Women can play in landmark decision

Men and women already compete in mixed pairs events and some leagues
Men and women already compete in mixed pairs events and some leagues

FEMALE players will be allowed to compete in the Halifax League’s Wednesday competition and veterans matches for the first time next year.

A two-thirds majority was needed at last night’s Halifax League AGM at Elland WMC for the changes to go through.

That equated to 38 votes in favour and the proposals for both sections were passed with 39 votes.

Halifax League life member Stephen Helliwell said the landmark decision had come about because some teams in the lower divisions had been struggling for players.

The ladies had their own separate leagues in Halifax but Elland and Hebden Royd were among those who already had mixed leagues.

Helliwell admitted he had been among those who had resisted a change in Halifax in the past.

However, if it prevented teams who might just be a couple of players short from folding then it was a good move.

“We don’t want to lose teams and it seemed a sensible thing to do at the end of the day,” he said.

Following the decision to allow women, a proposal to reduce the number of players in teams in all divisions of the evening league from 10 to eight was emphatically defeated. Only Division Five currently has eight-player teams.

Smoking or using a mobile phone during matches is already banned but a move to stop players having an alcoholic drink was defeated.

Helliwell explained that players were not allowed to leave the green but some players liked to keep a pint on the rail at some venues.

The same match results system, with one point for an individual win and two for the overall aggregate, will remain in place in 2019.

A move to revert to the 2017 system, in which there were rewards for high-scoring losing players, failed to gain sufficient support.