A well attended 2010 British League Conference held at the Quality Hotel, Birmingham, on Saturday 05 June 2010 saw a solution put in place that should hopefully be the answer to the criticisms of the disappointing results service and the slower reporting of matches that took place last year in all divisions other than in the Premier Division.

The introduction of a new results package – “Table Tennis 365” will enable British League Organisers to send results through directly to the ETTA website after each round of matches. ETTA Operations Manager Bill Shearer explained that the Senior  British League is the  first competition which is being given direct access to this programme with other competitions (Junior British League, Veterans’ British League and Women’s British League) joining the following year.

Whilst it is appreciated that not every event organiser will be able to comply in the first round of matches in September, it is hoped that as the season progresses more Organisers will be able to use the programme. Proper training will be given to event organisers which will include an online help system for all users, including FAQ and Instruction Videos. The programme will also hold a results repository which can be automatically downloaded into the ETTA ranking system, thereby reducing the workload of ETTA Head Office. Alan Ransome (Ormesby TTC) was happy to withdraw his proposal, as it is clear that major steps have been taken to improve the British League results service.

There was a clear indication that clubs prefer qualified umpires to be available to officiate at all levels of the competition, notwithstanding the current shortage of umpires and their often repeated preference not to officiate at team matches. The proposal by Ormesby TTC gained an 8-6 majority and only just failed to meet the “two-thirds majority” it needed. The British League Committee, organisers  and clubs need to work together next year to do everything in their power to ensure that qualified umpires are available to officiate at all levels of British League play. ETTA Chairman Alex Murdoch also stressed the high level of importance that the ETTA are placing on recruiting more umpires. A sum of £10,000 will be invested over each of the next four years in this direction. The need for PremierClubs to embrace the need to recruit umpires as well as the counties was reiterated, particularly as the counties have found this to be the toughest of tasks they have been set.

An enthusiastic round of applause was extended to Terry McLernon (Drumpchapel Glasgow) the 2010 recipient of a MBE for his work in the Drumchapel Glasgow Community and for Scottish Table Tennis.

Player of the Season Awards were presented to:

Overall Player of the Season – Ryan Jenkins (Drumchapel Glasgow)
Premier Division – Ryan Jenkins (Drumchapel Glasgow)
Division One North – Stewart Mudie (ELGRE Nottingham)
Division One South – Mark Smith (Fusion)
Division One South & Midlands – Stephen Gertsen (OLOP Impact)
Division Two North – James Ward (Burton Uxbridge)
Division Two South – Rita Kacsandi (York Gardens)
Division Two South & West – Matt Pernett  (Ashford)
Division Three North – Paul Smith (Ormesby)
Division Three South – Kevin Read (De Vere NETTS)
Division Three South & Midlands – Michael Chan (Godalming)
Division Four North – Sam Walker (Bribar Redlands Rookies)
Division Four South – Nathan Bingham (Bournemouth Sports)
Division Four South & Midlands – Andrew Dixon (Woodfield)
Division Five North – Steve Horton (Woodfield).

Steve Kerns

British League Press & Publicity Officer