Outcome of membership scheme

Debate directly related to English Chess Federation matters.
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Roger de Coverly
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Re: Outcome of membership scheme

Post by Roger de Coverly » Thu Oct 25, 2012 8:26 pm

Mike Truran wrote: But apparently not.
You haven't answered the question about how you want to see membership costs set. Would you be as simple as to say, "Total ECF Funding required" £ x. Number of players playing at least one graded game y, therefore individual player cost before VAT £x/y?

Michele Clack
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Re: Outcome of membership scheme

Post by Michele Clack » Thu Oct 25, 2012 8:31 pm

Isn't the question to Mike a bit off topic? The thread is about the outcome of the current scheme not what scheme somebody might like it replaced with. Indeed did Mike actually say he wanted to replace it? I'm not convinced that he did.

Dragoljub Sudar
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Re: Outcome of membership scheme

Post by Dragoljub Sudar » Thu Oct 25, 2012 8:35 pm

I'm going to attempt something new: a positive post.

Many thanks to the ECF office staff for processing Notts' membership list less than a week after receiving it.

Richard Bates
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Re: Outcome of membership scheme

Post by Richard Bates » Thu Oct 25, 2012 8:36 pm

Roger de Coverly wrote:
Mike Truran wrote: But apparently not.
You haven't answered the question about how you want to see membership costs set. Would you be as simple as to say, "Total ECF Funding required" £ x. Number of players playing at least one graded game y, therefore individual player cost before VAT £x/y?
Which bit of "prepared to debate on anything other than an 'I'm right and you're wrong' basis" did you not follow? Why should anybody be remotely interested responding to your endless badgering without the remotest indication that any response could have the potential to result in a meaningful debate where both sides are prepared to engage their opponent's arguments constructively, with the prospect of changing minds?

Just out of interest, are there any outcomes of the current scheme which would cause you to revise your opinion of it? Although these days you seem to spend less time engaging in questioning about the current scheme as it is in existence, and more about hypothetical alternative schemes which aren't...

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Outcome of membership scheme

Post by Roger de Coverly » Thu Oct 25, 2012 9:15 pm

Richard Bates wrote:Why should anybody be remotely interested responding to your endless badgering without the remotest indication that any response could have the potential to result in a meaningful debate where both sides are prepared to engage their opponent's arguments constructively, with the prospect of changing minds?
There is a point to the endless badgering as you put it. The advocates of membership are reluctant to state that they believe that the ECF should collect the same amount from someone playing a single game as someone playing two hundred. It's part of the current scheme that this was watered down. Some in the ECF would like a more stringent scheme. Or would they? Why don't they say so? David Robertson has expressed the belief that you could charge more for voting rights and that a single level scheme is economically illiterate. Let's face it, the current scheme was a fudge designed to gain a majority of Council votes and is relying on exploiting the goodwill of club players to not walk away from the concept of compulsory grading. Martin Regan's proposed idea that only members get grades would have destroyed grading as we know it, by making it optional.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Outcome of membership scheme

Post by Roger de Coverly » Thu Oct 25, 2012 9:27 pm

Richard Bates wrote: Just out of interest, are there any outcomes of the current scheme which would cause you to revise your opinion of it? Although these days you seem to spend less time engaging in questioning about the current scheme as it is in existence, and more about hypothetical alternative schemes which aren't...
To be classed a success, the scheme has to satisfy four requirements
(a) increase in ECF revenue
(b) increase in number of games played
(c) increase in number of players
(d) no obvious drop in the annual numbers of new players

(b), (c) and (d) will be known on publication of the July 2013 grading list. (a) won't be known until publication of at least a draft version of the April 2012 to August 2013 accounts, unless the ECF runs out of money first.

(edit) I could add a fifth condition, but it's an early proxy in part for increase in revenue. This condition is that the rates proposed for the 2013-14 year aren't much more than about 5% above those current.
This is the first one to impact, since there will be a need to set rates for September 2013, presumably in April 2013 if the Finance Council meetings continue on their current schedules. (/edit)


The point on hypothetical alternative schemes is to question whether those with lots of votes on the ECF Council are tempted to move on from the current fudge to a system where you weren't able to play in an English competitive event without being an ECF member. If you want to control players, this has the obvious advantage that you are in a position to ban players by withdrawing their membership. It's the norm in many sports, so is it their intention to introduce this to chess?

David Robertson
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Re: Outcome of membership scheme

Post by David Robertson » Thu Oct 25, 2012 10:14 pm

Roger de Coverly wrote:David Robertson has expressed the belief that you could charge more for voting rights and that a single level scheme is economically illiterate...(snip)...Martin Regan's proposed idea that only members get grades would have destroyed grading as we know it, by making it optional.
Dreadful misrepresentation. That annoys me, and you know where that can lead :shock:

I have never advocated charging more for voting rights. I've advocated precisely the opposite: charging less for those who have no interest in taking up those rights. My model seeks to run with the grain of democratic preferences: the greater majority of players just want to play a game, not thereafter to worry about ECF and its policies. But, for want of a better word, tutored/serious players are likely to want more from ECF; and ECF needs more - in policy and energy terms - from them. The communal benefit is likely to be enormous, relative to where we are.

The key to this distinction is not to debar the former (social/club players) from defining themselves as the latter (serious/committed players): the boundary (between Gold & Bronze [sic]) must be totally permeable. So demarcations by grade, or by league/congress/FIDE, are disallowed.

In effect, ECF establishes a Gold rate with entitlements, from which players can opt out if they wish. Some basic entitlements can still attach to this lower category. I could amplify, but enough for now.

A single level of membership is indeed economically illiterate - for the rather prosaic facts that it would be grossly regressive; and hugely undemocratic. A tiered system - probably two tiers unless a case can be made for three - recognises the basic differences between 'social' and 'serious' players (better terms may be available). But, I repeat, my model does not by coercion assign anyone to a given tier; does not coerce payment for play or rights; but does allow people free choice of how they define themselves by tier.

To the suggestion that Martin Regan's proposal would have "destroyed gradings as we know it", I need to exercise an unaccustomed degree of verbal restraint. The claim is nonsense. ECF is quite right - and always will be - to offer a national grade as a benefit of membership at any level of membership. If Roger de Coverly wishes to develop a Bourne End-specific grading list, my advice is: good luck with that one!

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Outcome of membership scheme

Post by Roger de Coverly » Thu Oct 25, 2012 10:43 pm

David Robertson wrote: The claim is nonsense. ECF is quite right - and always will be - to offer a national grade as a benefit of membership at any level of membership.!
The claim is completely valid. I challenged Martin on whether his membership proposal would have meant that it would be compulsory for an individual to become a member of the ECF even for a single league game. His reply was no, but only members would get grades or have their games included in grading calculations. So players declining to be members would no longer have grades thus breaking the long established convention that England has a compulsory grading system. So if you play enough competitive chess, you have a grade and opt-outs are not allowed. Grading applies both to non-members and members alike.

It's a principle that's widely held. I put forward the case for a complete or partial withdrawal from National grading at one of our local meetings. It seems a widely held view that you need to grade all results played by everyone, so attention had to be concentrated on a scheme to be able to pay £ 2 per game to the ECF for the relatively inactive.
Last edited by Roger de Coverly on Fri Oct 26, 2012 12:19 am, edited 1 time in total.

Angus French
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Re: Outcome of membership scheme

Post by Angus French » Thu Oct 25, 2012 11:50 pm

Roger de Coverly wrote:To be classed a success, the scheme has to satisfy four requirements
(a) increase in ECF revenue
(b) increase in number of games played
(c) increase in number of players
(d) no obvious drop in the annual numbers of new players

(b), (c) and (d) will be known on publication of the July 2013 grading list. (a) won't be known until publication of at least a draft version of the April 2012 to August 2013 accounts, unless the ECF runs out of money first.

(edit) I could add a fifth condition, but it's an early proxy in part for increase in revenue. This condition is that the rates proposed for the 2013-14 year aren't much more than about 5% above those current.
This is the first one to impact, since there will be a need to set rates for September 2013, presumably in April 2013 if the Finance Council meetings continue on their current schedules. (/edit)
... which takes us back to the initial post in the thread.

Also to be considered are the cost of operating the system (including ECF Office time and service provider costs) and software costs. Plus there's the possibility that membership subscriptions may, in future, be Gift Aided.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Outcome of membership scheme

Post by Roger de Coverly » Fri Oct 26, 2012 12:06 am

David Robertson wrote: I have never advocated charging more for voting rights. I've advocated precisely the opposite: charging less for those who have no interest in taking up those rights.
I find it difficult to see the difference. As always I will give a couple of examples. Congresses will either ask for a £ 30 entry fee with a £ 6 discount for ECF members, or will ask for a £ 24 entry fee with a £ 6 surcharge for non-ECF members. The revenue to the tournament is the same.

Similarly, taking costs at random, if you charge £ 50 a year for voting membership of the ECF and offer a discount of £ 30 if you don't want a vote, that's the same as charging £ 20 for membership with a £ 30 surcharge for voting rights.

Phil Neatherway
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Re: Outcome of membership scheme

Post by Phil Neatherway » Fri Oct 26, 2012 8:42 am

Roger,

what do you want the outcome of the membership scheme to be?

Alan Walton
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Re: Outcome of membership scheme

Post by Alan Walton » Fri Oct 26, 2012 9:09 am

Phil Neatherway wrote:Roger,

what do you want the outcome of the membership scheme to be?
I can answer that one for him with one word

FAIL

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Outcome of membership scheme

Post by Roger de Coverly » Fri Oct 26, 2012 9:27 am

Alan Walton wrote:I can answer that one for him with one word

FAIL
In the longer run, I believe that per head charging, particularly when combined with compulsory membership can destroy league chess as we know it. For that matter, the ability to ban players by denying them membership gives too much power to those who would want to run a national body.

Phil Neatherway
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Re: Outcome of membership scheme

Post by Phil Neatherway » Fri Oct 26, 2012 9:41 am

Roger,

that's not answering the question. What do you WANT the outcome of the membership scheme to be?

Simon Brown
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Re: Outcome of membership scheme

Post by Simon Brown » Fri Oct 26, 2012 9:45 am

The problem here is that Roger could be right, but the costs we are talking about are so low that it doesn't matter. No-one who really wants to play, be it one game or 200 games, is going to baulk at £30 a year or whatever it is.

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