Obsolete: BGA Policies

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1. Scope

This document states the current policies of the BGA.

The policies stated in this document, and their application, are subject to the provisions of The Constitution of the British Go Association, which can be modified only by a 2/3 majority of those voting at a General Meeting of the BGA.

These policies are not intended to restrict our effective operation. The BGA Council reserves the right to revise them, or to depart from them in specific cases, where it judges it appropriate to do so, subject to the requirement to conform to the BGA Constitution.

Anybody wishing to propose a change to this document should either contact any member of the BGA Council, or raise their proposal for discussion on the bga-policy email list. (Note that this email list can be accessed only after joining the list and is open to BGA members only. BGA members can join the list through the bga-policy list subscription page.)

For this document and all documents it refers to, the version on the BGA web site is the official version.

2. Financial Policies

2.1 Membership, tournament and administrative income and expenditure

Council will try to ensure that membership income covers the costs of providing member services plus the administrative costs of the association, and that tournament income covers the costs of supporting tournaments, proposing motions at the AGM when the measures necessary to do so exceed its powers.

2.2 Use of donation income and expenditure

Council will try to follow any indications given by donors as to the use of their donation. Where no indication has been given, Council may use such donations for any suitable purpose, but will prefer youth outreach, other outreach and player development in that order of priority.

2.3 Use of income from book and equipment sales

Council may use income from book and equipment sales for any appropriate purpose, but will prefer player development and then outreach in that order of priority.

2.4 Size of General Reserve

Council will usually try to maintain the general reserve at between twice and three times the number of members multiplied by the full UK subscription rate. Council may allow the amount to fall below the target range in order to underwrite or subsidise occasional one-off high-value events such as European championship events, but will not do so on a regular or unsustainable basis.

2.5 Expenditure on publicity

Publicity is highly important to the success of the BGA and Council will encourage and give financial support to it. Expenditure on publicity is a sub-category of outreach expenditure.

2.6 Expenses for BGA officials

Travel and administrative expenses incurred by Council members and committee chairs will be reimbursed on submission of an expense claim to the BGA Treasurer. Large expenditures such as long journeys and substantial assets should be pre-authorised by the BGA Treasurer, but this is not necessary for small items. The current rate for travel by car is 30 pence per mile.

2.7 Expenses for volunteer Go teachers

Travel expenses for a volunteer to visit a club, society or educational facility to introduce Go should be recovered from the organisation receiving the visit or met by the volunteer doing the visit. However, Council may at its discretion allocate a small contingency budget annually to the BGA Youth Development Officer and/or the UK Go Challenge Organiser, which it will notify directly to them.

Under no circumstances will the BGA reimburse accommodation, meal or incidental expenses for volunteers doing teaching visits.

2.8 Fees and honoraria

The BGA will not pay a fee or honorarium to any volunteer, nor will it contract out for a fee any service for which a willing and competent volunteer is available.

2.9 Annual Accounts

The annual accounts are produced to a professional standard suitable for showing to donors, sponsors, potential sponsors, and other friendly organisations.

2.10 Annual Management Review

Council will review its financial management procedures annually on receipt of the draft annual accounts, including as a minimum all matters recommended by the BGA auditor for such review.

3. Working with Children & Young People

4. Clubs

4.1 Affiliation

The BGA Council interprets clause 9 of the BGA Constitution:

9. Each affiliated club shall nominate a club member as club secretary. His duties shall include acting as club contact.

to mean that a club applying for affiliation must have as secretary someone who is (a) a BGA member and (b) prepared to have contact details published by the BGA. For school and youth Go clubs, however, see the next paragraph.

4.2 School & Youth Go Clubs

A school or youth Go club can be affiliated to the BGA either by virtue of any one club member being a BGA member, or by taking out a schools membership of the BGA. In either case, the nominated club contact may be any suitable person (e.g. parent or teacher), whether a BGA member or not.

4.3 Publicity for Clubs

Up to 50Kb of web space is available to each BGA affiliated Go club that desires it. If you want your club to have its own page, just send the BGA webmaster an email containing the text (in HTML if you can manage it) and any graphics.

4.4 Equipment to Assist with Start-up

The BGA has some 19x19 boards and stones (currently 12 sets) available for lending to clubs to help get them off the ground until they can purchase their own. If you need to borrow some of these to help start a new club, please contact the Equipment Coordinator to arrange it. Please note that collection and return will be your responsibility (it will often be possible to collect and return them at tournaments).

5. Championships

5.1 Rules

The official version of the rules for the British Go Championship, the British Pair Go Championship and the British Youth Championships is the BGA Championships Rules page.

5.2 Financial

The BGA underwrites the costs of running the above championship events, including prizes, using sponsorship money when possible. Entry fees will be set at a realistic level.

5.3 Overseas Events

The system of qualifying as BGA representative at various overseas championships is described in the BGA Championships Rules. The BGA web site holds Lists of past BGA representatives at international tournaments, and describes the entry criteria for each international tournament to which we send representatives.

The BGA will not normally pay the expenses of those representing us overseas.

6. Tournaments

6.1 Championships

British Championship events are run according to the rules defined in the BGA Championships Rules page (see section 5 above).

6.2 British Congress

The main event at the annual British Go Congress is the British Open Championship, which is run under the rules defined in the BGA Rules of Go.

6.3 Other Tournaments

The rules and conditions of tournaments not covered by sections 5 and 6.2 are at the discretion of the tournament organiser.

Tournament organisers are asked to note that entrants may assume that:

  • the playing rules will be as described in the BGA Rules of Go, and
  • no smoking will be allowed in the playing area

unless stated otherwise on the entry form.

Further information and advice for tournament organisers is available in The BGA Organisers Handbook. This is currently under revision. There is some supplementary material in the Notes for tournament organisers at the bottom of the list of forthcoming tournaments.

6.4 Levy

The BGA Levy is a fee paid by tournaments to the BGA in exchange for use of the BGA tournament equipment, and publicity (see section 6.6). The tournament levy is not raised on side events at tournaments, nor on youth events. Provided that the tournament organiser has made a reasonable effort to budget for the levy, that part of the levy which would lead to the tournament making a loss will be waived on application to the BGA Treasurer. Tournament organisers wanting a waiver of the levy for other reasons should contact him in advance to agree it.

6.5 Underwriting

The BGA underwrites the costs of running the British Congress. By approval of Council, the BGA may also underwrite the costs of other tournaments considered important to the BGA, for example Toyota Tour events. Tournament organisers seeking an underwriting arrangement should contact the BGA Treasurer in advance to discuss it.

6.6 Publicity

The BGA provides facilities for distributing tournament entry forms with the newsletter and hosting them on the BGA web site. These facilities and many other recommendations are described in Publicising Go Tournaments.

6.7 Tournament Dates

The BGA Tournament Coordinator maintains a calendar of tournaments and helps tournament organisers to identify free dates and to avoid clashing tournaments and reduced entries to tournaments in consecutive weeks. However, this help is advisory and the date of a tournament is ultimately at the discretion of the tournament organiser.

6.8 Book Stall

Books stalls are provided at tournaments at the discretion of the BGA Book Seller. (A BGA book stall is not usually provided at events where a local supplier is actually selling Go books and equipment, because we wish to encourage them to stock these).

7. Grading

7.1 Calibration

The BGA tries to keep British grades reasonably close to the European average.

7.2 Dan Grades

The BGA monitors the progress of BGA members' ratings and awards official dan grades when specified targets have been reached. Here is a definition of the system. Official dan grades are never revoked, even if a player's rating subsequently falls.

Players with official dan grades are entitled to enter tournaments at that grade, but are encouraged to enter them at a grade equal to the strength listed on the current version of the BGA ratings page, rounded to the nearest whole number. This includes cases where the player's rounded strength is higher than his official grade. Anyone wanting to enter tournaments outside the range from their official grade to their rounded strength should seek approval from the BGA Council before doing so. We will respect grades assigned by foreign Go organisations to those resident abroad and, in the absence of better evidence, Go server ratings.

7.3 Kyu Grades

Kyu-level BGA members may assign their own grades. The official guidelines for doing so are given in the BGA Ratings FAQ.

8. Outreach & Publicity

8.1 BGA Booklet & Poster

The BGA booklet Go - The most challenging game in the world, describing the background and rules of Go, and the BGA poster can be given free of charge to anyone desiring them other than for selling on. However, where a society or institution requires a large number of copies of the booklet and is able to pay for them, payment should be accepted at a rate of 35p per copy. The BGA will, at its own expense (subject to available funds), maintain a supply of the booklet and the poster and provide them to anybody wishing to use them in these ways.

Note: The booklet is available on the BGA web site. These may be freely downloaded, copied and distributed.

8.2 EGCC Starter Sets

Up to 50 EGCC starter sets (a carboard 9x9 board with printed cardboard stones, obtained from the European Go Cultural Centre) are available each year to assist schools starting Go clubs. They are allocated at the discretion of the BGA Youth Development Officer. They are no longer given free for other purposes, other than in very exceptional circumstances at the discretion of the BGA Council.

8.3 Outreach Projects

The BGA intended to pursue further large outreach projects, following and developing the model of the 2002 Hampshire Go project, as part of the GoZone programme.

8.4 Presenters' Fees & Expenses

The BGA will pay professional fees for Go presentations to beginners by a suitably qualified presenter approved by Council, provided that this is part of a planned outreach project and that the funds to do so are obtained from sponsors who agree to it and/or from revenue generated by other BGA outreach events. Professional fees will not be paid out of BGA funds nor for occasional teaching. Travel expenses will be paid to Go teachers according to the policy stated in Expenses for volunteer Go teachers.

8.5 Media Relations

The BGA President maintains a list of media contacts, informs them of events that may be of interest to them and invites them to suitable functions. Chess journalists sometimes give coverage to other mind sports and are one group (not the only one) whom we cultivate in this way.

8.6 Article Placements

Council encourages the publication of both news stories and informative articles about Go both in the national media and in all levels of local media. While the present Council does not have manpower to carry out publicity projects of these kinds, we will be happy to allocate finances to support suitable projects initiated by BGA members. Anyone willing to undertake such projects and requiring funds or other help is requested to discuss them first with the BGA President.

9. Player Development

9.1 General

Council is keen to expand the amount of player development activity within the BGA, both in general and targeted to specific groups (for example, players of a given strength, women, youth, ...). Financial and other help will be given to appropriate player development projects, and the same facilities are available for them as are given to tournaments (see 6.4 - 6.8 above). BGA members wanting to organise player development events or projects can contact the BGA Tournament Coordinator, the BGA National Trainer, the BGA Treasurer, and/or any Council member.

9.2 Dan Visits

The BGA normally pays 50% of the travel expenses of dan players visiting clubs to teach, on the basis that the club is expected to pay the other 50%. These default terms may be varied when appropriate. Club secretaries wishing to organise such visits are requested to contact the BGA Treasurer in advance to discuss it.

10. Cooperation with other Mind Sports Organisations

10.1 General

The BGA regards organisations supporting other Mind Sports as colleagues. We wish to continue cooperating with them in ways such as:

  • reciprocal advertising
  • sharing of venues and other resources
  • sharing of know-how

The editors of BGA publications (the Journal, the Newsletter, the web site and all promotional publications) will try to reflect that position.

10.2 Comparison with Other Games

Articles expressing an individual's personal preference for Go in a responsible way are welcome, but Council will support the editors of the above publications whenever they decide to edit out expressions of snobbery in comparison to other mind sports, and jokes that may give offence.

10.3 MSO

Mind Sports Olympiads present significant opportunities for outreach and for developing friendship and cooperation with other mind sports organisations. Council intends to continue participating in Mind Sports Olympiads and cooperating with their organisers.

11. British Go Journal

11.1 Re-publication of Articles

If authors of articles published in the BGJ republish them on the internet, or authorise such republication, they are asked to include an acknowledgement of the original publication in the Journal.

11.2 Complimentary Copies for Authors

A free copy of the BGJ is sent to BGA non-members who contribute articles accepted for publication.

11.3 Style Guidelines

These are defined in the Guidelines & Style Rules for Contributions to the British Go Journal.

12. Web Site

Policies for the BGA web site are defined on the About the BGA Web Site page.

13. Advertising

We accept advertising from commercial organisations as well as private individuals and non-profit organisations. Our current Advertising Rates and Terms and Conditions are here.

Last updated Fri Apr 19 2013. If you have any comments, please email the webmaster on web-master AT britgo DOT org.