09.07.17: Para 6(b) Safeguarding Lead added. 27.06.15: amended
28.08.18 (SGM). Para5 Fees updated. Para12 grading updated.
07.07.19 (AGM). Para 7(g) Patrons note added.
1. This organisation shall be called the "Southern Counties Chess Union" (SCCU) and shall be affiliated to the British Chess Federation (BCF) and the English Chess Federation (ECF).
2. The Union shall comprise:
(a) the Member Counties: any or all of the organisations known as the Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Kent, Middlesex, Oxfordshire, Surrey and Sussex (County) Chess Associations. Membership is conditional on payment of the Membership fee (see Rule 5).
(b) the Non-County Members: chess leagues, chess congresses or other chess organisations which are Members as provided by Rules 3 and 5.
(c) Patrons of the SCCU. Patrons pay an annual sum of not less than £20, or such other sum as Council may from time to time decide. Patronship is effective for one year from the date of payment, and appointment must be confirmed by the Executive Committee.
(d) Life Vice-Presidents of the SCCU. This title is conferred for signal contributions to the work of the SCCU or to chess in its area, and is normally held for life. Life Vice-Presidents may be elected only by Council and after due notice given on the Agenda of a meeting.
3. Non-County Members
(a) Any application for admission to Non-County Membership shall be considered by Council at a General Meeting. Applications must be submitted to the General Secretary not later than 21 days before the date of the meeting, or 35 days in the case of an Annual General Meeting, and notice shall be given with the Council agenda. Admission shall require the support of at least two-thirds of the votes cast.
(b) A Non-County Member may be expelled from the Union by any General Meeting of the Council. Notice shall be given with the Council agenda, and expulsion shall require the support of at least two-thirds of the votes cast.
(c) Except as provided by (b) above, Non-County Membership shall remain effective until such time as the Member resigns.
(d) Non-County Members shall be eligible to play in all Union competitions except those governed by the SCCU County Match Rules (see 4(b) below).
4. The objectives of the Union shall be:
(a) to encourage the study and playing of chess in all its member organisations;
(b) to conduct one or more County Championship competitions for all its Member Counties, as defined and governed by the SCCU County Match Rules;
(c) to conduct one or more Individual Championship competitions open to players qualified to represent Member Counties or Non-County Members in SCCU competitions; and
(d) to arrange and support such other competitions and activities as may seem desirable to the Council or Executive Committee.
(a) Member Counties and Non-County Members shall pay an annual fee decided upon from time to time by the Council and payable on the 31st October of each year. The fee for a Non-County Member shall be half that for a Member County.
(b) A Member more than 3 months in arrears with all or part of this payment and/or any charge under Rule 12 below shall have no voting rights; and a Member 6 months in arrears with all or part shall be deemed to have resigned.
(c) Fees for appeals and determination of Quick Play Finish Claims in any SCCU competition shall be set out in the applicable competition rules at such rates as may be determined by the Executive.
6. The Council
(a) The Governing body of the Union shall be the Council, which shall consist of:
(i) the Officers of the Union;
(ii) two delegates from each Member County; and
(iii) one delegate from each Non-County Member.
(b) The Officers shall be elected annually by the Council and shall be the President, Deputy President, General Secretary, Treasurer, Grading Secretary, County Match Controller, Junior Organiser, Safeguarding Lead, Webmaster; and such other Officers as the Council shall decide.
(c) The President shall be Chairman of the Council. In his absence the Deputy President or such other Officer as may be elected by Council shall chair the meeting.
7. General Meetings
At each General Meeting of the Council (see Rules 8 and 9) the following rules shall apply:
(a) The General Secretary shall give at least 21 days written notice of the meeting, with a full agenda of matters to be considered, to all Member Counties and Non-County Members and to all members of the Executive Committee.
(b) The quorum shall be 8 persons present and qualified to vote.
(c) Subject to Rule 5, each member of Council shall have one vote; except that
(i) a person present in more than one capacity shall have one vote in each capacity that so entitles him; and
(ii) in the event of an equality of votes on a decision requiring a simple majority, the chairman of the meeting shall have a casting vote.
(d) Any member of Council unable to attend a meeting may give to any other member of Council a proxy vote to be used together with directions as to its use; provided that written notice has been given to the General Secretary. A proxy vote so given may not, without written notice to the General Secretary from its giver, be transferred to any third party.
(e) Except as provided by Rule 3 and by Rule 7(f) below, all decisions shall be taken by a simple majority vote.
(f) The General Rules may be changed only if at least two-thirds of the votes cast are in favour of the change.
(g) Patrons shall have the right to attend and speak, if invited by the Chair, but not to vote.
8. The Annual General Meeting
(a) The Annual General Meeting of the Council shall be held not later than the 15th July.
(b) Written notice of any motion for the agenda shall be given to the General Secretary by the secretary or chief executive of any Member organisation, or by any member of Council, not later than 35 days before the date of the meeting.
(c) The business of the Annual General Meeting shall be:
(i) the presentation of trophies;
(ii) the presentation by Officers of reports on the activities of the season just concluded;
(iii) the presentation of the annual accounts prepared by the Treasurer and reviewed by an independent person for the last financial year ended 30th April. The reviewed annual accounts, or if that is not possible an unreviewed draft, shall be included with the notice of the meeting.
(iv) the presentation of a budget for the ensuing year;
(v) the election of Officers;
(vi) the appointment of an Independent Examiner for the ensuing year to carry out an independent review of the annual accounts; and
(vii) the transaction of any further business on the agenda, and such other business as the Chairman may at his discretion accept.
9. Special General Meetings
A Special General Meeting of the Council shall be held:
(a) within 60 days if requested in writing by not less than four Member organisations having delegates to Council; or
(b) by resolution of the Executive Committee.
Such request or resolution shall state clearly the nature of the business to be transacted, and no other business shall be considered.
10. The Executive Committee
(a) Subject to the control of Council, the general management of the Union shall be vested in an Executive Committee consisting (subject to (d) below) of the Officers of the Union, one representative of each Member County, and one representative of each Non-County Member; except that if there are more than five Non-County Members there shall be five Non-County representatives to be elected by them. A Non-County representative so elected may appoint a person to attend and vote in his stead.
(b) The President shall be chairman of the Executive Committee. In his absence the Deputy President or such other Officer as the Executive Committee may elect shall chair the meeting.
(c) The Executive Committee shall elect from its members the Union representatives to the BCF and ECF.
(d) The Executive Committee shall have power to fill any vacancy occurring during the year and to co-opt up to three additional members with voting rights.
(e) The General Secretary shall give at least 14 days written notice of each meeting to all members of the Committee. A meeting shall be convened at the request of the President or within 30 days of the receipt of a written requisition from not less than three members of the Committee, stating clearly the nature of the business to be transacted.
(f) The quorum shall be 6 persons present and qualified to vote.
(g) All decisions shall be taken by a simple majority vote. Subject to Rule 5, each member present shall have one vote; except that in the event of an equality of votes, the Chairman shall have a casting vote. A person present in more than one capacity shall not thereby be entitled to more than one vote.
(h) The Executive Committee shall appoint a Rules and Appeals Sub-Committee and may appoint additional Sub-Committees for any other purpose. The Executive Committee may delegate such powers to any Sub-Committee as it considers appropriate.
(i) Decisions needed between meetings of the Executive Committee, and not within the remit of any individual Officer, may be taken by the President in consultation with appropriate Officers.
11. There shall be no smoking in the playing area of any event organised by, or under the auspices of, the Union.
12. All events organised by, or under the auspices of, the Union shall be submitted to the ECF for grading. Any Game Fee levied by the ECF in respect of a player who was not an ECF member shall be charged to and paid by the organisation(s) whose team the player appeared in unless stated otherwise in the rules of the competition or the Executive decides otherwise.
13. Eligibility to play for a Member County or Non-County Member
(a) The qualification to represent a Member County shall be based upon birth or residence in the County, or membership of a chess club in or affiliated to the County, or attendance at an educational establishment in the County, as specified by the ECF rules currently in force.
(b) The qualification to represent a Non-County Member shall be regulated by its definition of membership, which must be supplied at the start of each competition it enters. This definition shall be binding in that competition until the end of the season.
A definition submitted by a Non-County Member shall be subject to variation by the Executive Committee for a particular competition.
A player whose qualification was valid when first playing for a Member organisation in the course of a competition shall remain qualified for that Member organisation until the end of the season.
14. The Executive Committee shall have the right to refuse an entry or entries to any competition run by the Union.
15. If at any time the Council passes a resolution to transfer the undertaking of the Union to a successor body it shall appoint three members or former members of the Executive Committee who shall be jointly authorised and required to discharge any debts and liabilities of the Union and to transfer to the successor body any cash surplus or other assets or property of the Union.
16. Any resolution to wind up or dissolve the Union, other than with a view to transferring the undertaking of the Union to a successor body, shall require the support of at least three-quarters of the votes cast at a General Meeting of the Union. Notice of any such resolution must be given to the General Secretary in accordance with the Rules for General Meetings, and notice shall be given with the agenda of the meeting. If after the passing of such a resolution there remains, after the discharge of all the Union's debts and liabilities, any cash surplus or other assets or property of the Union, then such cash surplus or other assets or property shall be distributed among the fully paid-up Member Counties and Non-County Members of the Union in shares which shall as closely as possible be equal, in such a way that each Member County shall have two shares and each Non-County Member shall have one share. Assets not easily divided, such as trophies, shall be given or transferred to one or more institution or institutions having objects similar to the those of the Union, such institution or institutions to be determined by the members of the Union by resolution at or before the time of dissolution.
17. The General Rules and Rules for County Matches and other events may be changed only at General Meetings of the Council.
18. All matters not provided for by Rules 1 to 17 above, or by the Rules of SCCU competitions, shall be referred to the Executive Committee for decision.