This page contains minutes of Executive Committee meetings, Objectives of the Executive Committee, and Standing Orders of the Executive Committee.
Minutes – 2015–16
Present - A.N.Walker (ANW) , S.Burke (SB) , M.Hill (MH) , A.Kenyon (AK) , R.Richmond (RR)
In attendance - S.Scott (SS)
[Other individual mentioned in the minutes - N.Graham (NG) , Peter Sherlock (PS) , B.Hayward (BH) ]
Meeting commenced at 7.38pm
1. SS was welcomed to the meeting
2. Minutes of previous meeting and matters arising
2.1 ANW commented that the minutes could be read as implying D.Sudar had resign from EC.
"from LMC" to be added to "and that of D.Sudar" to clarify.
2.2. TV / radio broadcast - date had not yet been fixed
2.3. Peter Sherlock (PS) had agreed to be the proxy for the ECF meeting on April 16th
3. ECF Finance Council April 16th
3.1 ECF budget 2016/17 and beyond (up to item 11)
RR was critical of the late appearance of the budget papers (Apr 6th) , the way the options were to be presented to Council and the absence or a specific agenda item and associated report on the grading proposals.
ECF papers present two options - Option A with increased spending and bronze / silver membership fee increases of £1, £3 and £1 in the next three years, and Option B with no spending or membership increases. EC favoured a "mix and match" approach to the spending increases. The suggested £3 increase in 2017/18 was unacceptable. Therefore:
Vote for a balanced budget.
This would be Option B given a straight choice between A & B
If there were individual votes on the increased spending (with the expectation that some would fail) vote for £1 increase in membership this year.
Vote AGAINST "Chess in Pubs" £4K and "Chess Roadshows" £2K - These reductions would balance the budget for 2016/17
Vote FOR the grading changes and National Chess Day.
On other matters PS to use his best judgement on whether ECF had made the case, and they offered value for money.
Grading - The proposed changes are for monthly published grades. To make this feasible leagues would be provided with League Management software. The total cost of the software was £10, to be depreciated over 5 years at £2K pa - so it effectively a one-off £1 on membership. RR had previously seen a demonstration of the software used by at least 3 leagues in the Thames Valley area. The job of the Records Secretary would be substantially reduced to validating results, and it would be possible for results to be on public display even quicker than now. It was possible for the software to be tweaked to deal with particular local rules (eg 0.5 game penalty for defaults above bottom board)
3.2 Other matters on the agenda (from item 12 onwards)
Item 13 Governance - Vote FOR all proposals. If there was an amendment to 13(d) to reduce the terms for Directors from 3 years to 2 vote for this.
Item 15 County Championship Rule Changes
Vote AGAINST 15(a) OPEN / MINOR national stages to be FIDE rated. It was wrong in principle to require gold membership for just two appearances
Vote AGAINST 15(b) split weekends for the national quarter and semi-finals. EC endorsed the view of NG that the current arrangements were satisfactory. Since Nottinghamshire was potentially one of the main beneficiaries of the proposed changes RR to prepare a statement for PS on why we were against.
On all other matters PS to use his best judgement.
Update 1 - Suggested statement to be read to the meeting on 15(b) - split weekends:
Nottinghamshire is one of only three counties fielding a full set of teams, and over the last three years we are second to Lancashire in the number of teams qualifying for the national stages. Yet we run off a player base of just over 200 graded players. If any County should be in favour of split weekends it is Nottinghamshire.
We are however happy with current arrangements and oppose the proposed rule change. It should be noted that the current rules allow teams to play on the Sunday of the scheduled weekend, but we have never needed to use this option.
We cannot field a MINOR and U180 team on the same day and the U180 team only takes up the available place in the national stages when the MINOR team fails to qualify. We would not run both teams in the national stages, which would be possible with split weekends for the quarter- and semi-finals. If both teams reached the final the one would have to default.
Robert Richmond , Nottinghamshire ECF delegate
Notes: The other Counties with a full set of teams are Essex & Lancashire.
Teams qualifying for the national stages in the past 3 years (minimum 10) : Lancs 18 , Notts 13 , Kent 12, Surrey 12 , Essex 11 , Middx 10 , Warks 10 ]
Update 2 - Decisions at ECF Council
Budget - Option A expenditure approved in total, without individual votes on suggested increases. Membership rates unchanged. So
a large deficit budget. The principle of monthly grading to be discussed at the AGM in October.
Item 13 Governance - All changes approved except for Board appointment of FIDE delegate.
Item 15a County Championship - FIDE rating for the OPEN (but not the MINOR) approved.
Item 15b County Championship - Split weekends approved without any discussion in the rush at the end of the meeting.
4. C4 fallout proposals
C4 itself was already on the agenda due to a proposed amendment from D.Sudar.
RR had previously circulated draft paper for RRM to EC and BH of the proposals agreed at the last meeting for comment
RR to revise the wording on section 1 dealing with "proposers". The proposal on "proposers" would guidelines for the relevant officers. rather than an amendment to the constitution.
RR to propose. ANW to second all proposals on behalf of EC, unless either BH indicated on behalf of Gambit that they wished to propose or second or some other seconder came forward.
The draft was then approved.
5. Order of Strength
Ken Morrison (Mansfield) had requested EC consider the issue of teams playing in order of strength in the league. EC confirmed that league rules are generally a matter for LMC.
There was a lively discussion. The prevailing view was that any simple "order of strength" rule proposal would likely fail at RRM as it would create problems for clubs preserving eligibility for lower teams, and probably lead to fewer teams in the league. EC declined to propose any such change and suggested that a combined order of strength and eligibility policy be investigated next season.
6. Logo Competition
EC approved a competition to design a new logo, with a suitable prize such as a digital clock for the winner.
ANW to set the rules, deadlines, prizes etc
RR wondered whether it could also include the moto "defensio est optima aggresio" which appears on the silver rook (County individual championship trophy). ANW to consider.
7. MCCU Rule changes
NG had submitted a paper on suggested changes to various MCCU rules:
Rule 2 - delete requirement for "subscribing membership of the association"
Rule 7 - delete "time fixed for". Rules 5 & 7 inconsistent in the starting point for the 1 hour default time
Rule 9a - delete requirement for arbiters to be present in play-off (East vs West) matches
Rule 9b - away team to request neutral venue
Rule 13 - OPEN / MINOR distinction to be abolished
Rule 20 - Improvements to the default penalty fines rule
Rule 21 - Treatment of ungraded players at the start of the season subsequently acquiring a grade
EC broadly endorsed these suggestions
NG to be invited to go to the MCCU AGM (Saturday June 25th, at Rolls Royce Social club,Derby) to present the proposals. If he wishes to go then EC appoints him as an extra delegate.
In the event of NG not wishing to attend then one of the other three delegates to act as lead officer to steer the proposals through MCCU rules did not specify who within a County could make proposals. So it could be the Secretary or MCCU delegate(s) PS to be consulted on the proposals before submission.
RR had previously suggested Rule 9a could be deleted in total
SB insisted it should be MCCU that collect fines in Rule 20
8. Child Protection Policy
ECF had recently adopted a 22-page revised policy. SB reported that adoption of this policy was now a requirement of the insurance policy. This required the appointment of at least two safeguarding officers. Policy to be taken to RRM for approval.
RR to approach Bob Garnett (WB & a former Director of Social Services) for further advice, such as a brief list of Do's & Dont's for clubs
9. Best Game Prize
Similar arrangements to last year were approved, with prizes in an open and U140 categories. SB to be lead officer
10. Braille note takers
SS reported that Steve Thacker had recently attended a Braille Chess Association meeting, which had recently banned the use of
EC agreed that this should not apply to NCA. The FIDE braille rules have not been changed, so no changes are required to the league rules
The RRM will be invited to note this policy.
11. Rules Revision Meeting Agenda
This was shaping up as follows:
C4 amendment from Drag Sudar
C5 consequential amendment arising from the new C4
Other rule changes ?
C4 fallout proposals
Child Protection policy
Braille note takers
Also, possibly, a debate on Order of strength
12. Officer Reports
12.1 County teams. NG had sent a written report. The MINOR, U160 , U140 , U120 and U100 teams had all won their respective sections in a near clean sweep of the MCCU titles. The respective opponents in the national stages are Norfolk, Norfolk or Surrey, Hertfordshire, Surrey and Essex (Semi-final). There would be no weakening of the U160 team in favour of the MINOR team as happened last year with the U160 & U180 teams, when both narrowly lost.
12.2 Congress - RR reported that entries were an excellent 131. The room capacity had now reduced to 172. Extra tables could be provided and total entries would be limited to 180. It seems very likely that Chris Budd would be unavailable on the Saturday so other volunteer(s) would be needed to do the catering. With the retirement of NG as chief arbiter RR asked whether the association would pay (out of congress profits) for controllers to do the ECF arbiter course. EC agreed. RR & SS likely attendees.
12.3 Junior - SS gave an update on junior matters. It was noted that NPSCA had recently lost a grant from Nottingham City Council. They were free to apply to NCA for a grant.
13.1 RR stated he was thinking of starting the league fixtures in the week commencing Monday Sept 12th. This would leave the
week commencing Monday 5th Sept available for a possible charity event very close to the National Chess Day on Saturday Sept 10th,
and as a curtain raiser to the season. Bright ideas welcome...
13.2 Death of Cyril Johnson - NG would represent the association at the funeral.The association to buy a card.
13.3 Date of next meeting and AGM to be determined. [The AGM is usually the second full week in July - w/c Monday 11th July this year]. West Nottingham to host AGM
Meeting closed at 10.20pm
Present: A.N.Walker (Chair) (ANW), A.Kenyon (AK) S.Burke (SB), M.Hill (MH) , R.Richmond (RR)
In attendance: B.Hayward (BH)
Available for Consultation: N.Graham (NG)
1. BH was welcolmed to the meeting
2. Minutes and Matter Arising from previous meeting not otherwise on the agenda
Clarification of 6.1 "There was no support for calling an SGM" meant in the event of there being insufficient clubs to requisition a SGM then EC would not arrange one anyway.
There were no matters arising
3. EC Membership - NG confirmed his resignation from EC. The committee noted with regret his resignation, and that of D.Sudar from LMC. The Committee now had two vacancies and is still looking for replacements.
4. C4 Survey
11 responses received, 5 from Gambit and 6 others, all from different clubs.
The criteria for taking ideas forward was the likelihood of proposals getting the necessary majority at a General Meeting
Q1 Proposers from clubs should be broadened
Agree 9 Disagree 2
Action - Guidelines on who can propose, to include team captains, to be proposed
Q2 Proposals could be seconded on the day
Agree 2 Disagree 8
Action - None
Q3 RRM can refer proposed League Rule changes to AGM in exceptional circumstances
Agree 5 Disagree 5
Action - Constitutional amendment to permit this to be proposed. Any resolution to "Refer" at a Rules Revision Meeting (RRM) would need 2/3rd majority [The same threshold for suspending the constitution at the AGM to allow consideration of a rule change]
Q4 The threshold for requisitioning an SGM should be reduced
Agree 7 Disagree 3
Action - Constitutional amendment to reduce threshold to 4 or 33% to be proposed, [Three respondents had specifically mentioned support for these figures]
Q5 EC should be wholely elected
Agree 8 Disagree 2
Action - Amendment to EC Standing Orders to make EC wholely elected to be proposed
Q6 - Post of Constitutional Advisor be created
Agree 6 Disagree 5
Action - None
Q7 - Alternative means to call an SGM for reviewing General Meeting decisions
Agree 5 Disagree 6
Action - None. In the event of a C4 scale dispute the President would explore the appointment of (say) a 3-person independent panel to investigate, to try and avoid the need for complaining clubs to seek an SGM.
Proposals arising from Q1,Q3,Q4 & Q5 would be put to the next RRM. RR to draft.
4. Child Protection Policy
Revised ECF Policy awaited
SB - DBS clearance illegal if you don't need it
RR - DBS clearances need to via 3rd party, and likely to be expensive
5. Rapidplay (Jan 31st)
RR stated enties were now 52, and outlined the controlling arrangements.
Computerised Pairings - NG to provide more details of Swiss Master. Possible experiment at next County Championship.
6. Event Dates for 2016/17
4NCL dates for next year were not yet available so not yet possible to determine preferred dates
County Championship - British Rapidplay will be 26/27 Nov. There maybe no satisfactory November date. If so RR to explore an early to Mid-October date
Congress - Easter weekend is 15/16 Apr in 2017. Congress would therefore be 25/26 March or 1st/2nd April.
7. Future meeting
EC - Friday 8th April.
RRM - West Nottingham to host
(a) NCA members had taken part in a TV programme (details currently embargoed)
(b) RR would be unable to attend the ECF Meeting on April 16th due to the clash with the congress. [Anyone wishing to be the replacement delegate should contact RR]
(c) County Matches - NG stated 3 teams had already qualified for the National Stages and it was likely that the other 2 would also qualify. So all 5 teams could be playing on quarter-final day May 21st. The U180 match vs Warwickshire would go ahead for the MCCU title.
(d) AK had updated the ECF Yearbook entry
(e) NG was thanked for his hospitality
Present : N.Graham (NG) , S.Burke (SB) , A.Kenyon (AK) , R.Richmond (RR) , A.Walker (ANW)
Apologies: M.Hill (MH)
NG was elected Chairman and RR as Minute Secretary
3. Minutes of Previous Meeting (July 2nd)
3.1. Various amendments were agreed and then the minutes were then approved
3.2. Matters Arising
(7) AGM - Best Game Prizes - A.Walker , J.Molyneux , U140 D.Padvis
(12) National Chess Day (Sept 12) - Event held in the atrium of Nottingham Railway Station. Notts TV had turned up. NG seeking video of the event from them.
(13) Website - SB had invited the submission of games for publication. Twitter account - NG to discuss with Tim Walker
Also - National County Championship Finals - U100 team were national champions. U140 team were Runners Up.
4. EC Matters
4.1. ANW and MH confirmed as Co-opted members
4.2 ANW elected as President.
4.3. Minutes to be circulated very shortly after the meeting, with a week for approval. The aim is to get them on the website ASAP.
4.4. Back minutes to be added to the website
4.5. Any non-members wishing to attend an EC meeting can make that request known to the Secretary.
5. County Championship - Nov 21/22
RR would collect the equipment after the Lincs match (Oct 31st) and return either Monday 23rd Nov (WN2 vs WB1) or in good time on day of the Warks match (Dec 5th). D.Coates had yet to set up the on-line entry on the website. [ Update - it was being done as we met ]
6. League Rule C4
This was the first meeting of EC since the AGM and subsequent controversy about the passing of an amended League Rule C4
6.1. There was no support for the calling of an SGM.
6.2. LMC would be reviewing the impact of the revised rule and it was expected that this would be taken to RRM.
6.3. RR to issue a consultation paper on behalf of EC on the various constitutional issues raised and lessons to be learned.
6.4. Brian Hayward had suggested the need for a Constitutional Ombudsman. RR to write to BH asking whether he wished to pursue the idea and have it included in the consultation.
7. ECF AGM (17th Oct)
7.1. RR to vote against the SCCU proposal on Entry Fees to the County Championship
[Update - proposal deferred for lack of time]
Chief Executive - P.Ehr vs "None of the above". Vote for "None" [Update - "None" 172 , Ehr 119 ]
Commercial Director - R.Kane vs "None of the above". Vote for "None" [ Update - "None 226 , Kane 74]
Home Director - A,Holowczak vs J.Foley. Vote for.Holowczak [Update - Holowczak 250 , Foley 42]
International Director - D.Openshaw vs M.Pein. Vote for Openshaw [ Update - Openshaw 142 , Pein 164]
Non-Executive Directors - 2 from 3 of J.Clissold, J.Denning and J.Rudd. Vote for Clissold & Denning [Update Denning 281, Clissold 261 , Rudd 22]
After discussion the recommendations were agreed.
[Update 1 - On the day, and after some dithering, I voted for Pein rather than Openshaw. Malcolm gave a better presentation and
satisfactorily answered questions about potential conflicts of interest and the time he had available for the job - RR]
[Update 2 - Revised figures included for the International Director election, changing the result. Other revised figures not included]
7.3 Delegate Expenses
The principle of reimbursing expenses for attending ECF and MCCU meetings was reiterated
RR stated he had not claimed expenses in previous years and would continue not to claim.
8. Insurance / Child Protection Policy
EC think we currently do not need a Child Protection policy, but were still investigating. NG tries to avoid unaccompanied juniors being driven to County matches by adults who are not their parents. It would useful to issue guidance to clubs. Bob Garnett (a former Director of Childrens services) had recently given advice to West Bridgford and confirmed aspects with Notts CC Social Sevices. This could form the basis of any such guidance. AK to find out what West Nottingham did.
It was noted that ECF are revising their child protection policy and there was a resolution at tomorrows ECF AGM from SCCU asking for the insurance policy (which we take) be put out to tender because the child protection aspects were too onerus.
[Update - A statement on Child Protection had appeared on the ECF website, stating the draft of a new policy, compliant with the insurance policy requirements, had now been prepared, and the approved final version would be circulated in due course. The SCCU resolution was withdrawn. The previous insurance policy requirements were "impossible for a club to meet" had been amended to "something more reasonable". The resolution had been "overtaken by events" - ie the coming revision to ECF child protection policy]
9. Next Meeting
In January, date to be determined. NG to host.