William Metcalfe wrote:And the original NMS had a lot more than 1000 members
It also got money from areas than had never contributed before
The original NMS was a bit of con-trick in my opinion and I thought so at the time. Nowhere in the original documentation http://www.elca.org.uk/artman/publish/article_68.shtml
did it ever point out that for those who didn't play many games, that payments to the ECF per head would work out cheaper. Given the subsequent furore about signing ECF membership forms, what did people think they were signing up to? Game Fee was, what about 35p at the time. So the sell was that you paid Â£ 10 to the NMS in order that your club's league fees could reduce by an unspecified amount. Had the amount of reduction been specified as Â£ 3.50 for 10 games or Â£ 7.00 for twenty, it would have been obvious that the "average" player would not be saving anything.
to quote from http://www.atticuschess.org.uk/forum/ph ... c.php?t=22
2. The NCCU does not have any ECF forms to send to the ECF Office. Most NMS members refused to sign them! â€“ The ECF confirmed that the vast majority of NMS members were NOT ECF members!
Just to quote one para showing what I consider a misleading statement :-
Massive rises each year in the level of BCF Game fee (19% increase this season alone) means ever more expense for the chess player and for all BCF graded events (be they league, congress, rapidplay, county or junior events). The game fee is hidden in entry fees to these events, but is very apparent to treasurers and event organisers who struggle to keep events afloat.
Is not that the reason why the BCF was increasing Game Fee was that as a primary source of funding for the BCF, the BCF's net expenses were increasing at the same rate as Game Fee? If you totally replaced Game Fee with membership, you would have exactly
the same problem, only this time it would be the per head cost that would have to increase. This is what the BCF were doing in the years prior to Game Fee with the county affiliation payments. Game Fee was an attempt to spread the collection of funding for the BCF over a wider base of players, in particular so that the most enthusiastic players paid a bit more.
It's per head schemes that are objected to rather than membership. We have seen from the Bridge world that you can combine (free) membership with pay to play. If you have a per head scheme, you potentially put off new players. Even Congress organisers in the North seem to realise this, as I don't think there are any which are completely closed to non-members. Even the ECF in the Option 1 scheme realise this for Congresses, since they have the non-member charge.
When first introduced, I think Game Fee had the support of about 90% of the country. Even the NCCU minutes at http://www.nccu.org.uk/nccu/mins/index.htm
are silent on the issue for a number of years even though they found plenty to complain about regarding grading and other things. I had never realised until recently that it was Gerry Walsh who first proposed the NMS idea and the abolition of Game Fee. In some ways that should have disqualified him from the job of ECF President, let alone being in charge of the Office which was administering it.