CONSTITUTION OF THE TEWKESBURY BRIDGE CLUB
(Revised & Adopted 2017)
The Club shall be called Tewkesbury Bridge Club.
The objects of the club shall be:
- to provide facilities for its members for playing Duplicate Bridge in accordance with the rules and principles laid down by the English Bridge Union
- to encourage beginners and new members to play.
The Club will be affiliated to the Gloucestershire County Bridge Association and to the EBU.
Membership shall be open to all bridge players, subject to Notes 11 and 12. Any person wishing to become a member of the Club shall apply for membership by completing and forwarding to the Secretary an application form. No commercial activity shall take place at the Club.
The Officers shall be:
The President shall be installed at the instigation of the committee and the invitation of the members and shall serve for life or until retirement.
The Chairman shall serve for a maximum of five years
The Secretary shall serve for a maximum of five years
The Treasurer shall serve for a maximum of five years.
Upon leaving office, the officers will retire from the Committee, unless required to fill another position. The officers may serve longer than their allotted term of office with the agreement of members, but if another member wishes to serve in their position, they must step down.
6 COMMITTEE AND MANAGEMENT
The Committee shall consist of the officers of the club, together with four other members of the club, who shall be elected at the AGM (excepting the President), having been proposed and seconded in writing. Nominations must reach the secretary no later than two weeks prior to the date of the AGM.
The Committee shall meet a minimum of four times a year to:
- regulate the business of the club
- approve the financial statement of the Treasurer
- approve the correspondence of the Secretary
- approve applications for membership
- consider any matters referred to it by members of the club
- manage affairs of the club, which are not specifically provided for in the Constitution.
- The committee may from time to time co-opt further members of the club to serve on the committee until the ensuing AGM, whether to fill a vacancy arising to as additional members (except that the total members of the committee, including officers, shall at no time exceed ten). Co-opted members shall be entitled to participate fully in the proceedings of the committee.
- A quorum at meetings of the committee shall be four, including at least two of the officers.
- Committee members should withdraw from decisions where they may have (or seem to have) a conflict of interest
- The committee shall make a report concerning the affairs of the club to each AGM.
7 GENERAL MEETINGS
An Annual General Meeting of the Club shall be held in each year no later than two months after the end of the financial year.
A Special General Meeting of the Club shall be convened by the Committee if a request for such a meeting signed by at least ten members of the Club is delivered to the Secretary, stating the reason for the meeting, and such meeting shall take place within one month of the receipt of such request. A Special General Meeting may be convened by the Committee on its own initiative at any time.
The Chairman, if present, shall chair all General Meetings of the Club and in his absence another member of the committee shall chair the meeting.
Notice of all General Meetings of the Club shall be displayed on the Notice Board at the club no later than three weeks prior to the date fixed for the meeting.
Any member may propose a motion to be discussed at a General Meeting, provided that written notice of the proposed motion is delivered to the Secretary no later than two weeks prior to the date fixed for the meeting. The Chairman may permit discussion of other business at a General Meeting if he thinks fit.
A quorum at General Meetings of the Club shall be twelve members present in person.
Voting at General Meetings of the Club shall be by show of hands or ballot, whichever method the committee deems appropriate, and in the event of parity of voting, the chairman of the meeting shall have a second or casting vote.
Notices of any other matters to be brought to the attention of members shall be made by displaying a notice in a prominent position.
9 SUBSCRIPTIONS AND FEES
The subscription and financial year accounts will be from 1 June to 31 May. Each member shall pay an annual subscription, the amount being decided at the AGM of the club. Subscriptions will be due for payment within three months, otherwise membership will be deemed to have been terminated.
Each member of the club and each guest and visitor shall pay table money on each occasion when he plays at the club, the basic amounts of which shall be decided at the AGM.
The committee shall arrange for accounts to be prepared in respect of the financial affairs of the Club for each year ending on 31 May.
11 GUESTS AND VISITORS
Visitors may attend or a member may invite a guest on any club night, provided it is not a meeting for members only (see Appendix 1 – Competition Rules). Such visits are subject to table limitation, when preference will automatically be given to members. A member’s guest or a visitor cannot take part in club events on more than four occasions in the current subscription year without formally applying for membership.
12 APPLICATIONS FOR MEMBERSHIP
Applicants for full membership must submit an application form duly proposed and seconded by full members of the club of at least one year’s standing. A member accepts a natural responsibility in sponsoring an applicant as proposer or seconder and in particular is expected to acquaint the applicant with this constitution, and with the etiquette of the club (see Appendix 2 – Good Manners at Bridge). A duly completed application form will be posted on the club notice board for three weeks before being considered by the committee, taking into account the laws of the land and any objections notified to the secretary in writing. In the intervening time, which should be regarded as the probationary period, the applicant will be expected to play on at least four occasions at the club.
Membership is limited according to playing space available, and a waiting list for membership will operate if there are no vacancies. The committee are not obliged to admit new members in order of application, but will consider each application when vacancies arise. In declining an application the committee may give a reason but shall not be obliged to do so.
A member shall cease to be a member of the club immediately if expelled from the club under the provisions of Section 13.
13 CONDUCT, BEHAVIOUR AND COMPLAINTS
Members at all times shall behave in accordance with the etiquette of the club (Appendix 2).
In the event of a complaint being made to the Committee about the conduct of a member of the club, the committee may investigate further if a written complaint is received signed by at least three members of the club. The committee shall be empowered to recommend in writing that such a member resign from the club. If the said member does not comply within 14 days of such recommendation, the committee shall then call a special meeting. If such a meeting agrees to the expulsion of the member, he shall cease to be a member of the Bridge Club. A notice of such an occurrence, giving full written details and statements, shall be sent to the EBU.
All disputes shall be referred to the committee, whose decision shall be final, except that if it is a matter of interpretation of the laws of the game, the Appeals Committee will adjudicate (see Appendix 3 - Appeals Procedure). An appeal to the EBU Laws and Ethics Committee will be allowed.
No alterations shall be made to this constitution except at a General Meeting of the club, where two-thirds of the votes cast must be in favour of the resolution.
If a resolution that the club shall be wound up or amalgamated is effectively passed, the committee shall be responsible for winding up the club’s affairs and any surplus assets and funds shall be disposed of at their discretion, bearing in mind local charities.
APPENDIX 1: COMPETITION RULES
All competitions are for members only
This is awarded for a Pairs Competition, with players choosing their own partners (two ladies, two men or mixed pairs). There will be a one-winner movement.
This is an Individual Event. The movement will be designed so that each player plays with as many other members as possible and to give one winner.
CLUB CHAMPIONSHIP PAIR
Two plaques are to be awarded at the Christmas Party to the pair with the best average score throughout the calendar year. The pair must have played a minimum of 10 times with each other, and have attended the club at least 20 times throughout the year. It will run from 1 January up to and including the week prior to the Christmas Party.
LADIES’ AND MEN’S PAIRS
Two separate competitions are played on the same night. Players have their own choice of partner. Each competition will have a movement giving one winner.
One session of Pairs Competition with the Cup will be awarded to the pair with the highest percentage. Players must turn up in pairs, but partners for the night will be determined by random draw.
GWEN MAGNESS MEMORIAL TROPHY
This event is for Teams of Four, where members play with their usual partner and the other pair is selected according to handicap. It is hoped this will give an equal chance to all participants. As this event requires a specific number of tables, the date of this competition may be determined by the Director when he feels the table numbers to be appropriate.
PETER THOMPSON TROPHY
This Trophy (also known as the Charity Pairs Trophy) is to be played for in October each year on Charity Night and will be awarded to the pair with the highest percentage score after their handicaps have been applied. Providing a pair has played together for at least three times for the period January to October, their handicap will be their latest available percentage score prior to the Charity Night, i.e. if a pair’s average is 55%, they will be handicapped as minus 5%; if their percentage is 44%, their actual score will be increased by 6%. If a pair has not played together on at least three occasions, their individual percentage scores will be added together and divided by two. The results which are sent to the EBU and thereby qualify for Master Points are the actual results, without the handicaps having been taken into account.
This will run from 1 January up to and including the week prior to the Christmas Party and the winner(s) will be presented with a small gift at the Christmas Party. Three points are awarded for a Grand Slam and one point for a Small Slam.
GOOD MANNERS AT BRIDGE
Bridge is an extremely enjoyable game but can be spoilt by thoughtless behaviour. The majority of players have impeccable manners but there are occasional lapses which may be due to stress and pressure.
This guide describes how we would like bridge to be played at Tewkesbury so that everyone can enjoy their game.
- Arrive in good time. Be seated by 6.55 so play can start promptly. Allow time for parking.
- Switch off your mobile
- If not playing basic Acol, ensure your convention card is completed
- Listen to the Director and comply with his requests.
At the beginning of a round:
- Be a good ‘host’ or ‘guest’ at the table, greeting your opponents in a courteous and friendly manner.
- Make your convention card available to your opponents.
During the auction, consultation and play:
- Answer any questions about your bids or conventions fully. All information available to your partnership must be made available to your opponents.
- Cherish your partner, the only player at the table who is on your side.
- Give credit to your opponents for a good bid, play or score.
- Do not gloat over your own good score
- Never criticise your partner or opponents in public
- Do not offer advice unless you are asked for your opinion
- Do not make embarrassing or impolite remarks, or behave in any way that causes discomfort to others at the table.
Calling the Director:
- If you need to call the Director, do so in a pleasant manner, calling “Director, please”.
- Do not object or take offence if your opponents call the Director.
- Call the Director at the first irregularity.
- Do not argue with the Director’s ruling. If you wish to appeal, announce this in a calm and pleasant manner.
- Please call the Director if you think you have been affected by bad behaviour.
- North is responsible for entering the correct score on the traveller.
- East is responsible for checking that North’s entry is correct
- If an incorrect entry is later found on a traveller, do not place a ‘?’ beside it. Neither the scorer nor the computer understands a ‘?’. Do not call the Director in this instance but check the score with the players responsible and ask them to correct as appropriate.
- All scores shall be written in pencil.
- Do not hold up the movement with slow play. If you do fall behind, for whatever reason, it is incumbent upon you to make up the time.
- Persistent slow play disadvantages the other competitors and will be penalised.
- Keep noise to a minimum.
- Do not discuss a hand after play.
- Only discuss the hands after all the boards are completed, and then only if there is time and nobody else can hear you.
- All discussions regarding a hand should cease when the new opponents greet each other.
- If you have to sit out, do so quietly, or leave the room.
At the end of a round:
- Thank your opponents or make a friendly parting comment.
At the end of a session:
- Please assist with tidying up and putting all equipment away.
- Please do so quietly.
As in all games that are governed by Rules and Regulations, bad behaviour will be penalised…..
If a player at the table behaves in an unacceptable manner, the Director should be called immediately. Annoying behaviour, embarrassing remarks, or any other conduct which might interfere with the enjoyment of the game is specifically prohibited by Law 74A. Law 91A gives the Director the authority to assess disciplinary penalties. This can include immediate disciplinary board penalties and if a future violation is incurred at the same event, disqualification from future competition in that event. The guilty party or parties will be deemed not to have played in that event. No master points will be awarded and no refunds received. Any further violations may result in a disciplinary hearing where the player(s) future participation in tournaments will be considered. A Best Behaviour Report Form shall be available for players to report incidents which occur away from the table, and for Directors to document complaints and action taken.
…………ENJOY YOUR GAME! ♥ ♥ ♥
APPENDIX 3: APPEALS PROCEDURE
RIGHT TO APPEAL
A contestant or his captain may appeal for a review of any ruling made at the table by the Director
The right to request an appeal on a Director’s ruling expires 30 minutes after the official score has been made available for inspection at the Club. No appeal outside the time limit will be considered.
All appeals shall be made through the Director.
An appeal shall not be made unless:
- in a pairs event, both members of the partnership concur in making the appeal.
- in a team event, the team captain concurs in making the appeal.
PROCEDURE OF APPEAL
The Director shall hear and rule upon such part of the appeal as deals solely with the law or regulations. His ruling may be referred to the Appeals Committee.
The Director shall refer all other appeals to the committee for adjudication, which will be completed, usually within four weeks. The committee will inform the appellant of the outcome.
In adjudication appeals the committee may exercise all powers assigned by the Laws to the Director, except that the committee may not overrule the Director on a point of law, or an exercise of his right to suspend a player.
The committee may recommend to the Director that he change such a ruling.
COMPOSITION OF THE APPEALS COMMITTEE
The Appeals Committee shall consist of three club members, drawn from a panel of five experienced club members, invited by the Club Committee and reviewed annually.
In addition, the Director of the session will be available to give advice on matters of law only.
The Appeals Committee will elect its own Chairman.
The Appeals Committee may, at its own discretion, co-opt other club members onto its Committee if it deems it necessary.
The Appeals Chairman will ensure impartiality, e.g. if an appellant was at the time partnering a member of the Appeals Committee, that partner should not sit on the Committee.
The Appeals Committee will be required to keep its own notes and records of the appeal decision and it will not be bound by any previous decisions.
The Appeals Committee will make its decision within one month of the written notice of appeal being received and communicate to the session Director first involved.
If the Director changes his original decision he will notify the scorer of any amendments necessary and also the Appeals Committee Chairman, who will communicate the decision to the appellant.
Should the Director not change his decision despite recommendations so to do by the Appeals Committee, the Appeals Committee Chairman should communicate to the appellant only that the Committee has met but agreement with the Director involved has not proved possible, and that therefore the appellant is advised to appeal to higher authority (EBU) if still aggrieved.
No reasons of “thought processes” etc. should be revealed to an appellant and the Appeals Committee’s deliberations should remain secret. For that reason, it should not report to Tewkesbury Bridge Club Committee any of its findings, and no member of the Tewkesbury Bridge Club Committee should be a member of the Appeals Panel, except in the capacity of Director or player, and they should not discuss Appeals in Tewkesbury Bridge Club’s main committee.
The Appeals Committee may recommend to the Tewkesbury Bridge Club’s main committee the introduction of penalties for Appeals without merit (usually a refundable deposit) if experience shows this to be advisable.
It is unlikely that the Appeals Panel will need to meet regularly or at all outside of hearing a formal appeal, but that is a matter for them to determine.