EGM at Warwick Open 2013

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EGM at Warwick Open 2013

Post by BFA Committee » Fri Feb 22, 2013 9:37 pm

All,

This is advance notice of an EGM at the Warwick Open 2013, exact time and date to be decided.

The purpose will be to ratify a new membership scheme. Details of the scheme will be announced in the coming weeks.

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Re: EGM at Warwick Open 2013

Post by Steviola » Mon Mar 04, 2013 9:59 pm

Update: The EGM will be at 19:30 on Friday 15th March.

More details to follow shortly.

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Re: EGM at Warwick Open 2013

Post by shovie » Tue Mar 05, 2013 5:48 pm

Can we have full details of the proposal before the meeting including the reasons behind proposing the scheme?

if it's just for money your time would be better spent promoting expert challenges and chasing sponsorship.

Previous membership schemes have failed due to the amount of admin and continuous management required. If we do need a membership scheme It would be great to see something automated with a dedicated team behind it.

Alex

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Re: EGM at Warwick Open 2013

Post by Steviola » Tue Mar 05, 2013 10:57 pm

The BFA is pleased to announce a new membership scheme...

Background:

For the past few years the BFA has been making a loss and cannot continue to do so if it is to continue to provide significant benefits to members. This is especially true as the traditional sources of income such as expert challenges and tournaments have reduced substantially over the past few years. Currently the BFA provides a range of benefits to British players that come at a significant expense to the association despite the valiant efforts of numerous volunteers. These expenses include ITSF membership and ITSF player licences, allowing us to send our teams and players to ITSF events, keeping the website and forum available for players to use and storing and transporting tables to allow organisers to run events.

The membership scheme is aimed at providing a base level of income which will allow the BFA to maintain these benefits and potentially improve on them in due course. It will also provide a more professional approach to collecting data on members and maintaining this so we can communicate and engage members more effectively.

Almost if not all sports or game associations charge their members an annual fee to cover the cost of keeping the association running and the BFA intends to follow suit. Here is the membership scheme proposal:

BFA Membership Scheme:

Basic Membership:

- Eligible to enter a BFA sanctioned event cat D or E
- An official BFA ranking regularly updated and published
- Notification of upcoming local and national BFA events

Price - Free

Full Membership:

- All the benefits of Basic Membership
- Eligible to enter a BFA sanctioned event cat C or above
- Eligible to enter the BFA League Championships
- Eligible for an ITSF licence
- Eligible to represent Great Britain
- Voting rights at General Meetings

Price - £5 per year if registering via an official BFA Club OR £10 per year otherwise

Novices & Juniors - half price.

Players can register and pay online or at their next BFA sanctioned event.

In order to register for either membership scheme players must provide the following:

Full name, D.O.B, email address, post code, club membership (if applicable)

This scheme should provide more financial security for the BFA and help to safeguard its future, and ultimately the future of the UK game that we all enjoy.

This scheme will be put to the vote at the EGM at the Warwick Open on Friday 15th March.

Please take the time to read the proposal in detail, and we look forward to seeing you all at the EGM and tournament.

Stephen Lyall
BFA Chairman

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Re: EGM at Warwick Open 2013

Post by Bundy Volume 1 » Wed Mar 06, 2013 1:44 pm

Steviola wrote:For the past few years the BFA has been making a loss and cannot continue to do so if it is to continue to provide significant benefits to members.
Well this isn't true. The BFA is £3000+ better off than it was when I took over as chair in Jan 2011.
Shovie wrote:if it's just for money your time would be better spent promoting expert challenges and chasing sponsorship.
I completely agree with this. We were very unlucky last year in that 2x potentially very good earner expert challenge events pulled out at the 11th hour. However the BFA website is completely lacking in a commercial page. I know someone doing a pretty high event expert challenge in Liverpool tomorrow - with Liverpool FC contacting them through their website which they found during at online search. They almost certainly would have come across the BFA's website 1st, but clearly it lacked what was needed for them to contact us, and their search moved on. I see you now have a commercial officer - and I'm sure they can make the necessary changes to the website to promote commercial events.
Steviola wrote:Eligible for an ITSF licence
The BFA requires min. 500 ITSF licences to make us eligible for wild card places at the Nantes World Championships each year. To do this, we include players who have not been active in the past 12 months as BFA members with an ITSF licence. We are currently not at the stage of having 500 paid up members each year - so what are the committee's plans regarding this? Are we not going to have wild card places for WC singles this year? Or are you not planning to pay the minimum 500 euro for ITSF Regular Member status, to save money, but so we lose our doubles wild card places too? We have kept our ITSF licences to just over 500 for a good reason.

Joe.

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Re: EGM at Warwick Open 2013

Post by Boris » Wed Mar 06, 2013 2:04 pm

Re ITSF we are aware of the wild-card situation - the bottom line is that full members will be entitled to an ITSF licence but basic members are not. However that doesn't mean that all basic members will have their ITSF licence withdrawn immediately, but unless we want to aim for a load more members to go for the next wild card threshold some basic members will have to be expired - probably those inactive for the longest - to maintain the total just above 500.

It is also not just about the money but about better communication with the membership - so we can actually contact members.

I suspect one thing players might be interested in is finding other players in their area - particularly those areas where there are no clubs - without contact details for players (either individually or via their club) communicating will be impossible unless the happen to be visiting the website or forum...

The other aspect is to encourage membership via the clubs - giving players the incentive (via cheaper subs) to join clubs and clubs the incentive to register their players (only scores of full members will count towards the club trophy and only full members will be allowed to compete in next years league) - clubs are able to determine their own fees above the central subs required by the BFA. Concessions are available for new clubs of novice or unranked players.

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Re: EGM at Warwick Open 2013

Post by ybbun » Wed Mar 06, 2013 2:37 pm

Joe Bundy wrote:the BFA website is completely lacking in a commercial page. I know someone doing a pretty high event expert challenge in Liverpool tomorrow - with Liverpool FC contacting them through their website which they found during at online search. They almost certainly would have come across the BFA's website 1st, but clearly it lacked what was needed for them to contact us, and their search moved on. I see you now have a commercial officer - and I'm sure they can make the necessary changes to the website to promote commercial events.
I'm pretty sure the BFA does have a commercial ("corporate") page because I was editing it yesterday and it is linked from the front page. http://www.britfoos.com/corporate-events

I'm also pretty sure they would not "certainly would have come across the BFA's website 1st, but clearly it lacked what was needed for them to contact us" because we were actually contacted by them through it. I saw the email.

In fact, we were contacted repeatedly through it for expert challenges up to a year ago but then they suddenly dropped off completely for no apparent reason without us making any changes to the website. We think this is because google changed their algorithm around the same time and our googlerank dropped significantly, so I'm planning to see if anything can be done about it (though not really sure where to start).

Despite that, we are still looking into making the commercial page even more prominent than it is now (the link isn't obvious), and updating some of its info (it has some out of date pdfs), just because that's a good thing to do.

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Re: EGM at Warwick Open 2013

Post by Oatsey » Wed Mar 06, 2013 5:01 pm

Hi Andrew and Joe,

On this google search thing we do need to sort this out as I just typed in Table Football and the BFA was no where to be seen and even typed in Foosball and BFA was no where to be seen . I know for a fact this did not used to be the case.

Andrew would you mind contacting Jon May for ideas as he understands a lot of this stuff. We may be able to get arround it by having our corporate evnts page have "table football events" in its reference/header as that seems to be the case with all teh other sites i.e. they may not have teh search word in the main site name but it is on the sub page reference have a look.

I will also try to update a lot of the corporate literature as we agreed idc.

I will also be proactively contacting event companies and potential sponsors shortly as well as starting to produce some BFA marketing material (for free obv).
Last edited by Oatsey on Wed Mar 06, 2013 5:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: EGM at Warwick Open 2013

Post by Oatsey » Wed Mar 06, 2013 5:06 pm

Just a comment on this

Well this isn't true. The BFA is £3000+ better off than it was when I took over as chair in Jan 2011.


This is true I am sure and Joe did an excellent job of putting the BFA on a firmer footing. What I dont know is how much of that increase was from various asset sales or other one off items as oppsed to proper income. Obviously what we are trying to do with this scheme is make sure regular income is sufficient to survive and then everything else e.g. expert events , tournamnet income which are unknown and unpredictable is on top and if we do get lucky (or work hard) on these we can then do more with the cash e.g. one day upgrade/replace tables or something else which the members might want.

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Re: EGM at Warwick Open 2013

Post by Bundy Volume 1 » Wed Mar 06, 2013 5:15 pm

I stand corrected on this example of the expert challenge then. It was presumptuous I know. However, I think my point of expert challenges stands. Of course I have no doubt the new committee will improve on this side of things.

So is the ITSF membership bit was just put in to bulk up the list of incentives for full membership? If so then that's fine. Makes sense to keep our ITSF licences just above 500 - but I thought this is what we've always done?

Thanks for the explanations!

(also, I didn't really have much to do with our increased finances - costs were just cut with the end of the Tornado table scheme and moving storage places - which Boris did!)

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Re: EGM at Warwick Open 2013

Post by Steviola » Wed Mar 06, 2013 8:45 pm

For the past few years the BFA has been making a loss and cannot continue to do so if it is to continue to provide significant benefits to members.
Well this isn't true. The BFA is £3000+ better off than it was when I took over as chair in Jan 2011.
Actually under £2000 better off than in Jan 2011. Which is fine on the surface, but when looking at the figures more closely it becomes more worrying: What is important when going through the accounts is that there has been a significant reduction in the income levels, with the only income in the last FY coming from tournament registration fees, BFA league registration fees and a one-off sale of assets (the BFA Tornados - and there is almost all of the £2000). If we hadn't sold the Tornados we would have remained stationary facing a declining stream of income (and obviously no Tornados to sell next year).

It is simply irresponsible for the BFA to rely on having unpredictable levels of income as the sole means of financial survival. Having an annual membership scheme is a simple way to guarantee a base level of income (and create an asset out of our members database) to ensure the association's future.

Corporate events in the recession are obviously rarer than they were a few years ago, and really should be done by professional companies with the resources to service them properly. We will develop a scheme in which to sanction such opportunities to these companies in due course so we do not for-go all potential income. The reworking of our website will also help in this regard as Andrew has pointed out.

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Re: EGM at Warwick Open 2013

Post by shovie » Wed Mar 06, 2013 9:50 pm

So, lots of words but no detail on HOW you intend to manage this scheme or any tangible benefits for the members.

Recent tournaments haven't managed to start on time without any of the extra hassle a membership scheme would cause!

So, specifically, who will be in charge of managing the scheme and what system will be used to make the admin easier?
Steviola wrote:Corporate events in the recession are obviously rarer than they were a few years ago, and really should be done by professional companies with the resources to service them properly.


What? Where does this statement come from? All you need is one table and two willing foosers. The BFA can make thousands in profit if its done like this. Who are these "professional companies" you speak of? And why on earth would it be better for them to get the income from these events instead of the BFA?

Can the committee spend less time on this rubbish and more on ideas that haven't already failed?

Here are a few ideas...

Add £1 or £2 to every entry at every tournament for the BFA pot. This is something you won't need to keep track off but will provide the BFA with a steady income.

Put together a proper expert challenge information pack with prices.

Do the same for potential sponsors. Put emphasis on TV coverage.

Bring back proper Swiss events.

Insist that organisers have sport monitor running at every tournament so that people don't need to ask the desk who or where they're playing. People will be happy to bring a monitor from home to facilitate this if you ask.

Alex

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Re: EGM at Warwick Open 2013

Post by Steviola » Wed Mar 06, 2013 10:36 pm

Right here goes...
Shovie wrote:no detail on HOW you intend to manage this scheme
"Players can register and pay online or at their next BFA sanctioned event." The BFA Secretary will by default be in charge of taking fees at tournaments, in his absence this will fall to another committee member.
Shovie wrote:tangible benefits for the members
I would say these are pretty tangible:

- Eligible to enter a BFA sanctioned event cat D or E
- An official BFA ranking regularly updated and published
- Notification of upcoming local and national BFA events
- Eligible to enter a BFA sanctioned event cat C or above
- Eligible to enter the BFA League Championships
- Eligible for an ITSF licence
- Eligible to represent Great Britain
- Voting rights at General Meetings
Shovie wrote:Recent tournaments haven't managed to start on time without any of the extra hassle a membership scheme would cause!
This is an annual membership and it can be paid online as stated previously. Also there is a big incentive to register via your club which will be the responsibility of the club Chairmen/Secretaries, meaning fewer individual transactions. For what it's worth when DID a tournament start on time?
Shovie wrote:So, specifically, who will be in charge of managing the scheme and what system will be used to make the admin easier?
Already answered the first part, and we will be accepting online registrations to make the administration easier and outside of the tournament environment. We will be looking to increase the functionality of the payment form in the future to make it as easy as possible to administer.
Shovie wrote:
Steviola wrote:Corporate events in the recession are obviously rarer than they were a few years ago, and really should be done by professional companies with the resources to service them properly.
What? Where does this statement come from? All you need is one table and two willing foosers. The BFA can make thousands in profit if its done like this. Who are these "professional companies" you speak of? And why on earth would it be better for them to get the income from these events instead of the BFA?
I'm not sure how I can explain it more clearly. There are fewer corporate event opportunities than there were a few years ago when you were on the committee, largely down to the financial downturn. You are wrong re: one table and two willing foosers - one of the opportunities last year required several tables and multiple people to pull off. The last corporate event the BFA did was the one you and I did at the ECL final at Wembley. This was done in conjunction with FoosballUK who supplied the tables (they are one of these "professional companies" I speak of - others being The Table Football Centre, FiveBar, etc.). I am not suggesting it would be better for them to get the income instead of the BFA - where did I write this? My point was that we often do not have the resource to meet the demands of a lot of requests, but we (used to) get regular requests come through our website. This sparked an idea from Jon in fact to create a way for the BFA to sanction these expert challenge requests to bidding companies, with the BFA taking a cut. This was never rolled out because of the aforementioned slump in requests, but it is something that will be reviewed in the next few months.
Shovie wrote:Can the committee spend less time on this rubbish and more on ideas that haven't already failed?
Such as "Chasing sponsorship" you mentioned earlier? - we have had very little to no success in this field in the past 5 years and there is nothing to suggest we will do in the next 5 years unless changes are made. "Running expert challenges" relies on 3rd parties to have an interest in having such an event - I'm sorry but I will not allow the BFA's financial future to be decided in this way, it's too unreliable and should be seen as a bonus.

Having a membership scheme will allow us to have a steady stream of income and also make better use of our membership as has been mentioned previously.
Add £1 or £2 to every entry at every tournament for the BFA pot. This is something you won't need to keep track off but will provide the BFA with a steady income.
In a way this is already being done - unfortunately tournaments have not been as regular in the past 2 years - again an unreliable source of income.
Put together a proper expert challenge information pack with prices.
Completely agree, and this is something we are currently looking into.
Do the same for potential sponsors. Put emphasis on TV coverage.
Potential sponsors will be interested in the audience they are going to reach. A BFA membershipscheme list will tell them exactly how many people they are going to reach.
Bring back proper Swiss events.
I'm not sure what this has to do with anything. Tournament formats are up to tournament organisers, not the BFA.
Insist that organisers have sport monitor running at every tournament so that people don't need to ask the desk who or where they're playing. People will be happy to bring a monitor from home to facilitate this if you ask.
This is a nice suggestion - who are these people that you speak of? By all means I am up for you asking all potential organisers if they have monitors they wish to bring to their tournaments.

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Re: EGM at Warwick Open 2013

Post by Oatsey » Wed Mar 06, 2013 11:01 pm

HI Alex,

just some comments on your post.
Put together a proper expert challenge information pack with prices.

Do the same for potential sponsors. Put emphasis on TV coverage.
I will be doing this as commercial BFA guy idc and completely agree this is needed. Some out of date things like this are already on the BFA site if you look under the corporate events section . In fact something I originally created umpteen years ago but currently has Jon mays number on so needs updating and probably improving. In terms of putting emphasis on TV coverage we need some more definite TV coverage to do that sensibly although obv we will mention the Eurosport aspect .

I will also be trying to contact event companies and potential sponsors idc

However this does not replace the need for a membership scheme in my view . If the BFA is to become more professional and able to meet its members needs in the future as we hopefully grow the sport/game we need to
operate like a proper association and have a base level of income which does not depend on variable and unpredictable things like expert challenges we may or may not get or tournaments which may or may not happen in any predictable numbers.
Add £1 or £2 to every entry at every tournament for the BFA pot. This is something you won't need to keep track off but will provide the BFA with a steady income
This may provide an income but is still very unpredictable and unfair. As we know from past experience many tournaments one year a lot less the next. The more tournaments you decide to go to the more you pay to the BFA .
Why should the BFA get paid this when they do not necessarilly do anything towards the event e.g. the ISHA April event just announced. People who do not go to many events but do use the forum, website other BFA services etc do not necessarily pay a proportionate amount. Surly much fairer to pay for being a member and have the benefits the BFA actually provides clear. If you do not want to be a full member then no one has to be.

I agree The BFA committee need to ensure we collect the fee or its a waste of time but in my view is the right way to go for the longer term view unless we want things to stay as they are and have been i.e. not that professional and not that effective .
Insist that organisers have sport monitor running at every tournament so that people don't need to ask the desk who or where they're playing. People will be happy to bring a monitor from home to facilitate this if you ask.
Quite agree and hopefully for at least some events coming up later in the year this will be the case.

Not sure about Swiss though as I dont really understand it LOL

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Re: EGM at Warwick Open 2013

Post by willhawkes » Wed Mar 06, 2013 11:09 pm

Oatsey wrote: the ISHA April event just announced
whenwhenwhenwhenwhenwhenwhen?

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Re: EGM at Warwick Open 2013

Post by Oatsey » Thu Mar 07, 2013 7:06 am

Ok not actually publicly announced yet. Sorry.
Will be soon hopefully.

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Re: EGM at Warwick Open 2013

Post by Phil Williams » Thu Mar 07, 2013 10:38 am

Whilst I dont particulary agree to this or the way its been structured, I do have these comments.

These are the supposed benefits of the membership.
- Eligible to enter a BFA sanctioned event cat D or E
- An official BFA ranking regularly updated and published
- Notification of upcoming local and national BFA events
- Eligible to enter a BFA sanctioned event cat C or above
- Eligible to enter the BFA League Championships
- Eligible for an ITSF licence
- Eligible to represent Great Britain
- Voting rights at General Meetings

-What happens if a foreign national comes over for a tournament? Will he be expected to pay the membership fee to the cat C tournament? This of course would be the only benefit he would get.
-Voting in the general meeting is not exactly a benefit. This should be all members including basic? Its not like you get many attending anyway.
-I think the BFA League Championships should be kept seperate. There are lots of new teams in the league and if we look at Eastleigh team, I doubt many will ever go to a tournament. They would not be considered to represent GB either and I doubt they would be inclined to go to the GM. Especuially as you will expect the team to pay a entrance fee and incur all the costs of travelling to all the other venues etc. If you want to encourage grass roots play, dont charge a team the membership fee before they have ever been to a tournament,

It seems very short notice to annouce this agenda and considering the outcome of this will impact all foosers if agreed. Looking at the pre-reg list, the only ones that look like being at the meeting will be BFA members who are probably for this or PM/senior players who benefit from the ITSF licence who would likely represent GB!

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Re: EGM at Warwick Open 2013

Post by Oatsey » Thu Mar 07, 2013 12:33 pm

Hi Phil,

just a couple of points on your comments from my perspective.

a foreign national comung to the UK to play in a Catc etc event would as far as I am concerned have to pay to be a full member . This is what they are used to as we have to pay to go to theirs e.g. I had to pay 10 euros to join P4P so i could enter thier event and for theh Tornado event in April I have to join IFP and pay 20 euro!

In terms of voting rights I will leave this to Steve as I dont really care but would probably say being able to vote and influence BFA policy and decisions seems fairer if its those that have paid and supported the BFA who can do so.
They are probably more interested too.

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Re: EGM at Warwick Open 2013

Post by Boris » Thu Mar 07, 2013 1:12 pm

Re the League teams will not be charged extra during the current competition but registered players will have to be members for next year.
There will be concessions for new clubs and for novice or unranked players - clubs will only have to pay subs for players ranked amateur and above.
Individual membership works like road tax - expiring at the end of the month before the month where membership is taken out (i.e. if you join in April your membership expires 31st March the following year). Club-based memberships expire on 31st October - i.e before the start of the league season in November - any taken out now will expire in Oct 2014.

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Re: EGM at Warwick Open 2013

Post by Matt Price » Thu Mar 07, 2013 1:36 pm

I can't believe that there are actually genuine complaints about paying an extra £10 a year to support the BFA, especially in a year when plenty of tournaments look likely.

The two primary concerns at the moment should be implementing a membership structure like the proposed, and making sure the club structure continues to become more and more effective.

Then we might be taken more seriously as an organisation.

I think this is a great idea and am definitely in favour. Yes, there may be teething problems in collecting the money but live and learn. I'd much rather see the BFA grow and contribute my £10 to help than watch it fall apart through lack of financial stability.

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