Membership year vs grading year

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Ian Jamieson
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Membership year vs grading year

Post by Ian Jamieson » Tue Jul 03, 2012 6:36 pm

Apologies if this has already been raised.

I have recently been thinking how my local league can cover its potential game fee liability.

Under one soultion it would be easier if the membership year was the same as the grading year.

Presumably it would also be easier to integrate the membership database and the grading database if the years were the same.

Is this one of the ideas behind the current 14 months for the price of 12 months offer?

/Edit For the avoidance of doubt I am more interested in whether or not it would be a good idea for the membership year to be changed to coincide with the grading year, although some of the replies below about covering the potential game fee liability have been useful as well. /Edit

/Edit2 I shouldn't post on here and work on a job application at the same time. My mention of my local league is misleading. It's only an issue for games played 1/7 to 31/8 e.g. summer leagues or the British /Edit2
Last edited by Ian Jamieson on Wed Jul 04, 2012 4:12 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Membership year vs grading year

Post by Roger de Coverly » Tue Jul 03, 2012 7:03 pm

Ian Jamieson wrote: Under one soultion it would be easier if the membership year was the same as the grading year.
The ECF's financial year runs from 1st May to 30th April, but they might change it to 31st August. The membership year runs from 1st September to 31st August. The grading season used to run from 1st June to 31st May, but that was changed into two six month periods from 1st July to 31st December and 1st January to 30th June. Leagues don't usually start until 1st September and expect to finish at the latest by May 31st. Provided you don't have a summer league, then your league system falls inside a single membership year.

There aren't any particularly good solutions to residual game fee. The ECF want all players to pay them at least £12 a head and as a concession which by some reports was regarded as temporary, you can pay £ 2 per game instead when this gives a lower figure. How the league or county collect this is up to the league or county. The only consolation is that they don't have to pay it until after 31st August 2013.

An alternative is to withdraw the league from grading. Outside of Yorkshire, players appear to want to retain participation in national grading.

The 14 months for the price of 12 is rather more to do with the timing of the British championships in the July August period. If joining to play at the British, you get the next season thrown in as well.

Laurie Roberts
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Re: Membership year vs grading year

Post by Laurie Roberts » Tue Jul 03, 2012 8:08 pm

I thought forecast game fee needed to be paid by mid December 2012?

If so, one option is to ask clubs to forecast, in November, the amount of games likely to be played by non-members and collect payment up front (and then make payment to the ECF). If in the event (i.e. next May) you find clubs have under forecast / underpaid I don't think you'd need to pay the ECF for the shortfall until the following season (i.e. December 2013) so you can either collect the extra in May or simply take that into account the following year when levying fees for those clubs that underpaid.

And ditto for overpayments.

It shouldn't be too difficult for clubs to forecast the number of games likely to be played by non-members assuming the majority of regular players will become members. But the validity of this assumption may vary league to league. In the league I play in, feedback from the majority of clubs is that the vast majority of their players will be members and so the amounts involved may not be large.

edit: Note that Roger is correct in that a player can choose not to become a member for the 2012/2013 season until say May/June 2013. But that simply means that any overpayment by the league to the ECF in 2012/2013 as a result of more players being members than forecast, will be taken account of when the league pays fees for the 2013/2014 season.

Note: The above is my understanding but perhaps I have got it wrong!?

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Membership year vs grading year

Post by Roger de Coverly » Tue Jul 03, 2012 8:19 pm

Laurie Roberts wrote:I thought forecast game fee needed to be paid by mid December 2012?
You forecast residual Game Fee to be nil. If everyone becomes a member, you don't pay anything. Particularly in the first year, you don't have a clue what the ultimate size of the bill will become. It might be different if the rate had been £ 1 per head per game as then it "pays" the less active club player not to be a member. The likely result is a polarisation between regulars who play six or more and irregulars who don't play at all, or at the most one or two.

If anything, the most convenient time to settle up between clubs and league is the September/October period, since it's then when league fees for the new season are requested.

Laurie Roberts
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Re: Membership year vs grading year

Post by Laurie Roberts » Tue Jul 03, 2012 8:23 pm

That's one way to do it. I suspect residual game fee will be small.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Membership year vs grading year

Post by Roger de Coverly » Tue Jul 03, 2012 8:33 pm

Laurie Roberts wrote:That's one way to do it. I suspect residual game fee will be small.
The grader and treasurer were confident that between them, they could count the number of games played by non-members and divide up the amounts by club. Actually they can do this once all the season's results are finalised. Amounts cannot be finalised and settled until September because non-members might yet become members.

The ECF's budgeting seems to be based around the idea that the residual Game Fee is £ 1 per head, so they are over estimating the amount they will collect by continuing to use a "games played by non-members" assumption based on the tipping point being 12 games.

Ian Jamieson
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Re: Membership year vs grading year

Post by Ian Jamieson » Tue Jul 03, 2012 10:34 pm

My local league AGM is on Monday but I hope that they will agree to players being able to play 3 games without being ECF members with any game fee to be collected from clubs at the end of the season.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Membership year vs grading year

Post by Roger de Coverly » Tue Jul 03, 2012 11:32 pm

Ian Jamieson wrote:My local league AGM is on Monday but I hope that they will agree to players being able to play 3 games without being ECF members with any game fee to be collected from clubs at the end of the season.
Another thought is this. At least two grading lists will have been published before the ECF get round to sending an invoice for residual Game Fee on non members. What would happen in 14 or 15 months time, if there were refusals to pay is unknown. So there would not seem to be any immediate danger of local results being excluded from grading. The problem for the ECF is that, according to its budget, it's expecting a reasonable income from residual Game Fee.

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Ihor Lewyk
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Re: Membership year vs grading year

Post by Ihor Lewyk » Wed Jul 04, 2012 12:42 pm

Roger de Coverly wrote:
Ian Jamieson wrote: Under one soultion it would be easier if the membership year was the same as the grading year.
An alternative is to withdraw the league from grading. Outside of Yorkshire, players appear to want to retain participation in national grading.
On what grounds do you make this assumption Roger? At the Yorkshire AGM it was agreed to continue to pay game fee on the Yorkshire league (Saturday) matches. Many of the more active players in the county are behind a basic ECF membership.
In past years Yorkshire supported the NMS scheme when ECF membership was part of the deal and ever since the committee have encouraged membership through the MO as well as paying game fee on the Yorkshire league.
We also agreed at the AGM to promote membership of the ECF throughout the other leagues in our huge county. Leagues that are independant. Only one other league in Yorkshire currently pays game fee to the ECF (Leeds) but there are 8 other independant leagues in the county that are generally evening leagues.
Sheffield had over 4400 games played and Bradford 2700 in 2010-11. Calderdale, Hull, Leeds and York all had over a 1000 games played in the same period so you can see how active chess is in the county.
Many of the players who play in these leagues will only play in that league and perhaps support a local congress. I know that the leagues are afraid to 'gamble' on taking the step to join their league to pay game fee unless they know there will be a huge take up of ECF membership. I'm sure you can work out costs on the worse case scenario.
In the Yorkshire league we have taken that gamble. I am concerned that we may lose a few teams who think the price hike is too much but the committee will look to help any of our clubs who find themselves in difficulty financially.
Surely there are many other leagues and congresses that will not be paying game fee after September? I do not think Yorkshire are alone in this!

You can find the minutes on www.yorkshirechess.org

Sean Hewitt
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Re: Membership year vs grading year

Post by Sean Hewitt » Wed Jul 04, 2012 1:11 pm

Ihor Lewyk wrote: Surely there are many other leagues and congresses that will not be paying game fee after September? I do not think Yorkshire are alone in this!
All the soundings we have had so far indicate that leagues and congresses are working on making the new system work. I don't think we have heard (yet) of a single league or congress that has decided to put itself outside of the ECF grading system next season as a result of the membership scheme.

So whilst some may join the independent Yorkshire leagues and opt out of ECF grading, I'm not sure that there will be 'many', if any at all.
Last edited by Sean Hewitt on Wed Jul 04, 2012 1:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Membership year vs grading year

Post by Roger de Coverly » Wed Jul 04, 2012 1:13 pm

Ihor Lewyk wrote:
On what grounds do you make this assumption Roger?
On the grounds that when the Game Fee scheme was first introduced, requiring leagues to be directly or indirectly members of the BCF to enable local games to be graded, it was the local Yorkshire leagues who declined to join. They didn't see the point of a national grade when the county association ran a local one. Outside of Yorkshire, leagues which were outside of county associations and therefore not paying anything directly to the BCF, saw the illogic of the position that only counties should pay for the BCF.
Ihor Lewyk wrote: Surely there are many other leagues and congresses that will not be paying game fee after September?
The proposition that leagues and counties withdraw wholly or partly from national grading doesn't seem have much support elsewhere in the country outside of junior organisations. There's more support for the proposition that you ban or restrict non-members from playing. Informal restrictions are likely to be put in place even where there are no formal ones.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Membership year vs grading year

Post by Roger de Coverly » Wed Jul 04, 2012 1:23 pm

Sean Hewitt wrote: All the soundings we have had so far indicate that leagues and congresses are working on making the new system work. I don't think we have heard (yet) of a single league or congress that has decided to put itself outside of the ECF grading system next season as a result of the membership scheme.
Don't forget about Junior Organisations. Were the concessions given at the April Council meeting enough to keep them on board? The original proposals were a massive price grab on Juniors or Junior organisations which were partly watered down by retaining a "Pay to Play" principle.

Yorkshire have lost their one-legged facility, so no games in the local Yorks leagues will be nationally graded unless like Leeds or the weekend league, they sign up for Bronze/ £2 per head. The equivalent would presumably apply to the Hull Congress, that, like Scarborough, it would have to sign up to £ 6 per non-member.

On the boundaries, such as Junior events, the graded/non graded decision is less clear cut. If a local organisation were to introduce a rapid-play league, would it be bothered if it wasn't included in the rapid play gradings?

Ian Kingston
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Re: Membership year vs grading year

Post by Ian Kingston » Wed Jul 04, 2012 1:44 pm

Must be a new record for ignoring the thread title and re-hashing - for the hundredth time - the funding argument.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Membership year vs grading year

Post by Roger de Coverly » Wed Jul 04, 2012 1:49 pm

Ian Kingston wrote:Must be a new record for ignoring the thread title and re-hashing - for the hundredth time - the funding argument.
The thread is about how county organisations respond to the funding argument. In general they are finding that the reduction in league fees is less than the individual membership cost. In practice, it appears AGMs, anyway, are prepared to absorb this extra cost and expect the non AGM attending local players to do likewise.

Or is it still disputed that per head costing works out more expensive for less active players?

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Ihor Lewyk
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Re: Membership year vs grading year

Post by Ihor Lewyk » Wed Jul 04, 2012 2:18 pm

Roger de Coverly wrote: Yorkshire have lost their one-legged facility, so no games in the local Yorks leagues will be nationally graded unless like Leeds or the weekend league, they sign up for Bronze/ £2 per head. The equivalent would presumably apply to the Hull Congress, that, like Scarborough, it would have to sign up to £ 6 per non-member.
Can you explain what you mean by one legged facility please Roger? I am of the understanding that ECF members can have all their games graded in these other leagues. Are you saying this is wrong?

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