NCBA CONSTITUTION 2014.pdf
1. TITLE AND CONSTITUENT MEMBERSHIP
1.1 The Nottinghamshire Contract Bridge Association, hereinafter the Association, is
an Association as defined in the Bye Laws of the English Bridge Union Ltd,
1.2 The Association is a Constituent Member of the English Bridge Union Ltd,
hereinafter the EBU, and shall abide with its Bye Laws, Rules and Policies.
2. OBJECTS OF THE ASSOCIATION
2.1 To promote Duplicate Contract Bridge in the County of Nottinghamshire and the
encouragement of inter-club, inter-county and national competitions.
2.2 To employ the funds of the Association in the best interests of the game of
Duplicate Contract Bridge, having regard to the fact that the Association is a nonprofit
3. MANAGEMENT OF THE ASSOCIATION
3.1 The management of the affairs of the Association shall be vested in the following
(a) Chairperson (who acts as the chairperson of the Executive Committee)
(d) County Captain
(e) Chief Tournament Director
and not more than eight other members of the Association, who together will form
the Executive Committee. All Officers and other Executive Committee members
must be elected annually at the Annual General Meeting [AGM] by a simple majority
of those paid up members of the Association present.
3.2 The Executive Committee shall meet from time to time as it deems fit, but not
fewer than four times within a calendar year. A quorum shall consist of six
members and, in the event of a tie on votes cast, the chairperson of the meeting,
shall have the casting vote. The President of the Association, appointed as
paragraph 6.2, may attend but not vote at such meetings.
3.3 The Executive Committee shall have the power to co-opt and to fill any casual
3.4 The Executive Committee may from time to time appoint and disband such subcommittees
as may be deemed necessary, delegating such powers or duties as
may be deemed expedient. Such sub-committees shall conduct their business as
directed by the Executive Committee.
3.5 The Executive Committee is responsible for the control of all monies and assets
of the Association. The Treasurer shall be responsible for the collection of all
monies due to the Association, payment of all accounts and for keeping the
books of account. The Treasurer shall account to the Executive Committee for all
financial transactions as and when required, and prepare a report and statement
of accounts, certified by an Independent Examiner [see para 12], for each AGM.
4.1 All members of the Association must be Player Members of the EBU.
4.2 A Player Member of the EBU shall become a member of the Association when
their primary allegiance to the Association is recorded with the EBU.
4.3 A Player Member of the EBU whose primary allegiance is with another
Association can become a member of the Association by meeting its terms and
conditions in force at the time of the request for membership.
4.4 A member of the Association must be a paid up member for the relevant
Membership Year in order to vote at its AGM and to participate in its main
competitions within that Membership Year.
4.5 The Membership Year is the twelve month period from 1st April to 31st March.
4.6 A member of the Association becomes a paid up member through payment of
any Association Pay to Play county component when participating in events at an
affiliated Duplicate Bridge Club, and/or through payment of an annual subscription
fee for their Association membership category.
4.7 If any Association member has not paid their annual subscription fee by 1st May
then that member will not be able to vote at the following AGM as a paid up
4.8 An Association member ceases to be a paid up Association member on 1st May if
at that date the Association member has not paid any outstanding annual
subscription fee. That member can subsequently become a paid up Association
member on payment of the current Membership Year’s subscription fee, but that
shall not override clause 4.7 above.
4.9 For the avoidance of doubt, if an Association member is within a membership
category that has a nil Association Pay to Play county component and a nil annual
subscription fee for a Membership Year, then that member shall automatically
become a paid up Association member for that Membership Year.
4.10 The Association Pay to Play county component and each of the Association
member category’s annual subscription fee, for the Membership Year starting in the
following 1 April, shall be determined by a simple majority of the paid up members at
the preceding AGM.
4.11 The Association membership categories shall be as follows:
4.11.1 Ordinary Member - a Player Member of the EBU who has their primary
allegiance recorded with the Association
4.11.2 Dual Member - a Player Member of the EBU who has their primary allegiance
recorded with another Association.
5. LIFE MEMBERS
The Executive Committee of the Association may honour long standing members for
their service to the Association by electing them to life membership of the
Association. A Life Member of the Association shall automatically become a paid up
member of the Association for each Membership Year whilst they remain a Playing
Member of the EBU and shall not be required to pay any annual subscription fee for
their Association membership category.
6. MEETING OF THE ASSOCIATION MEMBERS
6.1 An Annual General Meeting of the Association [AGM] shall be held in May of
each year, or as soon as possible thereafter. The place, date and time of the AGM
shall be determined by the Executive Committee. A notice convening the meeting
and the agenda listing the ordinary and special business to be transacted shall be
sent to each affiliated club and posted on the Association website at least 21 days
before the date of the meeting. The ordinary business of the meeting shall comprise
submission of the Reports of the Executive Committee, adoption of the Accounts,
election of Officers and Executive Committee members, ratifying the membership
subscriptions, appointment of an Independent Examiner [see para 12] and election
of EBU shareholders and when appropriate, a President.
6.2 The President shall be elected at an AGM (by secret ballot if necessary) for a
period of three years, and shall be eligible for further terms of office. The
Executive Committee may nominate a candidate. Any other nomination, duly
proposed and seconded, and with the written consent of the nominee, must be in
the hands of the Secretary not less than seven days before the date of the AGM.
Should the position become vacant during a period of office, it shall remain so until
the next AGM, any duties being undertaken by the Chairman.
6.3 A Special Resolution from a paid up Association member, which requires a vote
of the paid up members at the AGM, must be sent in writing to the Secretary no later
than 14 days before the date of the AGM and have the written support of two other
paid up members of the Association.
6.4 A nomination for a paid up Association member to serve on the Executive
Committee must be received in writing by the Secretary 21 days before the date of
the AGM. The nomination must be from a paid up member of the Association and
supported by another paid up member of the Association.
6.5 The Secretary shall publish all nominations to serve on the Executive Committee
no later than 14 days before the AGM. Late nominations may be accepted subject to
6.6 An Extraordinary General Meeting [EGM] shall be convened on the instructions
of the Chairman or on receipt of a requisition signed by not less than 15 members
and stating the purpose of such a meeting. A notice convening the meeting together
with either the motions or a statement of the matters to be discussed shall be sent to
each affiliated club and directly to members who do not belong to clubs of the
Association at least 14 days before the date of the meeting. The meeting shall deal
only with such matters.
6.7 The EGM shall be held no earlier than 21 days and no later than 42 days after
the Secretary has received the written request.
6.8 Any vote at an AGM or an EGM, which is tied, shall be split by the casting vote of
the chairperson of the AGM or EGM.
6.9 An AGM or an EGM shall be deemed to have been published three days after
written details are posted (and this shall include e-mail posting) by the Secretary to
the secretaries of the Association affiliated clubs. The Secretary shall make every
effort to widen the circulation using available individual member email lists and the
Association website if available.
6.10 The quorum for an AGM and EGM shall be fifteen paid up members.
6.11 The Secretary shall be required to arrange a further EGM, if an AGM or EGM
respectively fails to reach a quorum. In both circumstances the additional EGM shall
be scheduled to occur within the period of 21 days to 42 days after the aborted AGM
or EGM. The Secretary shall publish the date, venue and time of the EGM at least 14
days before the date of the additional EGM.
6.12 If the additional EGM fails to reach a quorum, the Executive Committee may
take any decisions necessary to continue to manage the affairs of the Association.
7. MEMBERS’ BEHAVIOUR
7.1 Each member of the Association shall be required in connection with the game of
Duplicate Contract Bridge, to conform to the standards of fair play, courtesy and
personal deportment prescribed by the Bye Laws and regulations for the time being
of the EBU.
7.2 The Association shall have the powers and the procedures for the enforcement
of the requirement in clause 7.1. They are set out in the Schedule of the Constitution,
and shall stand as part of the Constitution and be subject to the same provisions of
the Constitution for its amendment.
8.1 AFFILIATED DUPLICATE BRIDGE CLUBS
8.1 Affiliated Bridge Clubs
Any Duplicate Bridge Club may affiliate to the Association and all such Clubs shall
be affiliated to the EBU. The Association has the right to determine at an AGM
through a simple majority of its paid up members, the county component if any, of
the annual club affiliation fee to be charged for the twelve month period from the
following 1 April.
9. CONSTITUTION AMENDMENTS
Alterations to the Constitution shall be made only at an AGM or EGM through the
positive votes of at least two thirds of the paid up members present.
10. DISSOLUTION OF THE ASSOCIATION
The Association can be dissolved at an EGM provided at least two thirds of the total
paid up members present on the date of the EGM positively vote for its dissolution.
The assets of the Association on a dissolution shall be donated to a charity or
charities decided by the paid up members attending the dissolution meeting.
On all questions of interpretation of the Constitution the decisions of the Executive
Committee shall be binding until or unless upset at an AGM or EGM. The Executive
Committee shall determine any point or matter that is not covered by the
The terms Association, Constituent Member, Duplicate Contract Bridge and Playing
Member have the meanings set out in the Bye Laws of the EBU.
The term Independent Examiner as set out in the charity Commission publication accessible
Schedule of Disciplinary Procedures
1. Requirements of the Schedule
This Schedule is referred to under clause 7.2 of the Constitution and prescribes the
powers and procedures for enforcement. It will comply with and follows the EBU
disciplinary procedures and any variations thereof that are made from time to time.
The Association shall act through its Conduct and Disciplinary
Committees for the enforcement of standards prescribed in clause 7.1 of the
Constitution. The Association shall have additional powers as set out in the clauses
2. Receipt of allegation
Any person making a complaint against one or more members of the Association,
under the terms of clause 7.1 of the Constitution must do so in writing to the
Secretary or the Chairperson of the Association.
3. Conduct Committee
The Executive Committee of the Association shall appoint its Conduct Committee
through its powers to appoint sub committees under clause 3.4 of the Constitution.
The Conduct Committee shall be responsible for investigating complaints against the
Association’s members and to determine whether a Disciplinary Offence should be
referred to the Association’s Disciplinary Committee.
The Conduct Committee shall consist of no fewer than three members of the
Association and no more than five. A quorum for any meeting shall be three of its
members. It shall act by simple majority vote and its appointed chairman, or
whomsoever in his absence the Conduct Committee shall select to chair a meeting,
shall have a second, or casting vote in the event that there is parity of voting.
4. Disciplinary Committee
The Executive Committee of the Association shall appoint the Disciplinary
Committee through its powers to appoint sub committees under clause 3.4 of the
Constitution. The Disciplinary Committee shall, determine sanctions for offences
admitted by the defendant, hear charges of offences and determine whether those
charges are proved and if proved, to determine the sanction imposed.
The Disciplinary Committee shall consist of no fewer than three members of the
Association and no more than five. At least three of its members must be present
when it makes a decision to uphold a complaint and impose sanctions on the
offending member. It shall act by simple majority vote and its appointed chairman, or
whomsoever in his absence the Disciplinary Committee shall select to chair a
meeting, shall have a second, or casting vote in the event that there is parity of
5. Conflicts of Interest and Independence of Conduct and Disciplinary
Any member of either the Conduct or Disciplinary Committee who is in any way
personally involved in the allegations within a complaint will be disqualified from
participating in either Committee’s handling of the complaint.
A member of the Association cannot be a member of both the Conduct and
6. The Complaints Process
6.1. Notice of Meetings
Where a written complaint is made, or a matter otherwise comes to the attention of
the Conduct Committee, it shall first consider whether such complaint or matter falls
within the scope of the Disciplinary Rules and whether further action is warranted. If
it does the Conduct Committee secretary shall first write to the Defendant, seeking
the Defendant’s comments on the substance of the complaint or matter that has
been raised. The Conduct Committee shall also be entitled to make such further
investigations and enquiries as it in its absolute discretion considers appropriate. The
Conduct Committee shall also be entitled to seek advice both from within the
Association and from the EBU Laws and Ethics Committee, and to obtain external
6.2. Complaint not justified
If the Conduct Committee decides that the complaint is not justified, all parties shall
be notified and the matter ended.
6.3. Complaint justified
If the Conduct Committee decides that the complaint is justified, it may, in its
absolute discretion, offer a verbal caution to the offending member, which if
accepted, ends the matter.
If the Defendant does not accept the verbal caution, or the Conduct Committee
decides a verbal caution is inappropriate, the Conduct Committee shall refer the
case to a hearing by the Disciplinary Committee. The Defendant shall be notified, in
writing, within two weeks of this decision and of his right to make a written
submission to the Disciplinary Committee and to attend the hearing. The Defendant
shall have the right to be represented by legal counsel of his choice or may be
accompanied by a person to speak on his behalf. The Disciplinary Committee shall
give at least two week’s notice of the hearing to the Defendant.
6.4. Disciplinary Committee’s Sanctions
If after the hearing the complaint is upheld, the Disciplinary Committee may in its
(a) Give a written reprimand to the offending member(s), or
(b) Suspend the offending member(s) from all or some of the competitions
sponsored or licensed by the Association for such period as it shall determine.
If the complaint is against a member of the Executive Committee then in addition to
any other sanctions applied, the Disciplinary Committee shall have the power to
suspend such member from the Association’s Executive Committee and any of its
sub committees for such a period that it shall determine.
Any sanctions imposed by the Disciplinary Committee must be communicated to the
offending member in writing within twenty one days of the hearing.
Each member found guilty of a Disciplinary Offence by the Disciplinary Committee
has the right to appeal to the EBU Laws and Ethics Committee.
Appeals must be in writing and lodged with the Secretary of the EBU Laws and
Ethics Committee within twenty one days of the written communication of the
Disciplinary Committee’s decision to the offending member.
6.6. Referral to the EBU Laws & Ethics Committee
At any time the Disciplinary Committee may refer a complaint to the EBU Laws &
Ethics Committee for its consideration. In doing so the Disciplinary Committee shall
have fully discharged its responsibilities under this Schedule.
The terms Disciplinary Rules and Disciplinary Offence have the meaning set out in
the Bye Laws of the EBU.
NCBA 27 November 2013