Thanks to all of you who attended the LCM on 23rd August at Chelmsford. The NECL has decided to continue to submit their games for grading to the ECF. Once this decision was reached it was a question of deciding how to deal with the options of direct membership or game fees.
League fees for next season were set at £1 per player to cover the league costs and a £10 deposit per team. The league intend to use the deposits together with an existing balance as a float to cover any shortfall in time between money needing to be paid to the ECF and money being collected from the clubs. David Millward will send out a separate document covering the wider financial issue.
Clubs will need to decide how to collect the ECF money. The simplest route is for players to join the ECF directly although it can also be done through the NECL. Players can join individually online at www.englishchess.org.uk and also by post (form attached) or phone (01424 775222). Membership can be retrospective but I would advise actively encouraging regular club players to join at the start of the season for easier club administration.
One alternative is for clubs to collect game fees from non-ECF members at each match (£2 per player per match) ready to pass onto the ECF via the NECL when necessary. ECF membership is mandatory for anyone playing more than 6 games (when it becomes cheaper anyway than paying individual game fees).
This season will be a trial (perhaps in more ways than one) for the league and individual clubs and we will revisit all this at the end of the season to see how things have worked out.
Clubs running an internal championship have to make a similar decision on whether they want to submit their games for grading and, if so, whether to make membership of the ECF mandatory for anyone taking part or whether to pay the grading costs by collecting game fees from non-members. If an event is to be ECF graded every game played within the competition has to be submitted. The Daytime League will be graded and Jim House will be contacting these players directly.
Please make sure all clubs submit their league entries by 14th September at the latest. This will allow fixtures to be arranged online at www.necl.org.uk about a week before the fixture meeting on 24th September at Baddow’s venue.
One other change moves the deadline for registering players to 24 hours before a match instead of 5 days. Registration is still via post or email to the League Secretary and not via the website.
Good luck to everybody involved with organising the changes at a club level. Please get in touch if there are any queries or if you need any advice.