I’ve seen quite a bit of traffic on Facebook regarding the BJCP Bylaws which were just revised. If you were not aware of the changes, they are detailed on the BJCP website.
Some of the more significant changes include (1) updating the mission statement (Article 1, section 5) to be more understandable and reflect the broader mission we are now pursuing; (2) clarifying membership criteria for the organization, specifically identifying that only those who pass an exam are voting members of the organization (Article 2, Section 1); and (3) introducing criteria for elected representatives (Article 3, Section 5).
What most people seem to be focused on with their comments on the newly adopted bylaws is Article 3, Section 5 which now requires a judge to be National or higher to run for the Board. I believe the intent with this was for the candidate to demonstrate activity in the program. It could prove difficult for someone to decide upon things like exam grading when they have never been part of that process. In the end I think the requirement may have went a little too far. It was pointed out on Facebook the National requirement would keep 85% of the judges from being able to run for office. Personally I don’t like that very much.
I do think a judge should show some effort in the program and in thinking about it I would suggest the verbiage be revised. The election cycle is every three years, so on one level it makes sense to me that a judge should experience an election cycle before running for office. While a National or higher rank does show involvement in the program so does judging. I’d think if the requirement was to have the same points as a National level judge that would demonstrate involvement. Since Apprentice is a temporary level I believe this level should be ineligible to run for the Board so Recognized or higher.
Currently the adopted Bylaws say:
“Section 5 – Eligibility. Qualifications for regional Representative are: (i) residing in the region at the time of the election, (ii) Active member status in good standing, and (iii) National or higher BJCP rank.”
I would revise that to be:
Section 5 – Eligibility. Qualifications for regional Representative are: (i) residing in the region at the time of the election, (ii) Active member status in good standing for three years prior to taking office,
and (iii) National or higher BJCP rank Recognized or higher BJCP rank, and (iv) 20 experience points at least half of which must be from judging.
I know no one asked me what I thought, but I believe those changes would maintain the intent and allow judges who have not yet achieved a higher rank to be a candidate should they choose to run for office.