Outcome of membership scheme

Debate directly related to English Chess Federation matters.
Roger de Coverly
Posts: 19213
Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2008 2:51 pm

Re: Outcome of membership scheme

Post by Roger de Coverly » Sat Oct 27, 2012 4:59 pm

Sean Hewitt wrote: It does appear that a number of junior events are not going to be graded this year, even with this easement. If that does turn out to be the case, it rather weakens the argument for the easement continuing when the matter is reconsidered at the next finance meeting.
So if junior organisers consider the price of participating in national grading is too high, increase the price so that even more drop out.

John Upham
Posts: 4958
Joined: Wed Apr 04, 2007 10:29 am
Location: Cove, Hampshire, England.
Contact:

Re: Outcome of membership scheme

Post by John Upham » Sat Oct 27, 2012 5:04 pm

If, like me, you need relief from RDdCs tedious and dull posts then why not learn a new language?

I can strongly recommend either

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Befunge

or

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brainfuck


Try learning one of these whilst driving.
British Chess News : britishchessnews.com
Twitter: @BritishChess
Facebook: facebook.com/groups/britishchess :D

Sean Hewitt
Posts: 2190
Joined: Sat Mar 10, 2012 8:18 pm
Contact:

Re: Outcome of membership scheme

Post by Sean Hewitt » Sat Oct 27, 2012 5:51 pm

Roger de Coverly wrote:So if junior organisers consider the price of participating in national grading is too high, increase the price so that even more drop out.
It's called economics.

Paul McKeown
Posts: 3464
Joined: Thu Apr 12, 2007 3:01 pm
Location: Hayes (Middx)
Contact:

Re: Outcome of membership scheme

Post by Paul McKeown » Sat Oct 27, 2012 6:06 pm

# Trampoline: Skip next cell
Haha! Can't wait to get hold of an interpreter! :lol:

Paul McKeown
Posts: 3464
Joined: Thu Apr 12, 2007 3:01 pm
Location: Hayes (Middx)
Contact:

Re: Outcome of membership scheme

Post by Paul McKeown » Sat Oct 27, 2012 6:10 pm

Whitespace looks a good way to baffle code breakers. All the time they are looking at your program written to read like C++, Perl or whatever, COBOL even, the real code is hidden away in the whitespace. Ingenious!

Roger de Coverly
Posts: 19213
Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2008 2:51 pm

Re: Outcome of membership scheme

Post by Roger de Coverly » Sat Oct 27, 2012 6:35 pm

Neill Cooper wrote: At the meeting I did say that the reduced game fee would result in a larger junior membership than if there was a high game fee, as junior organisations would be more likely to encourage junior membership.
Is it known what CCF are doing? Their website has a comment about the introduction of their own junior gradings but is otherwise silent on independent CCF grades, or ECF membership requirements for that matter.

On the grading site http://www.ecfgrading.org.uk/?club=Coulsdon+CF, they have 755 players listed, the majority juniors. By contrast, the membership list contains less than a hundred CCF players, mostly at Gold level.

They used to have a Vice Presidency, but according to old membership lists from April, that was due to expire at the end of September 2012.

Neill Cooper
Posts: 1251
Joined: Sun Feb 24, 2008 4:43 pm
Location: Croydon
Contact:

Re: Outcome of membership scheme

Post by Neill Cooper » Sun Oct 28, 2012 7:10 am

Roger de Coverly wrote:
Neill Cooper wrote: At the meeting I did say that the reduced game fee would result in a larger junior membership than if there was a high game fee, as junior organisations would be more likely to encourage junior membership.
Is it known what CCF are doing? Their website has a comment about the introduction of their own junior gradings but is otherwise silent on independent CCF grades, or ECF membership requirements for that matter.

On the grading site http://www.ecfgrading.org.uk/?club=Coulsdon+CF, they have 755 players listed, the majority juniors. By contrast, the membership list contains less than a hundred CCF players, mostly at Gold level.

They used to have a Vice Presidency, but according to old membership lists from April, that was due to expire at the end of September 2012.
It was known before the April council meeting that CCF were going to calculate their own junior grades. Hence most of their juniors would have no reason to become ECF members.
Their evening club is now FIDE rated so everyone who plays there has to be Gold, which includes about 30 juniors.

Neill Cooper
Posts: 1251
Joined: Sun Feb 24, 2008 4:43 pm
Location: Croydon
Contact:

Re: Outcome of membership scheme

Post by Neill Cooper » Sun Oct 28, 2012 9:13 am

Sean Hewitt wrote:
Neill Cooper wrote:At the meeting I did say that the reduced game fee would result in a larger junior membership than if there was a high game fee, as junior organisations would be more likely to encourage junior membership.
Apologies, I thought that it was the person who had proposed it. I knew that someone at the meeting, in favour of the motion, had said something to that effect. I didn't understand the logic then, and I must confess that I still don't understand the logic now.

It does appear that a number of junior events are not going to be graded this year, even with this easement. If that does turn out to be the case, it rather weakens the argument for the easement continuing when the matter is reconsidered at the next finance meeting.
I think the membership proposal drawn up last year had little understanding of how junior chess organisations would react because the board did not attempt to discuss the proposal with the larger junior organisers who ECF grade their games. Whilst much junior chess is ungraded (EPSCA, NYCA and UK Chess Challenge only grade a small fraction of their games) other junior organisations do grade their events. This does still involve a large number of games, and about two thirds of all rapidplay games graded in 2011-12 were from junior only events (http://www.sccu.ndo.co.uk/grad.htm)

Why is it that juniors are a special case, and should have reduced game fee?

Firstly, for most juniors their ECF grading is nice to have but not essential. This is in contrast to many club players who play in grade limited events for which an ECF grade is essential. Junior organisations like their players to have gradings as it helps with seeding for competitions and team selection, in particular justifying their board order to parents. So whilst adults need an ECF grade most graded juniors only need a grade. Hence when junior grading fees were introduced Berkshire Juniors developed their own grading software to avoid the cost. So the need for an ECF grade is greater for adults than for most juniors.

Secondary, most junior events, and therefore the normal entry point for juniors into the grading system, are one day rapidplays. These require Silver membership not the entry level Bronze. This seems perverse, and probably should be changed. I would suggest that all one day rapidplay events should only require Bronze membership.

Thirdly, whilst adult grading fees were to be increased by a factor of 3, junior fees were to be increased by a factor of 6, to be the same as the adult fees. Junior organisations only gradually found out about this and when they did almost all decided they could not still have their games graded.

Fourthly, the ECF produced estimated figures for junior membership under the new membership scheme which were clearly wrong. They had not talked to any of the main junior organisations and therefore did not know that most would not support the ECF membership proposals. One example of how wrong the figures were is that, as well as grossly overestimating junior Silver/bronze membership, they significantly underestimated Junior Gold membership.

Under the easement from the Finance meeting I thought that most junior organisations are continuing to ECF grade their events. Apart from CCF juniors, what other junior events are not going to be ECF graded this year which were last year?

One final difference when looking at the uptake of ECF junior membership is that unlike most clubs, junior organisations are not requiring ECF membership at the start of the season. Thus we can expect Junior membership to continue to grow throughout the year.

Finally, if the ECF board is going to propose at the next finance meeting that the easement is reduced or removed then I would strongly recommend that they talk to some of the main junior organisations who at present are ECF grading their events. Then the decision can be based on what these organisations say they would do under the new circumstances. Amongst other things, by talking with them they will also be able to encourage them to promote ECF junior membership.

Sean Hewitt
Posts: 2190
Joined: Sat Mar 10, 2012 8:18 pm
Contact:

Re: Outcome of membership scheme

Post by Sean Hewitt » Sun Oct 28, 2012 11:07 am

Neill Cooper wrote:Why is it that juniors are a special case, and should have reduced game fee?

Firstly, for most juniors their ECF grading is nice to have but not essential. This is in contrast to many club players who play in grade limited events for which an ECF grade is essential. Junior organisations like their players to have gradings as it helps with seeding for competitions and team selection, in particular justifying their board order to parents. So whilst adults need an ECF grade most graded juniors only need a grade. Hence when junior grading fees were introduced Berkshire Juniors developed their own grading software to avoid the cost. So the need for an ECF grade is greater for adults than for most juniors.

Secondary, most junior events, and therefore the normal entry point for juniors into the grading system, are one day rapidplays. These require Silver membership not the entry level Bronze. This seems perverse, and probably should be changed. I would suggest that all one day rapidplay events should only require Bronze membership.

Thirdly, whilst adult grading fees were to be increased by a factor of 3, junior fees were to be increased by a factor of 6, to be the same as the adult fees. Junior organisations only gradually found out about this and when they did almost all decided they could not still have their games graded.

Fourthly, the ECF produced estimated figures for junior membership under the new membership scheme which were clearly wrong. They had not talked to any of the main junior organisations and therefore did not know that most would not support the ECF membership proposals. One example of how wrong the figures were is that, as well as grossly overestimating junior Silver/bronze membership, they significantly underestimated Junior Gold membership.

Under the easement from the Finance meeting I thought that most junior organisations are continuing to ECF grade their events. Apart from CCF juniors, what other junior events are not going to be ECF graded this year which were last year?

One final difference when looking at the uptake of ECF junior membership is that unlike most clubs, junior organisations are not requiring ECF membership at the start of the season. Thus we can expect Junior membership to continue to grow throughout the year.

Finally, if the ECF board is going to propose at the next finance meeting that the easement is reduced or removed then I would strongly recommend that they talk to some of the main junior organisations who at present are ECF grading their events. Then the decision can be based on what these organisations say they would do under the new circumstances. Amongst other things, by talking with them they will also be able to encourage them to promote ECF junior membership.
Some reasonable points there. I think you are making a case for junior discounts per se, rather than junior game fee specifically. That might be possible, but we should wait to see how the numbers pan out first before making any decisions.

Roger de Coverly
Posts: 19213
Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2008 2:51 pm

Re: Outcome of membership scheme

Post by Roger de Coverly » Sun Oct 28, 2012 11:08 am

Paul Cooksey wrote:I understand a case for subsidising junior chess, but don't understand why it should be through game fee rather than discounted membership?
I've always though it straightforward to understand. A number of the participants may be competing in their only event ever in their lifetime so asking for an annual membership charge doesn't make any sense. If thinking of it as Game Fee is difficult, try thinking of it as a temporary membership for the duration of the event. If you want another metaphor, you don't need to buy an Annual Season ticket to make a return train journey to London.

It's junior organisers you have to convince. It's their judgement that if the cost of entering their events is to be increased by the cost of an annual membership, even for those only playing one such event a year, then this is a price higher than they or those who finance the event are prepared to pay to participate in national grading and other ECF activities.

Sean Hewitt
Posts: 2190
Joined: Sat Mar 10, 2012 8:18 pm
Contact:

Re: Outcome of membership scheme

Post by Sean Hewitt » Sun Oct 28, 2012 11:11 am

Roger de Coverly wrote:A number of the participants may be competing in their only event ever in their lifetime so asking for an annual membership charge doesn't make any sense.
That's just wrong. The economics of whether it makes sense depends on how many such players events have, and how many would still play despite the membership requirement.

Krishna Shiatis
Posts: 667
Joined: Thu Apr 22, 2010 1:08 pm

Re: Outcome of membership scheme

Post by Krishna Shiatis » Sun Oct 28, 2012 11:13 am

Neill Cooper wrote: I think the membership proposal drawn up last year had little understanding of how junior chess organisations would react because the board did not attempt to discuss the proposal with the larger junior organisers who ECF grade their games....

... for most juniors their ECF grading is nice to have but not essential.

... whilst adult grading fees were to be increased by a factor of 3, junior fees were to be increased by a factor of 6, to be the same as the adult fees....

They had not talked to any of the main junior organisations and therefore did not know that most would not support the ECF membership proposals.

Apart from CCF juniors, what other junior events are not going to be ECF graded this year which were last year?

I would strongly recommend that they talk to some of the main junior organisations who at present are ECF grading their events.

Then the decision can be based on what these organisations say they would do under the new circumstances. Amongst other things, by talking with them they will also be able to encourage them to promote ECF junior membership.
Agree with Neill. There is another junior organisation which is grading through the ECF at the moment and which is considering joining CCF. It is partly because of the sudden and very steep rise in grading fees.

I suppose the questions which the ECF really needs to ask is:

1) Do they want the junior games ECF graded?
2) How will these sudden and large price increases impact on junior chess in the short term/long term?
3) If junior organisations stop grading their games through the ECF then what is the relevance for most to join the ECF if they are just playing occasionally? I am not talking about the regular chess players who play at club.
4) Is it a good idea to maintain lower grading fees for juniors so that you can mop up their membership and have a united grading system and in the long term keep them in chess as you can track them?

Perhaps talking to all these junior organisations as Neill has suggested might be a good idea.

Roger de Coverly
Posts: 19213
Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2008 2:51 pm

Re: Outcome of membership scheme

Post by Roger de Coverly » Sun Oct 28, 2012 11:27 am

Sean Hewitt wrote: The economics of whether it makes sense depends on how many such players events have, and how many would still play despite the membership requirement.
Is economics the wrong word? Perhaps marketing is the right word. You cannot market participation in an event if a number of the participants would be playing only the single event in a year and you ask them for a annual membership charge on top of their entry fee. Or at least that's what the Junior Organisers believe and what was put in the paper directed to the April Council meeting.

The objective of many junior organisers is to maximise participation rather than income to the ECF, so they would regard it as contrary to their primary objective if ECF membership requirements discouraged participation.

Would it be easier to understand where these organisers are coming from, if the rule said that ECF membership was compulsory to play in a one-day Junior rapid-pay, but that temporary membership for the duration of the event, was on sale for £ 2.50 a head and included in the entry fee?

David Gilbert
Posts: 768
Joined: Sat Apr 04, 2009 10:03 am

Re: Outcome of membership scheme

Post by David Gilbert » Sun Oct 28, 2012 11:51 am

Could Junior chess jettison itself from the ECF and create its own structures, maybe through the CCF, or using the CCF model? From what Neilll and Krishna are reporting there could be support for that, indeed it may already be happening if, as Krishna points out, more Junior events are thinking about coming under the CCF umbrella for grading purposes. Juniors playing in ECF rated events would still need to meet the same conditions as adults, but the ECF would receive zero income from purely Junior chess, which they would offset by no longer having any locus for funding it. Is that a viable option the Junior chess world would find attractive?

Paul Bielby
Posts: 152
Joined: Tue Dec 22, 2009 4:14 pm
Location: South Shields

Re: Outcome of membership scheme

Post by Paul Bielby » Sun Oct 28, 2012 12:34 pm

It is true of course, that the majority of Junior chess seems to be organised in the South-East, and in that area people seem to be far more worried about the costs of membership than in my own area, Northumbria. Here there is little problem about membership. The NJCA has had its tournaments graded for many years. The Annual General meeting, largely dominated by parents, has had no difficulty in accepting the idea that all juniors should become members of the ECF if they want to play competitive chess (The fact that the three NE adult county leagues also insist on mandatory membership probably helps - people are used to it).

I agree fully with most of Neill's points. In particular I feel that insisting on SILVER membership for all junior tournaments is wrong. Surely BRONZE is supposed to be the introductory level. In an area where there is no other graded junior chess there is no point in having a BRONZE junior membership at all. All our members have to be SILVER or GOLD. However the amounts involved in the difference between BRONZE and SILVER are so small that it hasn't affected our membership. The AGM this year has again accepted the idea of all our players becoming ECF members.

Post Reply