A Review of Petanque in Britain and its Future

Working Group Membership as at July 2002

Dudley Lewin, President, BPA
Mike Pegg International Umpire BPA

Dan Murphy, President, Cymru-Wales Region
Keith Lord, VP Playing, Cymru-Wales Region

John Cameron, President, SPA
Mike Dow, Vice President, SPA

Presented to the Council of the BPA at its meeting inLondon on Saturday 31st August 2002

Basic Premises
  • Governing Body is necessary to promote our sport.
  • We have a duty to 'Promote Petanque' in Britain to the best of our ability
  • The sport is greater than any individuals or its representative organisations
  • To fulfil a long standing objective of the BPA to have a structure that includes England, Wales and Scotland
Present Position
  • The working group has been considering "Devolution" at the BPA's request
  • Nothing has been decided by the group or by the organisations they represent
  • Nothing will be decided until the membership have considered proposals to be put forward at AGM's of the existing organisations
  • Development of the sport is uncoordinated at present across the 3 countries
  • BPA 'core' funding withdrawn / reduced
  • Lack of funding hindering development
  • Separate bodies make it difficult to attract major sponsors
  • The Welsh Region ("the WPA") cannot access Welsh sports funding from its National Assembly/Sports Council
  • The number of people playing has increased, but this has not been reflected in membership of the BPA, SPA or WPA
Conclusion
  • The existing organisations of our sport are FAILING in their primary duty, enshrined in the constitution, to effectively "Promote Petanque".
Options for the Future

1. Continue as before - the status quo.

2. Try to address problems within current structure.

3. Form Independent English, Welsh and Scottish Associations.

4. Form a Federation as the British Governing Body with English, Welsh and Scottish Associations affiliated to it.

Option 1. Status Quo

Pros

  • Simple - Do Nothing
Cons
  • Does not address the problems.
This is not considered a viable option.
Option 2. Address Problems Within the Current Structure

Pros

  • No need to change Constitutions etc.
Cons
  • Does not address funding issues.
  • Difficult to co-ordinate development throughout "GB".
  • Difficult to alter players attitudes or perceptions without major visible changes.
  • Does not attract major sponsors - is a disincentive.
This is not considered a viable option.
Option 3. Form Independent "National" Associations

Pros

  • None - other than "independence".
Cons
  • "Independence" in its least attractive form! Effectively means isolating the "Regions" and so weakening the sport in GB
  • None of the Associations (English, Scottish or Welsh) will be recognised internationally by FIPJP.
  • Wales Region would still not be recognised as a National Governing Body
  • England and Scotland could not be seen as representing the "British" Organisation since there would not be one.
  • International teams could not be said to represent "GB"
  • Very unattractive to sponsors
For the first reason (above) alone, this is not a viable option
Option 4. Form a British Federation

Pros

  • Each nation retains management of its own affairs.
  • Facilitates coordinated development across Britain.
  • The Federation would be more attractive to potential sponsors.
  • The structure reflects UK sports funding structure - all Associations would be more likely to get funding from their respective UK sports boards.
  • The "English Petanque Association" or "EPA" would be created, improving the structure for the English based members. It brings the organisation closer to the grass roots by flattening the English structure.
  • Wales becomes a National Association, raising the possibility of increasing its membership and attracting funding within Wales
  • Players see a renewed and innovative attempt to make the changes necessary to promote and develop our sport.
  • Each Association is directly accountable to its own members.
  • The Federation would provide an overall "umbrella" organisation for the sport in Britain but without just reproducing the BPA as an extra "level" of management.
  • The Federation is controlled directly by the members
Cons
  • Constitution changes will be required.
  • All bodies will need to have consistent membership arrangements.
The Working Group believes that Option 4 recommends itself as the best option to pursue.
The Future

In considering the options and the future:

  • The idea or principle of the formation of a British Federation has been accepted by Scotland and Wales and acknowledged by the BPA as the way forward.
  • For the first time in almost 20 years all 3 nations are working to a common goal
  • Needs commitment from everyone so we can resolve problems by working together.
Frequently Asked Questions

FAQs - 1

  • How will members control the Federation Constitution?
While the Federation's executive may be small in number, the membership will be able to set the policies and direction of Petanque at each of the Federation's AGMs by member vote - members of all the associations will each be entitled to a vote.

The 'grassroots' can therefore control the direction of the Federation including changing its constitution by voting at AGMs so there is a clear democratic link between each individual member and the decisions made by the Federation.

 

FAQs - 2

  • What are the benefits to English Players?
Opportunity to attract sponsorship and funding from the widest possible range of sources

Opportunity to increase membership through changes in the system and structure and in the perceptions of players and would-be members

Some of core work of the BPA would devolve to Federation and allow EPA to concentrate their efforts on the grass roots of English Petanque

Opportunity to involve all English players in future development by levelling the structure and directly involving the membership.

 

FAQs - 3

  • Will representation on the Federation be proportional to an Associations' individual membership numbers?
This is answered by FAQ1, while each country will have equal representation on the Federation, the Federation is controlled by the individual members.

The members of the Federation are there to promote Petanque in Britain as a whole, whilst also representing the 3 National Associations. Electing the Federation through National Associations is a convenient method. The Federation is intended to operate by consensus of its members. They are controlled in turn by individual members at the Federation AGMs. Policy decisions are subject to the review of the individual members by their voting decisions at AGMs.

 

FAQs - 4

  • Why limit the Federation Executive to, say, 2 or 3 representatives from each country?
The Federation is not intended to replicate the "BPA" or just to add another layer on top of the BPA

The British funding bodies are much more likely to provide support to a combination of a single "Federation" and 3 separate "National Governing Bodies". The EPA, SPA and WPA must appear to those funding bodies as independent, national bodies which is impossible under the present BPA setup.

 

FAQs - 5

  • What about Licensing, Membership and International Representation?
If all Associations have a consistent system, individual membership would be through their local club. In turn, the clubs would be affiliated to a National Association which would be a member of the Federation.

This would be in line with other countries.

Simplifies administration.

The Federation will be responsible for qualification /selection for Great Britain teams as determined by policies set by the membership at the Federation AGM.

 

FAQs - 6

  • What About British & National Competitions?
Each nation will still hold its National title events.

How we organise qualifying events for British competitions has still to be discussed, but the aim is to make qualification events more accessible to all British players.

 

FAQs - 7

  • Where do we go from here?
BPA Council to confirm that this work is to continue

Information about that decision will be passed to the grass roots

Each National Association and Cymru-Wales Region to approve proposals for Federation structure and operating principles.

Each Association makes the necessary Constitutional amendments to allow the Federation to be formed, the proposed date to make the amendments being the - 2003 AGMs.

Federation constitution to be agreed and accepted and the Federation legally established.

Federation Officers elected. Then the real work begins!!!!!!!

 

FAQs - 8

  • What happens if the Federation is formed and we still don't get funding or sponsors?
We will be no worse off than we are now!

There is money out there, we just need to work smarter to get it!

Even if the Federation is only a 'virtual' organisation, we will have a structure through which we can work together and we will have achieved that objective for the first time in the sport's organised history in Britain

We would be in a better position to get funding should government and sports council policies change in the future

 

FAQs - 9

  • Has anything else been decided?
Nothing has been definitely decided! Firm proposals for Federation management and operating principles etc. need to be agreed soon

If we work together, as we have so far, we can resolve these issues for everyone's benefit

Summary

The big issue is 'What are the benefits to Petanque in Britain?' - this is not just about the BPA, EPA, WPA, SPA or individuals' power

There are tangible benefits for everyone in this, not just for Scotland and Wales

We know that we need to change our organisation structure to attract real funding into Petanque.

These proposals will at least ensure that we are all in the position to apply for sport development funding, and to seek sponsorship, which in our current position we are not able to do either effectively or at all

We need to act now to ensure this happens by the 2003 AGM. Time is money for everyone! The longer we take to make these improvements, the longer we wait for the benefits to come through.