Sad BCA, BAPPSS saga

Boycott and suffer the consequences.

So after the Barbados Association of Principals of Public Secondary Schools (BAPPSS) withdrew Combermere and Foundation from playing the Final of the Barbados Cricket Association (BCA) Sir Everton Weekes Under-13 Championship at Bank Hall on May 25 due to dissatisfaction over a couple amended regulations relating to the 2017 domestic season, the BCA decided to pull stumps.

Look, there is a measure of sadness surrounding this saga.

In a Press release on Monday night, the BCA said the tournament “will be concluded without a winner”.

Then on Tuesday night, the president of BAPPSS, Vere Parris, gave his take on the issue as a guest on Mid Wicket on the Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation. He stated that “Combermere and Foundation can get together and play their final”, while stressing that the “BCA does not run schools”.

Parris also claimed that the BCA was “acting more like old colonial masters”.

Last week, this column outlined some aspects of the dispute.

Now, it is vital to give the full BCA statement and also share views expressed by Parris.

The BCA said it regretted the decision by BAPPSS to withdraw the schools from the Under-13 Final “without discussion or proper notification to the organisers”.

“After spending much time and effort in planning and arranging this tournament for the benefit of the schoolboys, it was unfortunate that BAPPSS took that decision to deprive the said young cricketers from participating in such a final which serves as a significant part of their development,” the release said.

The BCA listed the following as facts.

1. The rules governing the tournament were sent to all Schools and clubs on April 21, 2017.

2. On the evening of May 24, 2017, the BCA received a call from one of the representatives of BAPPSS informing the BCA that BAPPSS would be boycotting the final. The following morning, which was the same day of the final, the BCA received a letter from BAPPSS confirming that the Schools in question would not be taking part in the final. The letter also indicated that BAPPSS had some grievances arising from playing conditions issued on April 21, 2017.

3. The grievances outlined had nothing to do with the rules governing the Sir Everton Weekes Under-13 competition and, consequently, had nothing to do with the boys who worked hard to reach the final. Yet, BAPPSS stated in their letter ‘We are requesting an urgent meeting between the Board of the BCA and BAPPSS/ASCC to resolve these issues. Until then, the U-13 Final will not be played’. It is unfortunate that BAPPSS chose to use those boys as a negotiating tool on a matter unrelated to the Under-13 competition.

4. The BCA did not receive any correspondence from BAPPSS on the issue of the rules prior to May 25, 2017.

5. All arrangements were already in place for the final at a cost of over $7,000.

6. The U-13 tournament proceeded without any concerns being expressed, until the said phone call and letter referred to above.

“The Barbados Cricket Association has considered all circumstances which led us to this point and has decided that the Under-13 tournament will be concluded without a winner.

“In their letter to the BCA, BAPPSS informed of their grievances and, at the same time, advised that they would not be playing the final until the BCA meets with them to discuss the matter. In effect, the letter attempted to place the BCA in a position where it would be holding discussions under duress.

“The BCA stands ready to discuss with member clubs and schools any concerns they may have, but insists that such discussions should take place by way of a collaborative process rather than being precipitated by extreme action designed to place the BCA on the proverbial ‘back foot’.

“The Barbados Cricket Association will be making arrangements to meet with BAPPSS to discuss this matter in the context of overall Cricket Development and preparation of the nation’s young cricketers for higher national duty. However, it must be clear to all parties that, while the BCA believes it is prudent to take into consideration the views of all clubs and schools, it reserves the right to set the rules for all competitions held under its auspices”.

Now, check what Parris said on Tuesday.

“If the BCA has decided that it will not play that game, that game can still be played,” he remarked.

“Combermere and Foundation can get together and play their final. If they want to play their final, they can play their final.

“It will not be under the auspices of the BCA if that is their intention but it doesn’t stop the youngsters from getting the opportunity to play against one another and get the benefits of all the competition and whatever else would go along with it and we will be prepared to set up that game.”

Parris, who is also the long-standing principal of Combermere, went further as he referred to a statement made by BCA Director of Cricket, Steven Leslie.

“I want to make it very clear that the BCA does not run schools,” he stressed.

“I also want to make it very clear that in 2015 we had some issues with the BCA, which we met over. There was a lot of correspondence that went backward and forward at that time dealing with that matter.

“And we had what we considered certain agreements and the rest of the 2015 season was played without any further difficulty. Then to find on the day before the new season for 2017 begins that you have changes to the regulations which go against what we agreed back in 2015 would suggest that the BCA is acting more like old colonial masters.

“Even in a statement that I heard made by Mr. Leslie, he talked about this control and it seems as though they really want to just control. This is the age of negotiation and we’ve got to be prepared to negotiate and the schools cricket cannot be just simply run by a set of rules that will disadvantage school cricketers and that will not go in our opinion in terms of the development of the young cricketers or the development of the sport. It will not go well,” Parris said.

Clearly, there are still scars as a result of what transpired two years ago when at the start of the season, BAPPSS boycotted all matches involving school teams in BCA competitions due to a selection issue.

When the promotion/relegation system was introduced in 2009, the BCA probably did not brace itself for the likelihood of school teams winning the Intermediate division and the repercussions.

So what happened? Foundation captured the Intermediate division title in 2013 and moved on to the First division in 2014. Combermere won the Intermediate division in 2014 and went “up and on” to Division 1 in 2015.

Both schools, with the backing of BAPPSS, insisted on playing their best teams while at the same time the BCA reckoned that the strongest Barbados Youth (formerly known as Combined Schools) teams should be picked for all competitions – Elite, First, Twenty20 and Super Cup.

A section of Rule 18 (a) under Membership of Clubs and Composition of teams has not gone down well with BAPPSS.

It states: “Where a player is selected to represent the Barbados Youth in any BCA administered domestic competition but instead plays for his school, all points gained by said school in that series shall be forfeited.”

Furthermore, in an effort to “take control”, the BCA has introduced a regulation, which states: “From the BCA 2017 season, no school team shall be eligible for promotion beyond the Intermediate Division”.

For BAPPSS, this will not serve as an inspiration for school teams.

Ironically, with the latest saga, Foundation and Combermere were the sides set to contest the Under-13 Final.

But the issue is much bigger than those two schools.

Can the BCA, therefore, brace itself to be further placed on the ‘proverbial back foot’?

Keith Holder is a veteran, award-winning freelance sports journalist, who has been covering local, regional and international cricket since 1980 as a writer and commentator. He has compiled statistics on the Barbados Cricket Association (BCA) Division 1 (now Elite) championship for three-and-a-half decades and is responsible for editing the BCA website ( Holder is also the host of the cricket Talk Show, Mid Wicket, on the Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation 100.7 FM on Tuesday nights. Email:

6 Responses to Sad BCA, BAPPSS saga

  1. Greengiant June 3, 2017 at 6:16 pm

    Mr. Parris, ” the B C A don’t run school and you or B A P P S S don’t run cricket “. You and your association of principals are rude and out of order, and sadly no example to the very young people from whom you expect to have respect for your authority. Can your students refuse to enter a class in protest of any conditions? I’m sure you teach them to ” comply and then complain “, you all need to lead by example.

    Wonder what’s the take from the N C P T A, the Teacher’s unions and the Ministry? Silence of course, that’s why we have the deviant problems, because we still think silence is golden. Well in this case it’s not. Then you are going to further use the children as pawns to organize your own play off. Guess you will be giving the students involved time off to play. Will the Ministry sanction such?

    That’s why the level of discipline at your school is constantly in question. The whole education sector wanted to string up Jeff Broomes some years ago but they’re silent on this matter. I appeal to the parents of those young boys to withdraw your children from any attempt by Mr. Parris and his band of saboteurs to have their own egotistic play off. Some years ago the schools started to control the football league and since then the standard of school football has declined beyond recognition. Don’t let this happen to cricket and I suspect this is the first introductory being attempted.
    The B C A is currently investing heavily in youth cricket and your differences should be settled in the board rooms. Let the kids compete. Shame on you and your association Mr. Parris.

  2. Logician June 3, 2017 at 11:00 pm

    Sigh. One strong handed approach has been met by another. This matter needs to be handled by a third party arbitrator. Both associations should start with the premise that the children need to be the priority. Forget your egos. Smh.

  3. Alex Alleyne June 4, 2017 at 4:49 am

    IT’S ALL PARTY POLITICS, that’s what Killing off everything in BIM.
    People who were once strong DLP now become BLP , now new parties on board got member from both sides all in one . Knives coming from all sides , persons trying to get into PARLIMENT to get rich quick along with few friends. In doing so they don’t care who “suffer” or get hurt and care less of COUNTRY.

  4. Greengiant June 4, 2017 at 7:47 am

    You think @ Alex Alleyne? I don’t think so, not electoral politics, but indeed the politics of social egos. They want to get their own way, the same way they believe the U W I have since a certain former member of staff there got a big pick at the B C A.

  5. harry turnover June 7, 2017 at 8:25 am

    Vere Parris… Combermere and Foundation can play each other BUT what FINAL are you talking about ?….it would ONLY be a match BETWEEN the two teams organised by those two Schools it therefore CANNOT be a FINAL ORGANISED by BAPSS because the other Schools DID NOT PARTICIPATE and therefore CAN OBJECT.

  6. Tony Waterman June 10, 2017 at 1:49 am

    @harry turnover!!! What are you Smoking?? Thrse two Teams had fought hard and were rewareded by being OFFICIALLY Eligible to play each other for U13 Suprmacy, so if they did play even without the blessing of the BCA, it would at least give the Youngsters a chance to complete the competition.

    Both seemingly Adult Groups are acting like Bullies, and should be ashamed of themselves, robbing these Youngsters of their joy and pride.

    the two School and their Parent Teachers associations should get together and give the Youngsters their Game.


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