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Hello UK table football players,


We hope you are having plenty of foosball fun during these dark winter days.
 
We are writing to introduce a series of exciting changes the British Foosball Association is making, which we believe will accelerate the growth of table football in the UK.
 
We are devolving more responsibilities to those best placed to support players and grow the sport at the grassroots, the network of BFA-affiliated clubs. The first step regards the issuing of player licences.
Issuing Licences
 
The BFA issues licences which enable players to compete in certain events and feature in the national rankings.

Competition Licences are required to play in Regional, Challenger and ITSF events (UK and overseas); the UK Championship; the London Foosball League and BFA Premier League; and to represent Team GB. A Competition Licence is not required to compete in Local events, such as Club Monster DYPs. Those participating only in Local events recorded in the UK rankings have automatically been assigned a Club Licence.

Although these arrangements will continue in 2023, players can no longer obtain Competition Licences directly from the BFA. Instead, these will need to be obtained through the BFA-affiliated Club with which the player themselves is affiliated. For 2023, a BFA Competition Licence costs £15; a BFA Club Licence costs £1 (to be charged retrospectively to the Club). This change will come into effect from January 1st 2023.

Players not currently affiliated with a BFA-affiliated Club who require a Competition Licence will need to either affiliate with an existing BFA-affiliated Club or create a new one. There are currently 14 BFA-affiliated Clubs (here), and we look forward to many more. 
 
Formalising Clubs

We are encouraging our clubs to operate in exactly the same way as clubs do for other sports, and we are adopting a similar structure to that found within foosball in France and Germany.
 
As a consequence of the change to the way licences are issued, with BFA-affiliated Clubs responsible for issuing Competition Licences to players, Clubs will need to have a level of formality themselves. Although it's up to the Club's members exactly how it should be run, we strongly recommend that all BFA-affiliated Clubs adopt a constitution and appoint a committee who will run the Club (in the form of a Chair, Secretary and Treasurer). A template Club constitution can be found here.
 
Clubs set up in this way are unincorporated associations and can open a bank account in the Club's name to manage its finances. There are many banks offering easy-to-open and free-to-use accounts designed for Clubs.
 
It is at each BFA Club's discretion exactly how Club membership is structured. For example, Clubs might have a 'Competition Membership', which includes the BFA Competition Licence for competitive players, and a 'Club Membership', which does not, for casual players. Clubs must also affiliate themselves with the BFA, for which the annual fee is £30 per Club.
 
We're not reinventing the wheel here, and the fantastic Sport England online resource Club Matters (here) has plenty of useful material. Club Committees, it's definitely worth taking some time to look at this.
Introducing Coral
 

The BFA will move to the ITSF's new membership and tournament platform, Coral, from January 2023. All BFA Club administrators will be given access to Coral to manage Club Membership, along with all BFA Competition Licence holders.
 
The intention is for all events of any category to be organised in Coral by the second half of 2023, providing real-time results and ranking updates and allowing Clubs to manage Licences and payments smoothly.
 
The first step is for the BFA to train Club Chairs, Secretaries and Treasurers on Coral, and we will contact each Club about this in due course.
 
In summary
 
This is a big change for UK table football, one which has been coming for a long time. We're excited about what it means for our sport and look forward to working with everyone in British foosball to enjoy the benefits.
 
Best wishes for Christmas,

Will, Steve, Mike & Rhys
Directors, British Foosball Association
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