Falling entry numbers and financial stringency have put pressure on the future of the crown green Gambart Baines Challenge Cup competition.
Run on the Alexandra Gardens greens and sponsored by Scarborough Council, which had to find savings of £3.4 million in 2013/14 financial year and similar figures for the two following years, the competition had a £1,973.60 deficit in 2012. The deficit was met from the Leisure Services Revenue Budgets.
Entries were down to 459, with the cost of petrol for entrants from outside the area, poor summer weather and competition from other tournaments potential factors in the reduction of 100 entries on 2011.
At the competition’s annual meeting changes were decided in an attempt to secure its future.
The financial acknowledgement of the efforts of members of local clubs in running the competition - on 18 qualifying days and the grand final - is to be reduced from £1,175 to £500. The indoor bowls centre will receive a flat rate of £150 for administration services instead of 50p per entry (£216.50 last year). Entry fees are to be increased from £6.50 to £7.
To make the competition more attractive to a greater number of players, the prize distribution is to change.
The winner will receive £750 (instead of £1,000) and the runner-up £400 (instead of £500), but prizes for other stages in the grand finals will increase.
Qualifying rounds this year will be held on Bank Holiday Mondays May 27 and August 26 and on each Thursday May 30 to September 12, with the final on Saturday September 21.