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Guide to Joining the ECF

Is This Document for You?

  • This guide is for people who are joining the Federation for the first time. However, juniors who have not previously been members of the Federation are entitled to a special offer of free silver membership in their first year. This offer is only available by contacting the ECF Office by email; for details see below …
  • If you are an existing member of the Federation and need to upgrade your membership to a higher category you need the Guide to Upgrading Your ECF Membership.
  • If you were a member of the Federation last year and wish to renew your membership for the coming season you need the Guide to Renewing Your ECF Membership.

Free Junior Silver Membership
There is a special introductory offer of one year’s free membership for junior players who have not previously been members of the Federation. Applications for this class of membership must be made by email to the ECF Office [], stating name, address, and date of birth. Club membership and grading reference should also be given if known.
PLEASE NOTE: the ECF membership year is fixed, and runs from the 1st September to the 31st of the following August. Members joining later in the year will, inevitably, get less benefit from their membership.

Ways of Joining
The easiest way to join the Federation is through our online system, which entitles you to a £1 discount on your subscription; the rest of this guide walks you through that process.
If you prefer to join by post or by telephone you can do so; please refer to the notes on Postal or Telephone Membership

Joining Online

1) What you need
In order to join the Federation using the online system you need –

  • an email address;
  • a credit or debit card, or PayPal account, to make payment;
  • your ECF grading reference, if you have one.

If you have not previously played a graded game you will, of course, not have a grading reference. However, any player who has played a graded game in the last twenty years should be able to locate their reference in the grading database, located at Type your surname into the box labelled ‘Search the Grading List’ and click the ‘Find Players’ button. Then, if you have not played recently, when the list of names appears click the Click here to Include ungraded players link.

2) Entering Your Details

  • Click on this link to go to the PaySubsOnline website.
  • In the selection box select the membership category, age group, and period for which you wish to join. Junior membership is open to anyone under the age of 18 at the time of joining.
  • If you know your grading reference enter it in the box labelled Please enter your Grading Reference (if known) and click the blue ‘Lookup’ button immediately below it. This feature is a check to ensure that you are not already recorded on the membership system. The link to look up your grading reference immediately below this is a lookup in the grading database; if you have followed the advice in this guide you have already checked this at an earlier stage.
  • Enter your title (Mr, Mrs, Miss, or other as appropriate) and your last name (or family name) into the appropriate box. The lookup button below the latter is a further check to avoid duplicate memberships.
  • In the box labelled Initials please enter (in capitals) the initials of all your forenames, including that which you are subsequently entering as your forename. Please do not include the initial of your surname.
  • Enter your first name in the box provided, and select your gender and date of birth from the drop down lists.
  • Enter your email address in the box provided, and re-type the address in the following box as a check on the accuracy of your entry. You cannot use the online system to join the Federation without providing an email address.
  • Enter your address in the series of boxes provided, noting that Address1, Town, and Postcode are required, but the intervening boxes may be left blank if your address does not require them.
  • Enter your home and mobile phone numbers in the boxes provided if you wish the Federation to have a record of these.
  • If you provided a grading reference at step (3) then the club and grading reference boxes will have been completed for you; however, you may provide a different club name should that be appropriate. If you did not provide a grading reference earlier please enter the name of your club here, or the word None if you are not a member of a club.
  • If you accept the Terms and Conditions click the tick box to confirm this.
  • If you are, for example, a parent wishing to complete a membership application for several of your children you may use the Submit and add additional members button to enter details of further applicants who will be processed in a single payment. Steps (2) to (11) must be followed for each such applicant.
  • Click the Submit and proceed to next page button.

3) Making Payment

  • You will be taken to the Check-out page, where you can verify that the memberships being purchased are correct; please note the instruction to use the Review/Edit icon, which appears as a pencil, rather than your browser’s Back button if you wish to make a correction. Also note that although the screen refers to Pay by Card if you wish to pay directly from a PayPal account the option to do so appears on the next screen. Once you are satisfied click the Pay here button.
  • You will be taken to the Pay Here Ltd payments page.
    • If you wish to pay using an existing PayPal account please select the Login to your PayPal account button and follow the instruction for that process.
    • If you wish to pay by credit or debit card please complete the details as requested on the screen. If you do not wish to sign up for a new PayPal account please be sure to untick the Save this information with a PayPal account button. When you are satisfied click the yellow Agree and Continue button.

4) What Happens Next?

  • You will receive an email from the Federation to the email address you registered with welcoming you to membership of the Federation. If you do not receive this message within twenty-four hours, and have verified that it has not landed in your spam filter, please feel free to email the ECF Office or telephone them on 01424 775222 between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday to Friday.
  • The payment for your membership will appear on your bank or card statement labelled Pay Here Ltd. This is the legal name of PaySubsOnline, who provide the online membership and secure payment system for the Federation.

We use your membership data only for the purposes of administration of membership. This includes adding you to the circulation list of our eNewsletter, which appears monthly. You may chose to unsubscribe from this at any time.

We publish name, membership number and category (including expiry date), grading reference, and any club specified in your membership record for both current members and those whose membership has recently expired. This information is provided for organisers to determine your eligibility to compete in events.

The only data which is transferred between our membership and grading databases is membership number, category, and grading reference. In addition date of birth may be used to assist in determining whether records in the two databases refer to the same individual. However, the majority of members join the Federation in order to meet the requirements of an event in which they wish to compete. You should be aware that such events will usually submit their results to the ECF for grading, and that these results will be published on line and remain indefinitely as an historical record.