,343.


The past year’s income was substantially less than in 2013 but the figures belie the actual situation – The ECB-ACO rebate & the club affiliations (DCL) were consistent. Otherwise as expected the DCB Grant of £804 in 2013 was not available in 2014.


The major difference in the two years was the reduced fees collected from organised courses for our umpires as demand slackened.


Bill Pinhey’s considerable effort to reduce the costs at the AGM in Plymouth last year by organising a good raffle is reflected in the AGM funds of £208.


The £225 match fees from the DCBYA were paid out as shown in the expenditure detail.


Whilst I will not review every item in the Expenditure nevertheless I will try to expand upon the figures:-


The first item of £119 was a late claim for reimbursement of expenses relating to the previous year.


At last year’s AGM we agreed to provide a Grant for £500 to ensure that the appointed umpires for County Youth matches was maintained at the same level as in previous years.


The new trophy to be presented later this evening in memory of Gary Aldridge was purchased for £200.00 and regarded as a non-recurring entry.


Payments to cover umpires travel to fulfil appointments in county matches did cost us £262 but this will probably be regarded as “exceptional” rather than “regular”.


With the reduction of applicants to attend the DACO training courses the gap between costs & income towards venues & fees increased more than ideal – in our efforts to encourage more participants this winter so we will need to watch the costs to run the courses where we can without losing the goodwill of host clubs and the enthusiasm and time our trainers give.


The advert in the DCL handbook to promote our organisation incurred a charge of £125.00 – possibly this can be withdrawn in 2015 now that DACO has purchased promotional banners for £150 which has been treated as a capital item in the balance sheet under training equipment.


We were determined to ensure that our Honorary Life Members were not excluded from the ACO membership “family” and due praise to Paul Dart, Andy Forward & ACO in negotiating a suitable annual payment for £15.00 which DACO has undertaken to continue annually.


The Chairman informed members over past years that on-field assessment of umpires with aspirations to higher levels would incur modest travel costs and so this year we incurred £175, which also covers a meeting by the umpires grading panel.


It is important that key personnel attend external conferences & courses – this year the expenditure of £338 was actually less than in 2013.


So as I see things – there have been some payments which are one-off this year but also a few areas where with the background of less income we will need to re-appraise our commitments.


Turning to the Balance Sheet overall we are comfortably off with an Accumulated Fund of £8,892 – there are still 20 DACO ties in stock so please see me later!


The Training equipment figure has been increased with the cost of the banners and the prepayment of £50 is a deposit towards a course venue in 2015. The Training Fund remains untouched and this together with our bank funds totals £7,841.


President I don’t enjoy reporting an annual deficit but I do hope that the members will accept the reasons I have given and therefore move the approval of the “Accounts” for the year ended 31st October 2014.


In conclusion, the accountants, Robert Loxton & Co. have completed their work competently and if requested are prepared to continue their service for the next 12 months.


Ken Jeffery Hon. Treasurer DACO.  18th November 2014.


Follow this link to the Full Accounts


There were no questions raised.

Nigel Piddock proposed that the financial accounts be accepted; Jim Anning seconded this proposal and the proposal was unanimously agreed.

A copy of the submitted report is available on request from the Hon Secretary.


  1. Election of Officers: 

The President stated that all current Officers except the post of Education Officer were available for re-election. Paul Dawe had been approached and had accepted to take on the role from Martin Webb. A proposal from Alec Pickersgill, seconded by Steve Lavis, was unanimously agreed.


The President then supported the motion that the un-opposed nominations for the remaining returning current Officers and Auditors of the Association was done en bloc  (proposed Eddy Dymond, seconded Nigel Piddock) so that the Officers and Auditors for 2014/2015 will be:

  • Chairman – Gavin Lane
  • Vice Chairman – Andy Forward
  • Hon Secretary & Membership Services Officer – Paul Dart
  • Hon Treasurer – Ken Jeffery
  • Hon Appointments Officer – Pete Bamber
  • Hon Scorers Officer – Nick Evanson
  • Hon Education Officer – Paul Dawe
  • Hon Performance Officer – Gavin Lane
  • DACO Representative on DCL Committee – Andy Forward
  • Auditor – Robert Loxton & Co.


            The proposal was unanimously agreed.           


  1. The ‘Tony Miller’ award

This award is traditionally awarded to a member of AGM host area.  Chris Shelton gave the following address:

“The retired building society manager has been umpiring for nearly 20 years, although he still dons the pads occasionally to keep wicket for Devon Over60s 2nd XI.  He has been chairman of DACO (and DCU&S before that) and is currently South Devon Area Chairman for the organisation.  He has always been a supporter of youth cricket and gets to umpire numerous South, Area and County games every year In 2013 he to travelled to South Africa with Devon Under 15s and umpired all their games. In the following season he umpired a number of their games all over County for continuity. He took two young umpires and their families in the last two years to Lords to Corporate Day to umpire at Lords and encouraged them to progress

He has acted as mentor to Rhys Callicott for over a year, having umpired junior games and two Devon League C Division games with him. Next year he intends to withdraw umpiring from his usual top Division games to spend more time helping umpires like Rhys progress into B/C Division games.


The Award was presented to David Moseby by ECB ACO Senior Executive Officer Nick Cousins.


  1. The ‘DACO Memorial Cup’

Gavin Lane gave the following report:

During 2014 two DACO officials left the crease.  They were Gary Aldridge and Andy White.


Both had stood in the Devon Cricket League Premier League, the highest level of recreational league cricket possible in Devon. Andy White suffered a serious injury and was well on the way back to this level when he passed on.


Both men also played a full part as umpires in local cricket, standing in Youth, Women and local League cricket.  Their enjoyment was noticeable and they each brought calmness and common sense to the game.  Recently, Andy White had taken on the additional role of Result Secretary to the Devon Cricket League.


Gary Aldridge and Andy White together are the inspiration for this new award.  Originally proposed by Ray Allen (East Devon Area), it has been agreed that the award is to be presented annually at the DACO Annual General Meeting to the official who has performed outstandingly during the season and who has also made an outstanding contribution to cricket.   It was also agreed that the DACO Grading Sub-Committee should select the recipient of this award.


The DACO Memorial Cup honours not only Gary Aldridge and Andy White, but also all the officials who have left the crease and those who will leave the crease in the years to come. 


The DACO Grading Sub-Committee were unanimous in their choice of Roger Tolchard to be the first recipient of this prestigious award.  Whether umpiring at the top of the recreational game or locally for youth teams, Roger has shown both outstanding performance and outstanding contribution: He is a worthy winner.


The Cup was presented to Roger Tolchard by Roger Moylan-Jones


  1. Proposal of Life Membership of DACO:

DACO South Chairman, Dave Moseby, made the proposal that Ken Jeffery was made a Life Member of DACO, which includes perpetual Associate Membership of ECB ACO.This was accepted by the meeting.


  1. AGM 2015

Date set as Tuesday 17th November 2015. Arrangements to be made by officials of the North Area and the membership notified in due course.


  1. Close of Meeting

Nick Cousins, ECBACO SEO, was presented with a DACO tie in recognition of his support of Devon Officials.

The President thanked all persons present for attending and particularly to the ‘South for hosting the AGM; he restated it was an honour and a privilege that he was able to continue to be associated with Devon Cricket.

The meeting closed at 20:48.


Mr Cousins was then invited to give his presentation which was amusing, informative and well received.