BCEW Constitution

Blind Cricket England and Wales (BCEW)
Founded: 2006
Chairman: Colin Baxter
Vice Chairman: David Gavrilovic
Registered Charity Number: 1118729
Website: www.BCEW.co.uk


Revised 12 November 2023

1. Constitutional Basis
2. Objects
3. Ancillary Aspirations and Powers
4. Distribution of Executive Powers
5. The Committee
6. Committee Powers
7. Duties of Officers
8. Termination of Office
9. Committee Procedures
10. Acquisition and loss of Membership Status
11. Membership Rights
12. Meetings
13. AGM Procedures
14. Procedures for Appointing Officers
15. Restrictions on Majority Rule
16. Constitutional Changes
17. Dissolution

1. Constitutional Basis

Blind Cricket England & Wales (BCEW) is constituted as an unincorporated charitable association of member clubs who will be bound by this Constitution and all subsidiary rules and regulations made pursuant to it. A list of all such codes and all other codes and policies adopted by the Association can be found in the appendix at the end of this document.

2. Objects

The overarching object of the Association is to promote the playing of blind cricket as an amateur sport for the benefit of individuals suffering from a serious vision impairment.

3. Ancillary Aspirations and Powers

In furtherance of the above object, the Association will, among other things:
(a) Act as the sport’s national governing body in England and Wales;
(b) Train coaches and develop the sport at all levels in any area where there are sufficient numbers of visually impaired individuals to warrant it;
(c) Take the lead in sourcing or procuring the manufacture of necessary equipment;
(d) Help with the setting up of clubs and offer a measure of ongoing support and advice;
(e) Lay down minimum standards for the governance of clubs;
(f) Develop and maintain a body of rules governing the playing of the game;
(g) Establish and run a programme of domestic competitions;
(h) Maintain a pool of suitably-trained umpires and scorers;
(i) Prescribe and enforce rules dealing with misconduct by players and clubs;
(j) Select and train squads of players to participate in international events;
(k) Build relationships with mainstream cricketing bodies.

4. Distribution of Executive Powers

The ultimate seat of authority within the Association will be the Members acting together in General Meeting, but day to day management will be delegated to a committee of individuals who will also become the Association’s trustees.

5. The Committee

The committee will consist of up to 10 individuals who will normally be elected for a 2-year term by the Members in General Meeting. Some of these individuals will be elected to designated offices which, as a bare minimum should include:
(a) Chairman,
(b) Business & Competitions Director,
(c) Treasurer,
(d) Welfare & Safeguarding Director.

6. Committee Powers

6.1 The committee will be responsible for exercising all the powers of the Association in the furtherance of its Objects. For the avoidance of doubt, these should be taken to include the power to:
(a) Seek donations from sponsors and grants from funding bodies;
(b) Engage in any other fundraising activity not amounting to substantial permanent trading;
(c) Determine the levels of fees to be paid by Members;
(d) Employ any staff or independent contractors that may be required;
(e) Sell or otherwise dispose of any of the Association’s property which is not part of a permanent endowment;
(f) Support or help to establish any other organisation acting in furtherance of the Association’s Objects.

6.2 In order to ensure the smooth running of the Association, the committee will have a power to promulgate subsidiary regulations. Such rules or subsequent amendments to them will become binding as soon as they are published to the Members, but they must then be confirmed at the next General Meeting.

6.3 One of the committee’s first priorities should be to draw up subsidiary regulations containing job specifications for all designated offices, but it will also be at liberty to devise new offices and job specifications whenever it finds it desirable.

6.4 The committee will have a power to fill any casual vacancy which may arise, and also to fill any new post which it creates, but any such appointment must be confirmed at the next General Meeting.

6.5 Whenever it thinks it advisable, the committee may delegate particular tasks to subcommittees and determine their composition. In doing so, it may recruit suitably skilled individuals who are not members of the committee, but must take care to ensure that all subcommittees are chaired by individuals who can be relied upon to manage designated projects efficiently. For their part, subcommittees must deliver timely reports on their activities to the committee, which may vary or revoke their authority at any time.

7. Duties of Officers

7.1 The members of the committee must hold a formal meeting at least four times a year in order to evaluate opportunities for fresh initiatives, to confront potential problems and to review progress with ongoing commitments.

7.2 All officers will be obliged to conform to the standards that the law demands of charity trustees and to comply with any specific duties which BCEW may prescribe in subsidiary regulations.

7.3 The committee should have regard to the need to provide all key officers with deputies and, in order to avoid the risk of any hiatus in the office of Chairman, must, at the earliest opportunity, appoint one of its number as Vice Chairman.

7.4 Bearing in mind that all monies coming to the Association will be held on charitable trust and that the law will treat all officers as charity trustees, the committee should take care to ensure that, in discharging its duties it measures up to the required standards. It should therefore:
(a) Be alert to the possibility that the terms on which particular monies are donated or granted may be narrower than the Association’s own Objects;
(b) Ensure that all monies received by the Association are credited to its most appropriate bank account within one week and a receipt issued as soon as possible;
(c) Arrange for all the Association’s bank accounts to be closely monitored and that, in the event of its having substantial funds for a significant period, to seek professional advice regarding their investment;
(d) Limit the authority of individual officers to make substantial payments or enter into major financial commitments on their own and, regardless of any contrary practice acceptable to the Association’s bankers, require all cheques to be signed by two signatories, ideally the Treasurer and one other;
(e) Make sure that no funds are ever distributed to Members for a purpose not warranted by the Association’s Objects and, apart from the payment of reasonable expenses and the purchase of indemnity insurance, seek advice regarding the legality of any proposed payment to or for the personal benefit of a trustee;
(f) As soon as practicable after the end of the period chosen as the Association’s financial year, draw up an Annual Financial Report containing appropriately audited accounts showing the state of the Association’s finances;
(g) Send all required returns, reports and accounts to the Charity Commission on time.

8. Termination of Office

Officers remain in post until they:
(a) Resign,
(b) Die,
(c) Become unfit to act by reason of physical or mental ill health,
(d) Are adjudicated bankrupt,
(e) Are convicted of a crime involving dishonesty,
(f) Are barred from acting by a court order,
(g) Are removed by the rest of the committee for a breach of BCEW rules,
(h) Are dismissed by a resolution of the Members in General Meeting or
(i) Their period of office comes to an end by effluxion of time.

9. Committee Procedures

With the exception of routine matters which may be delegated to designated officers, the committee must act collectively and with due regard to the law of meetings. Thus, for a valid meeting:
(a) In the absence of unanimous consent to the contrary, the time and place of a meeting must be notified at least two weeks in advance;
(b) After consulting with the Chairman, the Business & Competitions Director must circulate an agenda and any related paperwork in time for it to be properly perused before the meeting;
(c) The quorum for a meeting will be 3 or half the membership, whichever is the greater;
(d) The Business & Competitions Director must minute all decisions and deliberations and The Chairman must ensure that such minutes are approved at the next meeting.

10. Acquisition and loss of Membership Status

10.1 BCEW membership is open to any club playing blind cricket which has been fully constituted for at least 3 months. In order to join the Association, such a club should apply to the Business & Competitions Director by the end of September so that its application can be considered by existing Members at the next Annual General Meeting.

10.2 Once accepted into membership, a club’s status will continue until it:
(a) Resigns,
(b) Is expelled for breaches of BCEW rules or
(c) Fails to fulfil its fixtures and, after considering advice from the committee, the Members in General Meeting decide that it is no longer a viable entity.

11. Membership Rights

11.1 Subject to their compliance with all BCEW rules, including the payment of any prescribed fees, all members will have a right to participate in suitable BCEW competitions, to avail themselves of any other services on offer and to send a representative to any General Meeting of the Association.

11.2 In addition they will be entitled to cast a vote at any such meeting if they have either:
(a) Completed the most recent season in a BCEW league or
(b) Completed the most recent season in a BCEW cup competition after completing the previous season in either a BCEW league or cup competition.
For the purposes of this subsection, however, a club may not count a season as being completed if it can fairly be regarded as responsible for the cancellation of more than a third of its scheduled fixtures.

11.3 The exercise of the right to vote at any particular meeting will be conditional on the relevant Member being able to confirm that it has ascertained the views of its own membership on the business to be transacted.

11.4 Any Member entitled to vote at a General Meeting will also be entitled to ask the committee to call a meeting and, regardless of how a meeting is called, to propose or join in proposing the business to be conducted at it.

12. Meetings

12.1 Once in every calendar year the Association must hold an Annual General Meeting (AGM), which will normally be called by the committee for a date in November. Any other General Meeting will be referred to as a Special General Meeting (SGM) and may be called at any time by the committee, either on its own initiative or in response to a request from a Member. The committee must, however, call such a meeting as soon as possible if the request comes from a group representing half the membership.

12.2 General Meetings may take place as either face to face or online virtual meetings, but, either way, the proceedings must be properly minuted and conducted in accordance with the law of meetings, which in BCEW means:
(a) The minimum period of notice will be 21 days.
(b) The notice must set out the time and place of the meeting and describe the business with sufficient precision to enable member clubs to hold meaningful discussions as to how to cast their vote.
(c) Proxies will not be allowed to attend and, without the consent of the meeting, BCEW officers should not be permitted to represent their own clubs.
(d) The quorum will be 5 or a third of the Members with voting rights, whichever is the greater.
(e) Meetings should be chaired by the BCEW Chairman or his/her Deputy, but, as a last resort, the Members present will be entitled to choose one of their own number to assume the role.
(f) All voting will be conducted by voice or a show of hands.
(g) In the event of a tie, the Chairman will have a casting vote.
(h) Where the Chairman finds it necessary to adjourn a meeting and it does not reconvene within one hour, any unfinished business will have to be concluded at a fresh meeting, but the notice period for such a meeting will be reduced to 7 days and, if the reason for the adjournment was the lack of a quorum, the quorum requirement will be reduced to 2.

13. AGM Procedures

13.1 Any Member desiring to raise any issue or propose a formal resolution at the Association’s AGM, should supply details to the Business & Competitions Director by the end of September. Each Member will be entitled to make one formal proposal in its own right, but any further proposal by that Member may only be included on the agenda if it is supported by a second Member.

13.2 The Business & Competitions Director must circulate the agenda for the AGM at least 21 days before the date of the meeting and send out any supplementary paperwork in time for it to be adequately considered by the recipients.

13.3 At every AGM the Members must:
(a) Confirm the minutes of the previous AGM along with the minutes of any subsequent SGM;
(b) Receive reports from the officers on activities undertaken since the previous AGM;
(c) Consider the Annual Financial Report:
(d) Re-elect or replace officers whose term of office has come to an end;
(e) Transact any other business which has been legitimately included on the agenda.

14. Procedures for Appointing Officers

14.1 Outgoing officers seeking reappointment should so advise the Business & Competitions Director by the end of September prior to the AGM at which their tenure of office will expire. Nominations of other would-be officers should also be made by Members in the same way and by the same date. For this purpose, there will be no limit on the number of proposals that can be made by the same Member.

14.2 Where there is only one nominee for a given vacancy, that individual will be considered elected as from the date of the AGM, but, if there is more than one, there will be an election and the candidates must be invited to provide personal statements of up to 300 words, which the Business & Competitions Director should circulate immediately upon their receipt.

14.3 At the meeting, Members will be entitled to question the candidates before casting their votes.

14.4 If the Chairman is a candidate in a contested election, the chair should be taken by the Vice Chairman or some other officer who might reasonably be regarded as impartial.

15. Restrictions on Majority Rule

15.1 In Making appointments to the committee, Members and officers should try to ensure that the Association is run primarily by individuals who are visually impaired and that the Chairman and at least half the committee fall into this category.

15.2 While it will be permissible for an individual to hold more than one office at the same time, such an individual should not, in the absence of extreme emergency, be contemporaneously appointed to more than one of the key offices of Chairman, Business & Competitions Director or Treasurer. Similarly and subject to the same proviso, it will not be permissible to make any appointment which results in more than half the committee being composed of individuals who are connected with the same club by virtue of being one of its officers or registered players.

15.3 While the Blind Cricket Playing Rules and Regulations are technically nothing more than subsidiary regulations made pursuant to this Constitution,
they should, apart from the possible need to correct errors or resolve ambiguities, only be amended after the member clubs have been given the opportunity to discuss the proposed changes at a general meeting, but, where a proposal relates solely to a particular competition, the only clubs entitled to vote will be those presently committed to participating in it. In the case of an established competition, this means that they must have evinced an intention to continue playing in it after fulfilling the requisite number of fixtures in the previous season.

16. Constitutional Changes

While most decisions at General Meetings may be taken by a simple majority, the provisions of this Constitution, not including the Appendix can only be changed by the passing of a Special Resolution, which in BCEW means that the text of the resolution as circulated must be approved by a two-thirds majority.

17. Dissolution

17.1 The Association will be dissolved automatically if its membership falls below 3. In other cases, it can only be dissolved by the passing of an Extraordinary Resolution, which means that the text of the resolution as circulated must be approved by a three-quarters majority.

17.2 In either of these events, any remaining officers or the last officers legitimately in post will be obliged to:
(a) Apply the Association’s funds in satisfaction of its debts;
(b) Transfer any remaining assets to some other charity promoting or facilitating sport for the visually impaired;
(c) Notify the Charity Commission.


BCEW Subsidiary Regulations:

Committee Offices and Job Specifications
Committee Code
Committee Standing Orders
Blind Cricket playing Rules
Blind Cricket Administrative Regulations
Blind Cricket Disciplinary Procedures

Third Party Codes and Policies:
ECB Whistle Blowing procedure
ECB Safe Hands Policy

Member Clubs with Voting Rights

Member Clubs without Voting Rights

List of Officers