You can join the ECF directly or, if you are in an area where your local chess organisation (league or county association) collects memberships in bulk and deals with the ECF, via your local organisation.
Joining or Renewing Directly
You can join the ECF or renew your membership directly with the ECF in three ways:
• Online – A simple and secure process is being introduced shortly, in good time for the start of the new membership scheme on 1st September 2012, which will enable you to join the ECF or renew your membership securely via the ECF website. Payment is by credit or debit card. By joining or renewing online, you will obtain a £1 discount on your membership subscription.
• By phone – Just call the ECF office on 01424 775222. Payment is by credit or debit card.
• By post – Complete the membership form and send it with payment (cheque, credit or debit card) to: The English Chess Federation, The Watch Oak, Chain Lane, Battle, East Sussex, TN33 0YD.
Joining or Renewing via your Local Chess Organisation
If this option is available in your area, your local league or county association will make you aware through your chess club.
Organisations which are members of the ECF are able to register with the Federation and sign a framework agreement allowing them to collect memberships in bulk. To do so, the organisation will require brief details of each member and the membership level required (Bronze/Silver/Gold/Platinum; Concessionary if applicable). The organisation will collect the membership fee from you through your club – it may, depending upon the local approach adopted, be included in your club subscription – and submit a schedule of members and block payment to the ECF.
Provided payment is received by the ECF by 31st October, the local league or county association is entitled to retain £1 of each membership fee. This may be used to fund the activities of the league or county association or passed on to the individual members as an upfront discounted rate. The choice rests with the local league or county association.
The £1 retention is only available to organisations which are themselves members of the ECF and have signed a framework agreement. Informally, if – for example – a club in an area not covered by framework agreement wanted to collect payment and membership forms from its members and submit them to the ECF en bloc, they would be accepted for processing but the retention of £1 per member would not be available to the club concerned and the full membership subscription would be paid to the ECF.
You will always have the option of joining directly as an individual, if you prefer. In this case, you will simply need to advise your local league or association of your membership number. The same principle applies if you are a member of more than one club or league: once you have become a member, simply advise any other relevant leagues or associations of your membership number when asked.