Chapter - 1 Name, Objectives, Headquarters
1.1 The name of the organization is the International Mind Sports Association (“IMSA”) and the officially approved abbreviation is IMSA.
- IMSA is an association of international mind sports federations, founded in Lausanne, Switzerland, on April 19, 2005, by the representatives of the World Bridge Federation (“WBF”), Fédération Mondiale du Jeu de Dames (“FMJD”), Fédération Internationale des Echecs (“FIDE”), and International Go Federation (“IGF”).
- IMSA is a non-profit organization devoted to mind sports and their educational, scientific, and technical development, incorporated in Switzerland.
- IMSA is constituted according to articles 60 ff of the Swiss Civil Code and is governed by Swiss law.
- IMSA meets regularly and, among the individual members, retains their autonomy and independence.
- IMSA has legal personality.
- IMSA is formed for an unlimited period of time.
The goals of IMSA are:
- To gather the different mind sports federations to pursue common aims and interests as manifested but not limited to organizing the World Mind Sports Games (“WMSG”) or any other events to be decided upon;
- To assist its members in obtaining recognition by the International Olympic Committee (“IOC”) and other sports organizations globally.
IMSA shall comply with:
- The Olympic Charter and the IOC Code of Ethics;
- The World Anti-Doping Agency (“WADA”) anti-doping code.
IMSA has its registered office in Maison du Sport International, av. de Rhodanie 54, Lausanne, Switzerland.
IMSA may also have offices at such other locations as the IMSA Council may from time to time determine, or as the business of IMSA may require. In particular, IMSA may have an office at the location of its President.
The official language of IMSA is English.
IMSA shall have such symbols as an emblem, a flag, an anthem, a motto “civilizations varied, wisdom unbounded”, and the water mixing ceremony. These symbols shall belong exclusively to IMSA. Their design shall be reviewed by the IMSA Council and ratified periodically.
Chapter - 2 Membership
IMSA is composed of different types of members:
- Affiliate Members
- Associate Members
1. Affiliate Members are international mind sports organizations (generally known as International Federations (“IF’s”), each governing at least one mind sport. IMSA recognizes only one international federation for each sport.
2. The members shall observe all of the following criteria:
- History – the IF shall be fully operating for a minimum of six years;
- Universality – the IF must have at least 40 national federations on at least 4 continents and not be dependent on any specific language;
- Practicing skilled competitions only – there may be no luck factor in determining the competition outcome;
- Regularly held national, regional, and international competitions;
- Well-established rules governing the practice of each sport and mechanism to ensure the application of the rules;
- Clear and consistent criteria of the eligibility for competitions;
- Acceptance and compliance with the General Principle of the Olympic Charter and with the IOC Code of Ethics;
- Acceptance and compliance with the WADA anti-doping code;
- Adoption of the principle of the arbitration of the Court of Arbitration of Sport (“CAS”).
3. Any aspiring Federation may submit an application to the Secretary General. The application dossier shall demonstrate satisfaction of each of the criteria as specified in Article 8.2.
4. Each application for Affiliate Membership of IMSA must be received at the registered office not less than thirty (30) days prior to the date scheduled for the next following General Assembly meeting. IMSA Council shall review any and all such applications and shall make recommendations relating thereto during the Annual General Assembly meeting.
5. Each application for Affiliate Membership of IMSA shall be considered at Annual General Assembly meeting, which has the power to admit a new member (see Article 18.1).
6. Prospective Federations that do not satisfy the universality requirement and/or are not yet enough in compliance with all the quantitative criteria stipulated in Article 8.2, may seek a transitional membership as an Observer. However, IMSA has all rights to review each application on an individual basis and according to its proper and large power of appreciation.
7. An Observer shall encourage and promote mind sports. They must make all possible efforts to contribute to the development of IMSA.
8. An Observer may request to participate in all IMSA events as either a guest participant or with a demonstration event, subject to the determination and approval of the IMSA Council.
9. An Observer shall contribute to the IMSA finances by payment of its annual dues and other charges as deemed necessary by the IMSA Council.
10. The IMSA Council may elect to grant an applicant the status of “Observer”. This status shall not carry any voting right or speaking privileges except at the invitation of the President.
- An Affiliate Member shall encourage and promote mind sports. A member must also make all possible efforts to contribute to the development of IMSA.
- An Affiliate Member, through its designated delegate or delegates, shall be entitled to participating in all elections, and to submitting motions or recommendations relating to the work of the IMSA Council.
- The four founding Affiliate Members have two (2) votes each; all other Affiliate Members have one (1) vote each.
- An Affiliate Member has the right to be included in all IMSA-sanctioned sporting events, except where external sponsors or organizers may specify differently.
- An Affiliate Member shall contribute to IMSA finance by payment of its annual dues and other charges as deemed necessary by the IMSA Council.
1. Associate Members of IMSA are national mind sports federations from the four IMSA Continents – Americas, Asia, MEA (Middle East and Africa) and Europe (see Appendix 1) which have principal authority over mind sports activities in their own countries and which have been admitted to IMSA as Associate Members if they acknowledge the IMSA Statutes and develop activities in line with the Statutes. Only 1 (one) federation of each country can be an Associate Member.
2. An Associate Member shall encourage and promote mind sports. An Associate Member must make all possible efforts to contribute to the development of IMSA.
3. An Associate Member is represented in the IMSA Council as determined in Article 11 hereunder.
4. The admission of a national mind sports federation as an Associate Member is conducted through an application. This application is to be submitted to the IMSA Secretary General. The application for admission shall be accompanied by the official questionnaire approved by the IMSA Council, completely filled out, together with a copy of the statutes of the federation, approved or recognized by the authorities of the country, if the country’s law so requires. The country of the national mind sports federation (with the same boundaries) must be a country or territory that is a member of the International Olympic Committee.
5. The Associate Members must acknowledge and observe the Statutes, regulations, resolutions and decisions of IMSA. They are also obliged to pay the relevant membership fees and the other IMSA contributions fixed by the IMSA Council at the designated time. Moreover, they are obliged to support IMSA actively in all mind sports activities.
6. Each Associate Member is required to send to IMSA any changes in its address or officers within one month of such change. Each Associate Member is also required to send to the IMSA Secretary General at the latest by January 31st of each year a report containing the following information:
- the name, address and email address of the Federation;
- the name and email address of the President (who, regardless of his title, shall be referred to as such within these Statutes and any other IMSA regulations);
- the name and email address of the General Secretary;
- the name and email address of the officer who is the intermediary between the Associate Member and IMSA (the Delegate);
7. When an Associate Member federation does not supply the data mentioned above, IMSA shall determine the number of members, after consultation with the President of the Continent. The same procedure shall be applied when the data given by the federation contains obvious mistakes.
8. Associate Members not fulfilling the duties mentioned may be temporarily or permanently excluded from IMSA by a decision of the General Assembly.
9. The Treasurer shall include information in his report on those federations that should be temporary or permanently excluded.
10. A provisional Associate Member has all the rights and obligations of a full Associate Member except that a provisional Associate Member does not have the right to vote nor are its representatives eligible to stand for any offices.
11. Associate Members have the right to vote only in the respective Continental Association meetings. Its representatives are eligible to stand for their respective Continental Associtaion Offices.
1. The Continental
Associations (hereinafter referred to as “CA”) are established under IMSA for mind sports development and organization in each Continent. America, Asia, MEA and Europe have each established an operating organization to strengthen ties between countries and establish mutual goals and representation. The CA will be responsible for the organization of Continental championships under the auspices of IMSA. The organization of these Continental Associations, elections of their representatives and the regulations of continental events shall be consistent with IMSA rules and regulations. A copy of the CA statutes should be lodged with IMSA and updated periodically.
2. Members of CA
Any National Mind Sports Federation on the respective Continent and accepted as an Associate Member, as defined in IMSA Statutes, is considered a member of the CA. If there is a dispute or request by any CA member federation to change Continent, the IMSA Council will be the ultimate authority.
Each Continental Association will be responsible for electing a President to the IMSA Council. Other officers elected by the CA may include, but not be limited to, a Vice-President, Secretary and Treasurer. The CA shall notify the IMSA Secretariat the results of the CA elections and the IMSA Council shall take note. Each Continental President is a full voting member of the IMSA Council and amongst his duties shall report on Continental activities to the IMSA Council.
4. An appeal against a decision of a Continental President must be made in writing to the IMSA Council with a copy to the Continental President. The Continental President must immediately send his/her comments to the IMSA Council. When an appeal is made by a CA member federation, it has to be signed by the national federation’s President. Otherwise, it will not be considered.
5. In matters concerning only the interests of the members of their continents, but not concerning the rights and duties of an Associate Member towards IMSA, the Continental Presidents have equal rights and duties towards the members of the continent as the IMSA President has towards all Affiliate Members and Associate Members of IMSA.
6. Continental General Assembly Meeting
The Continental General Assembly Meeting will be held on an annual basis. This meeting will be the official annual meeting at which time business of the continent is conducted.
7. First continental Presidents
The IMSA Council will nominate the first Continental Presidents in the first Council meeting of 2023 and their initial period of authority will be four (4) years. Their primary responsibility within this period is developing and recruiting National Mind Sports Federations in their respective continents. The countries falling under each Continental Presidents responsibility are as defined in Appendix 1 to the IMSA Statutes and may only be changed with a decision by the IMSA Council.
- An Affiliate Member, an Associate Member and/or an Observer may submit its written resignation to the IMSA Council through IMSA President and Secretary General at any time.
- Such resignation shall take effect immediately upon receipt by the Secretary General of a notice of resignation signed by the President of the Affiliate Member, Associate Member and/or Observer federation and shall be reported to the next meeting of the IMSA Council or the General Assembly. The resigning member shall clear all its outstanding liabilities to IMSA. The membership subscription and any dues paid for the current year shall not be repaid.
- The General Assembly may suspend or expel an Affiliate Member, an Associate Member and/or an Observer if it is considered to have harmed IMSA. In this case, the decision must be approved by a special resolution of the General Assembly (2/3 – two thirds – of the votes validly cast; see Article 20), following the recommendation of the IMSA Council. In case of a suspension, voting rights are also suspended, and the membership subscription remains due.
An official or person who has rendered significant services to IMSA may be granted the title of “Honorary President”, “Honorary Member”, or other appropriate title, on a proposal approved by the General Assembly.
- A notice or notification to any kind of member shall be deemed to have been properly received provided it was sent by regular mail or by e-mail.
- In case if suspension or exclusion of any kind of member or in case of dissolution of IMSA, notification shall be sent by registered mail.
Chapter - 3 Organization
A: General Assembly
- The General Assembly (general meeting of members) is the supreme governing body of the association.
- Its decisions are mandatory for all members, even for those who do not attend.
- General Assembly can be called into session by the IMSA Council or 2/5 (two-fifth) of the Affiliate Members.
- The sessions can be held virtually (through video-conferencing) if the facilities are available.
- The General Assembly must have at least one meeting per year, within 6 (six) months after the accounts’ closing.
- The session is called by the IMSA Council at least two (2) months before its date and by regular mail or by e-mail. The convening must contain the agenda’s issues.
- Any proposals for subsequent amendment of the agenda shall be sent in writing to the Secretariat at least 1 (one) month before the meeting.
- Together with the agenda, the IMSA Secretariat shall circulate details of any membership applications and a brief description of the results of any investigations made by the Secretariat. Objections to or reservations held regarding such membership applications should be communicated immediately to the Secretariat together with the reasons for such objection or reservation.
The powers of the General Assembly are:
- Approval and modification of the Statutes;
- To modify IMSA place of registration within Switzerland;
- Approval of the minutes of the last meeting;
- Admission, suspension and exclusion of an Affiliate Member, an Associate Member or/and an Observer;
- Election of the President of the association (among the delegates);
- To appoint the members of the IMSA Council, and among them appoint a Deputy-President, a Secretary General and a Treasurer (in accordance with Article 22);
- To appoint one member from each Affiliate Member not represented in the officers as a Vice President
- To appoint the Auditors;
- To set the amount of the subscription for Affiliate Members, Associate Members and Observers;
- Approval of the budgets, the audited accounts and the activity report;
- To grant discharge to the members of the IMSA Council and the Management Board;
- To exercise any other competence specifically attributed by the Statutes and regulations of IMSA;
- Dissolution of the association.
Each Affiliate member’s delegation is limited to three (3) participants (translators not included).
- Each Affiliate Member is entitled to 1 (one) vote. However, the four founding Affiliate Members have two (2) votes each (see Article 9.3). Decisions can only be passed on the agenda mentioned in the convening of the meeting.
- Save any indication to the contrary in the Statutes (cf. Articles 12.3, 34 and 37), all decisions shall be made by more than half of the votes validly cast. For acceptance of new Affiliate Members or Associate Members, 2/3 (two-thirds) of the votes of the members attending the General Assembly, within respect of rules about quorum hereunder, are requested.
- In order for the General Assembly to be validly formed, more than half of the Affiliate Members having voting rights must be present. At least 2/3 (two-thirds) of the Affiliate Members are requested in case of decisions regarding the dissolution of the association or amendments to the Statutes (Articles 34 and 37).
- In the absence of a quorum, a second General Assembly shall be held 24 (twenty-four) hours after the first was due to convene, with the same agenda. In that second General Assembly, no quorum is required, unless an item on the agenda proposes the amendment of the Statutes, the election of the President, the exclusion of a member or the dissolution of the association.
- No proxies are permitted.
- The meetings of the General Assembly are chaired by the President of the IMSA Council or, failing him, a member of the IMSA Council to be nominated by the President.
- The President appoints the secretary of the General Assembly. They shall both sign the minutes of the meeting.
- The term of the President’s office and Officers’ shall be four (4) years. The President is eligible for re-election for one further period of four years.
B: IMSA Assembly
1. The IMSA Council is the executive body of IMSA. It is entitled and obliged as defined under the Statutes to manage and represent the association.
2. The IMSA Council is composed as defined hereafter, but at least of five (5) persons:
- Each of four founding Affiliate Member’s delegates (2) will serve as members of the IMSA Council.
- All other Affiliate Members delegates.
- Each Continental Association’s President shall be a member of the IMSA Council.
3. The IMSA Council President is the President of IMSA.
4. The members of the IMSA Council and IMSA President are appointed by the General Assembly for a four (4) years’ period until the next ordinary General Assembly. They may be re-elected.
5. Duties of Officers
5.1 The President represents IMSA officially. The President shall aim to foster a positive image of IMSA and to ensure that IMSA’s mission, strategic direction, policies and values, as defined by the General Assembly and by the Council, are protected and advanced. The President shall seek to maintain and develop good relations between and among IMSA Affiliated Members, Associate Members, other International Sports organisations and external organisations.
5.2 If the President is temporarily prevented from performing official functions, the Deputy President shall assume the powers and responsibilities of the President.
5.3 The Treasurer is responsible :
- for the financial resources of IMSA;
- for the good financial standing of IMSA;
- to safeguard IMSA’s finances, acting always in accordance with Financial Rules;
- to ensure that appropriate financial systems and controls are in place, that record-keeping and accounts meet the conditions of Financial Rules and relevant national and international legislation, oversees budgets, accounts and financial statements.
- to report to the General Assembly and to the Council on the status of IMSA’s finances and on the budget,
- to act as an advisor on financial matters for the President and for the Council, clarifying financial impacts of proposals, to ensure checks and balances.
The Treasurer can be delegated by the President to sign contracts and make payments.
5.4 The Secretary of the Council aids the President and the Council in the accomplishment of their tasks.
- Meetings are held as often as required, but at least twice a year, and upon request of each member of the IMSA Council. The session is called by the President at least 10 (ten) days before its date and by regular mail or by e-mail.
- Meetings can be real or virtual (telephone conference, video-conferencing, e-mail, etc).
- Offices assumed upon election or appointment are voluntary posts and as such are unpaid.
1. The IMSA Council has the following powers:
- Act within the objects of IMSA;
- Appoint the persons who will be authorized to sign on behalf of the association and to determine their mode of signature (but at least two persons may duly represent IMSA);
- Represent and commit IMSA with regard to third parties;
- In case of any officer resignation or incapacity, appoint another delegate to the related position until the next General Assembly meeting;
- Prepare and convene ordinary and extraordinary General Assemblies, and execute its resolutions;
- Appoint any commission it deems necessary;
- Prepare and enforce internal rules and regulations;
- Review membership applications (see Articles 8 and 10 here above);
- Propose the amount of the membership subscription to the General Assembly;
- Hold the accounts of the association.
2. The IMSA Council is also competent in all matters that are not reserved to other bodies by the Statutes.
- Resolutions of the IMSA Council are taken by a 2/3 (two third) majority of members who vote, and only when a majority of its members are attending, but at least 8 (eight) of them
- In case of a tie, the President or the Chair of the meeting has a casting vote.
- The proceedings and resolutions of the IMSA Council must be recorded in the minutes.
- The minutes of the meeting are signed by the President and another member of the IMSA Council (generally the secretary).
C: The Management Board
1. The Management Board is the executive, operational and administrative body that assists the President and the IMSA Council in the day-to-day management of IMSA activities and implements specific mandates given by the President and the IMSA Council. The members of the Management Board have no right to vote in the IMSA Council.
2. The Management Board is composed of:
- the Chairman;
- the IMSA President
- the IMSA Treasurer
- the Chief Executive Officer;
- other IMSA officials, directors or employees.
3. The composition of the Management Board and the appointment of its members for a period of 4 (four) years are approved by the IMSA Council, following the President’s proposals.
4. The Management Board:
- manages ordinary activities and resources;
- coordinates current activities of IMSA management activities;
- implements decisions and reaches objectives set by the President and the IMSA Council;
- monitors and supervises the implementation of decisions and progresses towards objectives set by the President and the IMSA Council;
- provides drafts budget for the IMSA Council and recommendations on budget amendments if required;
- supervises implementation of the budget, determines reasons for overspending and for any other deviation from approved estimates.
5. The President and the Management Board can appoint experts and advisors to advise and assist them in fulfilling their duties.
6. The Management Board’s decisions may be appealed to the IMSA Council.
- The General Assembly may appoint one (1) internal Auditor, for a one (1) year period; re-election is permissible. The General Assembly shall also appoint a qualified external auditor (art. 69b of Swiss Civil Code is applicable).
- The Auditors are different and independent from the IMSA Council and the Management Board.
The Auditors provide the General Assembly with a yearly report regarding the annual accounts (from January 1st to December 31st) of the association.
Chapter - 4 Finances and Accounting Year
1. The resources of IMSA shall be made up of:
- Affiliate Members’, Associate Members’ and Observers’ subscriptions;
- income from the World Mind Sports Games or other events sanctioned by IMSA;
- gifts and donations,
- and any other projects or resources approved by the IMSA Council.
2. The Management Board shall set up regulations and guidelines for the finances, bids and contracts, and the IMSA Council shall review and decide on the adoption of these regulations at the IMSA Council meetings.
- The amount of the annual membership subscription shall be fixed by the Annual Ordinary General Assembly on the proposal of the IMSA Council.
- It shall be paid at the latest within 30 days of the decision of the General Assembly fixing the membership subscription.
- The membership subscription is valid for the whole year, even in case of admission or resignation/suspension/exclusion during the year.
The accounting year of IMSA runs from January 1st to December 31st, annually.
The assets of the association shall be solely responsible for the commitments of the association, to the exclusion of any liability of its members.
Chapter - 5 Modifications of the Statutes
- The General Assembly solely has the power to modify the Statutes of the association.
- To be valid, the amendment must be approved by 2/3 (two-thirds) of the votes of the members attending the General Assembly, within respect of Article 20 about quorum.
Chapter - 6 Final Provisions-Dissolutions-Liquidation
The authority for interpreting any dispute arising out of these Statutes, or any regulations or any By-Laws appertaining thereto, shall reside in the President, who shall seek the advice of the IMSA Council before making a final decision.
- In the event of a dispute, controversy, interpretation or claim arising from or related to the Statutes, regulations, directives and decisions of IMSA, the members and the association shall use their best endeavors to immediately resolve the matter amicably, i.e. through an agreed mediation process and mediator. This disposition shall be applied before application of Article 36.2 hereunder.
- Any dispute, controversy, interpretation or claim arising from or related to the Statutes, regulations, directives and decisions of IMSA shall be submitted exclusively to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Lausanne, Switzerland, to the exclusion of any ordinary court or other tribunal. Where a dispute is so submitted to the CAS, the Code of Sport-related Arbitration shall be applicable, the language of the procedure will be English or French and the decision of the CAS shall be final.
- Any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with the above matters and the Statutes shall be exclusively governed and construed in accordance with Swiss law.
- The General Assembly may decide at any time to dissolve the association.
- The decision must be approved by 2/3 (two-thirds) of the votes of the members attending the General Assembly, within respect of Article 20 about quorum.
- The liquidation shall be carried out by the IMSA Council, unless the General Assembly decides otherwise.
- The General Assembly retains the right to approve the liquidation accounts and to grant discharge.
- After payment of the debts, the available assets shall be allocated in accordance with the decision of the General Assembly to the achievement of objectives similar to those of the association.
No discussion or votes by IMSA shall affect in any way the freedom and independence of any member, who shall, in all cases, retain complete independence and control falling within the field of its activity.
These Statutes have been modified, proposed by IMSA Council, and approved by the IMSA Executive Committee on September 9th, 2023. They became effective on September 10th, 2023, and replaced all previous versions.