Association Guidelines for Clubs

An association must operate under guidelines which are set up by the membership. These guidelines are commonly referred to as constitution and by-laws or terms of reference. If the association receives funding, competes in a number of events, or controls a large amount of money, it should operate under a constitution and by-laws and incorporate under the Societies Act. When registering with the Societies Act, you are protecting your board by limiting their liability.It is important to have a terms of reference or constitution and by-laws written down. This will formalize the association and the way it conducts business. Terms of reference can be changed and given more detail as the association grows and progresses.

Sample Goals and Objectives

In setting up a club it is important to create and list goals and objectives. Goals are general statements describing what you intend to do. Objectives are more specific and usually describe what needs to be done, how to measure completion and the completion date. Objectives provide the specific directions to make your goals a reality.

Goal 1 - Increase the membership base in the community


1.1 To register anyone interested in becoming a member.1.2 To inform the community about the program and its opportunities.

Goal 2 - Encourage and support community competitions


2.1 To obtain and schedule facility time .2.2 To plan ahead for the programs, facilities and activities.

Goal 3 - Assist in the development and implementation of programs, services and resources


3.1 To organize coaching, player development,and officiating clinics.3.2 To register with your provincial/territorial branch.3.3 To develop leadership by arranging training workshops, holding regular meetings, and conducting the affairs of the association.3.4 To prepare a budget that recommends how much money should be spent, ensuring it is spent the right way, and providing financial information to the membership.

Procedures of the Association

Once the executive is in place and the association’s decision-making structure has been adopted, the association will have to adopt and recognize some fundamental procedures it has to follow.

  1. The president, vide-president, treasurer and secretary are elected from the membership, these positions (usually called executive positions) are generally held for a one or two year term. Other board members can also be elected at any annual general meeting (AGM).
  2. Identify the minimum number of members required in order to hold a board meeting. This is called a quorum and it generally requires a minimum of half of the executive.
  3. An agenda should be prepared and sent to all board members prior to the meeting.
  4. A schedule for regular meetings should be established. Generally meetings are held once per month at regular intervals.
  5. The minutes of each meeting should be kept together in a file and made available to the public.
  6. All meetings should be announced and the public encouraged to attend.

Agendas, Decision Making and Meetings

Preparing for an effective meeting

The following are key responsibilities of any member for an effective meeting:

  1. Purpose – Know the purpose of the meeting so you can best contribute.
  2. Preparation – Review the agenda, available background information, and become familiar with the issues.
  3. Process – Follow the president’s lead, work through the agenda, and stay on topic.
  4. Post Meeting – Ensure your action items are followed and that the work is completed in an agreed upon manner.

Decision Making

When the group is ready to make a decision on a particular topic, a vote is held. The vote can be done by a show of hands or by the following that are considered to be proper procedure.

President Command
Description of the Command
"Motion"Idea or devision put forth by a member
"Seconder"A member who supports the member making the motion
"Any further discussion"Comments for or against the motion
"Ready for the question"Everybody gets ready to vote
VoteVote yes or no or abstain (non-vote)
Results of the voteAfter counting hands, the decision is announced; the motion is carried or defeated
Next item on the agendaThe next topic or discussion part.