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Council meeting - Jacqui Thomas - 07-03-2014

I see that items for the council meeting on 16 March have to be submitted by tomorrow.

As an observer, I think that it would be difficult for members to know if they need to raise some items when they still don't know what was discussed at the AGM last August or the last council meeting in January.


Re: Council meeting - Jacqui Thomas - 10-03-2014

Well, well, well. Last council meeting minutes summary- SJC are annoying us what shall we do about it?

With them using our calendar & swallowing up our two junior home events we are running it's confusing people!! They won't run anything for us either & they won't drop any events either although they've been running them since 2004. We must find something to get them.
Answer
I know let's introduce grading fees for u14 juniors & not even gradual, let's go straight in with 25p a game. Ha ha that will get them as they always try to fit in 7 round events. That will be 1.75 per junior per tournament that will hit em hard & of course will affect the juniors in the long term as well but that doesn't matter. We won't bother introducing anything else apart from an affiliation fee for junior clubs but that is meaningless as none want to affiliate anyway & just put a few other fees up by a couple of pence just to make it look good. We'll rake it in from those SJC juniors & that will teach them..........

So transparent & not thought through.


Re: Council meeting - Michael Hanley - 10-03-2014

Last three junior events held would cost if fees were introduced:

Keith Hoban Memorial £84.50

Lothians Individual Championships £66.25

Lanarkshire Primary Schools League £600, 50 teams of four playing 12 games at 25p per player per game.


Re: Council meeting - Derek Howie - 10-03-2014

When I first came into the chess world and looked at the CS budget I was surprised that juniors were not charged for grading but having been more involved I now see that introducing fees could result in less kids playing. They are the lifeblood of the game and it is vital that we don't do anything to put off kids from playing.

It would be crazy to try and implement a charge of £600 for a day of school chess, as is seen from Michael's example. It would either stop the games from being graded, which we don't want or stop it happening altogether, which we definitely don't want.

I think it would be wrong to charge for grading of school chess (including UK Chess Challenge which is extortionate enough as it is). This is the market we really want to encourage and many kids are introduced to chess through this way. We definitely should not have a blanket grading on all junior events.

Speaking purely personally, I have mixed views about charging for SJC, NEJCA and LJC events. The proposed rate certainly seems prohibitive. If it was felt that they should be introduced without having a negative effect on junior chess (a big if) then I'd suggest that they should be a lot lower.

How do the organisers know what to charge when they don't always know how many rounds of chess there are going to be is just one of the practical problems.

I'd also be interested in hearing the views of the 3 CS Junior Directors on this.


Re: Council meeting - Alex McFarlane - 10-03-2014

I have long advocated that Junior events should be contributing something financially. When I took children from my school to events they commented on how cheap entries were compared to other activities they were involved in. Commercialism is now persuading some of the younger generation that if something is cheap it is not worth having.

For Derek to say that the UK Challenge should not have a fee for grading because the entry costs are already so high is puzzling. I can only interpret that as saying that it is OK to (grudgingly) give money to an individual (Mike Basman) who runs the event for profit but not to give something to the national body to promote the game. (OK I admit I am exaggerating but that is what it boils down to.)

Mike Hanley will be able to confirm that I was working on ideas to run a schools tournament in competition to the UK Challenge. It would have been more affordable and brought income into Scottish chess. (I gave up my idea following the original 'split' of SJC and CS.)

The proposed figures are certainly higher than I would have advocated but that is probably influenced by the loss of the government grant.

Leagues already have a different system of fees from congresses. I would be amazed if junior events could not have similar schemes.


Re: Council meeting - Derek Howie - 10-03-2014

Alex McFarlane Wrote:For Derek to say that the UK Challenge should not have a fee for grading because the entry costs are already so high is puzzling. I can only interpret that as saying that it is OK to (grudgingly) give money to an individual (Mike Basman) who runs the event for profit but not to give something to the national body to promote the game. (OK I admit I am exaggerating but that is what it boils down to.)
While agreeing with the principle of paying Basman, adding a couple of pounds onto the fee may end up putting some kids off. There's a ceiling for price and this may put us over it.

A majority who play in this are not regular players and their parents may decide not to enter them if it's too expensive...which it arguably is already.


Re: Council meeting - robin moore - 10-03-2014

Checked to see how much junior competition entry costs are at present. There seems to be quite significant differences depending on which area of the country you play in and who the organisers are...

Scottish Junior Chess (SJC) CFK event - £7, £6 for other family members, £5 thereafter. £1 surcharge for entries on the day.

North East Junior Chess Association (NEJCA) event - £4, £2 for other family members

Lothian Junior Chess (LJC) - £10 for a team of 4.

Ayr Congress Junior Saturday- Free.


Re: Council meeting - Jacqui Thomas - 10-03-2014

I don't agree with grading the megafinal because there are far too many one off entries of juniors that never play again or only uk challenge or ungraded who could seriously hurt our established players if graded.

However, for clarification UK challenge dictate the entry fee for the mega final. For those that run it on their behalf in the West, North & Edinburgh get a cut after all monies have been sent to, cleared & finalised by uk challenge. I believe the cut is £6 per head. Take off 1.50 per head grading that give 4.50. As example I believe it was 2009 the west was held at Eastwood high school, the school hire was £400 & we technically ran at a loss.

So no Basman wouldn't be losing out it's the local organisers who spend a lot of time on this event who would get hammered.

SJC's current charges are reflective of the hall hire & the remainder is used to purchase trophies, medals, stationary & usually £7. Team event is £12 per team of 4. None of the Adult SJC volunteers take expenses.


If it is so important to start charging why straight to 25p? Why not gradual introduction?

Is anyone actually applying for funding or sponsorship to fill the void? As it seems the juniors are going to be punished to fill that void. As it is parents are being hammered financially at the other end of the spectrum where they don't seem to be getting the financial support for Internationals. I noted in the 2012/13 accounts that 24 coaches/chaperones/heads of delegation were involved in the events. Even if they didn't take any renumeration for their time, their accommodation & travel would have needed to be paid for. That is a horrendous drain on the international budget that in part could have been avoided if the juniors were given the coaching & support before they went.

Instead of looking where you can get more money in you should be looking at where realistic cuts can be made.

I would be interested in knowing how NEJCA, Lothians & other junior clubs feel about this proposed charge. Is it going to gave an impact on amount of events they will run in future, will they increase entry fees.


Re: Council meeting - Jacqui Thomas - 10-03-2014

By the way junior events do currently contribute to grading as it's only the under 14's that were not paying for normal grading. If events were to stop being graded by cs that income will be lost.

Also fuel for thought, how will the CS selectors be able to select if the junior organisers stop grading the events?


Re: Council meeting - Phil Thomas - 10-03-2014

robin moore Wrote:Checked to see how much junior competition entry costs are at present. There seems to be quite significant differences depending on which area of the country you play in and who the organisers are...

Scottish Junior Chess (SJC) CFK event - £7, £6 for other family members, £5 thereafter. £1 surcharge for entries on the day.

North East Junior Chess Association (NEJCA) event - £4, £2 for other family members

Lothian Junior Chess (LJC) - £10 for a team of 4.

Ayr Congress Junior Saturday- Free.


I can't speak for others junior organisations but SJC are run on a sound (and non funded) business model.
Given our pool of highly skilled and experienced arbiters and controllers who don't take expenses and today's typical (for us) venue costs the correct fee really is around £7 a head.

The bank account as it stands allows us to donate equipment to juniors clubs who are just starting up.
Maybe that's altruism, maybe that's long term investment.

A significant number of juniors who started with SJC events are now playing adult events and contributing to Chess Scotland through grading and membership fees. The same is true of NEJCA and the Lothians ans no doubt others on a smaller scale. It would be more logical for Chess Scotland to pay junior organisations for the number of juniors they introduce into the adult game.

It would never happen of course unless, perhaps, Chess Scotland were to acquire substantial grant funding.
That's not part of our business model. Nor was pseudo taxation in the form of 25 pence per person per game grading fees. The official SJC response to the suggestion has not been decided upon.

Some form of advanced warning would would have been customary.
Maybe this concept was discussed at the agm in August? - I'm still waiting to read the minutes