Outcome of membership scheme

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

Post by Roger de Coverly » Thu Aug 30, 2012 11:45 am

Sean Hewitt wrote:Possibly, but a more likely outcome is

reduced office costs
increased ECF income
inreased activity of players
increased retention of players
growth in overall player numbers
reduced office costs
There's extra work in processing the new members, quite obviously someone has had to clean up the data. There's no less work in processing "Congress pay to play" and "League residual Game Fee" than there was under the previous system.

increased ECF income
With an ideological position that you cannot charge organisations per event and well as per head, the only way of increasing income is to increase one or both of the per head cost and number of heads. League players who are also Gold members are being given a price cut. I'm not sure whether we're supposed to believe the budget, but the assumptions about money raised from Juniors and non members remain suspect. If you ban non-members from participation as some leagues have done, you don't get residual game Fee.

Congress organisers seem totally opposed to the notion that if the ECF or external factors increase the amount of chess played, that the ECF should get a cut.

inreased activity of players
That is a possible outcome. It's in the dynamics of team chess that you need a fixed number to show up. If you introduce rules which discourage or ban irregular players from taking part, then you need to work the established players harder by twisting their arms to play more matches.

In terms of graded games, those played by ECF members in the local Yorkshire evening leagues will no longer be included in the national system.

At a local league level though, you only get more activity if someone organises extra competitions. If you live in an are with overlapping leagues, it's long been the case that if you want extra games you play in an additional league so demand for extra competitions is limited.

increased retention of players
I would have though the opposite. If through external circumstances you have to reduce the amount of chess you play, I would have thought it at least possible that a membership requirement could force immediate retirement. It's also made more difficult or more expensive to come back for the odd game. The highest price demanded is £ 28 for a single 4NCL game, if you don't want your International rating destroyed.

growth in overall player numbers
There's something like a 10% or more turnover. With membership barriers preventing new players getting a first taster of organised chess, I struggle to see how you get new players. Whilst a local rapid-play might be recommended, isn't asking £ 19 on top of the entry fee and having to input personal details to the ECF site likely to discourage rather than encourage participation?

Alex Holowczak
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Re: Outcome of membership scheme

Post by Alex Holowczak » Thu Aug 30, 2012 11:52 am

Carl Hibbard wrote:
Sean Hewitt wrote:I suggest starting a new thread if you would like to debate the outcomes of the membership scheme.
Yes please not another Roger doesn't like the scheme thread :roll:
Nice work guys. *slow handclaps*

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Outcome of membership scheme

Post by Roger de Coverly » Thu Aug 30, 2012 11:58 am

Alex Holowczak wrote:[
Nice work guys. *slow handclaps*
The candidate for President wrote that he wanted to review aspects of the membership scheme. Quite rightly as it has the potential to bankrupt the ECF and be a disaster to local chess organisations.

Ernie Lazenby
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Re: Outcome of membership scheme

Post by Ernie Lazenby » Thu Aug 30, 2012 12:06 pm

It is clear to me and most readers that Sean and Roger are poles apart on this issue. Makes interesting reading though

In the overall scheme of things my next comment has little relevance but maybe its one Roger has thought about.

At my clubs AGM on Tuesday (12 members) we discussed our annual subs. Two members said they would probably play ony a couple of games each during the season and then only if really pressed to do so. So to play 2 games they have to pay £13, a bit unfair really but they readily agreed to do so.

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Rob Thompson
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Re: Outcome of membership scheme

Post by Rob Thompson » Thu Aug 30, 2012 12:10 pm

For the next season I am captaining a University team in the Bristol league. So far, we have had absolutely no problems with membership. Quite frankly, if students can do it without complaint I really don't see why anyone else finds it an issue.
True glory lies in doing what deserves to be written; in writing what deserves to be read.

Steve Rooney
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Re: Outcome of membership scheme

Post by Steve Rooney » Thu Aug 30, 2012 12:13 pm

Roger de Coverly wrote:
Alex Holowczak wrote:[
Nice work guys. *slow handclaps*
The candidate for President wrote that he wanted to review aspects of the membership scheme. Quite rightly as it has the potential to bankrupt the ECF and be a disaster to local chess organisations.
Roger, I shared some of the concerns about the membership scheme during the earlier debates. But now the decision has been made I think it is incumbent on all of us to try and make it work. That was certainly the overwhelming view at our county agm.

Why not accept the decision, sit back and relax. If your analysis is correct then there will be plenty of opportunities to say "I told you so' later. If you're wrong, no-one is going to expect you to go on the Jeremy Kyle show for a public confessional, you'll just need to sign that cheque. :)

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Outcome of membership scheme

Post by Roger de Coverly » Thu Aug 30, 2012 12:17 pm

Ernie Lazenby wrote: At my clubs AGM on Tuesday (12 members) we discussed our annual subs. Two members said they would probably play ony a couple of games each during the season and then only if really pressed to do so. So to play 2 games they have to pay £13, a bit unfair really but they readily agreed to do so.
Do you mean £ 13 to the club or to the ECF? Locally the county associations and leagues have left it up to the clubs to decide their rules on ECF membership. Logically it makes more sense to pay the ECF £ 4 rather than £ 13, but I much preferred the older system whereby clubs paid an entry fee to the league and then had nothing more to pay, no matter how many players were used.

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Re: Outcome of membership scheme

Post by Sean Hewitt » Thu Aug 30, 2012 12:19 pm

Ernie Lazenby wrote:It is clear to me and most readers that Sean and Roger are poles apart on this issue. Makes interesting reading though
That's because I'm right and he's wrong. You can't get further apart than that. :lol:

We do need to thank Roger for the current membership scheme which is based on suggestions he made on this forum. Without his help I suspect the scheme wouldn't have got through council. :D

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Re: Outcome of membership scheme

Post by Ernie Lazenby » Thu Aug 30, 2012 12:21 pm

Sorry Roger good point, the club fees are £5 plus £13 to be paid to the ECF via the CCA treasurer(or on line). The CCA has a rule that says anyone playing local chess must be a member of the ECF (introduced some years back)

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Outcome of membership scheme

Post by Roger de Coverly » Thu Aug 30, 2012 12:28 pm

Steve Rooney wrote: But now the decision has been made I think it is incumbent on all of us to try and make it work. That was certainly the overwhelming view at our county agm.
County and league AGMs had little choice but to try to minimise the damage.

You get a three way choice
(a) withdraw from national grading
(b) demand that all players be members
(c) make the £ 2 per head per game work

There was little support for (a) , (b) was regarded as unconstitutional, which leaves (c). The November Game Fee estimate is nil or next to nil, which leaves you until this time next year either to raise the money or make everyone playing at least 6 games a member. As it is club treasurers may have to instruct match captains to default rather than to select non-members for team matches.

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Re: Outcome of membership scheme

Post by Roger de Coverly » Thu Aug 30, 2012 12:31 pm

Ernie Lazenby wrote: The CCA has a rule that says anyone playing local chess must be a member of the ECF (introduced some years back)
That's your problem. Locally we have no such rule and would regard it as unconstitutional, the objectives of the county associations being to promote the playing of chess, not prevent it.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Outcome of membership scheme

Post by Roger de Coverly » Thu Aug 30, 2012 12:43 pm

Sean Hewitt wrote: We do need to thank Roger for the current membership scheme which is based on suggestions he made on this forum. Without his help I suspect the scheme wouldn't have got through council. :D
As far as I can see, the CEO, some of the directors, Congress organisers and the membership lobby were absolutely determined to force through almost any near compulsory scheme regardless of its merits. The outline of the scheme changed three times, four if you include the simplifications made at the April 2012 Council.

I do ask myself why the urgency. I can understand that Congress organisers dislike paying any of their entry fees to the ECF. To what extent though is individual membership an attempt to exert power and control over a bunch of unruly chess players? Votes were not on offer, therefore the change was forced through by bending the Game Fee regulations. If membership isn't compulsory, you cannot ban players for taking part in unauthorised event, as the AICF have done, nor can you strip them of International ratings, as the ECF have already done.

Ernie Lazenby
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Re: Outcome of membership scheme

Post by Ernie Lazenby » Thu Aug 30, 2012 12:56 pm

Roger de Coverly wrote:
Ernie Lazenby wrote: The CCA has a rule that says anyone playing local chess must be a member of the ECF (introduced some years back)
That's your problem. Locally we have no such rule and would regard it as unconstitutional, the objectives of the county associations being to promote the playing of chess, not prevent it.

Roger I no longer serve as an officer with the CCA. I need to ask, what happens if those two players dont register with the ECF but play a couple of games in our league. (forget our ECF compulsory membership rule) Do I assume the CCA pays to have the games graded or are they not graded? Please clarify

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Outcome of membership scheme

Post by Roger de Coverly » Thu Aug 30, 2012 1:07 pm

Ernie Lazenby wrote: Roger I no longer serve as an officer with the CCA. I need to ask, what happens if those two players dont register with the ECF but play a couple of games in our league. (forget our ECF compulsory membership rule) Do I assume the CCA pays to have the games graded or are they not graded? Please clarify

Having seen the comment in the NE1 forum, the underlying question is about club championships. As I would understand it, if you want your club championship games graded and aren't prepared to pay your local county £ 2 per game per non-member, or to insist that every entrant has to be an ECF member, the only option is to have these games removed from the data before it goes to the ECF.

The costs of allowing non-members to take part in local and club type events was more of a problem for Junior organisations. They managed to upset the ECF's budget by getting some concessions. They were, after all, being asked to pay a lot more than in 2011-12.
Last edited by Roger de Coverly on Sat Sep 01, 2012 3:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Sean Hewitt
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Re: Outcome of membership scheme

Post by Sean Hewitt » Fri Aug 31, 2012 4:44 pm

It's 4 weeks to go to the Leicester (H.E. Atkins Memorial) Congress and I thought it was worth looking at the effect of the big bad membership scheme on entries.

We have 22 entries at the moment, which is up from 17 at the same time last year. All of the entrants have the correct level of membership (silver) for non FIDE rated sections, (gold) for the FIDE rated open.

The proof of the pudding will be had in 4 weeks time of course, but it seems to have caused us no issues thus far.

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