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NCA to Hold Inaugural Elections - Letter from the NCA Chair

Nathan Walsh February 23, 2023

Dear NCA Participants,

Beginning in 2015 I, Nathan Walsh, have held the very informal role of Chair of the NCA. I took over the position from Greg Matthison who started the NCA in 2009, and envisioned having a Tour with a 12-month calendar full of crokinole events, and a map that would boast new clubs sprouting up everywhere. The leadership of the NCA at the time was Greg, and anyone else who had a loud enough voice to have their opinions heard, and all decisions were made from the informal group that was simply close by whenever a vote was deemed necessary. I became the Chair because I just happened to be close by when a new Chair was needed.

For the most part that vision of Greg’s has been realized, and the NCA has become a worldwide benchmark for organized crokinole. It has become this because of the NCA participants that attend tournament after tournament on the NCA Tour. Even though the NCA has been successful with an unstructured leadership group, I believe it is time to change that.

I am writing to you today to propose the NCA moves one step closer to a formal organization by adopting a set of by-laws and committing to electing a Board of Directors for the first time. I have described the steps that will be taken to do so on the NCA Governance page.

By participating in NCA events you have participated in the success of the NCA, and you, along with your fellow participants, will form the member base of this new NCA. This membership base will elect a board, decide the path you want the NCA to take, and decide what role you want the NCA to play in the future of organized crokinole.

I think it’s important that we do not delay to take this step. The decisions on what the NCA should do, and what the NCA should be vary from person to person, and in the leadership role of the chair I have felt unable to act to with confidence without having a true mandate from the members of the NCA.

As popularity for crokinole and organized crokinole events has grown, I have heard passionate recommendations from lots of people for the NCA to take action on many different types of initiatives (from ideas for specific localities or tournaments, to broad global standards). I have subsequently then heard decisive objections to those ideas from other people. Stuck somewhere in the middle, I have guided the NCA to really only maintain a status quo.

In terms of formalities, I don’t think incorporating the NCA is necessary at this time. I believe the NCA can run on a very small budget, so incorporating for tax reasons or government funding is not necessary to accomplish the goals of the NCA.

However, I think it is vitally important that we establish a formal and transparent decision making structure, and I think it’s important we take this step now.

Whether we deserve it or not, the NCA is regarded as the global authority on crokinole, the NCA Tour has substantial prestige to the point that many tournament organizers want to be included in it, and many players regard their NCA Tour ranking with great importance.

As people from around the world have learned about crokinole for the first time, or become re-accustomed to the game, they have been looking for an organization that leads the way. Anyone who has spent time on the NCA Facebook page and seen the number of questions strangers ask about rules or board quality can attest to that.

  • Should the NCA create a comprehensive and expansive set of rules that cover every possible scenario that might happen on a crokinole board?
  • Should the NCA seek to have tournaments and Tours that span the globe?
  • Should the NCA regulate the boards, discs and equipment that are used in official play?

These are the types of questions I don’t think can be answered by the NCA leadership as it stands today. But these are the types of questions that an elected NCA board, with a mandate from its members, can rightfully determine.

To put this into action we need an organizational framework. I have drafted a set of by-laws and accompanying documents to give you a sense of what this might look like (you can see those on the NCA Governance page). Ultimately the decision will be made by you, as members of the NCA.

To achieve this, I’m targeting the following timeline:

  • February 15 - March 10: Application window for candidates of the Board of Directors
  • March 11 - April 1: Campaign period for candidates
  • March 20 - April 1: Advance voting window
  • April 2: Election Meeting Call and designation of board of directors
  • April 3 - May 17: Window for Board of Directors to hold Annual General Meeting for purposes of by-law ratification

I will oversee the elections, and as such will not run for a position on the inaugural board.

If you do have opinions on crokinole and the NCA, whether those are large or small, ambitious or frivolous, consider running for the board, and absolutely vote in the upcoming election.

A position on the NCA Board of Directors should not come with hours upon hours of work, nor does the NCA need a Director to put in substantial time for the NCA to be successful. All the NCA needs are a few individuals who are passionate about the game of crokinole, and willing to articulate their vision for how the NCA can play apart in the game’s success.

Nathan Walsh