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NWS Bylaws






The name of this organization shall be the Northwestern Section of the American Bridge Association, Incorporated, hereinafter referred to as the Section.




The Objective and purpose of the Section shall be to:

A.    foster, encourage, and develop the game of duplicate contract bridge;

B.     unite bridge clubs of the Section into one group using identical laws and procedures for the purpose of competitive bridge play in both public and private games;

C.     sponsor, supervise, and conduct duplicate tournaments through which contestants may be rated;

D.    promote scholarships for worthy students, contribute to charitable organizations and improve the general welfare of the community and;

E.     sponsor and participate in those endeavors in cooperation with other groups and individuals, that involve the American Bridge Association, Incorporated in the concerns of the greater community.




Section 1.  Types of Memberships.  There shall be two types of memberships individual and group (chartered affiliates).

Section 2.  Individual Members

  1. Individuals residing within a 35-mile radius of a city in which a chartered club exists must affiliate with an open chartered club.
  2. Members-at-large are individuals residing beyond a 35-mile radius of a city in which a chartered club exists may apply to the National Office for membership-at-large and assignment to the appropriate Section.
  3. Members in good standing are those individuals who have paid their dues in accordance with provisions of these bylaws.

Section 3.  Group

A.    Chartered Clubs

    1. The minimum number of individuals permitted to form a new club shall be at least eight (8) individuals in an area where there is a Unit of less than 100 members.
    2. The minimum number of individuals permitted to form a new club in an area where there is a Unit of more than 100 members is 16 new members.
    3. Any new group of individuals beyond the perimeter of the 35-mile radius described in Section 3, B2 may apply directly to the ABA National Office for a Charter, or may be affiliated with the nearest Unit.
    4. Applications for membership shall be in writing and mailed to the Section Vice-President with a list of complete names, home addresses, telephone numbers and e-mail addresses of the members of the applicant club.
    5. All group affiliations require the endorsement of the Section Vice President.

B.     Chartered Units

    1. The Section must establish a Unit when three or more clubs lie within the 35-mile radius of a city.
    2. The Section must establish a Unit when the total membership of the three clubs had 50 members or more.
    3. The Section may establish a Unit when two Chartered Clubs meet the requirements in B1 or B2.
    4. The Section may establish a Unit when two or more Clubs that are independent decide to unite and are located beyond the mandated geographical boundaries of any Unit,

Section 4.  Rights of Members (Individual and Members-at-Large).

  1. Members shall have the right to:
    1. vote on all issues as provided in these bylaws;
    2. compete in Regional, Section, or National Tournaments, except as those rights may be limited, circumscribed or abrogated under the requirements of the laws of duplicate bridge, and any other special rule or regulation;
    3. have master points recorded and receive a record of earned master points;
    4. form chartered clubs according to ABA laws;
    5. face accusers regarding a charge of impropriety;
    6. appeal any charge of misconduct or impropriety in accordance with the Disciplinary Code of the Association; and
    7. be reinstated, after a lapse of membership, upon payment of financial obligations and at the discretion of the Board of the American Bridge Association the Section.

Section 5.  Rights of Chartered Clubs.

  1. Chartered Clubs shall have the right to:
    1. conduct tournaments in accordance with the privileges and limitations provided by the ABA Constitution and Bylaws;
    2. have representatives of their own choosing as members of the Unit;
    3. form a Unit according to ABA laws;
    4. exercise all other rights as may be contained in the ABA laws;
    5. censure players for violations or improprieties in accordance with the ABA Disciplinary Code;
    6. recommend penalties for violation(s) or improprieties as described in ABA laws;
    7. be heard within thirty (30) days when charges have leveled.  The line of authority shall be Club/Unit/Section and National levels; and
    8. assess fees including club dues and playing fees.
  2. Chartered Units, Comprised of Affiliated Clubs, Shall have the right to:

1.      sponsor Tournaments of Grade “A” Status;

2.      coordinate the tournament schedule for clubs within its area of jurisdiction subject to the review and approval of the Section Vice-President; and

3.      determine the financial obligation of both its individual and group members.




Section 1.  Annual Dues

  1. Members shall pay annual dues as prescribed by the American Bridge Association.
  2. Section dues paid by individual members shall be established during the fall meeting.
    Members shall pay annual dues as prescribed by the Section.
  3. Members-at-large shall pay dues to the American Bridge Association and to the Section.

Section 2.  Dues Payment Date.

  1. Dues are payable by the 15th of December and continue in force until the 31st of December in the following year.  This is to insure that dues arrive at the designated location in a timely manner.  Dues are not refundable or prorated.

Section 3.  Fiscal Year

The fiscal year shall be January 1 through December 31.




Section 1.  Regular Meetings.  Regular meetings of the Section shall be held during the spring and fall tournaments twice a year – in the Spring (April or May) and in the Fall (September or October).

Section2.  Annual Meetings.  The regular meeting held during the Fall Tournament in the Fall shall be known as the annual meeting and shall be held for the purpose of electing officers, receiving reports of officers and committees, and any business that may arise.

Section 3.  Special Meetings.  Special meetings may be called by the Section Vice-President or by the Executive Committee.

Section 4.  Quorum.  A quorum shall consist of those members attending the meeting.



Section Committee  The Executive Committee

Section 1.  Composition.  The members of the Section Committee Executive Committee, hereinafter called the Executive Committee shall be the Section Vice-President, Section Secretary, Section Assistant Secretary, Section Treasurer, Section Parliamentarian, Section Sergeant-at-Arms, Section Historian, Section Editor, and Presidents of the Units and Clubs.

Section 2.  Duties

  1. The Executive Committee shall have general supervision of the affairs of the Northwestern Section between business meetings, make recommendation to the organization, and perform such duties as specified in these bylaws.  The Executive Committee shall be subject to the orders of the Section and none of its acts shall conflict with actions taken by the Section.
  2. Other Duties
    1. The Executive Committee shall approve all obligations with a monetary value exceeding one hundred dollars ($100.00).

Section 3.  Meetings

  1. Regular.  The Executive Committee shall hold a minimum of one regular meeting during each Sectional Tournament each year. two meetings per year -- one in the Spring (April or May) and one in the Fall (September or October).
  2. Special.  Special meetings of the Executive Committee may be called during other times. and locations.
  3. Electronic and Other Communications.  The Executive Committee and standing committees and special committees may conduct the business of the Section by postal or electronic mail, facsimile (Fax) transmission, or telephone so long as all members are participating.
  4. Observers.  With the exception of executive sessions, members of the American Bridge Association Section may attend Executive Committee meetings, though they have no voting rights.
  5. Quorum.  A majority of the members of the Executive Committee shall constitute a quorum.




Section 1.  Elected Officers.  The elected officers shall be the Section Vice-President, Section Secretary, Section Assistant Secretary, and Section Treasurer.

Section 2.  Qualifications.

  1. Eligibility for the Section Vice-President.  To be eligible for the office of Section Vice-President a person shall have:
    1. served for at least two years as an officer at the Club, Unit, or Section level or served in an appointed position at the Section or National level;
    2. attended at least one National Tournament within six years immediately before the year of nomination; and
    3. attended at least one Sectional Tournament in the Northwestern Section during the six years immediately before the year of nomination.

Section 3.  Appointed Officers.  The appointed officers shall be the Parliamentarian, Sergeant-at-Arms, Historian, Librarian, and Editor.

Section 4.  Election of Officers.

  1. Election of Officers.  Officers shall be elected by ballot to serve for two years or until their successors are elected.  The technique shall be by mail.  The procedure is described in the Northwestern Section Policy and Procedure Manual.
  2. Holding Office Limitations.  No member shall hold more than one office at a time, and no member shall serve more than two consecutive terms in the same office.  The new officers assume office on October1.

Section 5.  Filling Vacancies.

  1. Should a vacancy occur in the office of Section Vice President, the ABA National President shall appoint an acting Section Vice-President, pending a special election to be conducted during the next regular meeting of the Section.  (See National Bylaws, Chapter VII, Section e, B – Filling Section Vice-Presidential Vacancies.)
  2. Should a vacancy occur in the remaining elected offices, the Section Vice-President shall appoint individuals to fill those vacancies.  An officer who has served more than half a term is considered to have served a full term.

Section 6.  Benefits of Office.  Benefits of elected office, appointed office or committee chairs shall not be available to family members.

Section 7.  Duties of Officers.  Elected and appointed officers shall perform the duties outlined in this section and such other duties as are prescribed for the office in these bylaws or in the adopted parliamentary authority.

  1. Duties of the Section Vice-President.  The Vice-President shall:
    1. be the executive officer and official spokesperson for NWS;
    2. attend national meetings and represent the Section for NWS;
    3. coordinate, approve, and sanction all tournaments conducted by the Section, Units, and Clubs;
    4. appoint the committee chairs and appointed officers;
    5. be signer on all banks accounts and drafts;
    6. adjudicate disputes within the Section before appeal to the National Office;
    7. serve as ex-officio a member of all committees except the Nominating Committee;
    8. have the authority to make decisions in emergencies;
    9. report actions and changes in policy of the ABA to the Section membership;
    10. review Unit calendars for compatible schedules of activities;
    11. bring to the attention of the Executive Committee any elected officer who is not properly performing the duties of the office;
    12. schedule at least one Section Tournament annually and appoint the tournament director; and
    13. negotiate and sign all contracts for Section Tournaments in consultation with the Treasurer.
  2. Duties of the Section Secretary.  The Section Secretary shall:

1.      maintain the official files and records of the Section;

2.      be a source of official published information;

3.      maintain accurate record of Individual, Club, Unit, and Section memberships;

4.      be a signer on checks in case of an emergency;

5.      record minutes of Executive Committee and General Membership meetings and transmit copies to all section offices;

6.      be responsible for all NWS correspondence as directed by the Section Vice-President and Executive Committee; and

7.      notify all member clubs of meetings as advised by the Section Vice-President.

  1. Duties of the Section Assistant Secretary.  The Section Assistant Secretary shall:

1.      serve as chair of the Courtesy Committee;

2.      create a Section Membership Directory which includes addresses, telephone numbers, e-mail addresses, and designations of officers and clubs for distribution before the first business meeting of the fiscal year;

3.      perform the duties of the Section Secretary in the absence of the Section Secretary; and

4.      assist the Section Secretary in the performance of the duties of the Section Secretary

  1. Duties of the Section Treasurer.  The Section Treasurer shall:

1.      be custodian of all NWS funds;

2.      serve as Chair of the Budget and Finance Committee and be a member of the National Budget and Finance Committee;

3.      pay all expenses and issue checks only on a voucher signed by the Section Vice-President as follows; receive the voucher from the Section Vice-President, and send one copy to the Section Secretary; return one copy to the Section Vice-President (when paid), and retain one copy for the official records of the Treasurer;

4.      co-sign checks drawn on the accounts of the Section;

5.      present the budget for adoption during the fall business meeting; and

6.      make a complete financial report during the fall business meeting.

  1. Duties of the Parliamentarian.  The Parliamentarian shall:

1.      give advise to the chair and any other member, during meetings, when requested; and

2.      serve as chair of the Bylaws and Procedure Manual Committee.

  1. Duties of the Sergeant-at-Arms.  The Sergeant-at-Arms shall preserve order at the meeting of the Section and the tournament, and serve as a member of the Ethics Committee.
  2. Duties of the Historian.  The Historian shall:

1.      compile and maintain the historical record of the Section;

2.      photograph tournament affairs, meetings and other occasions; and

3.      serve as chair of the History and Archives Committee.

  1. Duties of the Librarian.  The Librarian shall:

1.      elect a committee of three to work with the committee to review and add/delete donated books, tapes, and other teaching materials;

2.      purchase new materials when necessary;

3.      maintain the library by collecting, reviewing, and keeping all books, tapes, and other materials in good repair;

4.      catalogue all materials and label materials with donor’s name if donated;

5.      submit a yearly budget and fund raise as necessary to maintain the Library;

6.      mail or deliver material to requester;

7.      assure that all materials are returned; and

8.      encourage all Clubs to submit a yearly summary of their activities and membership list and with the Historian to have the NWS History available through the Library.

  1. Duties of the Editor:  The Editor shall:

1.      compose and edit the official publication of the Section at least two (2) times a year;

2.      prepare articles for the ABA Bulletin; and

3.      serve as chair of the Publicity and Public Relations Committee.



Nominations and Elections

Section 1.  Nominating Committee.

  1. Membership.  Members shall elect five members and an alternate during the fall meeting in even numbered years.  There shall be at least one member from the Portland Unit.
  2. Eligibility to Serve.  No member shall serve more than two consecutive terms.
  3. Election of Members.  Nominations for members of the Nominating Committee shall be made from the floor.  Members shall be elected by ballot before the close of the meeting.
  4. Vacancies.  The Executive Committee shall fill vacancies.
  5. Election of the Chairman.  The chairman of the Nominating Committee shall be the member who receives the largest number of votes and the member receiving the least number of votes shall be the alternate.
  6. Duties.  The Nominating Committee shall consider the qualifications of all candidates for elected offices proposed by Northwestern Section members.  The Nominating Committee shall submit at least one name for each position to be filled.
  7. Committee Report.  The Nominating Committee shall present a slate of officers during the spring membership meeting in odd numbered years and submit it for inclusion in the next issue of the NWS official publication.




Section 1.  Standing Committees.  The Standing Committees shall be:

  1. Operations
    1. Audit
    2. Bridge Home
    3. Budget and Finance
    4. Bylaws/Procedure Manual
    5. History and Archives
    6. National Headquarters
    7. Site Selection
    8. Staff Development and Directors’ Certification
    9. Section Tournament
  2. Member Relations

1.      Appeals and Ethics

2.      Bridge Education and Certification

3.      Courtesy

4.      Membership

5.      Merit, Life Membership, and Section Awards

6.      New Players

7.      Trophies and Awards

  1. Public Relations

1.      ABA/ACBL Liaison

2.      Bridge Connection

3.      College Incentive and Scholarship

4.      Publicity and Public Relations

Section 2. Term.  The term of office for committee chairs shall be consistent with the elected officer.

Section 3.  Duties of Standing Committees:

  1. Audit Committee.  The Audit committee shall conduct the annual audit for the previous year and report during the spring membership meeting during the Spring Tournament having collected records by January 30, and presented results and recommendations to the Section Vice-President and the Budget and Finance committee by February 28.
  2. Bridge Home Committee.  The Bridge Home Committee shall search for an affordable site for the NWS Bridge Home and develop a fund raising plan.


  1. Budget and Finance Committee.

1.      Composition.   The Budget and Finance Committee shall be composed of the Section Treasurer, Section Secretary, two members selected by the Section Treasurer, and the immediate past treasurer.  The Section Vice-President shall fill vacancies.

2.      Duties.  The Budget and Finance Committee shall:

a.      review and analyze the fiscal activities of the Section;

b.      submit recommendations for raising revenue; and

c.      present the proposed budget for adoption by the membership.

  1. Bylaws/Procedure Manual Committee.  The Bylaws/Procedure Manual Committee shall:

1.      review all submitted amendments and edit for composition; and

2.      propose amendments.

  1. History and Archives Committee.  The History and Archives Committee shall compile a history of the Section.
  2. National Headquarters Committee:  The National Headquarters Committee shall develop programs to support the work of the National Headquarters.
  3. Site Selection Committee.  The Site Selection Committee shall recommend sites for Section Tournaments at least two (2) years in advance and report during the membership meeting at the Spring Tournament.
  4. Staff Development and Directors’ Certification Committee.  The committee shall:

1.      recruit, train, and evaluate directors;

2.      recommend the certification of directors to the Section Vice-President;

3.      keep accurate files for each director in the Section;

4.      send progress reports quarterly to the Section Vice-President and National Staff Development Coordinator; and

5.      share highlights for “Ruling the Game” to members.

  1. Section Tournament Committee.  The Section Tournament Committee shall prepare a budget, appoint subcommittees, coordinate the program, and arrange hospitality for Section Tournaments.
  2. Appeals and Ethics Committee.  The committee shall:

1.      receive, evaluate, and decide all appeals regarding the application and or interpretation of duplicate bridge laws;

2.      receive and investigate all complaints regarding player ethics, and recommend appropriate action in all matters according to the Disciplinary Code of the ABA; and

3.      implement the Zero Tolerance Policy of the ABA.

  1. Bridge Education and Teacher Certification Committee.  The committee shall:

1.      develop educational programs for current, new, and prospective members;

2.      recruit and train teachers; and

3.      recognize teachers for their outstanding service.

  1. Courtesy Committee.  The committee shall:

1.      send appropriate acknowledgments to members who are sick, shut-in, and appropriate acknowledgments to families of deceased members, and

2.      notify Section Officers, Unit and Club Presidents of illnesses or deaths.

  1. Membership Committee.  The committee shall:

1.      provide guidance, consultation, and program development to the Section relating to recruitment, reactivation, and retention of members;

2.      obtain periodically from the Units an up-dated list of new players; and

3.      serve as a member of the New Players and Bridge Connection Committees

  1. Merit, Life Membership, and Section Awards Committee.  The committee shall:

1.      receive and process nominations for the National Life Membership and Merit Awards according to the procedure defined by the ABA (see, the Procedure Manual); and

2.      receive and process nominations for the Edward Chatman Award (see, the Procedure Manual).

  1. New Players/Membership Committee.  The committee shall:

1.      contact various organizations and individuals to ascertain their interest in joining the Northwestern Section of the American Bridge Association and report the results to the chair of the Membership Committee;

2.      serve as a member of the Membership and Bridge Connection Committees; and

3.      plan, direct, and coordinate New Players education and social activities.

  1. Trophies and Awards.  The Trophies and Awards Committee shall purchase trophies and awards as instructed by the appropriate entity.
  2. ABA/ACBL Liaison Committee.  The ABA/ACBL Liaison Committee shall plan and coordinate joint social and bridge programs between the American bridge Association and the American Contract Bridge League.
  3. Bridge Connection Committee.  The Bridge Connection Committee shall recruit individuals to play card games such as social bridge, pinochle, hearts, and spades during NWS Tournaments, and serve as a member of the New Players and Membership Committees.
  4. College Incentive and Scholarship Committee:  The committee shall:

1.      establish bridge clubs at secondary schools, colleges, and universities, and assist in making sure that these students can travel to compete in Unit, Section, and National Tournaments; and

2.      recommend individuals for the NWS Martha B. Jordan Scholarship and the F. Alberta Peterson National Scholarship (see, the Procedure Manual for instructions).

  1. Publicity and Public Relations Committee.  The committee shall:

1.      maintain the NWS Web Page;

2.      prepare interesting and pertinent articles or stories for the ABA Bulletin;

3.      publish information periodically via the Internet;

4.      maintain the NWS e-mail Directory; and

5.      send news releases to the media concerning tournaments and other newsworthy events.


Administrative Operations

The Albert Walker Jr. Library will be placed in the Librarian’s home until a bridge facility is built.  The Library

shall then move to the facility.  A plaque and picture of Albert Walker, Jr. will be added.



In the event of dissolution of the Northwestern Section, the assets shall be liquidated and distributed to the ABA, a 501 (C) (3) organization, in accordance with government regulations.  None of the funds shall inure to the benefit of individuals.


Parliamentary Authority

The rules contained in the current edition of Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised shall govern the Northwestern Section in all cases in which they are applicable and in which they are not inconsistent with these bylaws and any special rules the Section may adopt.


Amendment of Bylaws

These bylaws may be amended at any regular meeting by a two-thirds vote, provided the amendment has been published in the Northwestern Section newsletter, at least 14 days before the meeting.


Revised:           09-03-84

Amended:         03-00-91

Amended:         09-04-95

Revised:           09-01-00

Revised:           08-30-02

Amended:       09-2009