Subject: Walmer A vs David Lloyd Abitaire B

Roy,

I really don't expect a response to this email as David Lloyd Abitaire did not actually break any written rule.  I do believe however they absolutely went against the spirit of the law and as a Club we feel the League should be made aware of the series of events that unfolded at last night's match.

I have copied Philip in as he is Club captain. It was never made clear to us who was the captain of the B team.

When we arrived there was at worst some very light rain or drizzle falling. We went to knock up on the two courts directly in front of the clubhouse.  We were not provided with any balls to knock up with so had to use our own.  It became clear that the B team were not going to join us so I asked who was the captain.  I was advised it was a gentleman in a green top (I believe this may have been Philip, although I can't confirm absolutely). I was then told it was Mick Knowles, Mick said it was nothing to do with him and referred me back to Philip, who insisted it was Mick, the captaincy issue was never resolved.

Philip was busy with the captain of Darwen who was also very unhappy that David Lloyd C team were also not prepared to start their match.

During our discussion there were three reasons given why the match should not commence:-

  1. The forecast predicted that the weather was due to get worse so there was no point in starting the match.
  2. As the top three courts were declared unfit for play it would mean that both the matches would have to share the bottom two courts and we would not get both matches completed.  I pointed out that multi-clubs have to designate teams to specific courts.  if therefore the C team match was postponed they would not be entitled to use the B team designated courts.
  3. The courts were too slippery. As David Lloyd had brand new "all weather" courts laid late last year and I am sure they use the latest technology in court manufacture I find this hard to believe.  In fact when we were warming up on the courts I have to say we probably felt as secure under foot as i have felt on any court in any conditions. 

After some further debate the Duty Manager of the Club was called out. She stated the "all weather" courts were unsafe!! Utterly astounding.  I did ask if David Lloyd had a habit of closing all the courts to members when there was a hint of dampness on the ground but of course I did not get a response.

Obviously we had to take the word of the Duty Manager at that point but probably the most disappointing thing was that she was overheard by one of our team to say, to a person who I will not name, when returning to the Clubhouse "you owe me one", read in to that what you will. This is a paid employee of David Lloyd so very unprofessional to say the least.

I have had a look online at some of the Clubs that actually played last night; Lostock, Holcombe Brook, Chorley A (played David Lloyd A), Tyldesley, Roe Green, Meadow Hill, Bradshaw, Walmer B. All these clubs have "all weather" courts.

We played against Lostock last Thursday on the grass courts, which are not close in condition to those at David Lloyd, in the pouring rain but it was a pleasure to play against people who seemed keen to want to play the game rather than do anything they could to avoid playing.  

if we all adopted some of the behaviour I saw displayed last night from the home team I don't think much tennis would ever get played in Lancashire.

As I have said Roy I don't expect a response but as a Club we are disappointed and wanted the League and David Lloyd to be made aware of our feelings. 

Regards,

Richard

Hi Roy,

Could you pass on to somebody at DL - the email address for Phillip bounced back,

Richard

Richard,
Yes OK. Will send and ask for comments.
I received a phone call from Mike Best, the Darwen captain, who said that they were being told the courts were unfit having travelled all that way. I received it while we were on court starting to play our first match at Meadow Hill. I asked him to take some photos but I haven't received them yet. I will put it on the agenda for Friday's meeting. We completed our match.
Roy

Thanks Roy yes Mike was furious.

I know it is difficult for the League to do anything, having got if off our chest we will move on.

Thanks as always for the great job you do.

Our B team are at yours tonight fingers crossed my daughter is coming back from Liverpool to play.

R

Morning Gentlemen,

I would just like to make a comment and ask for a little assistance.

Last night we had 2 home matches for the B and the C teams. I forget who the B team were playing but the C were playing Darwin I think.

So everyone arrived, Home and Away teams. And we all arrived in the rain. It was raining at 6 and it didnt stop all night as far as I know and its still raining now.

Whilst we have multi surfaces at DL, neither are conducive to playing tennis in the wet. It isnt fun and to be totally honest its dangerous. Two seasons ago we had several injuries from members who fell on wet courts.

So the captains discussed the calling off of the match and decided to wait a bit until the rain had stopped or slowed down but it carried on. No matches were even started. So at about 1920hrs last night the captain again tried talking to resolve what was becoming a bit of a standoff. Even a bit heated. DL members know how the courts are in the wet and it was their opinion that the courts were unplayable. Trying to prove a point some of the visiting players started doing some hitting in the boxes, in the rain. And ok you can do that in the rain but not play a full on match.

As the time moved on things became a little more heated and I had to ask the Duty Manager to step in to defuse the situation. The Duty Manager being a young and 6 months pregnant member of staff. She was subjected to far too much aggression from some of the visiting players as she made the call that the Courts were unfit to play on.

I mean really it is just a bit much. And the posturing was just a bit much too. If our captains knowing the courts and the fact that it is raining, think in their opinion that the courts are not safe to play on, surely that should be enough. Does it need to come to pistols at dawn to call off a match in the rain? I spoke to one of our D team players this morning and one of the team players fell during a match and has gone to hospital today. Is that what we should be looking at?

The league rules state that you dont expect play in the rain. And in Bolton above DL it was raining.

My question is how can this be avoided? We all do this for fun and we put our time aside to represent our clubs in the league. I turned up last night and I too wanted to play a league match but not in the rain on a slippery surface and then I didnt expect to hear agro from players.

The same could happen tonight as its raining now. And tomorrow and Thursday.

So guidance is what really I am after because sometimes I believe it is safety as well as our pleasure that needs to be taken into account.

Anyway in the end all the Captains agreed and that it. But it left a bit of a bitter taste in the mouth.

Yours

Phillip

I have actually just sent you an e mail about last night Roy. Perhaps you could forward it to the others on your group? Let me read this and will reply underneath each comment in Red.

(The indented bi is the original)

On 11 Jun 2019, at 11:53, CASWELL ROY < roy.caswell1@ntlworld.com> wrote:

David Lloyd (Phillip Ashworth)

Please can we have your response or comments.
Roy Caswell; General Secretary

---------- Original Message ---------- 
From: Richard Morley < richlisa666@hotmail.com
To: Roy Caswell < roy.caswell1@ntlworld.com>, " phillip@abitaireuk.com" < phillip@abitaireuk.com
Date: 11 June 2019 at 10:39 
Subject: Walmer A vs David Lloyd Abitaire B 

Roy,

I really don't expect a response to this email as David Lloyd Abitaire did not actually break any written rule.  I do believe however they absolutely went against the spirit of the law and as a Club we feel the League should be made aware of the series of events that unfolded at last night's match.

I have copied Philip in as he is Club captain. It was never made clear to us who was the captain of the B team.

When we arrived there was at worst some very light rain or drizzle falling. We went to knock up on the two courts directly in front of the clubhouse.  We were not provided with any balls to knock up with so had to use our own.  It became clear that the B team were not going to join us so I asked who was the captain.  I was advised it was a gentleman in a green top (I believe this may have been Philip, although I can't confirm absolutely). I was then told it was Mick Knowles, Mick said it was nothing to do with him and referred me back to Philip, who insisted it was Mick, the captaincy issue was never resolved.

I think that Richard is referring to Martin who is our C team captain. I didnt know our B team captain was away but assumed that Mick as a Captain would be dealing with B. All the teams arrived and what may have been drizzle to one, was certainly rain to me. It was raining when I arrived. It was raining whilst an hour or more discussions went on and it was raining when I left the club at 2200hrs last night. I agree that some of the visiting payers put a brave face on and went out ij the rain to have a little hit. Apologies if there were no knock up ball available. I have a bag full and didnt realise I needed to provide them. Lesson learnt. Richard is right though when he said DL players didnt going them as they stayed under cover as did other members of the visiting teams.


Philip was busy with the captain of Darwen who was also very unhappy that David Lloyd C team were also not prepared to start their match.

During our discussion there were three reasons given why the match should not commence:-
  1. The forecast predicted that the weather was due to get worse so there was no point in starting the match.
  2. As the top three courts were declared unfit for play it would mean that both the matches would have to share the bottom two courts and we would not get both matches completed.  I pointed out that multi-clubs have to designate teams to specific courts.  if therefore the C team match was postponed they would not be entitled to use the B team designated courts.
  3. The courts were too slippery. As David Lloyd had brand new "all weather" courts laid late last year and I am sure they use the latest technology in court manufacture I find this hard to believe.  In fact when we were warming up on the courts I have to say we probably felt as secure under foot as i have felt on any court in any conditions. 
It was raining when we all arrived. The forecast was rain all night and indeed it rained all night. On a personal level I must admit that I did not see any point in starting matches in the rain when there was more rain to follow. I know we have new courts and that they are all shall we say “all weather” but I am not sure if when courts are being put down that all weather surfaces are intended to be used in the rain. A bit damp….dry…..hot or cold yes. But it was raining. I saw the players “warming up” on the courts and putting brave faces on. All credit it to them for showing great stoicism and had it been a rugby match, I would have been the first to going them. 

After some further debate the Duty Manager of the Club was called out. She stated the "all weather" courts were unsafe!! Utterly astounding.  I did ask if David Lloyd had a habit of closing all the courts to members when there was a hint of dampness on the ground but of course I did not get a response.


Obviously we had to take the word of the Duty Manager at that point but probably the most disappointing thing was that she was overheard by one of our team to say, to a person who I will not name, when returning to the Clubhouse "you owe me one", read in to that what you will. This is a paid employee of David Lloyd so very unprofessional to say the least.

This reply regards the above 2 paragraphs. We all enjoy our tennis or we wouldn’t put our time aside to represent our clubs in the league. We aren’t paid professionals and we aren’t playing for money. We play because we enjoy the sport and want to compete in a league. We all agree on that. But last night it was raining. Tennis outdoors in the rain is at the best a bit of time outside hitting a wet and heavier and heavier and heavier ball. Every stride brings with it the chance of ending up on the floor. And….its just not fun. We all put our time aside last night and between the captains and the teams we should have been able to be sensible about it and just call it off quickly. The ervyone can go and make the best use of their time. The DM was only called when things became heated. One visitor said to me “i dont understand why you are a bloody member here if you cant play outside” in the rain…..he went on to talk about digging up the courts and on about further things he didnt like. DL members and visiting players then started to get huddled and future heated and it was me that asked the DM to intervene BEFORE things got out of hand. So yes I asked a pregnant young lady who was the DM last night to help resolve an issues I saw as getting increasingly tense. This should never have happened because a resolution should have been quickly found between the players. Yes I do owe her for having to step up and resolve something that the captains were failing to resolve. I felt a little ashamed to be honest.


I have had a look online at some of the Clubs that actually played last night; Lostock, Holcombe Brook, Chorley A (played David Lloyd A), Tyldesley, Roe Green, Meadow Hill, Bradshaw, Walmer B. All these clubs have "all weather" courts.

I agree that many matches played out. I spoke to some of the lads this morning. One of the D team players fell in their match and went to hospital today. But what it comes down to and we will face again tonight, is do we feel its necessary to play in the rain when its clearly unsafe and not fun?


We played against Lostock last Thursday on the grass courts, which are not close in condition to those at David Lloyd, in the pouring rain but it was a pleasure to play against people who seemed keen to want to play the game rather than do anything they could to avoid playing.  

if we all adopted some of the behaviour I saw displayed last night from the home team I don't think much tennis would ever get played in Lancashire.

I have played in the wet. Many sports to be honest. I was educated in Fleetwood and even in summer it was wet and windy but we played most sports outside. But we didnt play a sport that required a yellow furry ball that absorbs water, to be hit over a net on a wet court. And that is exactly why I spent some time this morning e mailing you Roy. Because surely we should all be able to come to the same conclusion that playing tennis in the rain, isnt Plan A. We would be happy to re schedule or play inside, but those alternatives are not approved by the league. So where do we stand? Play in the rain?

Perhaps we could do one thing. To make sure that nobody has any ill feelings at all. Why dont we arrange to play the match another time? I know it won’t count in the league but perhaps we could arrange a match and I will arrange a meal after for all the players and we can play, eat and have a drink. At my expense to show that what we all really want is to have a great match of tennis and meet new players and compete. Just not in the rain.

On a personal note, over the years DL has had its odd member or two that have caused problems. Arguing over nothing. I saw the potential for that to happen again last night and I wanted to avoid that, so it was totally my decision to bring in DL staff to make clear what we would be doing, because to be honest, as a group of players, we were nowhere near getting anything resolved after over 80 minutes of discussion. In the rain.

I am really sorry that Richard feels let down. We all put our time aside and please pass on my apologies if he and his team feel they were unfairly treated. We would all have loved to compete in a tennis match and to have made new friends on any night, that wasn’t raining. We really should be able to deal with things in a better way. 

Please pass on my number or e mail address to Richard and lets see if we can turn this incident into something positive for us all.

Yours

Phillip


As I have said Roy I don't expect a response but as a Club we are disappointed and wanted the League and David Lloyd to be made aware of our feelings. 

Regards,

Richard

Hi Roy,
    Just thought I would send through some photos of the courts and conditions at David Lloyd. The courts were some of the nicest I have played on, all of us from Darwen had a friendly match on them after David Lloyd refused to play, there were no issues with grip or slipping whatsoever.
   In their defence the weather did worsen, but surely you should start the match with mild drizzle and perfect quality courts..


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I doubt anything can be done according to the rules, but it’s pretty out of order when everyone just wants to have a game of tennis and have travelled a long way to get there...
Mike Best (Darwen tennis captain)

 

Mixed:Morning Roy, Just to let you know that I played at Walmer last night. In the rain as it was insisted that the match was played. I fell twice on their courts and did minor damage to my poor old body. It is this reason that clubs like DL can not afford to let play continue if the courts are dangerous. I could have really done myself some damage last night and who would have paid? Had I really hurt myself would I have made a claim against Walmer? The League? Because obviously as an individual I can not refuse to play without putting the team in a dreadful position.

Could I suggest that this thing about playing in the rain is modified? It shouldn’t be that things become heated over a game of tennis in the rain, that is obviously going to involve potential injury. We have had this in DL and there was a claim made against the club about 2 years ago.

If the 2 captains can not agree then one team really should not be penalised over the other because of a refusal to play in inclement conditions.

Yours Phillip

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