EGM at Warwick Open 2013

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Oatsey
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Re: EGM at Warwick Open 2013

Post by Oatsey » Thu Mar 07, 2013 2:07 pm

Thanks for the supportive post Matt. In addition if you are members of a BFA club you only pay £5pa (not even £10pa) to encourage Club membership which we all know is the future if we want to succeed to grow the game . That is about a pint and a half !

So you can be a member of a club but not in the club league team and have basic BFA membership for free as well.

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Re: EGM at Warwick Open 2013

Post by Steviola » Thu Mar 07, 2013 9:08 pm

Phil,
-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.
As Dave has already stated the foreign national would have to pay for membership. This is the case for a lot of foreign associations, including p4p which attracts over 800 players to its biggest events (they can put on a great event as they have the funds to do so).
-Voting in the general meeting is not exactly a benefit.
Why is this not a benefit? If you're not interested in decisions that will affect the game then fair enough, but for those that are, having the ability to vote will be of great benefit. Why should someone who has absolutely no interest or history in the game be able to affect it's future? Ensuring only paid members can vote protects the game (not that this sort of thing has happened before).
-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,
As stated in the scheme, Novices (and Juniors) get half price full membership. If these Novices register via their clubs, it will be £2.50 for ANNUAL membership. Not really a stretch is it? This will also encourage clubs to get an organised structure in place for this kind of admin. The BFA League Championships are also a significant if not the most significant drain on resources for various reasons. We're encouraging grass roots play by inserting a national club structure, and although it's early days it is looking promising at the moment.
It seems very short notice to annouce this agenda and considering the outcome of this will impact all foosers if agreed.
The new committee has been in place for 2.5 weeks. Considering the amount of work involved in getting this together, as well as the many other activities going on at present, I consider this an excellent turn around time (ahead of target), especially when you consider there are a number of new faces on board. This needed to be done as soon as possible so the BFA can start sustaining an income.
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!
Everyone is welcome to come to the EGM and it was actually announced 21 days prior to taking place, (including notification that it's purpose will be to ratify a new membership scheme) as is required by the constitution. The ITSF licence is a benefit to any player who wants to play in an ITSF event, including UK ITSF Master Series (such as the recent Liverpool Open) and Pro Tours, not just the Pro Masters Phil.

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Re: EGM at Warwick Open 2013

Post by davez » Thu Mar 07, 2013 10:09 pm

If it means more licences then that's a good thing for UK foos. One reason the Germans do so well is because they have so many wildcards!
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Re: EGM at Warwick Open 2013

Post by leaks » Thu Mar 07, 2013 10:48 pm

Been a while since I've been on here...

If this membership fee scheme gets voted in, would it come into effect immediately? I couldn't see this information, wondering if it would apply for the Sat/Sun of Warwick.

Wasn't there was a scheme very similar to this about 5 years ago? You could either pay £5 up front, or pay a pound at each tournie you went to and if you got to the £5 total you got the full membership and didn't pay at any more tournies you went to. This seemed like a decent idea at the time. If I remember it only lasted about a year - anyone know why it failed to last and what's different about this scheme that will mean it succeeds?

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Re: EGM at Warwick Open 2013

Post by bigjumbo » Thu Mar 07, 2013 10:56 pm

I'm probably not going to be able to make the EGM on the Friday at Warwick as I can only make it on the Sunday. So here are a few comments to throw in to the mix for people to consider when voting:

I sympathise with the need to generate a baseline income and membership scheme is not, a priori, a terrible way to do this. There are obviously logistical concerns about managing the scheme but just because it has failed before it isn't necessarily a good reason not to try again.

The way the scheme is presented here though doesn't appear very optional. If I want to play tournament/league foos I'd have no option but to become a member. One can claim that not playing is an option but that's not quite in the spirit of an "opt-in" scheme. A simple shift in the phrasing of the benefit from "Eligibility" to play to "Discounted Tournament Fees" would make it appear more like a benefit to new members. How about something in between Alex's suggestion of taxing every player at a Cat C tournament by sticking on a small BFA fee and the full membership eligibility: allow non-full members to play at such tournaments and leverage a small (hidden) BFA fee in those cases. The fee can be geared such that just playing more than one event makes membership worthwhile. At least then it feels like one can choose not to pay full membership and still play.

Eligibility to vote is a bit of an illusory benefit - the general meetings are usually held at Cat C up tournaments. How many people are realistically going to be at the tournament and meeting that aren't full members anyway given that you need to be a full member to play at it?

The issue with ITSF licenses seems dubious too although I may have misunderstood it. It is listed as a benefit of membership but upon reading Alex's post and Boris' reply it seems that the BFA needs 500 members to have an ITSF license in order to get wild card places. This seems to suggest, depending on the success of the scheme, that a reasonable number of basic, possibly inactive, members would still need to be given licenses anyway. I don't think that we have 500 active players in the country right now so it doesn't appear to be much of a real benefit in that case. On top of this, it only affects the people playing internationally really (the UK ITSF events are BFA Cat C up anyway and it is proposed that full membership is already needed to play them).

Eligibility to play for GB - fair enough but that doesn't practically benefit most players.

In summary, I'm not against this scheme per se, but I feel the list of proposed benefits is stretched to make membership seem more worthwhile. In practice, if you simply make it such that it makes financial sense for an active player to join (by taxing non-members at sanctioned Cat C tournaments) then that is probably the only benefit that is required. Presenting membership that way might make it seem a bit more transparent and easier for people to buy in to.

It will be interesting to see how the EGM turns out at least.

Cheers,
Joules.

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Re: EGM at Warwick Open 2013

Post by Alex MM » Thu Mar 07, 2013 11:06 pm

leaks wrote:Been a while since I've been on here...

If this membership fee scheme gets voted in, would it come into effect immediately? I couldn't see this information, wondering if it would apply for the Sat/Sun of Warwick.
No. If voted through it will come into effect sometime after the Warwick Open.

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Re: EGM at Warwick Open 2013

Post by leaks » Thu Mar 07, 2013 11:07 pm

Alex MM wrote:No. If voted through it will come into effect sometime after the Warwick Open.
That's good, cheers!

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Re: EGM at Warwick Open 2013

Post by leaks » Thu Mar 07, 2013 11:30 pm

joules wrote:just because it has failed before it isn't necessarily a good reason not to try again.
I don't think anyone said that, I just pointed out it had been tried before. It is a good reason, however, to consider why this scheme will be more successful when it seems less attractive to players. Was there a downturn in attendance after the fee was introduced? Was it just hard to manage, which can be overcome? These aren't unreasonable questions, and it's the kind of useful information that voters at the EGM might want to consider.

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Re: EGM at Warwick Open 2013

Post by bigjumbo » Fri Mar 08, 2013 12:11 am

leaks wrote:
joules wrote:just because it has failed before it isn't necessarily a good reason not to try again.
I don't think anyone said that, I just pointed out it had been tried before.
I wrote my message before I read your's Oli! I didn't mean to suggest that anyone had said just this. There were some posts above in the thread (Alex's I think) that brought up the previous membership scheme and how it struggled logistically. I was just obliquely referring to that.

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Re: EGM at Warwick Open 2013

Post by Oatsey » Fri Mar 08, 2013 10:12 am

Hi guys

I think the last time some thing like this was tried it just was not disciplined enough so money wa snot properly collected, chased up etc. Its up to this years committee to make sure that does not happen and as I am on it I would like to think it wont!

I dont know who else is a member fo other things like 5 a side football club, darts team, skillles team, pool etc etc but £5 pa seems good value to me in comparison to total annual subs/costs of those I have been in.

There are some things in the pipeline which should make the tournament calendar this year look pretty good and so particularly good value to be able to play in them all.

I dont personally like the "deduct everything from entry fees" method although I appreciate it may make life easier as it effectively just hides the cost of different things e.g. 100% payout becomes minus table fees for the cost of renting tables, transport etc then also minus a BFA registration/member fee etc,then minus trophy costs etc and in the end only 50% is actually paid out!

I prefer :

£5 per year BFA membership fee and clarity on what it gives you (technically this is event independent anyway)
£5 per day table fee per event to pay for the transport , set up costs, rental, petrol etc of having any tables there
5% entry fees spent on the trophies
95% payout of remaining entry fees.

Much clearer to me but thats just a personal thing obv.

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Re: EGM at Warwick Open 2013

Post by leaks » Fri Mar 08, 2013 10:52 am

bigjumbo wrote:I wrote my message before I read your's Oli!
haha no worries, I figured that was the case ;)

If Oatsey is on the case then I have every confidence the scheme will be ran well :) A bit of debate is good on these kinds of issues, focuses in on the pertinent points.

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Re: EGM at Warwick Open 2013

Post by Jonathan May » Fri Mar 08, 2013 11:56 am

There are details to work out, particular re charging genuine grass-roots players. My opinion is that we should try something like "Novices registered via a BFA club pay nothing". But I don't have time to weigh up the pros and cons to be honest. I haven't read everything in this thread.

The big issue here is that so far, I see no workable proposal for collecting money.

Let me explain why "paying in advance online or if not, then at tournaments" won't work, briefly...

1) Who is going to maintain the database/spreadsheet of who has paid what, exactly?
2) How is this going to be made available to tournament organisers? How is the BFA going to stop players who haven't paid from playing in tournaments? Is the organiser responsible for collecting fees? If not, does the BFA need to have someone actually preventing players from entering unless they've paid BFA membership fees? How does an organiser actually know whether someone has paid - do they literally have to cross reference every name against some BFA master spreadsheet to check?
3) Who is creating and implementing the online payment mechanism? Will it be PayPal? If so, how will the money get from PayPal into the BFA's bank account?
4) How will we record transaction dates? E.g. if I pay today, which means my renewal is due in a year's time, and someone else pays at Warwick, the dates on renewal are different (presumably?). Both dates are beyond the current committee's remit. What systems will we have in place to process payments when they fall due? If I renew my membership late, is it backdated to the date it lapsed, or does it start anew from the date I pay it?

To be honest, I could go on and on. The previous scheme didn't work DESPITE having committed, technically competent and ever-present people, including several former top tournament organisers, involved in making it work. So far, all that has been proposed is vague assurances from people that "because they are committed, it will work". But I haven't read any detail on how the above will actually work. And frankly, as someone expecting to be involved in running four major tournaments this year, I am seriously concerned about the impact that this scheme could have on the running of the event.

Don't get me wrong, I'm all for a membership scheme, but only if it's implemented in an incredibly simple and automated way, and does not involve chasing around people at tournaments, or preventing people playing at tournaments if they haven't played etc (a duty which would probably fall on an organiser).

Just to ram the point home.

An extra 30 seconds on average spent at the desk registering each player - checking that they have BFA membership and asking for money if they don't before they enter - at a 150 person tournament, adds 75 minutes to the tournament schedule.

In its current form, as an organiser alone (forgetting my place as a player), this scheme looks unworkable and I would be forced to vote against it without a lot more detail. But I will support a scheme that can secure funds from players or clubs, if the infrastructure is in place to make it run efficiently.
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Re: EGM at Warwick Open 2013

Post by Oatsey » Fri Mar 08, 2013 4:03 pm

Hi Jon , you raise a number of valid points and we discussed many of them today. We have the answers to most of these however just to ensure all the committee agree we will have a little chat and then respond to your post early next week sometime.

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Re: EGM at Warwick Open 2013

Post by Greta » Sat Mar 09, 2013 12:27 pm

Steviola wrote:the foreign national would have to pay for membership. This is the case for a lot of foreign associations, including p4p which attracts over 800 players to its biggest events (they can put on a great event as they have the funds to do so).
P4P can ask people to pay for their membership because they aren't a part of ITSF. If i paid for the BFA membership, i would logically expect to become a part of the BFA - but ITSF prohibits double memberships, does that mean i would have to switch between the Lithuanian federation and the BFA once every year just to be able to play at Liverpool Open? Plus, all the benefits listed as the 'Full membership' except being allowed to play at your tournaments don't apply to members of foreign federations, which makes it quite unclear what we would be paying for.

I don't mind paying the fee (most of the scheme looks like a great idea to be honest), but it would seem much easier to have some sort of one-off scheme for foreign players where they can come to a tournament and simply pay a little more than the locals.

...from my point of view.

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Re: EGM at Warwick Open 2013

Post by Oatsey » Sat Mar 09, 2013 1:45 pm

Hi Greta,

The double association membership point is a good point if that is an itsf rule so we will take that feedback into account thanks.

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Re: EGM at Warwick Open 2013

Post by Steviola » Thu Mar 14, 2013 1:41 am

To answer your questions:
Oli wrote:Was there a downturn in attendance after the fee was introduced? Was it just hard to manage, which can be overcome?
I don't believe there was a downturn in attendance after a scheme was introduced last time. It failed because it had a large amount of admin, which I believe was largely created by having the options of either paying for a year membership or paying less per tournament. We have nullified this to a large extent by only presenting annual memberships as available options.

There was also a lack of discipline in the committee at that time.

At every tournament post-Warwick should this get voted through, there will be a manned BFA membership desk next to the usual tournament desk, where players can sign up for membership if they haven't done so online. We will be strongly encouraging online membership by actively reminding pre registered players to do so before the tournaments (and at the end of the day, doing it online is really there to save time for the members themselves). There will always be people that want to become members on the day, so in order not to create any extra hassle for organisers, the player will enter the tournament first and then head to the BFA desk, meaning tournaments will still start (hmmm) on time.

The aim of the membership scheme is to be clear and transparent and to generate a much needed base level of income for the BFA.
The big issue here is that so far, I see no workable proposal for collecting money.
We have resolved this issue now.

Online - we will be using specialist membership/event booking software - likely to be webcollect - to collect and handle all the data, renewals, expiry dates etc for us, making the BFA Secretary's job a whole lot easier. There are also some really cool features in webcollect which can really help the BFA to turn our membership into an asset, and there are also some functions which will be of benefit to organisers.

At the tournament - as mentioned above - a separate BFA desk well marked and a clear structure of tournament desk first, BFA desk second so that there is no impact on tournament start times.

Once players are members they will be emailed with their membership number and expiry date which they need to bring to each tournament.
Jon May wrote:My opinion is that we should try something like "Novices registered via a BFA club pay nothing".
Agreed. This will now be implemented.
1) Who is going to maintain the database/spreadsheet of who has paid what, exactly?
The BFA Secretary will have prime ownership and this will all be managed on webcollect or a similar software solution.
2) How is this going to be made available to tournament organisers?
Organisers do not need this data. Once a player has entered the tournament the organiser need simply ask "Are you a BFA member?" Yes - carry on. No - please go to the BFA desk.
How is the BFA going to stop players who haven't paid from playing in tournaments?
All Cat C events have a pre registration form for the event which we will encourage people to complete as I assume will the organiser. This will enforce collection of an email address. The BFA will check this list email to remind people (who are not full members ) to complete online membership prior to the event.

If a player refuses to sign up for BFA membership despite entering the tournament then that player will be disqualified from the tournament. All tournament announcements and relevant marketing MUST pertain the need for all entrants to be a full member (if cat C or above) so there can be no excuses on the day.
Is the organiser responsible for collecting fees? If not, does the BFA need to have someone actually preventing players from entering unless they've paid BFA membership fees?
No the BFA is responsible for collecting fees so there is no burden on the organiser. The BFA desk will cross reference the entrants with the membership list to identify who needs to pay. If players refuse to pay they will be disqualified from the tournament.
3) Who is creating and implementing the online payment mechanism? Will it be PayPal? If so, how will the money get from PayPal into the BFA's bank account?
We will be using webcollect or a similar software solution to manage this process.
4) How will we record transaction dates? E.g. if I pay today, which means my renewal is due in a year's time, and someone else pays at Warwick, the dates on renewal are different (presumably?). Both dates are beyond the current committee's remit. What systems will we have in place to process payments when they fall due? If I renew my membership late, is it backdated to the date it lapsed, or does it start anew from the date I pay it?
We will have the expiry dates generated automatically - they will be one year after registration. However, for the time being all memberships will be valid up until October 2014 to account for the 2013-14 league season.
Don't get me wrong, I'm all for a membership scheme
I'm glad to hear that.
but only if it's implemented in an incredibly simple and automated way
It will be.
and does not involve chasing around people at tournaments, or preventing people playing at tournaments if they haven't played etc (a duty which would probably fall on an organiser).
It wont - and if it does it is the BFA's responsibility.
An extra 30 seconds on average spent at the desk registering each player - checking that they have BFA membership and asking for money if they don't before they enter - at a 150 person tournament, adds 75 minutes to the tournament schedule
This has been eliminated by our process as mentioned above.

As a reminder here is the membership scheme (with some adjustments taking comments on board):

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. Novices registering via a club - FREE.


Foreign Associate:

- Eligible to enter a BFA sanctioned event cat C or above
- Eligible to enter a BFA sanctioned event cat D or E
- Ranking data kept for future events
- Right to attend AGM but no voting rights

Price - £10 per year.

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)

Membership will last until October 2014 to tie in with the 2013-14 BFA League Championships season (so players do not have to register for membership again half way through that season). Obviously membership registrations after October 2013 will expire a year from that point.

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Re: EGM at Warwick Open 2013

Post by shovie » Thu Mar 14, 2013 9:22 am

Good to see that everyone's ideas are being taken on board.
Steviola wrote:There was also a lack of discipline in the committee at that time.
You won't make any friends with comments like this though.

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Re: EGM at Warwick Open 2013

Post by willhawkes » Thu Mar 14, 2013 6:11 pm

I will not be attending the tournament this weekend, unfortunately.

However for the record, I am voting "for" the proposed membership scheme, and "for" any motions related to it. Think of this as a postal vote!

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Re: EGM at Warwick Open 2013

Post by robmoss2k » Thu Mar 14, 2013 6:31 pm

If the tournament organiser isn't going to check a list, how do you stop people lying?
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Re: EGM at Warwick Open 2013

Post by Steviola » Thu Mar 14, 2013 6:44 pm

Hi Rob,

The BFA desk will be cross referencing tournament entrants with the membership list. There is no need for tournament organiser involvement here.

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