How the FPUSA works

revised 2022-05-08
I’ve been curious about how FPUSA officers are elected, and about how the FPUSA works in general.  I found answers to my questions on the FPUSA website, 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)
clubs & club presidents
individual member

Individual members
For a discussion of FPUSA individual membership and its benefits, see THIS.

Club presidents
Different clubs elect their presidents in different ways. Most clubs hold direct elections in which the club members vote for the president. Others elect club board members who then select the president and other club officers.

Regions and regional counselors (representatives)
The USA is divided up into seven regions. (For a map of the seven FPUSA regions, see below.) The club presidents in each region elect one (or possibly two, depending on the number of individual members in the region) regional counselors to be their representatives on the FPUSA board of directors. (For the current regional representatives, see THIS.) Elections for regional counselors are held each year in November, and regional counselors serve for two year. Elections for half of the regional counselors are held in even-numbered years, and for the other half in odd-numbered years. As of 2022 there are 13 regional representatives: Northeast (1), Mid-America (2), Southeast (3), Central (1), Southwest (2), Northern California (2), and Northwest (2).

National officers and the FPUSA board of directors
The FPUSA is governed by a Board of Directors. (For the current Board, see THIS.) The Board consists of two groups— regional counselors and national officers. There are five national officers— President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer, and National Sports Director. National officers are elected each year in November and serve for two years.

  • Elections for Vice-President, Secretary, and National Sports Director are held in even-numbered years.
  • Elections for President and for Treasurer are held in odd-numbered years.

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 meeting is closed to the public (which the President may determine is appropriate), 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.

FPUSA national officers
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.

The Board of Directors creates and supervises 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.

FPUSA regions and affiliated clubs
In December 2015 the map of the FPUSA regions and affiliated clubs looked like this.

Here’s a more detailed version of the map.

In 2016 FPUSA produced a new map that assigns every state to a region. The colors indicate the region. Stripes indicate a state that has at least one FPUSA-affiliated club, while dots indicate that the state contains no FPUSA clubs.

In 2020 the map looked like this. See the “Regions and Clubs” page on the FPUSA web site.

Is the FPUSA growing?
The FPUSA annual magazine for 2012-2013 published a chart on showing membership data for the 9 years 2003-2013. It shows that regarding total FPUSA individual memberships—

  • In the USA there are fewer than 1800 FPUSA members.
  • Between 2003 and 2012, total FPUSA membership increased by about 650 people.

Regarding FPUSA individual membership retention rates and turnover, in that nine-year period—

  • FPUSA recorded a total of almost 3000 (2915) new members.
  • For every player that joined FPUSA and continued as a member, more than three players joined and then dropped out.
  • More players (2261) joined the FPUSA and then dropped out, than the total current membership of the FPUSA (1751).

The chart shows the change in the number of clubs for each year, but not the number of new clubs each year. As a result, we can’t tell anything about the retention rate or turnover at the club level.

For 2008 the change in the number of clubs should be -2, not -1.FPUSA_membership_chart

As of 2022 the number of clubs in each region is: Northeast (4), Mid-America (5), Southeast (12), Central (5), Southwest (6), Northern California (8), and Northwest (7), for a total of 47. Compare that to 52 affiliated clubs in 2015.


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