The WDGF Constitution (full version in pdf) was amended and was officially adopted at the 2016 WDGF General Meeting in Copenhagen, Denmark on July 23, 2016.
- 1. NAME, AUTHORITY & GOVERNING LAW
1.1 The Federation should be known as the World Deaf Golf Federation (WDGF).
1.2 WDGF is based on democratic principles, and shall be the highest authority for the sport of deaf golf.
1.3 This constitution shall be governed by the Law of Switzerland.
- 2. GENERAL
2.1 The official text language shall be in English.
2.2 Communication shall be officially conducted in International Signs.
2.3 WDGF shall maintain absolute political and religious neutrality and shall not tolerate any form of discrimination, racial or otherwise.
2.4 To participate in any competition arranged by the WDGF, the hearing loss should be as defined in the guidelines set out by the International Committee of Sports for the Deaf (ICSD).
- 3. OBJECTIVES
3.1 To promote the sport of golf among the deaf of all nations, general improvement of their golf knowledge and achievement of close international cooperation among deaf golf players.
3.2 To serve as the official governing body for the World Deaf Golf Championships (WDGC) and other international deaf golf competitions.
3.3 To assist and encourage development of golf programmes for deaf when needed, such as educational courses and seminars.
3.4 To cooperate with other international organisations concerned with the sport of deaf golf such as the Royal and Ancient of Golf (R&A), the United States Golf Association (USGA) and the ICSD.
3.5 To maintain a documented history of the sport of deaf golf.
3.6 To raise funds and invite contributions from any person or persons by way of donations, sponsorships and other activities provided that the Federation shall not undertake any permanent trading activities.
- 4. MEMBERSHIP
4.1 To qualify as a member in the WDGF, the organisation should be recognised by the National Deaf Sports organisation or by the ICSD as appropriate.
4.2 Only one organisation per country may be recognised by the WDGF.
4.3 The WDGF’s membership shall consist of National Deaf Golf organisations or, if a country does not have a National Deaf Golf organisation, National Deaf Sports organisations.
4.4 In order to become a member of the WDGF the organisation must submit a written application for membership to the WDGF.
4.5 A member organisation shall agree to follow the WDGF Constitution and strictly observe all regulations and decisions of WDGF.
4.6 To maintain its membership status in the WDGF, the organisation must pay an annual membership fee.
4.7 A new member who participates in the World Deaf Golf Championships for the first time with not more than two (2) golf players may only pay half the membership fee. If the new member enters more than two golf players in the World Deaf Golf Championships, the full membership fee must be paid.
4.8 At the next World Deaf Golf Championships, the new member stated in article 4.7 must pay the full membership fee.
4.9 A member who has not paid its fee for a period of six months will cease to be a member of the WDGF. The WDGF board is authorised to decide on this matter.
4.10 Member organisations may enter their players and teams in the World Deaf Golf Championships.
4.11 To participate in two succeeding World Deaf Golf Championships, the organisation must have been a member of the WDGF for all the years between the Championships.
4.12 Member organisations may submit motions to the General Meeting and to nominate persons for the WDGF Board.
4.13 Member organisations have the right to submit bids for the World Deaf Golf Championships.
4.14 A member of the WDGF may resign in writing at any time from the WDGF. This resignation will become effective at the end of the calendar year.
4.15 Member organisations may be expelled from the WDGF for failure to comply with its Constitution or for other serious reasons. The Board has the right to decide in this matter.
4.16 No member whose membership ceases has any claim against WDGF or the Board for damages or otherwise.
4.17 Any financial obligations that the previous member owed to WDGF must be paid before a country may register a new membership in WDGF.
- 5. GENERAL MEETING
5.1 A General Meeting of the WDGF must take place at least once every two (2) years and for convenience shall preferably take place every World Deaf Golf Championships. An extraordinary General Meeting may be invoked either by the Board or by at least thirty three-percent (33%) of the members in good standing.
5.2 A notice of the General Meeting, together with the proposed agenda, the President’s Report, the Financial Report and the minutes of the previous meeting should be sent to the members at least 8 weeks before the meeting.
5.3 The WDGF shall remind its members 6 months prior to the General Meeting to send their motions for consideration at the General Meeting.
5.4 Motions for consideration at the General Meeting must be sent in writing to the Secretary of the WDGF at least 3 months before the meeting.
5.5 WDGF will provide all the WDGF members with copies of all motions proposed by the board or by members at least 4 weeks before the meeting.
5.6 Quorum for the General Meeting shall be 50% of the membership plus one.
5.7 The General Meeting shall recommend to the Board the general policies of the WDGF towards achieving its aims and objectives.
5.8 The General Meeting shall vote upon the President’s Report and the WDGF Financial Report.
5.9 The General Meeting shall every four years elect the WDGF Board.
5.10 The General Meeting shall every four years elect an independent examiner of the WDGF accounts. Preferably, the examiner should live in the same country as the Treasurer.
5.11 The General Meeting shall decide upon recommendations and motions submitted by the member organisations and the Board. Motions other than changes to the constitution shall be decided by a simple majority of the votes present at the General Meeting.
5.12 The General Meeting shall decide on alterations of the Constitution. Alterations of the Constitution must receive the consent of not less than two thirds of the votes.
5.13 The General Meeting shall determine the amount of the annual membership fee.
5.14 Each member organisation in good standing as of the last day of the preceding fiscal year shall have one vote and may be represented by up to 2 delegates.
5.15 Voting shall be by show of hands or by secret ballot at the discretion of the President or by secret ballot if requested by one of the member countries present and entitled to vote. The chairperson shall appoint two (2) persons from the membership to conduct the secret ballot in such manner as the President shall determine and the result of the ballot as declared by the chairperson shall be deemed to be the resolution of the meeting.
5.16 The President of the WDGF shall preside as chairperson over the General Meeting or, if there is no President, or if the President is not present within fifteen (15) minutes after the time appointed for the holding the meeting or is unwilling to act, the Vice President shall be the chairperson, or if the Vice President is not present or is unwilling to act, then the Members present shall elect one of their number to chair the meeting.
5.17 In the case of a tie, the President as chairperson, alternatively the chairperson, shall cast a vote.
- 6. HONORARY MEMBERS
6.1 An individual who has contributed long and meritorious service to WDGF may be elected as an Honorary Member at any General Meeting.
6.2 The individual shall be nominated by the Board.
6.3 An Honorary Member shall be invited to the General Meeting with the right to join in discussions, but not to vote.
- 7. BOARD
7.1 The WDGF Board shall consist of seven (7) Board members, of which all shall be deaf. The term of each Board member shall be four (4) years.
7.2 The Board members are eligible for re-election for any additional consecutive terms of four (4) years each.
7.3 Appointment to Board member positions of the WDGF Board shall be by direct election of the members. Executive officer positions will be:
b. Vice President
A nomination form should be sent to the WDGF Secretary one month prior to the General Meeting with the name and background of the nominee.
7.4 The WDGF Board shall be responsible for the management and operation of the WDGF.
7.5 The Board may from time to time, in its discretion, appoint committees with such terms of reference and with such delegated powers (if any) as the Board considers appropriate in order to assist and advise the Board in the performance of their duties and in the exercise of their rights and powers.
a. The Board must ensure that there is a chairperson appointed to each such committee who is a Board member.
b. If the chairperson is not present within ten (10) minutes after the time appointed for holding a meeting, the members present may choose one of their number to chair the meeting.
c. The President shall be an ex-officio member of all committees established.
d. Each committee shall comprise at least one (1) Board member and as many members as this constitution or the Board shall from time to time determine.
e. Any person not being a Board member who, on the recommendation of the relevant committee chairperson and in the opinion of the Board, can give special service or knowledge may be appointed by the Board to any committee.
f. To avoid doubt, a person appointed to a committee not being a Board member shall not have Board voting rights.
g. A committee established by the Board may meet and adjourn as it thinks proper.
h. Questions arising at any meeting shall be determined by a majority of votes of the members present and, in the equality of votes, the question is decided in the negative.
7.6 The Board shall decide the location of the WDGF Headquarter.
7.7 The Board shall decide the basic currency of the WDGF.
7.8 The Board shall decide the fee for participating in World Deaf Golf Championships or any other event organized by WDGF.
7.9 Board members shall not vote on any subject that represents a conflict of interest but may participate in any discussion upon disclosure of the conflict of interest.
7.10 The following shall govern the removal of a Board member:
a. The grounds for removal of a Board member are as follows:
(i) failure to properly discharge his or her duties under this constitution;
(ii) the conviction of a criminal offence that in his or her country would result in the imposition of a monetary fine or a term of imprisonment, or the insolvency, bankruptcy or disqualification to serve as a director of a company of such person;
(iii) the commission or omission of an act that brings WDGF or deaf golf into disrepute; or
(iv) the incapacity of the individual involved.
b. That Board member subject to removal shall be timely notified of the receipt of any such motion for removal. The procedural and substantive provisions of the WDGF Disciplinary Code adopted or to be adopted by the Board (and as amended from time to time) shall apply to every proceeding for a removal.
c. In the case of removal, the provisions for election of individuals in the event of a vacancy shall apply. In the case of a suspension, the individual shall be suspended from all activities as regards his or her office and may not take part in any activities or deliberations of the Board, in accordance with the terms of the suspension.
7.11 The WDGF Board shall meet at every World Deaf Golf Championships and when necessary as decided by the President and Secretary but not less than four (4) times in each calendar year. Any member of the Board may request a meeting of the Board.
7.12 Formal notice of each meeting shall be provided in writing by mail, email or fax by the Secretary to all Board members a minimum of 30 days prior to the meeting.
7.13 Quorum for the WDGF Board Meetings shall be 50% of the board members plus one.
7.14 Motions at the WDGF Board Meetings shall be a simple majority of votes. In the event of a tie vote, the President shall cast a vote.
7.15 In the case of a resignation or death of a board member, the Board shall have the power to appoint a replacement until such time as that position comes up for re-election.
7.16 A Board meeting may be held entirely by electronic means if telephonic, electronic or other communication facility is available and permits all participants to communicate adequately with each other during the Board meeting. A Board member participating in a Board meeting by such means is deemed to be present at the meeting and may vote by means of any telephonic, electronic or other communication facility available for that purpose.
7.17 The President or Secretary may call a special meeting of the Board at any time on reasonable notice to deal with urgent matters. The Secretary shall convene a special meeting of the Board on the requisition of not less than one-third of Board members. The Secretary shall give not less than seven (7) days’ notice to all Board members of a special meeting of the Board, and such notice shall clearly state the nature of the business to be discussed.
7.18 The Board may make, amend or repeal by-laws, not inconsistent with this constitution for the internal management of the Federation.
- 8. FINANCES
8.1 WDGF shall be a non-profit making organisation. Therefore, it shall not pursue any objective for its own gains. It shall pursue solely and directly objectives of general interest in accordance with the legislation of the country that its headquarters are located.
8.2 The financial year of the WDGF shall be from 1 January to 31 December. Balance sheets shall be drawn up each year as at December 31st.
8.3 At the close of each calendar year the Treasurer shall prepare statements of income and expenditure and assets and liabilities of the WDGF. Such statements shall be presented to each General Meeting for adoption, after being audited by an independent chartered accountant (auditor) qualified in audits applying internationally recognised auditing standards.
8.4 The Federation shall operate a bank current and deposit account. The account shall be operated by the signature of two (2) from:
a. The President
b. The Treasurer
c. The Vice President
8.5 The income of WDGF shall consist of:
a. Annual fees from the affiliated Countries.
b. Fees from participating in any event organised by WDGF.
c. Donations, subsidies and miscellaneous income.
8.6 The membership fee shall be for a period from 1 January to 31 December.
8.7 Compensation or reimbursement of expenses that is paid to individuals must be appropriate, justified and related to the Federation’s objectives. Board members shall not be entitled to any payment, other than the reimbursement of expenses from WDGF.
8.8 In the event of winding up the organisation, the assets shall be passed to the ICSD until another newly formed body with the same objectives has been created.
- 9. RESOLUTION OF DISPUTES
9.1 Any dispute arising from the present Constitution or any By-laws / Regulations which cannot be settled amicably must be submitted first to the WDGF Board and resolved in accordance with the WDGF dispute resolution procedures adopted or to be adopted by the Board (and as amended from time to time).
9.2 Any such decision made by the WDGF Board may be submitted exclusively by way of appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Lausanne, Switzerland, which will resolve the dispute definitively in accordance with the Code of sports-related arbitration.
a. The time limit for appeal is twenty-one (21) days after receipt of the decision concerning the appeal.
b. The official text language shall be in English.
c. The CAS shall endeavor to ensure that communication at any hearing is interpreted in International Signs.