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NCBA CONSTITUTION 2014
NOTTINGHAMSHIRE CONTRACT BRIDGE ASSOCIATION CONSTITUTION

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

making body.

3. MANAGEMENT OF THE ASSOCIATION

3.1 The management of the affairs of the Association shall be vested in the following

Officers:-

(a) Chairperson (who acts as the chairperson of the Executive Committee)

(b) Secretary

(c) Treasurer

(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

vacancies.

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. MEMBERSHIP

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

Association member.

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

AGM vote.

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.

11. INTERPRETATION

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

Constitution.

12. DEFINITIONS

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

here:

http://www.charitycommission.gov.uk/publications/cc31.aspx#d

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

below.

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

voting.

5. Conflicts of Interest and Independence of Conduct and Disciplinary

Committees

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

Disciplinary Committees.

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

legal advice.

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

absolute discretion:

(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.

6.5. Appeal

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.

7 Definitions

The terms Disciplinary Rules and Disciplinary Offence have the meaning set out in

the Bye Laws of the EBU.

NCBA 27 November 2013