What is the WCF?
The World Croquet Federation is the international organising body for the sport of croquet. The WCF's main function is to act as the overall co-ordinating body for the sport. Its main responsibilities are to organise World Championships, facilitate development of the games and maintain effective liaison with its Members.
The WCF is a members' organisation, comprising national associations that are recognised by the WCF as having control of the sport in their own countries. Certain conditions are specified for membership and, provided that these are met, application for membership can be made at any time.
There are three categories of membership, namely Full, Associate and Recognised Croquet Organisations (RCO's). Full and Associate Members can cast votes when the WCF Council makes decisions and hence influence how the sport is administered. Full Members each have between two and eight votes depending the number of individual members represented by the Member. Associate Members each have one vote. Full and Associate members are also entitled to send at least one representative to any WCF individual world championship and a team to any WCF team world championship.
The WCF organises World Championships in Association Croquet (AC) and Golf Croquet (GC). These include individual championships, team championships, Women's AC and GC individual championships and Over-50 and Under-21 GC individual championships.
What are its principles and objectives?
These are enshrined in the WCF Statutes. The relevant statute is reproduced below:
102.1 The Vision of the WCF is to make the Games well-known, well-understood, well-respected and well-supported sports in countries throughout the world.
102.2 In order to achieve this Vision, the Principles and Objectives of the WCF are:
102.2.1 to promote, develop and codify the Games internationally at all levels.
102.2.2 to uphold and enforce the rules or laws of the Games.
102.2.3 to promote international team and individual championships and to maintain a rolling ten-year schedule of proposed and planned events.
102.2.4 to make and uphold Regulations for the governance of the WCF and international championships.
102.2.5 to recognise certain championships by sanctioning or licensing them to be held under the auspices of the WCF.
102.2.6 to control WCF Events played in any nation when the appropriate Member has reached prior agreement with WCF to be the Event Host.
102.2.7 to employ the funds of the WCF as may be deemed appropriate to develop and realise the Vision.
102.2.8 to increase, by joint action, the influence of Members in dealings with other sports governing bodies and with local and national authorities.
102.2.9 to preserve the independence of the WCF in all matters regarding its relations with Members. WCF Statutes Effective Date 1 January 2020 Version 12.2 [WCF Statutes] page 3 of 19
102.2.10 to maintain a website and publish a newsletter periodically to aid exchange of information.
102.2.11 to support the establishment and maintenance of ranking systems for the principal Games listed in Statute 161.1.1.
102.2.12 to make awards to those who have contributed to the achievement of the WCF’s aims.
102.2.13 to take such general measures as are expedient for advancing the international interests of the Games.
102.2.14 to uphold a commitment to non-racial and non-discriminatory sport.
102.2.15 to ensure the observance of the WCF Statutes and Regulations.
102.2.16 to uphold these principles and objectives.
How the WCF is Administered
The WCF is managed by its Member associations through the WCF Council which consists of representative from each WCF Member. Nowadays, the work of the Council is carried out largely by e-mail debates initiated by the Management Committee ("MC") and managed by the Secretary-General. The 10 Full Members have between two and eight votes depending on the size of their own membership. The 11 Associate Members have one vote each. The nine Observer Members do not have a vote but are included in the distribution of papers and are encouraged to express any views they may have on the subject.
Meetings are still held at some WCF Championships when there are matters of general interest to Members to discuss but these meetings no longer have decision-making authority. Since 2010, the WCF Council has voted on 41 separate Topics. Some have been routine annual tasks such as approving the Budget and Accounts and appointing the Indepedent Examiner but others have been of direct interest to players.
The WCF Council devolves day-to-day authority to the MC which consists of the WCF President, the Secretary-General, the Treasurer and six elected members. Some functions are further delegated to WCF committees. The Secretary-General is appointed by the MC but all the other mmebers are elected by the WCF Council. All MC members serve for four year terms. The President is permitted to serve for two consecutive four year terms while all other members may serve for an unlimited number of four year terms.
MC elections are held by e-mail ballot at the end of the odd-numbered years and retirement dates are staged in order to ensure that the MC membership evolves rather than changes completely. Currently four vacancies will occur at the end of 2015 and the other four Council-elected members will occur at the end of 2017. The Secretary-General's term ends on 31 August 2017.
Although the MC's membership is managed to include individuals linked to each of the five largest Members (Australia, Egypt, England, New Zealand and USA) and currently has one from Latvia and one from South Africa, the MC members are not national representatives but are elected to use their best judgement on behalf of the sport of croquet as a whole.
The MC operates by e-mail and regular conference calls. These are held every fortnight unless there is insufficient business to justify the call. The calls are a useful way of discussing issues at an early stage and assist the S-G to frame any recommendations to the MC. The benefit of the MC structure is that it enables decisions to be taken quickly on behalf of the WCF when this is necessary. The use of e-mail permits the S-G to consult the MC and receive advice and direction within a week.