United Bristol Hospitals RFC Club Constitution
Updated and ratified at Annual General Meeting on Saturday 21st April 2018
i. The name of the association will be ‘United Bristol Hospitals Rugby Football Club’ (hereafter called ‘The Club’)
i. To bring people together in a positive group through the provision of facilities for the playing of rugby union football.
ii. To help players fulfil their full potential and use that potential to foster teamwork.
iii. That the Club actively promotes the playing of Rugby Union Football in accordance with the Laws of the Game, World Rugby Regulations relating to the Game, and the RFU Rules and Regulations.
iv. To uphold the following tenets of the game of Rugby Union Football:
a) To allow people in their own way to enjoy and derive enjoyment from participation in the game
b) To have a view of the game in its most exciting and expansive form to maximise knowledge and excitement
c) To encourage all players of the club to aspire through their endeavour to be the best players they can be, always wanting to work hard to improve their knowledge, skills and understanding of the game
d) To encourage understanding of equality and law within the game
e) To ensure all that all people involved with the game work within the known spirit of the game and have respect for:
• The laws of the game, all referees and understand the concept of fair play
• Team mates, club members and all coaching staff
• The opposition through winning modestly and losing with dignity
• Develop and improve social conditions and mental welfare of such people
• To actively involve people in achieving the above objectives
i. The club colours shall be predominantly silver and maroon jerseys, black shorts and black and white socks. If alternative jerseys are required, black and maroon jerseys may be worn.
i. To further the above objectives in (2), the club shall have powers to:
a) Apply for, collect and receive money and property
b) Purchase and take on lease or licence freehold or leasehold property with power to sub-lease, or licence occupation of any part of such property
c) Apply for rent of pitches and a clubhouse to provide a playing environment for all members
d) Enter into such contracts of insurance as may seem expedient
e) Publish or sell books, newsletters and any other documents whatsoever and distribute such items accordingly
f) Do all such other things as will further the attainment of the above objects
5. PRESIDENT AND VICE PRESIDENTS
i. The club may appoint a President as suggested by the committee and approved at the Annual General Meeting or Extraordinary Meeting of members.
ii. The club may appoint Vice Presidents, as suggested by the committee and approved at the Annual General Meeting or Extraordinary Meeting of members. These will usually be awarded to people the Club wishes to honour in recognition of their services to the club.
6. CODE OF CONDUCT
i. The club supports the playing of the game of rugby union football in accordance with the spirit of good sportsmanship and fair play.
ii. In particular, the Club shall ensure that its members, in their playing of the game or in their general conduct, will at no time indulge in any unsporting behaviour or activities which could blemish the good name of the Club, the Rugby Football Union or the Gloucestershire Rugby Football Union or bring the reputation of the game into disrepute, namely:
a) Insulting opponents
b) Making offensive remarks to the referee/touch judges or opposition supporters
c) Deliberately feigning injury
d) Taking property belonging to opponents or their club
e) Publicly criticising the referee via the media
f) Playing under the influence of excessive alcohol or drugs
g) Making racial or racist remarks
h) Behaving in any way likely to cause offence (including to members of the public whilst travelling to, or from, a fixture
iii. The club is an equal opportunities club and will not discriminate in any way due to race, religion, sexual orientation, gender, ethnicity or disability.
iv. The club will look to eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation, as well as other conduct prohibited by the Equality Act 2010.
v. Members shall be made aware that the club could be held responsible/answerable to the Rugby Football Union or the Gloucestershire Football Union for the actions of its members as outlined in (ii), (iii) and (iv).
vi. The club shall discourage from selection any player who repeatedly infringes this code and in respect of any such player or member may hold an enquiry into any alleged breach and suspend or expel from membership any serious offender as outlined in the disciplinary section of this constitution.
i. Membership of the Club shall be open to anyone interested in the sport on application regardless of sex, age, disability, ethnicity, nationality, sexual orientation, religion or other beliefs.
ii. Membership of the club is open to, but not limited to, students of the University of Bristol’s Health Sciences faculty as the Club is a representation of this faculty. However, the Club actively promotes the admission of other students at the University of Bristol, as well as employees of the National Health Service.
iii. The Club Captain shall act in this instance as the Membership Secretary. If there is any dispute over the membership of a certain member, it is up to the committee to decide on the appropriate action to take in this instance.
iv. The members of the club shall be divided into the following categories:
a) Full Student Members (who satisfy the requirements of (v) below and are eighteen years of age or older)
b) Full NHS Members (who satisfy the requirements of (v) below and are eighteen years of age or older)
c) Honorary Life Members
d) Coaching Staff
e) Presidents and Vice Presidents
f) Social Members
v. Full Membership shall be granted to any person falling within (i) and (ii) above upon completing the required membership application to the Club Captain and the payment of an annual subscription.
vi. Coaching staff employed by the club will have all of the voting rights as appointed to those members with full membership as outlined in (v) above
vii. Social members do not have the full voting rights of membership until they fulfil the requirements of (v) outlined above.
viii. Honorary Life Members shall be granted in recognition of outstanding achievements to Rugby on behalf of the Club. They shall have all benefits of Full Membership including full Voting Rights, without the need to pay annual subscriptions.
i. The annual subscription for Full Membership and all other subsequent Memberships (which shall be for a period equal to the Club’s financial year as specified below) shall be such sums as may from time to time be decided and recommended by the Committee and agreed by the Annual General Meeting of the Club.
ii. The annual subscription shall normally be due on the 1st of October of every year and must be paid by all Full Members of the club as outlined in (7).
iii. Subscriptions become due on the 1st of October of every year and the amount is due in full before 31st October of that same year.
iv. Any playing member who fails to pay their subscription by the due date prescribed above shall thereafter cease to be eligible for selection and shall be notified to this effect.
v. Any member who has not paid their subscription by 30th November of that year shall at the discretion of the Committee have their name posted on the relevant notice board, with the Committee having the power to terminate the membership of any member who has not paid his or her subscription by 31st December of the same year.
vi. Any member whose subscription has not been received by the above date shall not have use of club premises or have a vote at any meeting of the club.
vii. Membership subscriptions for the President and Vice-Presidents are not necessary due to the honorary roles of such positions as afforded to them by a vote at the Annual General Meeting on recommendation by the Committee.
i. The management of the Club shall be vested in a Committee consisting of the following officers (‘Officers of the Club’):
c) 1st XV Captain
d) Club Captain
h) Sponsorship Secretary
i) Fixtures and Communities Secretary
j) Social Media Secretary
k) Fresher’s Secretary
ii. The Officers of the Club shall be elected at the Annual General Meeting in each year and, subject to termination of office by resignation or otherwise, shall remain in office until their successors are elected at the Annual General Meeting following their election. The retiring Officers of the Club shall be eligible for re-election.
iii. The 1st XV Captain as outlined above in (i) shall not be elected at the Annual General Meeting, but instead appointed by the previous Appointed Captain upon the guidance of the current Club Captain and Head Coach, as well as any other Officer of the Club the Appointed Captain sees fit.
iv. The Committee shall have the power to fill any vacancy in the Committee that may occur.
v. The Committee may appoint sub-committees as it deems necessary and shall prescribe their function providing that all acts and proceedings of any such sub-committee shall be reported to the Committee as soon as possible and provided further that no such sub-committee shall expend funds of the Club otherwise than in accordance with a budget agreed by the Committee. The Committee may also co-opt additional Members to the Committee who have the same rights as Officers of the Club.
vi. Head Coaches shall be co-opted officers of the Committee and shall have the same rights as elected officers.
vii. Presidents and Vice-Presidents shall be co-opted officers of the Committee and shall have the same rights as elected officers. However, as such roles are honorary, they are intended to be more for guidance and as such are not required at committee meetings but will instead meet with the wider Committee on a bi-annual basis, the dates of which shall be determined by the Committee.
viii. Any matter not provided for in this Constitution and concerning the organisation and activities of the Club shall be dealt with by the Committee whose decision shall be final.
ix. The Committee shall meet when it sees fit, but it is recommended that the Committee meet on the first Sunday of every month, as well as provide a suitable handover meeting after the Annual General Meeting of that year. A minimum of six meetings throughout the financial year is required.
x. Each person on the Committee should satisfy the Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs ‘fit and proper person’ test.
xi. For a Committee meeting to be eligible, there must be at least four members present.
i. The Committee shall appoint one Head Coach for each team and approve Assistant Coaches as it thinks fit.
ii. In exercising their duties coaches shall always have the objects of the Club in mind.
i. A member desiring to withdraw from the Club should give notice in writing to the Committee.
ii. No Member shall be entitled to any refund of all or any part of his/her annual subscription because of his/her resignation from the Club.
i. A Disciplinary Officer (who ideally should not be Chairman) shall be appointed by the Committee
ii. When acting alone the Disciplinary Officer shall have the authority to caution verbally any Member.
iii. Then Disciplinary Panel shall have the authority to caution verbally, give written warnings, or suspend any Member from playing, training or Club membership and to take such action as the Disciplinary Panel deems appropriate. The Disciplinary Panel may also make recommendations to the Committee that a Member be expelled from Membership of the Club. The Disciplinary Panel at all times shall act fairly.
iv. All members (whether players or not) shall:
a) Abide by all applicable Club Codes of Conduct (6) and rules
b) Abide by all applicable Rugby Football Union Codes of Conduct as well as subsequent rules and regulations
c) Not act in a manner that does or may bring the Club, Gloucestershire Rugby Football Union, the Rugby Football Union or the game of Rugby Union Football into disrepute.
v. Members are under a duty to report to the Disciplinary Officer, or the applicable coach who shall then report it to the Disciplinary Officer, any:
a) Sending off incident
b) Breach of duties set out in (iv)
c) Any suspected breach of duties set out in (iv)
(Together ‘an Incident’)
vi. Having been notified of an Incident the Disciplinary Officer shall in his/her sole discretion decide whether the Incident is minor in nature.
a) If so, the Disciplinary Officer may caution verbally the Member and/or take no further action.
b) If not, the Disciplinary Officer shall as soon as reasonably practicable co-opt two independent Members who were not involved in the Incident to form a Disciplinary Panel.
vii. As soon as reasonably practicable the Disciplinary Panel shall:
a) Gather evidence relating to the Incident
b) Decide as to whether there is a case to answer. If there is no case to answer, the matter shall be concluded. Otherwise:
c) Notify the Incident and nature of the complaint (‘the Charges’) to the Member the subject of the Incident (‘the Indicted Member’)
d) Fix a time and place for a Hearing and provide reasonable notice (not usually less than three days) of the Hearing to the Indicted Member.
e) Conduct a Hearing.
f) Reach a Decision.
viii. In cases where the nature of the Incident warrants it, the Disciplinary Panel may suspend the Indicted Member from playing, training or club membership pending a Hearing.
ix. Generally, the Hearing shall proceed as follows:
a) The Indicted Member may attend the Hearing with a representative and/or witness
b) The Disciplinary Panel may exclude from the Hearing any person who is disruptive and/or abusive
c) If the Indicted Member fails to attend, or is excluded from, the Hearing, the Hearing shall proceed in his/her absence and the Disciplinary Panel may make whatever decision it feels appropriate.
d) The Indicted Member will be asked whether he/she objects to the constitution of the Disciplinary Panel.
e) The Charges will be read to the Indicted Member.
f) The Indicted Member will be asked whether he/she admits the Charges.
g) If the Indicted Member denies the Charges:
• The evidence gathered by the Disciplinary Panel will be presented and/or witnesses will be called. The Indicted Member may ask relevant questions.
• The Indicted Member may present evidence and/or call witnesses, and present a defence. The Disciplinary Panel may ask relevant questions.
h) The room will be cleared. The Disciplinary Panel will decide whether the Charges have been proved – if not the matter will be concluded. Otherwise:
• The Indicted Member will be recalled, notified of the decision and his/her previous disciplinary record considered. The Indicted Member may present evidence and/or make representations in mitigation.
i) The room will be cleared. The Disciplinary Panel will decide on the appropriate penalty (‘the Penalty’). The Disciplinary Panel will take into consideration, but will not be bound by RFU sentencing guidelines unless obliged to do so under RFU rules.
j) The Indicted Party will be notified of the Penalty.
a) The Penalty is a suspension from playing, training or membership for a period exceeding four weeks or:
b) The Disciplinary Panel so directs:
xi. The Indicted Member may appeal against the Penalty to the Chairman and two members of the Committee who were neither involved in the Incident nor the Hearing, provided that the Indicted Member gives notice of the appeal within four days of notification of the Penalty.
Expulsion from Membership
xii. If the Disciplinary Panel considers that the appropriate Penalty is an expulsion from the Club, the Disciplinary Panel shall make a recommendation to this effect to the Committee. The Committee shall consider the matter, and the Indicted Member and the Disciplinary Panel may make representations to the Committee. If the Committee so decides on a majority vote (the Chairman having a casting vote in the event of a tie) the Indicted member shall be expelled from the Club; otherwise the matter shall be referred back to the Disciplinary Panel to substitute an alternative Penalty.
xiii. In the event that a Member is expelled or suspended from the Club, no membership fees will be returned, and any unpaid membership fees remain payable.
xiv. After expulsion members should have the right to appeal:
a) Any member has the right to appeal against the decision to the whole Club at the next Annual General Meeting
RFU Disciplinary Process
xv. If the RFU (whether though Gloucestershire RFU or otherwise) pursues disciplinary proceedings against a Member that Member shall forthwith notify the Disciplinary Officer.
xvi. The Club and the RFU’s disciplinary proceedings shall be conducted separately.
xvii. Unless the Disciplinary Panel otherwise directs, any fines ordered to be paid by the Club in any RFU disciplinary proceedings shall be payable by the applicable Member.
i. Each Voting Member shall have one vote at general meetings of the Club to be exercised in person only, except that where necessary the person presiding over the general meeting shall have in addition a casting vote.
14. CONDUCT OF BUSINESS
i. The business of the Club shall be conducted in accordance with decisions made by the Committee and resolutions made or passed at the AGM.
ii. The Voting Members of the Club may adopt such rules of procedure as may seem fit.
i. The Financial year for the Club shall end on 30th June every year.
ii. All monies raised by or on behalf of the Club shall be applied to further objects of the Club and for no other purposes.
iii. The Treasurer shall be responsible for keeping proper account of all income and expenditure of the Club and shall present a financial report to all Committee meetings.
iv. A person considered by the Committee to be competent to examine the accounts and who is not an officer of the Committee shall be elected at the Annual General Meeting to audit or independently examine the accounts and books of the Club.
v. The Treasurer shall present the accounts duly audited or independently examined for approval by the Members at the Annual General Meeting.
vi. The Club is a non-profit making entity and any surplus income or gains are to be reinvested into the club. Surpluses and assets cannot be distributed to members or third parties. This does not prevent donations by the club to charities or to other clubs that are registered as community amateur sports clubs.
16. ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
i. A general meeting of the Club shall be held annually, no later than 15th June.
ii. Notice convening the Annual General Meeting shall be sent to all Members not less than fourteen days before the meeting and shall specify the matters to be dealt with.
iii. The Annual General Meeting shall transact at least the following business:
a) To consider minutes of the previous Annual General Meeting for their accuracy and any actions arising therefrom
b) To receive and if approved to adopt a statement of the Club’s accounts for the previous financial year
c) To receive the Chairman’s annual report
d) To consider and if approved sanction any duly made alteration to the rules of the Club
e) To appoint officers of the Committee. Nominations for officers of the Committee shall be proposed and seconded by Voting Members of the Club and should have consent of the nominee;
nominations may be made at any time prior to the commencement of the Annual General Meeting, or during the transaction of this item of business during the Annual General Meeting
f) To appoint the auditor or independent examiner of the Club’s accounts
g) To appoint or re-appoint the President and Vice-Presidents of the club as suggested by the Committee
h) To approve the list of Honorary Life Members as provided by the Committee
i) To consider and if approved adopt the Committee’s recommendations regarding annual subscriptions
j) To deal with any matter which the Committee desires to bring before the Members and to receive suggestions from the Members for consideration by the Committee
17. EXTRAORDINARY MEETING
i. An Extraordinary Meeting of the Club may be convened at any time by the Committee and shall be convened within fourteen days from a receipt of a requisition in writing signed by no less than ten Voting Members specifying the object of the meeting.
ii. Notice convening an Extraordinary Meeting shall be sent to all Members not less than fourteen days before the meeting and shall specify matters to be dealt with.
iii. The Extraordinary Meeting shall be presided over by the Chairman of the Committee or in his absence by an agreed Officer of the Club.
iv. The Extraordinary Meeting shall be convened for any of the following purposes:
a) To consider and if approved sanction any duly made alteration to the rules
b) To deal with any special matter which the Committee may desire to place before the Members including the expulsion of a Member
c) To receive the resignation of the Committee or to remove any vacancy or vacancies caused thereby
d) To dissolve the Club
e) To deal with any special matter which the Voting Members requiring the meeting may desire to place before the Club
18. DISSOLUTION OF THE CLUB
i. The Club may be dissolved by resolution passed by not less than two-third of the Voting Members present and voting at an Extraordinary Meeting convened by the Committee for the purposed of considering such a resolution.
ii. Upon the dissolution of the Club the property and assets of the Club shall not be paid to or distributed to or among Members of the Club but shall be applied to benefit a registered CASC Club, registered Charity or the RFU for use within related community activities as the Committee shall decide.
19. ALTERATIONS TO THE CONSTIUTION
i. Alterations to this Constitution may be made by resolution of not less than two-thirds of the Voting Members of the Club present and voting at an Annual General Meeting or Extraordinary Meeting convened by the Committee for considering such a resolution.
ii. Approval of the first draft of this Constitution may be given by unanimous vote by the full Committee on behalf of the Club and at the permission of the President and Vice-Presidents.
i. At Committee meetings four Officers of the Club shall form a quorum.
ii. At Annual General Meetings or Extraordinary Meetings Twelve Voting Members shall form a quorum.
i. The ‘Club’ will affiliate to the Rugby Football Union via Gloucestershire Rugby Football Union.