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President's Report

by Nigel Dutton

By now most clubs will have updated their constitutions to reflect the new legal requirements for associations and clubs in WA. The new act replaces the Associations Incorporation Act 1987. I mention this because one of the important changes relates to internal dispute resolution. Should clubs, for whatever reason, have cause to institute disciplinary procedures against one or more of their members - clear and well defined processes must be in place and followed. You cannot simply have a meeting and suspend a member based on a complaint or the report of an incident. Your constitution will spell out clearly the processes that must be followed. In addition to the natural justice principles outlined in the new act the law gives the aggrieved parties the option of taking an unresolved dispute to the State Administrative Tribunal.

I mention this because there have been a couple of incidents recently where I have been asked for advice. In both of these cases I was concerned that correct procedure had not been followed. I was, as always, prepared to offer advice but had to point out that, unfortunately, or perhaps fortunately, BAWA has no role to play in internal club disciplinary matters. BAWA's role as the sponsoring organisation is the regulation of all bridge played in a formal session which awards Red or Gold master points under the auspices of the ABF master point scheme. BAWA has explicitly devolved sponsoring organisation responsibility for the running of green point events to the clubs.

Later this month, Sunday July 22, BAWA will be conducting the Provincial / Restricted Heat of the Gold Point Grand National Open Teams. Eligible players: any member of any club with less than 300 masterpoints or any member of the following four country clubs: Kalgoorlie, Avon, Geraldton and Esperance irrespective of masterpoint status. Get a team together and come and earn some Gold Points. Points are awarded for every match you win as well as overall position. You might even win a place in the National Final in Tweed Heads at the end of November. Your airfare is funded by the ABF and your entry fee by BAWA. Full details can be found on the BAWA web site or by contacting Robina McConnell.

The TC has been examining the process by which the draw for round 1 of a Swiss event is decided. The default process is to rank pairs or teams by master points and draw 1 vs number of entrants/2 + 1. I'm sure all regular players are familiar with this concept. The review was brought about by the thought that round 1 results were not only predicable but possibly demoralising. It was decided that for a couple of trial events this year a random draw would be used. The difficulty was to have a random draw that was transparent. When you enter a BAWA event / congress online you receive a randomly generated entry code which must be used to edit or withdraw from an event. The TC has decided that if the director wishes they can sort the entries according to this code and then have 1 vs 2, 3 v 4 and so on. This has been trialled and appears to work well. The directors should place on the notice board at the venue the sorted list so all players can see that the draw was not only random but transparent.


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