Proposed Bylaws Revision

This year’s election will include a referendum to approve/reject a proposed revision to Article IX, Section 3 of our bylaws. If approved, this revision will simply require WGPO membership for players in all future WGPO tournaments. Voting yes will greatly simplify record keeping for our organization in the future. The BPR and EC would greatly appreciate you voting yes! The proposed revision and full rationale are presented below. New language is in bold. Removed language is struck-through.

(3) Membership in WGPO is required to enter all WGPO-approved tournaments. While WGPO-approved tournaments normally shall be open both to all WGPO members in good standing, WGPO tournament directors and organizers also may offer approved invitational tournaments. WGPO tournament directors also may offer members-only tournaments.

Detailed Rationale for Proposed Changes: Right now, WGPO has a confusing system based on two separate classifications: players and members. Players are those who have played in our tournaments, and tournament data and basic information for all players (location, past tournaments results, ratings, etc.) is collected and displayed through our ratings database. Members are those who choose to join our organization. Our bylaws indicate that our only requirement to become a member is that they play some type of word game. Members in good standing are allowed to vote in elections, serve on committees, run or nominate others for elected office, etc.

In our current system, players do not need to be members to participate in tournaments and members don’t have to play/participate in our events to join WGPO. While this dual classification allows extra flexibility for players new to our organization, maintaining two separate, yet interacting, databases for players and members requires a lot of ongoing work for our volunteer staff, but seems to offer few benefits.

To address this complicated system, we are proposing merging players/members by requiring membership in WGPO to participate in future WGPO tournaments. For current members, nothing will change. You will still be allowed to play in tournaments, participate in elections, and volunteer as normal. Non-members will simply need to join WGPO before their next tournament. Since most active players are already members and membership is free, implementing this new requirement should go fairly smoothly. Currently there are fewer than ten players currently signed up for upcoming tournaments in 2019-2020 that are non-members.

Implementing this change will require a small bylaws revision, which is where you as members are needed. The Executive Committee and Board of Player Representatives is asking you to vote YES on the proposed bylaws revision this December.