Wednesday, November 08, 2006

$150 Annual Fee

Here is an interesting suggestion from Canberra chess organiser Shaun Press which he posted on the Australian Chess Club Forum. Actually, he began with a series of questions:

(A) State how much a year you are willing to pay the ACF to make that wishlist a reality?
(B) How much you think everyone else should pay to the ACF to make that wishlist a realty?
(C) How many people you realistically think will pay the amount specified in (B)?

And here are his own answers:

(A) Between $100 and $150 pa
(B) I would think $100 (with a suitable concession rate) is a fair amount
(C) In the first couple of years I would guess about 400 playes might join for that amount. Once the system is up and running I would expect it to climb to 750-1000 and then some.


So what does the $100 give you? The ability to implement your (or someone elses) wishlist. Fully funded Olympiad Team, paid staff etc. Now while these are all laudable goals there is always those that ask "But whats in it for me?" Now I would personally hope that would be the very last reason people would have, but I know this isn't the case. So membership of the ACF would have to provide some rights/value. The rights would include voting rights to elect an ACF Board. Entry into GP events (with a $20 discount per event). Eligibility to play in ACF title events (Aus Champs/Open/Junior). Eligibility to play in FIDE rated events in Australia. Added value would be the afore-mentioned discount, as well as a Newsletter/Magazine.


Basically I feel that $100 pa is pretty cheap compared to other things we spend disposable income on. And while I think that actually asking chess players to contribute to the welfare of chess as a whole will come as a culture shock to many, it is changing this cultural attitude that is the real goal.

The entire post can be read here.

I must admit I sympathise with the idea of of a membership fee that's as high as $150.00. Even my current annual membership fee of $25 which I hand over to the NSWCA, my local state chess body, is way too low. It always made wonder what they can possible do with such an anaemic amount. No doubt some folks who read this will react, "$150?! %@#! you man. You gotta be kiddin'!" No I'm not. Considering the extra benefits (i.e. entry discounts, possibly a magazine, and even a contribution to the national side during Olympiad years) $100-$150 in annual membership is nothing. Peanuts!

There is, however, a much needed change if or when these annual fees increase. Our elected officials must set forth clear plans on how they're going to spend that money. And it must be a truly contested election. Right now the election process at NSW level is entirely incestuous. It's the same bunch of guys voting each other into power. But it's not all their fault, of course: players are just too apathetic too care to even turn up to an AGM.

Well, OK...that's our piece for the day, on this important day because it's TCG's birthday! As we say in my native Cebu: "Happy hapay birthday!"


Matthew Sweeney said...

Happy Birthday AR. :-)

AR: Our elected officials must set forth clear plans on how they're going to spend that money.

MS: At the sate level that is true. NSWCA has $80k+ but has had no plan for its use for a decade. No, player in their right mind would give it a penny more than absolutely demanded. Therefore, the first step toward realistic fees for realistic benefits is to first remve the Dog the Snake and the Maggot.

The ACF has no no chance of getting decend money out of players unless those same players have direct voting rights for the executive to keep them from emulating the dishonest exploits of a former President Flying Needleman.

Anonymous said...

Belated hapay birtday gid a! Unsa kaman TCG!

Michael Baron said...

Ok lets say ACF gets the money...what is it going to do with it? I feel that the problem for ACF is not lack of funds but mismanagement of the funds

Pax said...

What funds, Michael? You mean that few cents a game? It's barely enough to pay for a bit of admin and stationery.

What money has been mismanaged? That's a pretty strong accusation that needs to be backed up.

The kind of cash Shaun is talking about could be used to employ a full-time administrator, or to fully fund the Olympiad team (a concept for which you have been the loudest proponent).