VERMONT BRIDGE ASSOCIATION
The name of this organization shall be The Vermont Bridge Association.
The short title of The Vermont Bridge Association, as used in these By-Laws, is the Association, and the short title of the American Contract Bridge League is the ACBL.
(a) is a Unit of the ACBL, and part of the New England Bridge Conference (hereinafter referred to as the District);
(b) recognizes the ACBL as the parent organization having authority and control over tournament bridge in the United States; and
(c) operates under the sanction of the ACBL, and functions within the governing documents of the ACBL and the District.
Objectives of the Association
The objectives of this Association shall be to:
(a) preserve and promote the best interests of tournament contract bridge and any modifications thereof;
(b) prescribe rules of eligibility for participation in tournaments under its auspices;
(c) co-operate with and assist the ACBL in the promotion and conduct of contract bridge tournaments;
(d) consider and pass upon reports of dishonest, unethical or improper conduct of participants in tournaments, and to bar or suspend persons guilty of such conduct from further participation in tournaments and/or clubs;
(e) conduct such other activities as may be in keeping with its principal objectives; and
(f) conduct, license or sanction contract bridge tournaments, at which championship titles shall be determined; to formulate, interpret and enforce rules for the conduct of such tournaments under its auspices within the geographical limits of the State of Vermont.
Membership Dues, Voting Rights and Privileges
The membership of the Association shall be comprised of ACBL members in good standing, who are residents of the State of Vermont, or who have received appropriate dispensation from the ACBL.
The privileges of members in good standing shall be as follows:
(a) to vote in person at the Annual Meeting and at all special meetings on all matters to be voted on at such meetings; and
(b) to be eligible for election or appointment to any office or committee of the Association.
Administration of Association Affairs
The affairs of the Association shall be administered by a Board of Directors.
The Board of Directors shall consist of one member for clubs holding 1-2 games per week; two members for clubs holding 3-4 games per week; three members for clubs holding 5-6 games per week; four members for clubs holding more than 6 games per week, plus the President, first and second Vice-Presidents, the Secretary, the Treasurer, the most recent Past President and the Table Talk Editor. In order to qualify for representation on the Board of Directors, a club must be sanctioned by the ACBL, and must conduct a sanctioned bridge game within the State of Vermontat least once per week for no less than six months of the year.
Bridge clubs will be accepted as affiliates of the Association on application to, and approval by, the Board of Directors. Such approval shall be contingent upon the club’s receipt and continuing maintenance of an ACBL sanction.
The President or Manager of each affiliated club will provide to the Secretary the name of the individual or individuals authorized to represent that club on the Board of Directors. The Secretary will maintain a current list of such individuals. A club that is unable to be represented at a meeting of the Board of Directors by its designated representative(s) may assign one or more alternate qualified club member(s). Such assignment(s) must be made in writing and signed by the respective club President or Manager.
No individual who has voting authority at a Board of Director’s meeting may have more than one vote.
The Association is entitled to appoint District Delegates to the District Board of Delegates. The President shall appoint those District Delegates.
Amendments to the By-Laws
Amendments to the By-Laws may be made at any regular or special meeting of the members, provided ten (10) days notice in writing has been given to the members, announcing the intention to revise the By-Laws at that meeting. It shall be the duty of the Secretary to incorporate the text of the proposed amendment(s) in the notice of the meeting.
The concurrence of two-thirds of all members present and voting shall be required to pass any amendment to the By-Laws.
The Board of Directors, at least 60 days prior to the Annual Meeting, shall appoint a Nomination Committee consisting of a minimum of three members, each of whom must be principally affiliated with separate clubs within the State. The Nomination Committee shall prepare a slate of officers, consisting of President, 1st Vice President, 2nd Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer, to be placed in nomination at the Annual Meeting of the members of the Association. Not more than two-thirds of the Nomination Committee shall be current Directors.
The Nomination Committee will select a chairperson who shall submit the Committee’s slate of officers to the Secretary at least 30 days prior to the Annual Meeting. The Committee may determine this slate in any manner acceptable to the Committee.
Additional nominations may be made by any member of the Association, but such nominations must be in writing and signed by at least ten members in good standing, and must be presented to the Secretary of the Association at least one-half hour before the stated time of the Annual Meeting.
The Board of Directors shall fix the time and place of the Annual Meeting, and the Secretary shall give written notice of such meeting at least twenty (20) days prior to the meeting. This notice will include the proposed slate of officers for the coming year.
Special meetings of the members of the Association may be called at any time by:
(a) the President;
(b) written request of a majority of the Board of Directors; or
(c) written request of three (3) or more qualifying clubs affiliated with the Association.
The notice of any special meeting shall contain an agenda of the matters to be taken up at such meeting.
A quorum for the transaction of business at any annual or special meeting of the membership shall consist of those members present at a duly noticed membership meeting.
The Board of Directors shall fix the time and place of any special meeting of the membership, and shall give notice by mail of such meeting to all members at least ten (10) days prior to the meeting.
There shall be at least three (3) regular meetings of the Board of Directors of the Association each year, the time and place of which will be specified by the President.
A quorum of the Board of Directors for the transaction of business shall consist of those Directors, or designated representatives, present at a duly noticed meeting of the Board of Directors.
The President, and in his or her absence, a Vice-President, shall preside at all meetings of the Association, as well as those of the Board of Directors.
Board of Directors
The Board of Directors has the authority to:
(a) discuss and decide the general policies of the Association;
(b) arrange a schedule of tournaments for the maximum enjoyment of the Association members, and to apply to the ACBL for approval of suitable dates for the same. It may designate a member club or clubs to run the sectional tournaments which are allowed under ACBL rules. Clubs that run tournaments will file a complete financial report with the Treasurer within three weeks of the conclusion of the tournament. This report will be accompanied by any payments to the Association that the Board of Directors requires. Payments in this context shall be specified in writing by the Board of Directors at least sixty (60) days prior to commencement of the tournament.
(c) acquire, hold, administer, maintain and dispose of all property of the Association;
(d) appropriate the funds of the Association for the purposes set forth in these By-Laws;
(e) hire and discharge employees, to supervise their conduct, and to fix their compensation, if any, subject to membership approval;
(f) censure, suspend or expel any member for a violation of the governing documents, or of any rule, or for conduct which is improper and prejudicial to the welfare and/or reputation of the Association or the District or the ACBL. No member shall be censured, suspended or expelled without the affirmative vote, by written ballot, of two-thirds of the Board of Directors present and voting, nor without a written notice by registered mail at least ten (10) days before the hearing of the charges against such member, specifying the time and place of the hearing, at which hearing the accused individual shall be given an opportunity to be heard and to be represented by counsel;
(g) cause all of the receipts and disbursements of the Association to be audited biennially, by someone who is neither an officer of the Association nor the Table Talk Editor;
(h) conduct, manage, supervise and control all of the business of the Association, including the conducting of unit games and tournaments, and the selection of all dates and locations for holding such games and tournaments; and
(i) encourage participation of local bridge clubs in affairs of the Association.
Any office of the Association that becomes vacant will be filled by an appointee, as determined by the Executive Committee, who will be confirmed at the next Board of Director’s meeting or special or annual meeting of the Association.
Committees and Delegates
The President, with the approval of the Board of Directors, shall appoint such committees as may be necessary or desirable to perform the functions of the Association. With the exception of the Executive Committee, committee members need not be members of the Board of Directors. The President is an ex-officio member of all committees. Standing Committees shall consist of:
(a) Executive Committee: Consists of the officers of the Association, plus the most recent Past President. Its functions are to advise the President on matters of immediate urgency, in order that quick decisions may be made when necessary. The President may call an emergency meeting of this committee at any time, and any number of members present shall constitute a quorum;
(b) Nomination Committee: (See Article Six, Section 1) When this committee has performed its function, it is automatically dissolved;
(c) Conduct and Ethics Committee: Shall hold hearings on serious violations of conduct or ethics, and issue warnings against any further violations. When it is warranted, this committee shall forward recommendations for penalties for such violations to the Board of Directors. The person or persons concerned may request a hearing before the Board of Directors.
Any Association Delegate to the District Board of Delegates who is unable to fulfill his or her responsibilities shall notify the President as soon as possible, so that an alternate may be named whenever this is consistent with Association policies pertaining to that position.
Secretary and Treasurer
The offices of Secretary and Treasurer shall be elected by the members of the Association at the Annual Meeting prior to December 31.
The Secretary shall:
Produce and mail a welcome package for new members; maintain an accurate membership list (and notify ACBL of a member’s death); take and publish minutes of Association Board of Director’s meetings; and keep the current and historical records of the Association (minutes, by-laws, correspondence, conduct and ethics reports, etc.).
The Treasurer Shall:
Pay the bills of the Association, maintain its records of income and expenses, produce its financial reports, maintain its bank account(s), cooperate with an audit of its books at least every other year, and record gifts to Table Talk from patrons, and report the same to the Association’s webmaster.
All checks for payment from the treasury shall be signed as authorized by the Board of Directors. The Treasurer will be given written specifications, signed by the President, directing the manner in which the Treasurer is expected to discharge the financial obligations of the Association. Any such specifications will continue in force until changed by the Board of Directors.
All officer positions, and the position of Table Talk Editor, are non-salaried positions.