Suffolk County Chess Association

As agreed at the SCCA Annual General Meeting on 11th July 2023.
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1. Name

Within this document the Suffolk County Chess Association is referred to either as ‘the Association’ or ‘the SCCA’.

2. Work of the SCCA

The Objective of the SCCA is to organise, encourage and promote adult and junior chess throughout Suffolk, including appropriate surrounding areas, and to represent players and clubs, in affiliation to the English Chess Federation (ECF) and the East Anglian Chess Union (EACU).

The SCCA may, subject to resources:
(a) organise teams to compete in the EACU Championships;
(b) organise competitions between clubs and individuals of all strengths, for which it will offer trophies and prizes.
(c) disseminate relevant and current information to clubs and individuals, either electronically or in hard copy format.

3. Membership

Any chess club in the county of Suffolk may affiliate to the SCCA. Chess clubs based outside Suffolk may also affiliate, if so approved by a General Meeting.

Each affiliated club will maintain an official list of its current members. Such lists will be submitted to the SCCA from time to time upon request.

4. Committee

4.1 Composition

The SCCA will be governed by a Committee composed of the following officers: President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer and Competitions Secretary. Occupants of all other roles of the SCCA will be invited to join the committee at the AGM. Officers will normally be elected, or re-elected, at the AGM.

4.2 President

The President will oversee due process and will represent the SCCA in any external forum. The President will serve a maximum of three years in office.

4.3 Vacancies

The Committee will have the power to fill any vacancy occurring during the year.

4.4 Meetings

The Committee will meet at least once a year. Further meetings may be called if two or more Committee members so request.

4.5 Chairman

The Chairman of the Committee will normally be the President. In the absence of the President, the Vice-President, Secretary, Competitions Secretary or Treasurer (in that order of precedence) will chair the meeting. The Chairman has the casting vote in the event of a tied vote.

4.6 Quorum

Five members of Committee shall form a quorum. If within an hour from the time appointed for holding a committee meeting a quorum is not present, the meeting will be adjourned to another day, within 21 days, to be fixed by the Secretary.

4.7 Proxy voting

If a Committee member is unable to attend a meeting, he may give another Committee member a proxy vote in writing to be used as he directs, provided written notification is also given to the Chairman. Each member shall have one vote except the Chairman who, in the event of equality of votes, will have the casting vote only.

4.8 Agendas

A member of the Committee wishing to submit an item for inclusion on a meeting agenda must inform the Secretary not less than 28 days before the meeting. The Secretary shall give members an agenda, along with minutes of the previous Committee Meeting, plus any other necessary documentation, at least 21 days before the date of each meeting.

4.9 Control of events

The Committee will manage all tournaments and competitions arranged by the SCCA and will, if necessary, appoint Controllers and/or Arbiters.

4.10 Sub-Committees

The Committee may elect such sub-committees as are required for the smooth running of the SCCA.

5. Competition Rules

Competitions run by the SCCA will be governed by the Association’s Competition Rules. The Committee will be responsible for the implementation of these Rules.

6. General Meetings


6.1 Notice of Meeting

The Secretary will send notice and agenda of any General Meeting to the Committee Members and Affiliated Clubs at least 21 days prior to the meeting.

6.2 Chairing meetings

The President will chair General Meetings unless absent when the meeting will be chaired by the Vice-President, Secretary, Competitions Secretary or Treasurer, in that order of precedence.

6.3 Annual General Meeting (AGM)

The AGM will be held after the end of the season, in May or June. Any proposal to amend the Constitution or Competition Rules must be submitted by an Affiliated Club to the Secretary at least 28 days before the meeting.

6.4 Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM)

An Extraordinary General Meeting will be called by the secretary:
(a) upon a resolution of the Committee, or
(b) upon a request signed by ten individual members of Affiliated Clubs.

Such a resolution or request must state clearly the reason for calling the meeting. The Secretary will call the meeting within 21 days of the resolution or request being received, and the meeting must take place within six weeks of the call unless specifically agreed otherwise by all interested parties (Committee and/or those who requested the meeting).

A quorum for an Extraordinary General Meeting is twelve. If the meeting is held upon request of SCCA members. at least six of the signatories to the request must attend. If a quorum is not present within an hour of the time called for the meeting, the meeting will not be held and any resolution due to be put to it will be abandoned.

6.5 Voting

Any person attending who is a member of an Affiliated Club may vote at General Meetings.

7. Conduct

The SCCA relies on the good conduct of members of Affiliated Clubs, as well as others playing in events organised by it. Appropriate sanctions may be taken against individuals, or Clubs, whose conduct is unsatisfactory or whose actions are detrimental to the SCCA. The Committee will rule on such matters. Where not specifically covered by SCCA rules the following will apply:

(a) Any members of an Affiliated Club, acting through its Secretary, may notify the appropriate Competitions Controller/Officer in writing of any complaint regarding the conduct of any individual.

(b) The Officer concerned will notify the individual (the Secretary in the case of an Affiliated Club) in writing of the complaint and request a formal written reply within 21 days.

(c) The Committee will appoint a Complaints Sub-Committee to consider the issue and may invite the submission of further written evidence. This sub-committee must not include members of any clubs involved.

(d) If a complaint is upheld, the Complaints Subcommittee may impose sanctions against the offending individual or club(s). Sanctions may include (but are not limited to) suspension of or exclusion from membership (for an individual), suspensions or loss of affiliation (for a club), and the exclusion from one or more competitions organised by the SCCA, and may be for a fixed or an indefinite period. The ruling of the Complaints Sub-Committee will be communicated in writing to the individuals or clubs involved (the club Secretary in the case of an Affiliated Club) within one week of the decision.

8. Finance


8.1 Financial Year

The SCCA’s financial year will run from 1 June to 31 May.

8.2 Fees

Affiliated Clubs will pay entry fees for SCCA competitions as determined at the AGM. Each Club will provide the Treasurer with contact details of its official responsible for paying fees. The Treasurer will, by 30 September in each year, provide each Affiliated Club with an invoice for fees in respect of the season’s affiliation and club competition fees. If payment is not received by 30 November a surcharge of 5% per month or part thereof will be added to the fee. Affiliated Clubs are liable for any rating fees charged by the ECF.

The Treasurer will provide each club with an invoice for fees in respect of the games played by those who are not members of the ECF prior to 31 December.

8.3 Bank account

A Current Account with online facilities will be maintained by the Treasurer to receive income and make payments on behalf of the SCCA. The Treasurer and the President and/or the Secretary will hold the access codes and passwords for the on-line current account with the Treasurer authorised to make BACS payments that do not require a signature. A Deposit Account may also be held for extra funds. Withdrawals from this account will be paid into the current account and two signatories drawn from the President, Treasurer and Secretary are required for this purpose.

8.4 Financial records

The Treasurer will keep proper financial records of the SCCA’s financial affairs and will present a current statement of the Association’s finances at all Committee Meetings and the AGM. At the AGM the Treasurer will report on the SCCA accounts for the year just ended. The accounts will be audited.

8.5 County matches

County Team Captains will be responsible for organising the matches in the EACU. The SCCA will fund the venues and light refreshments by reimbursing the County team captains for any expenditure they make. A claim for these expenses will have to be submitted to the Treasurer by the County team captains, supported by documents showing the expenditure and the Treasurer will then release the funds. A contribution towards the travel costs to County matches that reach the national level will be made to a level set by the Treasurer and agreed at each Annual General Meeting.

8.6 Suffolk Closed Championships

The organiser of the event will be responsible for the cost of running this competition. The SCCA will pay for trophies and engraving.

9. Trophies

The SCCA will provide trophies for its competitions. The Treasurer will maintain a list of these trophies and their whereabouts.

Trophies will be presented to competition winners at an appropriate meeting of the Association and must be returned to the SCCA at least two weeks before the following year’s presentation.

Trophy holders are responsible for their safe keep and return, and in the case of loss or damage to the trophies, must pay the SCCA the cost of making good such loss or damage.

10. Child Protection

The current SCCA Child Protection Policy can be viewed here.

11. Amendments to the Constitution or Competition Rules

Proposals for amendments to the Constitution or Competition Rules may be put to a General Meeting either by Affiliated Clubs or the Committee. Proposals for amendment must be sent, in writing, to the Secretary, not less than 28 days before the meeting at which they are to be proposed. They must be circulated to the Club Secretaries and the Committee not less than 21 days before the meeting.

Amendments to the Constitution may only be made at a General Meeting. To be approved, amendments must receive at least two thirds of the available votes at the meeting.

Any amendment to the Competition Rules and proposals for new Rules must be made at a General Meeting. Any agreed changes will not be applied in a competition that is already in progress. To be adopted, amendments to the Rules require a simple majority of the votes cast at the meeting.

12. Suspension to the Constitution or Competition Rules.

In the event of an emergency the committee has the power to suspend normal SCCA protocols.

13. Disability Access to Club Venues.

All new venues for playing SCCA controlled competitions must provide adequate disabled access to both the playing area and toilets. The League will have the power to change a match venue should it be necessary to accommodate a disabled player.