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PostPosted: Tue Oct 25, 2011 12:53 pm 
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The Bucks County Secretary intermittently reads the forum, in between carrying out a wide range of other chess activities. Thank you to all those who have seen fit to advise us on holding meetings. He is in favour of game fee, and is yet to be convinced that the new funding system has sufficient clarity to render it 'administratively time neutral' to any county officer or club officer within the county. It is not the cost of chess that is the primary barrier to increased activity, but the absence of volunteers. If the ECF makes the life of local officers harder we will simply run out of volunteers, the committee profile is already an aging one. And I am also at a loss as to why issues of practical implementation seem to have been parked until the substantive principle was established. I'm afraid the devil really is in the detail so far as I can see.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 25, 2011 1:12 pm 
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Roger de Coverly wrote:
It's not 20 p a week, it's £ 12 up front because the ECF have removed most aspects of pay as you go.


It maybe £12 up front, but a sensible person would equate this to approx 23p per week over the life of the membership, and I assume most people can look at it this way and come to the conclusion that it isn't a huge expense to get all their league chess graded

But this is the umpteenth time I and others have mentioned this


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 25, 2011 1:20 pm 
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Alan Walton wrote:
t maybe £12 up front, but a sensible person would equate this to approx 23p per week over the life of the membership, and I assume most people can look at it this way and come to the conclusion that it isn't a huge expense to get all their league chess graded


If you run a five round event, that will cost just under £ 3 per head at current rates. That's about 5p a week, yet people get most worked up about it, calling it a "Chess Prevention Tax". Even worse were the tournament organisers who found a 10p increase in Game Fee so unacceptable that they demanded a revision to the financing basis of the BCF. That's 1p per week added to the entry fee for players in a five round tournament.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 25, 2011 1:38 pm 
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Roger de Coverly wrote:
Alan Walton wrote:
t maybe £12 up front, but a sensible person would equate this to approx 23p per week over the life of the membership, and I assume most people can look at it this way and come to the conclusion that it isn't a huge expense to get all their league chess graded


If you run a five round event, that will cost just under £ 3 per head at current rates. That's about 5p a week, yet people get most worked up about it, calling it a "Chess Prevention Tax". Even worse were the tournament organisers who found a 10p increase in Game Fee so unacceptable that they demanded a revision to the financing basis of the BCF. That's 1p per week added to the entry fee for players in a five round tournament.


Roger, did myself or Sean mention tournament chess in these calcs, no we didn't, this is just around people who play league chess, hence the £12, so please stick to the point


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 25, 2011 2:24 pm 
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Alan Walton wrote:
Roger, did myself or Sean mention tournament chess in these calcs, no we didn't, this is just around people who play league chess, hence the £12, so please stick to the point


Leics introduced an extra local competition or two when they moved to MO status. They wouldn't do so whilst Game Fee was in operation. If they ran a five round event, it would have cost around £ 3, if it's a ten rounder it's £ 6. Both can be expressed as not very much a week, but the price was too high. The facility to run extra events with no extra payments to the ECF was touted as an advantage of MO status.

As Jon Melsom suggested, reasons why locally we don't follow suit in introducing new competitions would start with whether we could find anyone to organise and players to take part.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 25, 2011 3:13 pm 
I think Alan and Sean are going off topic too :) . I don't think there is any point comparing membership and game fee. We've already done it to death, and the vote was for membership.

Looking at Bucks, and trying to be practical. Some thoughts:

1. MO type schemes seem inappropriate for us
It seems to me that MO schemes work very well where there are clear geographic boundaries. But for the leagues I have played in (Berks, Bucks, Thames Valley, Surrey Border, Surrey, Oxford and also London nearby) there is simply too much overlap of players for it to be practical for a league to run a membership scheme.

2. We need the ECF to have online membership
Since we can't join en masse, we need the IT solution to be available before membership starts. Just about the only reason I would consider disaffiliation is if it was impossible to join.

3. The simplest way to run membership is with compulsion.
The rule non-members default takes away almost all the complexity. Clubs simply ask their members to join online, helping out those who cannot with the admin.

I wasn't taking this too seriously until I saw Jon Melsom's post. While I have no issue with compulsion, I am prepared to admit it is at the radical end of membership. It seemed a lot to ask my region to jump all the way from supporting game fee to compulsory membership. But if our main concern is simplicity, asking the clubs to charge the £12 as part of the club membership, is simple. My first thought was to exempt existing ECF members, but maybe a decision for the clubs, if their gold members are willing to subsidise the other members.

There might be a relevant local factor for Bucks. Venues are expensive in the South East, so £12 is probably a lower % of club membership than in some other areas.

4. Ungraded competitions
Most people I play are ECF members already. I wouldn't want to give people like me an ungraded competition, indeed I would see its existence as evidence the league did not support the ECF which would trouble me.

However I see some value in competitions for beginners. Berks now have a 4 board rapidplay league X, aimed at beginners and secondary schools (other than mighty Wellington college of course!). I'd see it as a bit of a shame if such a league was ungraded, since I think the opportunity to get a grade encourages people when they are just past beginner. But it might makes sense.

I gave some thought to "first year free" to encourage new members. But it seems easier for the clubs than the league to organise. The club charging £12 to cover the ECF but giving its own membership free for the first year, seems a better way to do it.

5 Engaging with the ECF
Options like 3 free games, first year free for players with no graded (either new or lapsed), and a lower bronze/ high gold membership, could be tabled to the April Finance Council if we felt they would make a significant difference. I am a bit doubtful, they seem to me to add more complexity than benefit. But certainly somethings the leagues could discuss internally and with their neighbours.

Indeed, if £12 is simply too high, we could ask the ECF to consider its spending plans, a discussion notable for its absence at the Council meeting. But I don't really believe the difference between say £10 and £12 will make a critical difference to most players. As I've said before, a season of chess is about the same cost and much better value than a cinema ticket.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 25, 2011 11:32 pm 
Paul Cooksey wrote:
I think Alan and Sean are going off topic too :) . I don't think there is any point comparing membership and game fee. We've already done it to death, and the vote was for membership.

We didn't compare membership with game fee! I stated the view that, in my opinion, most players when faced with the decision to grade and pay £12 or not grade would choose the former. I think Alan agreed. Game fee does not come into it as it is no longer relevant.

I'm happy to explain to any county official how we handled membership in Leicestershire if they're interested and they think it might help. I'm sure there are ways to improve what we did. The ECF now needs to get it's end of the deal right - and that does need some thinking about which AF says he is on the case with.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 25, 2011 11:35 pm 
Paul Cooksey wrote:
Looking at Bucks, and trying to be practical. Some thoughts:

1. MO type schemes seem inappropriate for us
It seems to me that MO schemes work very well where there are clear geographic boundaries. But for the leagues I have played in (Berks, Bucks, Thames Valley, Surrey Border, Surrey, Oxford and also London nearby) there is simply too much overlap of players for it to be practical for a league to run a membership scheme.

I have heard this view before but have to say from experience that overlap of players is really not an issue for an MO and is easily dealt with.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 26, 2011 12:15 am 
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Sean Hewitt wrote:
I have heard this view before but have to say from experience that overlap of players is really not an issue for an MO and is easily dealt with.


Explain how then. In particular illustrate your example with a player wishing to (a) enter during August, (b) demonstrate membership to avoid the £ 6 surcharge (or have it added to the bronze membership) and (c) play at Paignton or the Leamington rapid play. The MO system as currently constituted is extremely slow at updating the ECF's master list of membership. As of the 21st October, the membership count is around two and a half thousand. This compares to around three and half thousand back in July or August this year.

Another main reason why Berks, Bucks and other local organisations will not be running MOs is that it's extremely unlikely that a volunteer will come forward to run them. I'm afraid the local treasurers just don't buy into the concept that it's less work to collect from a hundred or more individuals than from a dozen clubs.

(edit) By the way, one of your Grandmasters at Gatwick isn't listed as a member according to the 21st October list.


Last edited by Roger de Coverly on Wed Oct 26, 2011 12:37 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 26, 2011 12:33 am 
Roger de Coverly wrote:
Explain how then. In particular illustrate your example with a player wishing to (a) enter during August, (b) demonstrate membership to avoid the £ 6 surcharge (or have it added to the bronze membership) and (c) play at Paignton or the Leamington rapid play. The MO system as currently constituted is extremely slow at updating the ECF's master list of membership. As of the 21st October, the membership count is around two and a half thousand. This compares to around three and half thousand back in July or August this year..

Simply by quoting both membership number and source. I'll ignore the examples you ask for as they are irrelevant to the subject matter at hand of overlapping leagues.
Roger de Coverly wrote:
Another main reason why Berks, Bucks and other local organisations will not be running MOs is that it's extremely unlikely that a volunteer will come forward to run them. I'm afraid the local treasurers just don't buy into the concept that it's less work to collect from a hundred or more individuals than from a dozen clubs.

You've made that decision on behalf of both counties already? OK.

If a volunteer is one of the 'main reasons' as you put it for not running an MO, e2e4 will offer to run an MO for either or both counties (free of charge). Problem solved.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 26, 2011 12:42 am 
Sean Hewitt wrote:
Simply by quoting both membership number and source. I'll ignore the examples you ask for as they are irrelevant to the subject matter at hand of overlapping leagues
Is it really as simple as that? For example, Maidenhead play in both Berks and Thames Valley. If both are running MO schemes, how do they know who to enrol, without duplicating?


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 26, 2011 12:48 am 
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Sean Hewitt wrote:
Simply by quoting both membership number and source. I'll ignore the examples you ask for as they are irrelevant to the subject matter at hand of overlapping leagues.


I'm sorry but it isn't.

If you intend to enter a tournament in September, particularly one out of your local area, how do you do it through an MO? Your local club, league, secretary or treasurer may well be on holiday and in no position to process "new season"`membership.

Sean Hewitt wrote:
If a volunteer is one of the 'main reasons' as you put it for not running an MO, e2e4 will offer to run an MO for either or both counties (free of charge). Problem solved.


Given the problem of collection from people you don't know in a potentially hostile environment from club secretaries and treasurers, I have serious doubts.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 26, 2011 12:48 am 
Paul Cooksey wrote:
Sean Hewitt wrote:
Simply by quoting both membership number and source. I'll ignore the examples you ask for as they are irrelevant to the subject matter at hand of overlapping leagues
Is it really as simple as that? For example, Maidenhead play in both Berks and Thames Valley. If both are running MO schemes, how do they know who to enrole, without duplicating?

Yes, it really is that simple. In your scenario above Maidenhead join their players via one league (doesn't matter which), and simply tell the other league that's what they've done and supply the second league with the membership numbers from the first league instead of cash.

The other scenario to consider is a player who plays for two different clubs in [neighbouring] leagues but the answer is the same. He joins via one, and tells the other that's what he's done and supplies his membership no. His second club then submit that to their league instead of a fee.

In both cases, each league gets either a membership fee or a membership no. It's not difficult which is why counties which run MOs keep saying how simple it is!


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 26, 2011 12:54 am 
Roger de Coverly wrote:
Sean Hewitt wrote:
Simply by quoting both membership number and source. I'll ignore the examples you ask for as they are irrelevant to the subject matter at hand of overlapping leagues.


I'm sorry but it isn't.

If you intend to enter a tournament in September, particularly one out of your local area, how do you do it through an MO? Your local club, league, secretary or treasurer may well be on holiday and in no position to process "new season"`membership.

Oh yes it is [irrelevant].

We are discussing overlapping leagues, and how does one league know that a player has joined via the another league. You seem to want to talk about playing in a congress which is nothing to do with overlapping leagues.
Roger de Coverly wrote:
Sean Hewitt wrote:
If a volunteer is one of the 'main reasons' as you put it for not running an MO, e2e4 will offer to run an MO for either or both counties (free of charge). Problem solved.


Given the problem of collection from people you don't know in a potentially hostile environment from club secretaries and treasurers, I have serious doubts.

Doubt away, but the offer stands.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 26, 2011 12:54 am 
Sean Hewitt wrote:
Paul Cooksey wrote:
Sean Hewitt wrote:
Simply by quoting both membership number and source. I'll ignore the examples you ask for as they are irrelevant to the subject matter at hand of overlapping leagues
Is it really as simple as that? For example, Maidenhead play in both Berks and Thames Valley. If both are running MO schemes, how do they know who to enrole, without duplicating?

Yes, it really is that simple. In your scenario above Maidenhead join their players via one league (doesn't matter which), and simply tell the other league that's what they've done and supply the second league with the membership numbers from the first league instead of cash.

The other scenario to consider is a player who plays for two different clubs in [neighbouring] leagues but the answer is the same. He joins via one, and tells the other that's what he's done and supplies his membership no. His second club then submit that to their league instead of a fee.

In both cases, each league gets either a membership fee or a membership no. It's not difficult which is why counties which run MOs keep saying how simple it is!
But why? if the club organises directly, does that not cut out an unnecessary admin burden for the league? Particularly since the league cannot lead the process.


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