President's Blog

NZBSA President

Welcome to the 2013 year of Billiards and Snooker. Last year was an interesting year with some real successes and some disappointments.

The coaching was a highlight with a number of coaches accredited and a significant number of juniors upskilled through regional seminars. Over the last 12 months Cue Sports Coaching New Zealand has gone from strength to strength. When we started we had no official Coaches with Cuesports qualifications (there were 2 that had done a Sport NZ Qualification). Also most Clubs in NZ had never seen a Coach or had any structured coaching. Gary Gillard is pleased to report that in this last 12 months we have now recruited, trained and certified a further 20 Coaches, held 30 Cue Sport Coaching Seminars from Invercargill to Whangarei, and combined the Coaches have coached over 700 people from 6 year olds to 82 year olds, all with a passion for the game.

Our aim for the future is:

  • To have every region in NZ (there are 10 for cuesports) with 1 Level 2 Coach and at least 5 Level 1 Coaches.
  • To continue to bring quality certified coaches to all clubs in NZ
  • To establish and run a Cue sports program for High Schools throughout NZ
  • To have an effective induction program for Junior players
  • Continue to train Coaches in NZ to achieve their own goals within Coaching NZ
  • To enhance the reputation of NZ in overseas competitions with Junior, Mens, Ladies and Masters competitors.

Check out the coaching calendar for this years seminar details.

Results of the various tournaments are detailed elsewhere on the NZBSA website, but two deserve special mention. Gary Oliver won his tenth in a row National Billiards title with a record 303 break and Kimberlee Brewer while still a junior advanced into the last 16 at the Women’s World Championship. Evidence of the investment the NZBSA has made into the coaching programme.

Ray Habgood lost his position as IBSF Treasurer in a close vote and later resigned as Treasurer for Oceania citing differences with the President making his position untenable. Thanks to Ray for his many years in both positions. This will now remove some of the stress on him and leave him more time to focus on the NZBSA.

The disappointment was to find our sport attacked in the social media. If those concerned had asked questions first they may have received the answers they desired rather than mouth off with rumours, false assumptions, innuendoes etc

The world championship ranking list with 4 nominated qualifying tournaments was set up with 2 purposes in mind. One was to give players only 4 tournaments to aim to play in and the second was to attract more players from the other island into entering. This did not happen as only 2 players from the North Island travelling south in 2011 and they did not travel in 2012 and only 2 players went north. Only one player, Gary Gillard went to all 4 qualifying tournaments. This makes the process unfair. Gary who was wrongly maligned over this, recommended that we scrap it in favour of using the ranking list. Remember that the ranking list is based on the nationals results and the best other 4 ranking tournaments you enter. This means that players don’t have to travel to the other island if they don’t wish to. So it does not favour those who can afford it. Players now have more choices available to them in which events to enter and to try and improve their ranking than there were with the world qualifying events. Incidentally, Gary is not competing in any ranking events this year as he is overseas for 3 months, so he does not have a vested interest in this decision.

Check out the website for the 2013 calendar of events and also each regions tournaments. Be proactive and sort your own personal calendar. Carefully note the dates and any changes as they are notified. In particular note the changed order of the Nationals. Thanks to Heather and Sam Bond for keeping the NZBSA website updated. Please notice that we do accept sponsorship advertising on our website. While it is not a huge amount, every little bit counts. Support those who support us. There must be someone in your region who can support us. Let us know.

Recent feedback to members of the NZBSA Board indicates that there is a need for members to have a point of contact when they have issues of concern or have questions they would like answered by the board. The NZBSA Board hopes that this will give both the Board and individual members a way of sharing information and ideas. We hope that by having a dedicated point of contact we can work smarter in helping NZ Snooker improve its overall profile. The Board has appointed Mark Hannah as the NZBSA Board Liason Officer and can be contacted by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. This is not a complaints line but a way to share any ideas or concerns directly with the board. Formal complaints must still be made in writing to the NZBSA Secretary. We hope that those who have positive suggestions on addressing issues can contact Mark and let him know. The AGM is coming up in July during the nationals. A number of the Board are standing down and others are up for re-election and this is your chance to have your say. Put yourself forward for a position on the Board so you can contribute and make sure your regional delegate knows who to vote for. Notice of meeting with nomination forms will be going out soon.

Two members were disciplined for inappropriate behaviour at a tournament last year. Their case was heard by a separate appointed disciplinary committee that included a JP and had legal advice. It then went to the NZBSA Appeal Board Committee where both members had legal representation. The decision of the Disciplinary committee was upheld and the members were each fined and given a 1 year suspension and a 2 year expulsion respectively. Due process was properly followed and they were given a fair hearing. The message to be taken from this unfortunate case is that such behaviour is not tolerated and bringing the game into disrepute will be dealt with according to the constitution.

There have been comments that the NZBSA Board does not apply for funds for the sport. Over the last 12 months we have submitted 9 applications for Oceania, World Snooker, World Billiards, Under 21’s Nationals, Coaching Academy and the Summit meeting. These totalled $120.322.32. Only one, for the Nationals was successful. These applications take quite a bit of time to prepare and gather the necessary information. Most Trusts do not sponsor overseas travel so we are limited to applying to those that do. Also they require that the persons travelling be named and that they receive the application at least 7 weeks prior to departure so they can make a decision. These conditions put the pressure on the process. With the downturn in the gaming machine industry we are finding that “declined due to insufficient funds in your district” is a common response. For world events the NZBSA does offer limited support to attend based on funds available and sponsorship gained. It is then up to the individual to make their mind up if they attend. Last year everyone was offered something and they then chose not to attend. If anyone has other contacts, sponsorship opportunities, grants, or donations please let us know so that we can be more productive in our support of players who may wish to attend world events rather than moan about it.

Shortly nominations for various awards will be sent out to the regions. These are traditionally presented at the Awards dinner held during the nationals. Make sure that people from your region are nominated and also plan to be there at the Awards dinner to support the winners and celebrate our sport. Details of this dinner will be with the nationals entry form.

Alan Parris NZBSA President