Activity 1: Writing a constitution
Would you be a good constitution maker? Try this situation.
Six school teams in your area have decided to join together to compete against each other in a particular sport. (You choose the sport.) The new sports association is to have one member from each school on its board of management. It needs a constitution to set out which matters are to be decided by the association. For example, it will need a set of rules about what colours the teams wear when they are playing against each other - they cannot all have the same uniforms!
You have been chosen as your schools member of the board. An early task is to help set up the constitution for the new association. Here are important issues for the board of management to work out.
- Who needs to agree to the constitution before it starts being used?
- Who should have the power to make or approve the fixture of events?
- Who should decide the cut-off ages for team players?
- Who is the final authority on the game rules for association games?
- Who decides where individual teams will have their home ground?
- How should the constitution be changed if the need arises?
Your task is to decide which sorts of issues the board needs to be able to make rules about. You do not have to make the rules - just decide on the issues that need rules if the new association is to run fairly and smoothly.
1a Give your association a name.
1b Head a page of your workbook: The Constitution of [and fill in the name of your association].
1c List the six school members of the association on the page.
1d List the areas of rule-making power which your new association needs. You should list at least eight areas in which the new association should have power to make laws or rules.
1e Now that you have drafted your constitution, check that it covers both the situations below. If it does not, add to or change your constitution so that these situations are covered.
- Two schools each want to have the same nickname. Neither will give up the name. Have you given yourself the power to control the names of the clubs?
- Two friends are at different schools, and therefore on different teams. They decide they want to be in the same team. Have you given yourself the power in your constitution to allow this or prevent it?
1f Now it is time to test your constitution! Does it meet the needs of the following five situations? Give yourself one point for every yes response.