Presidents

1972 Dr J D McDonald   1991 Rita McCreath   2000 Bill McCreath   2010 Marjorie McDonald
1979 Mr W H White   1994 Alan French   2002 Colin Edney    2012 Gerald Sandwith
1982 Mrs M Calder   1996 Robin Pearson    2004 Marguerite Robson    2014 Jean Mole 
1985 Brian Thomas   1998 George Martin   2006 Terry Harris    2016 Garneth Ellis
1988 Jim Lindsay         2008 Ros French   2018 Christine McCreath

 

Constitution

This constitution was approved at the AGM on 12 May 2016. The previous constitution is available here.

PDF version for download and printing.

 

Constitution of the Berwick-upon-Tweed Bridge Club

1. NAME

The Club shall be called the "Berwick-upon-Tweed Bridge Club".

2. OBJECTS

The object of the Club shall be to provide facilities for its members for playing Duplicate and other Contract Bridge.

3. HEADQUARTERS

The headquarters of the Club shall be situated at the Parish Church Centre Meeting Room, The Parade, Berwick-upon-Tweed, TD15 1DF, or such other place as the Club in General Meeting shall decide. The Committee may arrange for the playing of bridge for members at such additional place or places as it may determine from time to time.

4. AFFILIATIONS

The Club will be affiliated to the Scottish Bridge Union and will be considered to form part of the geographically defined East District of that organisation.

5. MEMBERSHIP

  1. Any person wishing to become a member of the Club shall apply for membership by completing and forwarding to the Honorary Secretary such form as may be prescribed from time to time by the Club Committee.
  2. All individuals over the age of twelve years interested in bridge activities are entitled to apply for membership of the Club.
  3. The Club may confer Honorary Life Membership on any member who has rendered special service to the Club or to Bridge.
  4. All members are deemed to have accepted the regulations of this Constitution and such rules and codes of conduct adopted by the Club.
  5. The Committee will keep a register of members which will include their names, addresses, and contact details.
  6. In considering applications for membership the Committee shall have regard to the playing facilities available, and may from time to time decide that the Club shall be closed to new applications for membership for such period as it may decide.
  7. A member shall cease to be a member of the Club immediately if expelled from the Club under the provisions of clause 15, or if the member’s resignation in writing is delivered to the Honorary Secretary.
  8. A member whose subscription has not been paid shall cease to be a member on the expiration of the period of two months from the date on which the subscription became due.
  9. A former member of the Club who wishes to rejoin as a member may do so without the necessity for a further formal application for membership, unless the Committee decides otherwise.
  10. Members of the Club are automatically enrolled as members of the Scottish Bridge Union and must abide by its Rules and Regulations.

6. OFFICERS

  1. The Officers of the Club shall be the President, Immediate Past President or Vice-President (if any), Honorary Secretary, Honorary Treasurer, and Honorary Competition Secretary.
  2. No member of the Club shall simultaneously hold more than one Office of the Club.
  3. Each of the Officers of the Club, except the Immediate Past President, shall be elected at the Annual General Meeting of the Club, and shall retire annually at the ensuing Annual General Meeting, but shall be eligible for re-election provided that no person shall hold the office of President for more than two consecutive years.
  4. In the event of the President being re-elected for a second consecutive year in office there shall be elected simultaneously from among the ordinary members of the Club a Vice-President who shall serve on the Committee for the year. The Vice-President shall be eligible for election as an Officer or Committee member the following year.
  5. In the event of a vacancy arising during the year in the office of any Officer of the Club, the Committee shall choose one of their number to fill such vacancy until the ensuing Annual General Meeting.

7. COMMITTEE

  1. The Committee of the Club shall consist of the Officers of the Club together with six other members of the Club. The Immediate Past-President shall only serve on the Committee for one year.
  2. Two ordinary members of the Committee shall retire annually and shall not be eligible for re-election to the committee until expiry of one year.
  3. The ordinary members of the Committee shall be elected at the Annual General Meeting of the Club for a maximum term of three years. The Committee may reduce the maximum term to ensure that two ordinary members are scheduled to retire annually.
  4. The Committee may from time to time co-opt further members of the Club to serve on the Committee until the ensuing Annual General Meeting, whether to fill a vacancy arising, or as additional members, except that the total number of members of the Committee (including Officers) shall at no time exceed twelve. Co-opted members shall be entitled to participate fully in the proceedings of the Committee, including the right to vote.
  5. A quorum at meetings of the Committee shall be five members of the Committee, including at least one Officer.
  6. The Committee may from time to time appoint sub­committees to undertake on its behalf such aspects of the administration of the Club as it shall think fit, and members of such sub­ committees may include members of the Club who are not members of the Committee. 
  7. Proceedings of the Committee and of any sub­committees shall be regulated in such manner as the Committee may from time to time decide.
  8. The Committee shall make a report to each Annual General Meeting of the Club concerning the affairs of the Club since the previous Annual General Meeting.

8. MANAGEMENT

  1. The affairs of the Club shall be managed by the Committee, and the Committee shall have power to determine any issue arising in connection with the affairs of the Club which is not specifically provided for in this Constitution.
  2. The Committee may from time to time formulate and publish such rules as it thinks expedient for the efficient and harmonious running of the Club (but in the case of any conflict between such rules and this Constitution, the Constitution shall prevail).
  3. Any issue of policy determined by the Committee or any rules published by the Committee may be varied by a resolution of members at a General Meeting of the Club, provided that such resolution is not in conflict with this Constitution and is not retrospective in application.
  4. In the event of such variation being made, the policy or rules (as the case may be) shall not be further varied by the Committee in a manner inconsistent with the resolution.

9. GENERAL MEETINGS

  1. An Annual General Meeting of the Club shall be held during the month of May in each year.
  2. A Special General Meeting of the Club shall be convened by the Committee if a request for such a meeting signed by at least fifteen members of the Club is delivered to the Honorary Secretary, stating the reason for the meeting, and such meeting shall take place within one month of the receipt of such request.
  3. A Special General Meeting of the Club may be convened by the Committee on its own initiative at any time.
  4. All General Meetings of the Club shall be held at the headquarters of the Club unless circumstances arise which render this impracticable.
  5. The President, if present, shall chair all General Meetings of the Club, and in the President’s absence the Vice-President or some other member of the Committee, approved by a majority of those present at the Meeting, shall chair the meeting.
  6. Notice of all General Meetings of the Club shall be given to all members of the Club no later than two weeks prior to the date fixed for the meeting.
  7. Any member may propose a motion to be discussed at a General Meeting provided that written notice of the proposed motion is delivered to the Honorary Secretary no later than one week prior to the date fixed for the meeting.
  8. Discussion of other business at a General Meeting is permitted at the chairperson’s discretion.
  9. A quorum at General Meetings of the Club shall be twelve ordinary members present in person (excluding members of the Committee).
  10. If fifteen minutes after the time fixed for a General Meeting of the Club no quorum shall be present, the meeting shall be adjourned to a new date (of which the like notice shall be given to members as was required to be given for the meeting which has been adjourned), and in the case of a General Meeting which has been adjourned due to the lack of a quorum (but not of a meeting adjourned for any other reason) such number of members as are actually present at the adjourned meeting shall constitute a quorum.
  11. Voting at General Meetings of the Club shall be by show of hands, and in the event of parity of voting the chairperson of the meeting shall have a casting vote only.

10. NOTICES

  1. Notices of any Special General Meeting of the Club, and of an Annual General Meeting shall be given to members by post or by email to the last address of each member notified to the Honorary Secretary, and by displaying a notice in a prominent position at the headquarters of the Club.
  2. Notices of any other matters to be brought to the attention of members shall be made by displaying a notice in a prominent position at the headquarters of the Club.

11. NOMINATIONS

  1. Nominations for the posts of Officers or Committee members shall be in writing, and shall be signed by the person being nominated, a proposer and a seconder, all of whom shall be members of the Club.
  2. Nominations must reach the Honorary Secretary no later than one week prior to the date fixed for the Annual General Meeting.

12. SUBSCRIPTIONS and FEES

  1. Each member of the Club shall pay an annual subscription, the basic amount of which for the time being shall be decided at the Annual General Meeting of the Club. Subscriptions shall be due for payment by 1 September in each year in respect of the year to the following 31 August. 
  2. Each member of the Club and each guest and visitor shall pay table money on each occasion when they play at the Club; the basic amount being decided at the Annual General Meeting of the Club.
  3. Each successful applicant for membership of the Club may be required to pay a joining fee, the amount (if any) of which for the time being shall be decided at the Annual General Meeting of the Club.
  4. The Committee may determine variations on the basic subscription amount, table money for members, guests and visitors as appropriate, and may waive subscriptions or table money in the event of hardship or for any other good cause as they see fit.
  5. The Annual General Meeting may authorise the Committee to increase the basic amounts of subscriptions and table money prior to the ensuing Annual General Meeting.
  6. The Committee may determine from time to time the amount of fees to be charged for use of the premises or equipment of the Club, or for any other purpose, for which it sees fit.

13. ACCOUNTS

  1. The Committee shall arrange for accounts to be prepared in respect of the financial affairs of the Club.
  2. The accounts for each year shall be presented to the Annual General Meeting of the Club for approval.
  3. At the Annual General Meeting of the Club an examiner shall be appointed to audit the books for the coming year.

14. GUESTS and VISITORS

  1. Any member may invite a guest to play at the Club at any time, but in the event of the playing facilities being inadequate to accommodate all those who wish to play, priority shall be given to members.
  2. Visitors may be permitted to play at the Club at any time, but in the event of the playing facilities being inadequate to accommodate all those who wish to play, priority shall be given to members and the guests of members.
  3. The Committee may from time to time place a limit on the number of occasions on which a non member (whether a guest or a visitor) may play at the Club without being required to apply for membership.
  4. If such a limit is for the time being in force, a non member who has applied for membership shall (subject to available playing facilities) be permitted to play at the Club until the application for membership has been considered by the Committee, even if the limit imposed by the Committee is thereby exceeded.

15. MEMBERS’ BEHAVIOUR 

  1. Each member of the Club shall be required in connection with the game of Duplicate Contract Bridge, to conform to the standards of fair play, courtesy, ethics, and personal deportment prescribed by the prevailing Rules and and Regulations of the SBU. 
  2. The Club shall have the powers and the procedures for the enforcement of the requirement in clause 15.1. They are set out in the Schedule of the Constitution, and shall stand as part of the Constitution and be subject to the same provisions of the Constitution for its amendment.

16. ALTERATIONS TO THE CONSTITUTION

  1. No alterations shall be made to this Constitution except at a General Meeting of the Club.
  2. In order for a resolution to alter this Constitution to have effect at least two-­thirds of the votes cast on the resolution must be in favour.

17. WINDING ­UP

  1. In order for a resolution that the Club shall be wound up to have effect at least two-­thirds of the votes cast on the resolution must be in favour, and in addition the number of votes cast in favour of the resolution must exceed one-half of the number of members of the Club entitled to attend and vote at the General Meeting at which the resolution is put.
  2. If a resolution that the Club shall be wound up is effectively passed, the Committee shall be responsible for winding up the affairs of the Club, and unless the winding up has been initiated with a view to amalgamating the Club with some other club (in which case any surplus assets and funds may be transferred to such other club), any surplus assets and funds shall be transferred to such of the organisations mentioned in clause 17.3 as may be specified in the resolution initiating the winding up, and if no such organisation is so specified, to such of those organisations as the Committee may think fit.
  3. The organisations referred to in clause 17.2 are any registered or recognised local body with similar aims as the Club, whom failing the Scottish Bridge Union

18. ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

This Constitution is based on the EBU Model Club Constitution and used with its kind permission.

 

Schedule of Disciplinary Procedures

1. Requirements of the Schedule 

This Schedule is referred to under clause 15 of the Constitution of the Berwick-upon-Tweed Bridge Club (hereafter referred to as the Club) and prescribes the powers and procedures for enforcement. It will comply with and follow the SBU disciplinary procedures and any variations thereof that are made from time to time. The Club shall act through its Conduct and Disciplinary Committees for the enforcement of standards prescribed in clause 15 of the Constitution. The Club shall have additional powers as set out in the clauses below.

2. Receipt of allegation

Any person making a complaint against one or more members of the Club under the terms of clause 15 of the Constitution, must do so in writing to the Honorary Secretary or the President of the Club. Normally no action will be taken in respect of a complaint relating to an alleged offence which occurred three months or more prior to a formal complaint in writing made to the appropriate officer.

3. Conduct Committee

The Committee of the Club shall appoint, when required, its Conduct Committee through its powers to appoint subcommittees under clause 7.6 of the Constitution. The Conduct Committee shall be responsible for investigating complaints against the Club’s members and to determine whether a disciplinary offence has occurred, and whether the matter should be referred to the Club’s Disciplinary Committee. 

The Conduct Committee shall consist of no fewer than three members of the Club and no more than five. A quorum for any meeting shall be three of its members. It shall act by simple majority vote and its appointed chairperson, or whomsoever in the appointed chairperson’s absence the Conduct Committee shall select to chair its meeting, shall have a second, or casting vote in the event that there is parity of voting.

4. Disciplinary Committee

The Committee of the Club shall appoint, when required, the Disciplinary Committee through its powers to appoint subcommittees under clause 7.6 of the Constitution. The Disciplinary Committee shall determine sanctions for offences admitted by the defendant, hear charges of offences and determine whether those charges are proved and if proved, determine the sanction to be imposed.

The Disciplinary Committee shall consist of no fewer than three members of the Club and no more than five. At least three of its members must be present when it makes a decision to uphold a complaint and impose sanctions on the offending member. It shall act by simple majority vote and its appointed chairperson, or whomsoever in the appointed chairperson’s absence the Disciplinary Committee shall select to chair its meeting, shall have a second, or casting vote in the event that there is parity of voting.

5. Conflicts of Interest and Independence of the Conduct and Disciplinary Committees

Any member of either the Conduct or Disciplinary Committee who is in any way personally involved in the allegations within a complaint will be disqualified from participating in either Committee’s handling of the complaint. 

A member of the Club cannot be a member of both the Conduct and Disciplinary Committees.

6. The Complaints Process

1. Notice of Meetings

Subject to the provisions of clause 2 hereof where a written complaint is made, or a matter otherwise comes to the attention of the Conduct Committee, it shall first consider whether such complaint or matter falls within the scope of the Disciplinary Rules and whether further action is warranted. If it does, the Conduct Committee secretary shall first write to the Defendant, seeking the Defendant’s comments on the substance of the complaint or matter that has been raised. The Conduct Committee shall also be entitled to make such further investigations and enquiries as it in its absolute discretion considers appropriate. The Conduct Committee shall also be entitled to seek advice both from within the Club and from the SBU Laws and Ethics Committee, and to obtain external legal advice.

2. Complaint not justified

If the Conduct Committee decides that the complaint is not justified, all parties shall be notified and the matter ended. 

3. Complaint justified

If the Conduct Committee decides that the complaint is justified, it may, in its absolute discretion, offer a verbal caution to the offending member, which if accepted, ends the matter. 

If the caution is not accepted by the offending member, or the Conduct Committee does not feel a caution is appropriate, it shall refer the case to a hearing by the Disciplinary Committee. The Defendant shall be notified, in writing, within two weeks of this decision and of the Defendant’s right to make a written submission to the Disciplinary Committee and to attend the hearing. The Defendant shall have the right to be represented by legal counsel of the Defendant’s choice or may be accompanied by a person to speak on the Defendant’s behalf. The Disciplinary Committee shall give at least two weeks' notice of the hearing to the Defendant. 

4. Disciplinary Committee’s Sanctions

If after the hearing the complaint is upheld, the Disciplinary Committee may in its absolute discretion:

(a) Give a written reprimand to the offending member(s), or

(b) Suspend the offending member(s) from all or some of the competitions sponsored or licensed by the Club for such period as it shall determine.

(c) Expel the offending member(s) from the Club.

If the complaint is against a member of the Committee then in addition to any other sanctions applied, the Disciplinary Committee shall have the power to suspend such member from the Club’s Committee and any of its subcommittees for such a period that it shall determine.

Any sanctions imposed by the Disciplinary Committee must be communicated to the offending member(s) in writing within twenty-one days of the hearing 

Any Sanction imposed by the Disciplinary Committee shall take effect as soon as time for appeal has elapsed except that if the Defendant has filed Notice of Appeal within the time allowed the Sanction shall not take effect until such Appeal has been determined

5. Appeal

Every Defendant found guilty of an offence by the Club Disciplinary Committee has the right to appeal to the East District Committee. Appeals must be in writing and lodged with the Secretary of the Committee within twenty-one days of the written communication of the Club’s Disciplinary Committee’s decision to the Defendant.

 

Club Regulations

The Scottish Bridge Union is the Regulating Authority under the 2017 Laws of Duplicate Bridge and it devolves some responsibilities to the East District.

The Tournament Organizer under the 2017 Laws is the Berwick-upon-Tweed Bridge Club.

As Tournament Organizer the Berwick-upon-Tweed Bridge Club has established the following regulations:

Law 78D: Conditions of Contest

The current SBU Competition Handbook defines the Conditions of Contest for the club, subject to the following:

The Correction Period for correcting an error in recording or computing the agreed-upon score, whether made by a player or an official, is seven days from the start of the session. This is the period referred to in Law 79C1.

Approved by the Committee on 10 July 2017.

Law 5A: Assignment of seats - Initial Position

In club pairs events, pairs must toss a coin and the winners must sit North-South, although exceptions may be made for those with mobility concerns.

Motion passed at the AGM on 17 May 2018.

 

 

 

Slow play policy

Slow play is the bane of most bridge clubs. Nobody likes it, no-one admits to it, yet it remains as issue. The Committee would like to draw your attention to the following.

Slow play, especially habitual slow play, is a violation of law and subject to penalty. When a pair has fallen behind, it is incumbent on them to make up the time lost as quickly as possible whether at fault or not. All players are expected to make a concerted effort to catch up when they have fallen behind, regardless of the reason for their lateness.

In the absence of compelling evidence to the contrary, the director will presume that a pair finishing a round late by more than two or three minutes on more than one occasion during a session is responsible for the lateness. There is a strong expectation that the director will penalize such a pair. The size of a penalty will tend to increase for subsequent instances of slow play and for chronic or egregious slow play.

While warnings typically will be given before a penalty is assessed, failure to do so in no way limits the director’s authority to issue a penalty. Players are expected to be aware, in a general sense, of time used and remaining in a segment in which they are playing regardless of whether a clock is in use or a time announcement has been made. An excuse of “no announcement” or “no clock immediately visible” will not be considered persuasive. 

The TD may choose to ignore an occasional minor late finish. The TD may remove one or more boards from a table. In a teams event the TD may award no score (when neither team is more at fault), an assigned score (when a result already exists at one table which the TD wishes to preserve) or an artificial score. Every reasonable effort will be made to remove boards before they can be played at either table, but not having done so does not preclude removing one or more later.

As a matter of principle, a TD should not remove a board from a table because it is late once an auction has commenced, unless the table was told not to play the board. In the latter case a procedural penalty for both sides should be issued and the board cancelled.

A TD is entitled to be stricter with a pair known to be slow. Inexperienced players, the infirm, and the elderly will be treated less strictly.

Contrary to popular opinion, it is not North's responsibility for the pace of play at the table, it is the director's and everyone has a responsibility to try and make up time

If you have any questions or comments about this, please contact a member of the Committee

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