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Affiliation Policy

ABF Affiliation Policy

The ABF acknowledges that each state is responsible for the affiliation of clubs within their state. Notwithstanding this, to protect the interests of both the ABF and the State Associations, the ABF expects the states when affiliating club to gain agreement to a core set of requirements which are detailed below.

1. Club Structure

Clubs seeking to affiliate with a state association should be:

  • A Company limited by guarantee (if they are a not for profit club); or
  • A Company with a guarantor (if they are a private club or other type of club); or
  • An incorporated Association
  • A Natural Person

Clubs should not be a limited liability company, unless supported by directors’ and/or shareholders’ guarantees.

A copy of the documentation supporting the structure should be provided to the state association with the application.

2. Club Obligations

States should require clubs seeking affiliation to agree:

  • To comply with the Laws of Bridge;
  • To support the objects of the ABF and State Association in fostering bridge;
  • To pay the ABF’s annual capitation fee and any State fees for each of the club’s ‘home’ members by the due date;
  • To pay any fees invoiced for Masterpoints by the due date;
  • To actively encourage people who play at the club to become members;1
  • To issue Masterpoints in accordance with the ABF Masterpoint Scheme at all club sessions including Supervised Play;
  • To notify the ABF Masterpoint Centre of new members, and new member details as set out on the ABF Masterpoint Centre, and to pay a capitation fee as set by the ABF for each new member or reactivated member;
  • To submit to the ABF Masterpoint Centre in a timely manner the details of Masterpoints issued, in accord with the timings required by ABF Tournament Regulations, State Association requirements, and/or the ABF Masterpoint Centre;
  • To promptly notify changes to the following information to the ABF Masterpoint Centre and the State Association:
    • Name of the Club
    • Club Address
    • Email
    • Phone number
    • President – Name, Address, Email and Phone number
    • Secretary – Name, Address, Email and Phone number
    • Masterpoint Secretary – Name, Address, Email and Phone number
    • Website (if applicable)
    • Manager (in the case of a limited liability company)

1 The people enrolled for beginner’s lessons are excluded from the application of this proposition.

Unregistered players may play as visitors to the club for a limited number of sessions. This applies equally to citizens of Australia and elsewhere.

3. Information on ABF Fees and Levies

It is desirable for States to inform clubs wishing to affiliate of the ABF fees and levies that will apply. As of 01/01/2017, the fee structure is as follows.

  • An annual capitation fee is levied by the ABF for each active home club member listed on the ABF Masterpoint Centre database as at March 31st.
  • A capitation fee will be invoiced by the ABF Masterpoint Centre for new members:
    • In the case of a new member joining between April 1 and September 30 inclusive, the full annual capitation fee.
    • In the case of a new member joining between October 1 and December 31 inclusive, 50% of the capitation fee.
    • In the case of a new member joining after December 31, no fee for the balance of the year ending 31 March next.
  • Note: for any new club that affiliates with their State Association for the first time, the ABF will waive the annual capitation fee for home club members for the first ABF registration year (12 months from 1st April, or part thereof). This exemption will only apply to newly registered home club members that have never previously been a member of the ABF Masterpoint scheme.

The ABF agrees to notify all state associations and affiliated clubs of any changes to the annual capitation fee not less than 12 months in advance of the effective date.

  • State associations are responsible for determining any state capitation fees or other levies which may be required to support the administration of bridge within the state. This fee is additional to the ABF Capitation Fee and responsibility for the invoicing and collection of state levies rests with the State.

4. Benefits of Affiliation provided by the ABF

Primary support for the clubs is provided by the respective State Association, however at a National level, the ABF currently provides affiliated clubs with:

  • Insurance policies which cover affiliated clubs for Directors and Officers insurance, Voluntary Workers Insurance, and Public Liability Insurance;
  • Access to offers from National Sponsors;
  • Access to Teacher Training Programs;
  • Access to National Marketing support programs;
  • Free ABF Newsletter.

5. Disaffiliation

Disaffiliation of an affiliated club should be automatic on the occurrence of any of the following events:

  • A company or incorporated association becomes insolvent or goes into liquidation (voluntary or otherwise) or enters into a scheme of arrangement with its creditors
  • The natural person who is the owner of an affiliated club, or the guarantor of a company which is an affiliated club becomes bankrupt or enters into a scheme of arrangement with his or her creditors or is convicted of a felony
  • The manager nominated by a limited liability company becomes bankrupt or enters into a scheme of arrangement with his or her creditors or is convicted of a felony and the company fails to nominate a replacement within 14 days of that event.

Disaffiliation may otherwise be instigated by the State Association for cause. Such causes will include but are not necessarily limited to:

  • Persistent failure to comply with the obligations of affiliation as listed,
  • Indebtedness to the State Association or the ABF or the ABF Masterpoint Scheme more than 3 months past due, and no agreed payment plan in place.
  • Conduct on the part of the Affiliate or its nominated manager which has the tendency or potential to bring into disrepute the game of bridge or the State Association or the ABF

State Associations must establish procedures for this purpose which ensure that the affiliate against whom disaffiliation is threatened is accorded natural justice. Ideally, such procedures will include some right of Appeal.

April 2017