WORLD BRIDGE FEDERATION
International Sport Federation (IF) recognized by the International Olympic Committee
ARTICLE 1 – NAME AND ORGANISATION
The name of the organisation shall be the World Bridge Federation, herein also called the WBF. It shall be a non-profit organisation incorporated as an Association in the meaning of article 60 and following of the Swiss Civil Code; its resources are constituted by members’ annual dues or charges, gifts and donations and any other resource, such as income from competitions, tournaments and other events organised by the WBF; its resources shall be applied exclusively in furtherance of its beneficent purposes and no part of its resources or earnings shall inure to the benefit of any private person.
ARTICLE 2 – PURPOSE
The purpose of the organisation shall be to promote, foster, promulgate and develop the sport of Duplicate Bridge throughout the world; to be in the Olympic Movement, remaining affiliated with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) as a recognised International Federation (IF) in conformity with the requirements of the Olympic Charter and to contribute to the achievement of the goals set out in the Olympic Charter, in particular by way of the spread of Olympism and Olympic education; to federate national bridge associations in all countries; to devise methods and conduct competitions to award international or world championship titles; to establish standard laws for its contests adopting the International Code and supplementing it as may be required, but not inconsistent with it; to support and encourage the promotion of sports ethics; to dedicate its efforts to ensuring that in bridge contests the spirit of fair play prevails; to fight against doping in sport and to take measures, the goal of which is to prevent endangering the health of bridge players.
ARTICLE 3 – GOVERNMENT
Government of the WBF shall be vested in a Congress, an Executive Council, herein also called the Executive, and Officers with defined powers, electing and holding office in accordance with the Constitution and By-Laws of the WBF.
ARTICLE 4 – LANGUAGE
The official language of this Constitution is English, but texts in other languages may be accepted as co-official by the Executive.
ARTICLE 5 – MEMBERSHIP
The National Bridge Organisation, herein called NBO, of any country is eligible, subject to the By-Laws, to apply for membership of the WBF, and may be elected by the Executive.
ARTICLE 6 – ZONES
For purposes of administration and zonal competition, the world shall be divided by the Executive into appropriate geographical Zones. The NBOs in each zone shall unite in a Zonal Conference, herein called ZC. The Executive shall consist of not less than eight nor more than twenty-three members, plus the President of the WBF. The number of members of the Executive for each Zone shall be set forth by the By-Laws and the ZC shall designate and accredit the members of the Executive representing the Zone.
ARTICLE 7 – OFFICERS
The officers of the WBF shall be elected by the Executive. The officers shall include a President, one or more Vice-Presidents, a Secretary and a Treasurer. The Executive may also elect such other officers as it may deem appropriate for the administration of the affairs of the WBF. The respective officers shall exercise such powers and perform such duties as may be provided by the By-Laws or as the Executive may prescribe.
ARTICLE 8 – CONGRESS
The Congress shall have the powers in the WBF not delegated to the Executive under the Constitution and By-Laws.
- Delegates. Each NBO in good standing may designate and accredit one Delegate to the Congress.
- Meetings. Regular meetings of the Congress shall be held as set forth in the By-Laws.
- Quorum. At a meeting of the Congress a quorum shall consist of duly accredited Delegates from at least one-third of the NBOs in good standing in the WBF.
- Proxies. Any NBO may be represented at a meeting by a duly accredited proxy, but no person may represent more than one NBO in any meeting of the Congress.
- Voting. Any action of the Executive subject to review by the Congress shall require a two- thirds majority vote of those present for rejection of the action of the Executive. Any other matter within the jurisdiction of the Congress shall require only a majority vote of those present and voting, except as may be otherwise required by the Constitution or By-Laws.
- Control. The Congress shall have the power to control the other organs of the WBF, such as the Executive, the Officers and any other Committee as defined in the Constitution and By-Laws.
- Revocation. The Congress shall have the power to revoke any organ of the WBF at any time for material grounds. Such revocation requires a two-thirds majority of the Delegates present.
- Dissolution and liquidation. The Congress shall have the exclusive power to resolve upon the dissolution of the WBF. This decision requires a two-thirds majority of 75% of all Delegates to the Congress. If the WBF is dissolved, all debts and liabilities legally incurred on the WBF shall be fully discharged and its remaining assets, if any, shall be donated to organisations active in activities similar to bridge.
ARTICLE 9 – EXECUTIVE COUNCIL
The Executive shall exercise supreme executive and administrative powers over the affairs of the WBF consistent with the WBF Constitution and the By-Laws. The management of the affairs, property and business of the WBF shall vest in the Executive. In addition to the powers and authorities expressly conferred upon it by the Constitution and the By-Laws, the Executive may exercise all such powers of the WBF and do all such lawful acts as are not required by the Constitution or by the By-Laws to be exercised or done by the Congress.
- Members. The Executive shall consist of as many zonal representatives as are authorised by the By-Laws, plus the President of the WBF, who shall for his first term be elected from the members of the Executive and, upon assuming office, shall resign as a zonal representative. Additionally, two members of the High Level Players Commission shall also be members of the Executive. Each member of the Executive, including the President, shall be entitled to one vote on all matters within the Executive’s jurisdiction.
- Meetings. The Executive shall hold meetings as set forth in the By-Laws.
- Quorum. One-half of all the total members of the Executive, representing at least three Zones, shall constitute a quorum.
- Proxies. Any ZC may appoint a proxy to represent it in any meeting of the Executive. No person may serve as a proxy for more than one ZC and no one member of the Executive or proxy may serve as proxy for any other ZC but he may serve as a proxy for one or more members of the Executive from his own ZC.
- Power and Duties. The Executive shall exercise all executive and administrative powers incident to the effective supervision and administration of the affairs and activities of the WBF. In implementation of these powers, but not in limitation thereof, the Executive shall have the following specific powers:
- To elect officers and define their powers, duties and tenure;
- To fix dues and fees;
- To apply the funds of the WBF for its lawful;
- To designate the officer or officers to have custody of funds and to account therefore;
- To fix the dates, sites, eligibility requirements and conditions for contests held under the sanction and supervision of the WBF and to establish appropriate rules and regulations governing such contests;
- To exercise appellate jurisdiction from acts or decisions of all Committees. The decisions of the Executive, taken on the basis of the provisions of the Constitution and By-Laws, are final. Any dispute relating to their application or interpretation may be resolved solely by the Executive and, in certain cases, by arbitration before the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS);
- To accept or reject applications for membership from any NBO, to suspend membership and to terminate membership of any NBO in accordance with the provisions of the By-Laws;
- To fix zonal boundaries and to recognize ZCs;
- To elect honorary officers and members;
- To notify all ZCs, NBOs and members of the Executive of actions taken by the Executive at each meeting by means of summary minutes, financial statements, or other pertinent documents or reports;
- To adopt a set of By-Laws and to make amendments thereto in accordance with the provisions of Article 11 of this Constitution;
- To recommend amendments to the Constitution in accordance with the provisions of Article 12;
- To otherwise implement, administer and control the policy and affairs of the WBF in any manner consistent with its Constitution and By-Laws.
Any action by the Executive under Section 2 or 7 of Article 9(e) shall be subject to review by the Congress under Article 8 of this Constitution.
Any decision by the Executive under Sections 6 & 7 of Article 9(e) shall be subject ofappeal before the Court of Arbitration for Sport in accordance with the provisions of the By-Laws.
ARTICLE 10 – COMMITTEES
Standing or special committees of the WBF, including a Management Committee, may be constituted from time to time and, subject to applicable law and the By-Laws, such committees may be vested with such powers as the Executive may see fit. The members of all committees, other than the High Level Players Commission, shall be appointed by the President and confirmed by the Executive.
ARTICLE 11 – BY-LAWS
The Executive Council shall adopt a set of By-Laws providing for the rules of enforcement of the Constitution and the regulation and management of the affairs of the WBF. Thereafter, the By-Laws or any part of them may be amended by the Executive Council by the affirmative vote of two-thirds of all its members entitled to vote.
Any amendment shall enter into force on the date of the decision of the Executive Council. The amendment shall be notified to the members as soon as practicable. If a majority of the members addresses a written objection to the amendment to the President within 60 days from the entry into force of the amendment, the amendment shall be considered as null and void.
ARTICLE 12 – AMENDMENTS
This Constitution or any part of it may be amended at any duly constituted meeting of the Congress at which a quorum is present by the affirmative vote of two-thirds of the Delegates present.
ARTICLE 13 – ARBITRATION
In addition to other provisions of the Constitution and the By-Laws, any dispute arising on the occasion of, or in connection with, the WBF Tournaments, as provided in Article 9 of the By- Laws, shall be submitted to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), in accordance with its Statutes and Regulations to the exclusion of any recourse to any national/state court. The parties to such dispute shall undertake to implement in good faith the arbitral award rendered by the CAS.
ARTICLE 14 – REGISTERED OFFICE AND APPLICABLE LAW
The WBF has its registered office in the City of Lausanne, Switzerland. The Constitution and By-Laws of the WBF shall be governed by Swiss Law.
ARTICLE 15 – PRINCIPLE OF AUTONOMY
Members and Zonal Conferences retain their entire autonomy and independence of action and are free to set up their internal organisation as they see fit, within the limits imposed by this Constitution.
The WBF observes strict neutrality in the internal affairs of its members.
ARTICLE 16 – JURISDICTION FOR COMPETITIONS
The WBF, members and Zonal Conferences shall have jurisdiction (including, without limitation, technical and disciplinary jurisdiction) over the competitions governed by their own statutes and competition regulations, as provided by the WBF By-Laws.
This Article 16 shall not prevent the WBF from issuing regulations providing for certain of its rules and regulations to apply within the context of qualification systems for WBF Events and events that award WBF Master-points under the jurisdiction of members or Zonal Conferences.
In case of dispute between any entities (WBF, member(s), Zonal Conference(s)) as to who shall assume jurisdiction over a disciplinary matter, the WBF shall decide at its own discretion. The WBF’s decision shall be final and binding on all members and Zonal Conferences.
ARTICLE 17 – PRINCIPLE OF RECIPROCITY
Each member and Zonal Conference must accept and respect all decisions taken by other members and/or Zonal Conferences in disciplinary matters. In particular, all members and Zonal Conferences shall apply and enforce sanctions of other members or Zonal Conferences or of the WBF (including for the avoidance of doubt suspensions or bans) within their geographical jurisdiction, provided that such sanction respects the principles set out in this Constitution and in any other WBF Regulations.
All sanctions must be reported to the WBF in a timely manner by the member and/or Zonal Conference imposing the same.
The WBF may, at its discretion, decide to apply a sanction rendered by a member or a Zonal Conference to the events under its jurisdiction and/or grant worldwide effect to it.
All decisions rendered by the WBF in application of this Article shall be final and binding on all members and Zonal Conferences.
Certified as the Official Constitution of the World Bridge Federation, as amended 8th September 2016
Gianarrigo Rona, President
David R Harris, General Counsel