PRESIDENT INSTRUCTS COMMISSION TO AMEND MINUTES – posted 20 March 2013
The President of British Cycling has ordered the Cycle Speedway Commission not to discuss specific disciplinary cases at its meetings.In addition the Commission has been instructed to remove references to such discussions from the minutes of its last two meetings.
“It is the Board’s final decision that these items will not be included in the final Commission minutes to be placed on record” wrote BrIan Cookson OBE.“The Board decided that discussion of disciplinary cases goes beyond the Commission’s remit, so I would appreciate your help to see that the Commission refrains from discussing such matters in the future.”
The President’s comments come after some Cycle Speedway Commissioners expressed their disquiet at the level of fines imposed on cycle speedway members.British Cycling has imposed fines of £1,000 on Robert Bandosz and £500 on East Park following misdemeanours.
SUBSTITUTES IN ELITE LEAGUE – posted 3 March 2013
As reported yesterday, the Cycle Speedway Commission has shelved plans to introduce the 3,2,1 match scoring system but have agreed to bring in the optional nine and ten substitute rule with immediate effect.
The Commission also endorsed the introduction of an Elite League pairs event which will take place under floodlights on a Saturday evening at the beginning of the season starting in March 2014 featuring one pair from each Elite League club.
British Cycling is expected to make a further announcement about their plans for the Elite and proposed Premier League in the near future.
COMMISSION U-TURN ON 3, 2,1 – posted 2 March 2013
The Cycle Speedway Commission has changed its mind on the Elite scoring system.
Following this afternoon’s meeting in Birmingham, the sport’s national administrators unanimously agreed to ditch their plan to introduce the controversial 3,2,1 match scoring system. Instead the league will continue to use the traditional two points for a win, one for a draw and no points for losing.
We’ll bring your more news from this afternoon’s meeting which was one of the shortest on record, lasting just over three hours.
COMMISSION TO MEET ON SATURDAY – posted 27 February 2013
British Cycling's Cycle Speedway Commission meets on Saturday to discuss a wide range of topics ahead of the new season including the outcomes from January’s Development Conference held at Birmingham’s Alexander Stadium.Top of the agenda will be the Commission’s response to the ‘Review of Top Tier Racing’ which was enthusiastically presented by the report's author Ian Grange at the conference.
Most pressing will be the Commission's stance on the controversial 3,2,1 match points scoring system to be introduced in the Elite League this season.
Critics have branded the system as 'pointless' but it is thought some leading officials still favour the new arrangement which awards teams a league point for being good losers by restricting defeats to six points or less.However 3,2,1 gained little support at the national conference, indeed it is widely rumoured that six of the seven Elite League teams are against the new system.
The lukewarm response to 3,2,1 leaves the Commission in something of a dilemma. On the one hand they will be keen to avoid another Elite League u-turn, so prevalent last year, but at the same time will be anxious to do what's right for the sport.
It should be an interesting debate.
The Commission is also expected to discuss how to retain and develop the excellent cycle speedway Elite League coverage on Sky Television for another year.Post publication of the 2012 annual report is also expected to be on the agenda.
DOUBTS AGAIN OVER ANNUAL REPORT – posted 10 February 2013
There is growing speculation that the re-introduction of the annual cycle speedway report has been short-lived.
After a break of four years, British Cycling revived the report in 2011 after discontinuing it in 2007.British Cycling never explained their reason for withdrawing the document which is seen as a key communication between the governing body and its grass-root membership.
The annual report normally covers such areas as the Commission's overview of the year and its aspirations for the future. Traditionally it also included a competition review and membership analysis as well as principal officer-related reports on such things as Development, Operations, Publicity, Referees, Regional reports and so on.It was also the opportunity for the chairman to address the sport directly, an opportunity Colin Docker took last year.
According to the 2011 report “... the end of season report needed to be compiled after the regional AGM’s to allow every club and every region the opportunity to discuss the season just completed, identify any areas of concern and provide suggested solutions. It would also give them the opportunity to raise any questions they may have for the Commission. It was therefore decided that to allow enough time for this to happen the annual conference needed to be moved into the New Year; creating sufficient time to publish the report, answer any immediate queries and create an agenda for the conference.”
TONY BARRY IS NEW CHAIRMAN – posted 14 December 2012
Tony Barry (pictured left) receiving an award from British Cycling president Brian Cookson.
Tony Barry, the new chairman of the Cycle Speedway Commission, has a long association with ‘mainstream’ cycle racing.A British Cycling member for over 40 years, Tony was British Cycling road race team manager in the Nineties heading the national team at the Peace Race 1991, Japan World Cup 1995, Ruta Mexico 1995 as well as other major international events in Ireland, South Africa, Switzerland and Sweden.
A former Training, Health and Safety Manager in the Construction Industry, Tony has also been a top event organiser including running the Birkenhead Park Criteriums series for 28 years, New Brighton Prom Crits, National Juvenile Champion Organiser as well as many events in his native North-West where he has held virtually every administrative role going including position of Chairman, President, Secretary, Road Race Secretary, Divisional Councillor and Competition Co-ordinator. He is also Divisional Commissaire/Judge, National Commissaire Road and National Mountain Bike Commissaire.
Not surprisingly, Tony was awarded the BCF Divisional Badge of Honour 2003 for his services to cycle sport in the North West.
Born in Lancashire in 1945 and now a member of the New Brighton cycling club on Merseyside, Tony holds several professional qualifications including a HNC Construction Management, the British Safety Council’s Diploma in Safety Management and is a Member of The Royal Society of Health and Member of Institute of Risk and Safety Management.He also has a Diploma in Sports Psychology which he attained at Newcastle University and the Northern Institute of Massage Remedial Massage qualification.
Aged 67, married with three children, Tony, has always placed great emphasis on entry-level cycling.
“I feel that grass roots must be catered for, with more emphasis on enjoying cycling. The winning still is good but not everyone can win” he said.
NEW CHAIRMAN FOR CS COMMISSION – posted 13 December 2012
The Cycle Speedway Commission has a new chairman.
Following a reshuffle of several chairmen posts for the various British Cycling Commissions, the new chair for the British Cycling Cycle Speedway Commission is Board member Tony Barry.
Cycle speedway administrators attending the Cycle Speedway Development Conference in Birmingham on 20th January will have opportunity to meet Tony, many for the first time.
TOUGH DECISIONS FACE COMMISSION – posted 20 November 2012
Cycle Speedway Commissioners face some tough decisions when they meet in Birmingham tomorrow.
Top of their agenda will be the composition of the 2013 Elite League but there are many other weighty issues to consider including the future of the Women's League, proposed changes to the Youth and Junior League and venues for the 2013 national finals.
The Elite League is expected to generate a lively discussion. Seven teams have re- applied to join the league but it is widely anticipated that the Commission want to limit numbers to six to allow more time on the calendar for regional, development style events.
It is widely rumoured that Birmingham could be the odd-one-out as their Perry Barr circuit does come up to league standards. However in a dramatic bid to safeguard their Elite future, the club plan an audacious switch to nearby Tividale Sports Centre. Whether the last minute move will make any difference remains to be seen. To compound matters, Leicester are struggling for riders after star riders Lukasz Nowacki and Adam Peck left the club recently. Luckily for Leicester, riding strength is not a consideration in Elite League criteria scoring so if Birmingham do get the elbow, Leicester could benefit by signing several of their displaced riders.
The future of the ailing Women's League is also expected to be a hot topic of discussion. This year’s event was dogged by absenteeism which forced organisers to cobble together alternative programmes. However not everyone is convinced that a new style pairs formula is the best way forward.
Several pundits still favour the existing format involving regional teams, if necessary changing to the four-a-side formula and linking the four match series to other top events, preferably on Sundays. However any such plan would have to have the full commitment of the regions, in particular the Midlands who, despite having some of the best women racers in the game, dipped out of two of the four matches this season.
The main topic of discussion revolving around the BYJL will be whether or not to revert to the one venue format. There has been an energetic campaign, particularly in the South West, to revert back to the one track arrangement, so it will be interesting to hear the Commission's view on this one.
The venue for the sport's blue riband event, Bank Holiday Monday's senior individual final, will also be a big talking point. The Midlands regional committee, who are due to host the weekend on the traditional rotational basis, have given their strong endorsement to Coventry but some senior officials have been cautious about holding the event in Coventry because of the club’s limited permanent facilities.
A top official from British Cycling met with Coventry representatives recently to inspect facilities and discuss proposed organisational arrangements for the 2013 British Finals ahead of tomorrow’s all-important Commission meeting.The delegation inspected the Hearsall Common track to look at the track conditions, traffic management issues and other logistical matters.They also visited the nearby DeVere Village hotel which will act as headquarters for the championships as well as providing luxury changing facilities for the competitors.
COMMISSION TO DISCUSS SPORT'S POOR DISCIPLINARY RECORD - posted 20 November 2012
Cycle speedway leaders have been asked for their views on what can be done to improve the sport's poor disciplinary record.The new initiative follows publication of a paper at the recent National Council meeting giving an overview of the new disciplinary rules.
Commission chairman Dr George Gilbert, who is also British Cycling’s
Disciplinary Officer, has urged fellow Commissioners to give this matter urgent consideration ahead of Wednesday’s Commission meeting in Birmingham.
"36% of all disciplinary cases were cycle speedway ones" George Gilbert told fellow Commissioners. "This compares to only making up around 2% of the membership of British Cycling. If you rephrase those numbers in terms of ‘per head of population’, it shows that cycle speedway riders cause nearly 30 times as many disciplinary issues as all other types of riders put together.
“We've got an item about disciplinary matters on the agenda for discussion at our CS Commission meeting on Wednesday, so it would be useful if you could please have a think through in advance on what we can do about it. In particular, it would be good to get your views on what the causes are of such a high level of misconduct in cycle speedway relative to other cycling disciplines, and what can be changed in the way the sport is run to reduce the level of misconduct that occurs" he added.
BC COMMITTED TO TWO NATIONAL LEAGUES - posted 27 March 2012
Cycle speedway's top brass are still committed to the principle of promoting two national leagues in 2013.
Despite this year's fiasco which saw the launch and subsequent abandonment of the four -team Premier League, British Cycling is still planning to promote an Elite and Premier League next season. The Cycle Speedway Commission endorsed its policy at Saturday's national committee meeting in Birmingham.
TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP KNOCKED OUT - posted 27 March 2012
Britain's oldest cycle speedway competition is to have a new name and will play second fiddle to the Club Championship.
At its meeting on Saturday, British Cycling's Cycle Speedway Commission ruled that the British team championship, first contested in 1950, will now be known as the British Team Knock Out Cup. Its standing will be officially relegated below the British Club Championship in terms of status. It will however have more importance than either the Elite or Premier Leagues.
Announcing the changes British Cycling stated:
"At the request of some from within the sport, the Commission have drawn up the following order of status of the main team/club championships:
* British Club Championship * British Team Knock Out Cup (Revised Title) * Elite League * Premier League * Regional Leagues"
CHOICE OF CLUB - posted 27 March 2012
In another shift from standard practice, with effect from 2013 riders will have the option to ride national individual competitions for either their primary or secondary registered club.
ANNUAL REPORT PUBLISHED ONLINE - posted 23 January 2012
If you haven't seen it yet, Cycle Speedway's Annual Report 2011 has been published on British Cycling's website. If you are interested in the sport's management, take a look at
NEW CHAIRMAN RELISHING "AMAZING OPPORTUNITIES" - posted 12 December 2011
British Cycling has recently announced that Dr George Gilbert will succeed Colin Docker as chairman of the Cycle Speedway Commission in the New Year.
George is well known in mainstream cycling circles. Not only is he a member of the British Cycling's National Board and chairman of BC's Eastern Region but he is also a national commissaire and organiser of several major youth events.
Speaking exclusively to Spokesman-Online earlier today George said
"In terms of my background, as an athlete I had a moderately successful career, winning a couple of regional championship titles and competing in a handful of minor international events, before long term ill health forced retirement. Having got a huge amount out of sport when younger, I've dedicated my time since to putting as much as I can back in.
"My involvement in cycle speedway goes back a couple of years and have been a regular reader of Spokesman for some time. Indeed, when I was elected as chair of the Eastern Region, one of my very first actions was to visit a cycle speedway event. For the last few years I have worked with Mel Perkins and others in the East to help promote the sport within British Cycling.
"My appointment as chair of the Cycle Speedway Commission comes at a really exciting time for the sport with the recent SKY coverage and forthcoming European championship events that will be taking place during the Olympic period. The profile of the sport has never been higher and I'm really looking forward to listening to what the cycle speedway community want to do to make the most of this amazing opportunity and working with the Commission to help achieve it" said George enthusiastically.
CHAIRMAN'S FAREWELL - posted 9 December 2011
After three years as chairman of the Cycle Speedway Commission, Colin Docker is moving on to head up British Cycling's new Disciplinary Panel. Colin wanted to say his goodbyes and wish the sport every success for the future. Here's what he told Spokesman earlier today
"Following the British Cycling Board meeting on 7 December, in which all Commissions are reviewed, the Board confirmed the appointment of George Gilbert to the chair of the Cycle Speedway Commission.
"I am to head the Disciplinary Panel, which will deal centrally with all the disciplines within BC, under the new regulations which come into effect 1 January 2012, as confirmed and approved at the last National Council.
"After three years as chair of the Cycle Speedway Commission, I have mixed feelings about moving on, but I do recognise that change and the refreshment of ideas is a positive thing, and I am certain that George will bring a positive and open approach to the job, and already has good local connections with cycle speedway through the Eastern Region board. Most importantly, he will have the continued support of the excellent Paul West, so continuity is also assured.
"Personally, I would like to thank all the Commission members for their open and friendly approach, their robust discussion, and the unreserved friendship they have offered, which has been reciprocated. We have been through some challenging times and issues, and I think today are stronger, and will continue to gain strength.
"The work of the development group, led by Ian Brown, and the evolution of the coaching scheme, are all very positive pointers to a solid future for the sport. There is a huge amount of goodwill and good sense that I have encountered in visits to various events, some exciting promotions, splendid venues. Just to pick out a few, Poole for it's lovely setting, and great atmosphere, Leicester with all those flowers and an excellent clubroom, Horspath with the cricketers alongside (and Geoff giving his all on the mic), are just a few of the things that stick in the mind.
"Norwich, on a cloudy day in the park, what an atmosphere at the national individual final, and a climax that could hardly have been scripted better. A joyful day for Andy Angell, and the quiet smile on Ian Grange's face as everything worked beautifully. Plus, of course, all those teas and coffees that you are forced to drink served by smiling helpers. It's a tough life!
"I will miss the Commission, but hope I will be able to get to some race meetings next season, and renew pleasantries with all the good people who are at the heart of the sport.
"I wish everyone luck for 2012 onwards, and that you all achieve all you want to in the future."