How the FPUSA works

[updated 2018-07-07]
I’ve been curious about how FPUSA officers are elected, and about how the FPUSA works in general.  I found answers to my questions in the FPUSA constitution and bylaws.

FPUSA organizational structure
The organizational structure of the FPUSA has three layers.

FPUSA board of directors
national officers
(elected by club presidents)
regional counselors
(elected by club presidents)
club president (elected by club members)
individual member

FPUSA board of directors
The governing body of the FPUSA is the FPUSA board of directors, which in recent years has consisted of 17 members— 5 national officers (President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer, and National Sports Director) and 12 regional counselors. Information about the current board can be found on the FPUSA website.

I don’t know why they are called “regional counselors”… a better term would be “regional representative”. The regional counselors are the elected representatives of the clubs in the seven regions. The number of counselor-representatives is based on the number of individual FPUSA members in the region. Each of the seven regions has at least one counselor; some have two.

Regional counselors and national officers serve two-year terms.   Elections for half of the regional counselors, and for the FPUSA President and Treasurer, are held in November of odd-numbered years.  Elections for the other regional counselors and the other FPUSA national officers are held in even-numbered years.  So in November 2015 there was an election for FPUSA President.

The Board of Directors holds a regular Annual Meeting once a year, and may meet in special meetings on an as-needed basis.  Unless the President closes the meeting, any FPUSA member may attend any meeting of the Board of Directors.  Minutes of the meetings are taken by the Secretary and distributed to Board Members after the meetings.  The Annual Meeting typically takes place in conjunction with the FPUSA World Championship Qualification Tournament.  In 2015, that took place September 12/13 at the Fresno Petanque Club.

In order to be FPUSA President, a person must have been a member of the Board of Directors (in some other capacity) for at least 3 years, and an FPUSA member for at least 5 years. For Vice-President, the corresponding requirements are 2 years and 4 years, respectively. And so on for the other regional and national offices.

FPUSA standing committees
The FPUSA has a number of standing committees whose job is to discharge specific functions. Some of the national officers chair standing committees.

  • The National Sport Committee is a 5-person committee headed by the National Sport Director. The responsibilities of the National Sport Director are quite broad. They include responsibility for the rules, administration of the umpire corps, running regional and national competitions, handling tournament hosting bids, and “promotion of the game (including youth development and outreach)”.
  • The Discipline Committee is responsible for processing disciplinary complaints and actions. The chair of the committee is appointed by the President each year.
  • The Communications Committee is chaired by the Secretary of the Board. It is responsible for official communication among the Board of Directors, as well as official communications with the FPUSA member clubs and the FIPJP (the international federation). It is responsible for publishing the annual newsletter, maintaining the FPUSA website, and advertising.
  • In addition to the standing committees, the Board may create special committees for specific purposes. In 2018, for example, a special committee was created for strategic planning.

1 thought on “How the FPUSA works

  1. On Facebook, Ernesto Santos made this comment—
    Presidents of clubs are not necessarily voted in by their members. Most club hold elections, some don’t. Some are direct elections in which presidents are voted in by the members. Some elect board members who then select the president and other officers.

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