THE Bradford Mutual Sunday School League have tightened up their procedures over the admission of new clubs.
For the 2015 season onwards, clubs wanting to join must apply by August 1 of the previous season, thereby giving the league's ground committee time to inspect the ground and the club's facilities before reporting back to the league's executive committee.
Then, if the club are seen as suitable, they will be invited to submit their case – both in writing and in person – to the league's October meeting.
If they are not seen as suitable (they must also submit a registration form, pay fees and provide one or two umpires), the club will be rejected before the October meeting.
The prospective new club will not be allowed to attend the league's annual meeting in November, when a vote will be taken as to whether they join or not. But there is the right of appeal to the league's executive committee.
This new rule was passed 30-1 at an extraordinary general meeting of the league at Clayton Rugby League Club.
Under the league's old rules, a club could apply up to seven days before the annual meeting and attend that meeting.
League chairman Nick Spachis said: "We feel that we have been caught with our pants around our ankles with our old rule.
"Clubs have said that they have got a ground and umpires and then we have found out that they haven't.
"This will give us a proper timescale for clubs applying to join the league.
"Also prospective clubs attending the annual meeting had a mesmerising effect on the clubs who were there who felt that they could not vote against them."
A new rule regarding existing clubs was passed 34-0.
They must now provide evidence of ground availability for the following season by November's annual meeting and if this does not happen, the club will be deemed to have resigned from the league.
In addition, the league will not accept any change of ground after the January meeting, where the league's fixtures and cup draws will have been decided.
Umpires secretary Graham Langton, wearing his previous hat as fixtures secretary, said: "We had to do the fixtures three times last winter.
"Bradford Moor were going to play at Tong Park Esholt and, after I had completed the fixtures with great difficulty to make sure they were not clashing with the Dales Council League, I found out in the second week in December that they couldn't play there.
"I then did the fixtures again normally when I believed they were using Manningham Mills but had to draft them again so TABS and Bradford Moor did not clash when both were using Thornton Grammar School."