(As adopted by the General Meeting of the Association 9 October 1982 and amended by the Annual General Meetings held:-

23 March 1985, 22 March 1986, 14 March 1992, 15 March 1997, 13 March 1999, 17 March 2001, 2 March 2002, 20 March 2004, 3 March 2007, 7 March 2009, 5 March 2011, 3 March 2012, 8 March 2014 and 17 March 2018).

1. NAME:-

The name of the Association shall be: "Braille Chess Association" (hereinafter referred to as "the Association").

The registered address of the Association shall be the address of its Secretary.

The Association shall be affiliated to:-

The English Chess Federation.

The British Federation for Correspondence Chess.

The International Braille Chess Association.

Chess Scotland.

The Association may affiliate to any other body whose Objects are compatible with those of the Association, such an affiliation to be determined by a simple majority of those present and voting at a properly convened General Meeting of the Association.

The Association shall be guided in all its activities by the principles of equality and non-discrimination on racial, religious or political grounds.

The Association's financial year shall run from 1st October to 30th September.


The Objects of the Association shall be the furtherance of education amongst the blind in relation to the game of chess by:-

(A) The promotion of chess tournaments and chess competitions amongst the blind by over-the-board play, correspondence and cassette;

(B) The publication and distribution of magazines, books, reports and other chess literature for its members;

(C) The provision of a tape service by the distribution on magnetic tape of any material which is or might be published and distributed under Paragraph (B) of this Clause;

(D) The encouragement of the participation of blind chess players in tournaments and events not limited to the blind;

(E) The maintenance and development of a library of Braille books and magnetic tapes for the distribution of chess material;

(F) The carrying on of any other activity connected with the promotion of chess among the blind.


Membership of the Association shall be open to any blind or partially sighted person on application to the Secretary and, subject to Clauses 5, 5B and 6 below, on payment of the first annual subscription, or appropriate proportion thereof, to the Treasurer.

The Committee is empowered to refuse an application for any class of membership, including the classes referred to in Clauses 4 and 5 below.

The Committee shall have the power to terminate or suspend the membership of any class of member or to exclude any member from any event whom it considers guilty of a breach of this Constitution or of misconduct or offensive behaviour to any other member, visitor or employee, whether at a B.C.A. event or wherever it involves B.C.A. matters. 

The member has the right of appeal. This must be made in writing to the Secretary giving the grounds for the appeal within 14 days of the exclusion or suspension. It will be considered by the Committee within 14 days of receipt, and the decision made after due consideration of the written details presented. The Committee may at any time restore membership to or discontinue the exclusion of any such member.


Any person who is not blind or partially sighted may apply, or be nominated, to be an associate member of the Association.

Subject to the provisions of this Constitution, and to any resolution passed by a General Meeting of the Association, an associate member shall enjoy all the rights and be subject to all the obligations of an ordinary member of the Association.


Any member or associate member shall, on payment to the Treasurer of the life membership subscription, become a life member of the Association.

The life membership subscription shall be an amount equivalent to ten times the annual subscription for the year of application, or such other amount as may be determined by resolution of a General Meeting of the Association.

In the event of a life member resigning from the Association no part of the life membership subscription shall be repayable.


"Junior BCA" will be a Section within the overall structure of the Association.

Membership of "Junior BCA" will be open to any blind or partially sighted U.K. resident under the age of 25, and to associate U.K. juniors under 18, subject to Clause 3 above. Members of "Junior BCA" will be entitled to all the benefits and subject to all the obligations of other members of the Association.

When "Junior BCA" reaches ten or more members it will be entitled to elect one of its members to serve on the Committee of the Association.


Any Club, whose main aim is for the benefit of UK blind and partially sighted chess players, may seek affiliation to the Association.

Subject to Clause 9 of this Constitution, the annual subscriptn shall be set, from time to time, by the Association's Annual General Meeting.

Members of Affiliated Clubs shall be entitled to attend BCA General Meetings and Affiliated Clubs shall be entitled to cast one vote for their UK blind or partially sighted members. The person casting the vote for the Affiliated Club must be a member of the Affiliated Club; they must also provide written accreditation and be identified to the Chairman at the commencement of the Meeting.

Affiliated Clubs and their members shall receive such benefits as, from time to time, are approved by the BCA Committee.


A General Meeting may elect one or more honorary members of the Association.

An honorary member shall not be obliged to pay a subscription, but in all other respects shall be entitled to the same rights and subject to the same obligations as an ordinary member or, if he or she is not visually impaired, an associate member.


The Officers of the Association shall Be:-

(A) Chairman;

(B) Secretary;

(C) Treasurer;

(D) Publicity Officer;

(E) Correspondence Chess Director;

(F) Gazette Editor;

(G) Audio Librarian;

(H) Membership Secretary;

(I) "Junior BCA" Representative;

(J) Website Co-ordinator.

They shall be elected by the Annual General Meeting, and shall hold office until the following Annual General Meeting.

A retiring Officer shall be entitled to seek re-election, and any two offices, other than those of Chairman, Secretary or Treasurer, may be held by one person.

Any Officer may have an Assistant appointed for the purpose by the Committee.

Save as is permitted by the Charities Act 2006 or any re-enactment thereof, Officers and their Assistants shall not be entitled to any remuneration, but shall be reimbursed out of Association funds for their out-of-pocket expenses.


The Officers together shall constitute the Committee, which shall meet from time to time for the purpose of discussing the affairs of the Association, and carrying out its policy in accordance with the Objects set out in Clause 2 above, and any resolution passed by a General Meeting.

The Committee shall have the power to co-opt, and to appoint Sub-committees for the purpose of discharging any of its functions.

It may, for any specific purpose, request any member of the Association to attend any of its Meetings.

The Committee shall take decisions by a simple majority of those members present and voting at a Meeting, and in the event of there being an equality of votes, the Chairman shall have a second or casting vote.

In the interval between Meetings of the Committee, the Secretary may, where a decision is urgently required on any matter, seek the views of all members of the Committee, and may act in accordance with the views expressed by the majority. The action of the Secretary in any such case shall be endorsed by, and be recorded in the Minutes of, the next Meeting of the Committee.

All those attending a Meeting of the Committee shall be reimbursed in respect of expenses reasonably incurred by them in travelling to and returning from the place at which the Meeting is held.

A quorum of the Committee shall be four.


The annual subscription shall be fixed by a simple majority of those present and voting at an Annual General Meeting. The subscription rates so fixed shall become payable on
1st October in each year.

If a member or an associate member, other than a life member, life associate member, junior member, or an honorary member, has not paid the appropriate annual subscription within a period of two months after the date on which it became due the Committee may terminate his/her membership after giving that member 28 days' notice in writing of its intention to do so.

A person applying for membership or associate membership after 31st March in any year shall pay half of the current annual subscription to cover his/her membership until
30th September in that year.


Beginning with the year 1st October, 1983, to 30th September, 1984, there shall be an Annual General Meeting of the Association.

The Annual General Meeting shall be held at such place, and on such date not being later than 30th April in any year, as the Committee may determine, and it shall be the duty of the Secretary to notify all members, associate members, junior members and honorary members of the Association of the date, time and place of such Meeting.

Notice in the Association's Gazette shall constitute notice for the purpose of this Clause.

The Annual General Meeting shall, in addition to electing the Officers in Clause 7 above, lay down the general policy of the Association and the manner in which it is to be carried out. It shall have power to over-rule any decision of the Committee.

Occasionally an issue might be considered to be of such importance that consultation needs to involve a wider number of members than those attending the AGM. In such a case, after general consultation, the committee is empowered to carry out a vote via post, telephone or email in order to arrive at a decision. A two-thirds majority would be required to accept a decision.

The committee recognises that members may hold strong views on issues of policy and welcomes free and vigorous debate on such matters.

There is a clear difference between disagreeing with an individual's view on policy matters and launching a personal attack on that individual. No member will use the AGM to insult any member.

Those attending the AGM who do not observe these standards of behaviour shall be asked to leave the room.

Normally the AGM will be open to members only. Committee members and non-committee members may invite guests and must give the Chair or Secretary as much notice of their intention to do so as is reasonably practical. The decision on whether a guest may attend will be made by the Chair who must satisfy him- or herself that the guest's attendance at the AGM will not be detrimental to the association and that the guest will not disturb the smooth running of the meeting.


Upon receipt of a request by twelve or more members, other than associate members, the Secretary shall convene an Extraordinary General Meeting to take place not more than eight weeks after the receipt of the request; The Secretary shall inform all members of the date and venue of such a Meeting not less than 21 days before such a Meeting is to take place.


Subject to Clause 14 below, the ownership of all the Association's property shall be vested in the Officers for the time being, who shall hold it as trustees for the Association.


The Secretary shall be responsible for the general running of the affairs of the Association.


The Treasurer shall hold all the Association's monies.

He/she shall keep them in an account or accounts at a bank or banks to be nominated by the Committee, and in any other securities or investments as the Committee may from time to time determine.

Any such bank account or accounts shall be opened in the name of the Association, and shall be separate from the Treasurer's personal bank account.

Monies shall only be withdrawn from the Association's account or accounts on the signature of the Treasurer and another Officer nominated by the Committee.


For the financial year commencing 1st October, 1997, and all subsequent financial years, the Association's accounts shall be independently examined in compliance with the requirements set by the Charity Commissioners or prepared in such manner as may from time to time be required by statute.

The Association's accounts shall be published as soon as they have been approved by an Annual General Meeting.


This Constitution may be amended by a resolution passed by a vote of those members, other than associate members, present at a General Meeting.

The vote must be at least two-thirds of those present and voting in favour of the resolution before it can be presented to the Charity Commissioners for ratification.


The Association may be dissolved by a resolution passed by a majority of at least three-quarters of members, other than associate members, of the Association present and voting at a General Meeting.

Upon dissolution, the assets of the Association shall be distributed to any other charity for the blind or charities for the blind which may be approved by the Charity Commissioners.




Associate Membership

Life Membership

Junior BCA

Affiliated Clubs

Honorary Membership




Annual General Meeting

Extraordinary General Meeting

Property of The Association




Amendment of Constitution


BCA 2002 - 2017