Statement on Emerton Court Competition


 Statement  read by the Hon Sec at the 2015 AGM

on the Emerton Court Competition.

I’m going to read the following prepared statement regarding this year’s Emerton Court competition.   Although penned by the Hon Sec., it has been approved by both your Captain and President.
The bare facts are that Yelverton Golf Club were disqualified from the competition shortly before the final for transgressing rule 2 (iv) of the Emerton Court rules- ‘No player shall represent more than one Club in any year and that Club shall be the one holding his handicap, i.e. his HOME Club.    This came to light when Moss Pearson of Elfordleigh received an anonymous phone call telling him that one of Yelverton’s players, Paul Clahane, is a member of Trevose Golf Club where his handicap is held and is thus his home club – not Yelverton.   Checks were made with Trevose Golf Club and this proved to be correct.

In mitigation I must tell you that Bryan Blaber of Yelverton Golf Club and an Executive Committee member is sure that he ‘phoned me prior to the start of the 2014 season to clarify this rule.   I must tell you I do not recall that ‘phone call. Being absolutely new in post at that time I was very busy acquainting myself with many of the DMVGA rules, competitions and ways of dealing with ‘matters of state’.   It is normal for me to refer, any matters or procedures of which I’m uncertain or unsure, to the Captain, the President or the Vice-Captain, in that order,
so that they can help in the decision making process.    At that time in my tenure, and in this specific case, I would have done this.

I must also say that I both respect and like Bryan Blaber very much and I regret that this has happened.    I’m not for one moment saying that Bryan did not make that call but, most unfortunately, I cannot recall any conversation that may have taken place.

As an aside I do receive emails concerning rules – usually Emerton Court Rules – and I answer them by email, seeking advice from your Captain, President or Vice Captain as and when necessary.    One of the advantages of email is that there is then a ‘trail’ which can be followed, then, discrepancies, disagreements can be spotted and corrected. Perhaps we should implement a rule which says that any matter raised by clubs relating to rules or procedure should always be put to me by email – not by ‘phone?

As a result of this incident please may I put to this meeting that rule 2 (iv) of the Emerton Court rules should be altered from –
No player shall represent more than one Club in any year and that Club shall be the one holding his handicap, i.e. his HOME Club’to ‘No player shall represent more than one DevonClub in any year and that Club shall be the one holding his handicap, i.e. his HOME Club’.

Please may I have a Proposer for that?…. and a Seconder?

We then come to the issue of procedure following the disqualification of a club from the competition and which club, if any, should then proceed to the next round.   The Emerton Court rules do not cover such eventualities, although this did happen, I’m told, about six years ago; in that instance it was not such a problem as the matter took place in the first round and thus no other club was involved from previous rounds .

Rule 34-1b/8 has been forwarded to me and it suggests that there are four means of determining the action to be taken:-
(a) cancel the competition;

(b) consider the disqualification penalty applicable only from the time of its discovery, thus giving (club) A’s next opponent a default;

(c) reinstate the player last eliminated by A; or

(d) require all players eliminated by A to play off for his position.
I’m told that The Devon Committee has ruled in favour of choice (b).    We do not necessarily have to follow suit with that, so can I suggest that we adopt option (c) ‘reinstate the club last eliminated by A

Can I have a Proposer please? … and a Seconder?

Finally, I and other Committee members have been approached by a number of clubs and individuals asking that Yelverton be banned from the competition for, in one instance, up-to five years!    Bearing in mind the mitigating circumstances, the Committee does not think this is at all appropriate, and will not be imposing any further action on Yelverton at this time.
The Executive Committee has a responsibility to all its members to ensure that fairness should be seen to be applied at all times, and also the rules of the Association are upheld and transgressions dealt with as appropriate.   This has been a most unfortunate incident and we hope that the matter will now be closed.