The Rules of Bristol Central Tennis Club


The Club shall be called the “Bristol Central Tennis Club”, (formerly known as “Bristol Central Conservative (Lawn) Tennis Club”), and may be referred to here as BCTC.  It is located off Derby Road, St Andrews, Bristol.

Defined Terms:

Club:               Bristol Central Tennis Club (BCTC).

Committee:     The Management Committee of the Club.

Officer:           A person having a defined role within the Club administration.

LTA:               Lawn Tennis Association: the governing body of tennis in Great Britain and its subsidiaries or such successor entity or entities as become(s) the governing body of the game in England from time to time.  The present LTA HQ is at 100 Priory Lane, SW15 5JQ.

CLTA:            The county (currently ‘Avon Tennis CIO’) branch of the LTA.

Rules:              This document.

LTA Rules:     Rules governing the LTA and its Affiliated Counties and Associated Clubs.

Club-play:       Periods set aside for players who have reached a basic standard.


2.1       The Club is an Unincorporated Association of Members.  It fulfils the requirements of a Community Amateur Sports Club (CASC) as specified by HMRC.

2.2       The objects of the Club are to:

(a)   Provide facilities for and generally to promote, encourage and facilitate the playing of tennis amongst the community.

(b)   Provide and maintain Club premises and club-owned tennis equipment for the use of its Members.

(c)   Provide other ordinary benefits of an amateur sports club as set out in Schedule 18 of the Finance Act 2002 including provision of suitably qualified coaches, coaching courses, insurance, post-match refreshments.

(d)   Sell or supply food or drink as a social adjunct to the sporting purposes of the Club.

(e)   Take and retain a membership of the CLTA (and by doing so become and remain registered as an associate of the LTA) and to comply with and uphold the Rules and Regulations of the CLTA, as amended from time to time, and the LTA Rules and the LTA Disciplinary Code and the rules and regulations of any body to which the LTA is registered or affiliated.

(f)   Do all such other things as the Committee thinks fit to further the interests of the Club.

2.3       The first three courts, Clubhouse etc. situated off Derby Road, St. Andrews, were given to the “Bristol Unionist Association for Lawn Tennis” by the late Mr. John Mycroft Boucher in or before 1932 to provide facilities for Lawn Tennis including a Clubhouse to provide refreshments and social amenities for Members and to employ the funds of the Club for the purpose and object of the Club.  The building of the fourth court was made possible by fund-raising and loans.

2.4       The title to the Club land is held by BCTC Land Ltd., a company limited by guarantee.  The Officers of the Company shall be elected by the Committee and all the decisions shall be approved by the Committee.  As of 2011, the area encompassed by the Club land includes the four courts, the Clubhouse and garden, and a parcel of land behind courts 1 and 2 which includes 4 lock-up garages.

2.5       The Club is a non-profit-making organisation.  All surplus income is re-invested in the Club.  No surpluses or assets will be distributed to Members or third parties.  However, this does not prevent the entering of an agreement with a Member for supply of goods or services for, or of employment by, the Club providing these are agreed with the Member on an arm’s length basis.

2.6       In the event of the dissolution of the Club:

(a)   The land occupied by the Clubhouse, garden, and courts 1, 2 and 3 must be offered to the “Bristol Unionist Association” at the current market value in accordance with existing covenants.  The proceeds of such sale of land become assets of the Club for disposal in accordance with rule 2.6(b) below.  The land occupied by the 4th court and the parcel of land to the rear of court 1 will remain the property of BCTC Land Ltd.

(b)  Any assets remaining after the satisfaction of all debts and liabilities shall not be paid to or distributed among the Members of the Club, but shall be given or transferred to one or more of the following approved sporting or charitable bodies:

  1. Registered charitable organisation(s).
  2. Another Club which is a registered Community Amateur Sports Club (CASC).
  3. The LTA for use by them for related community sports.


3.1       The Club shall consist of Honorary Members, Playing Members and Non-Playing (Social) Members.  The Playing Members are to be sub-divided into:

  • Full Members
  • Improver Members
  • Student Members
  • Junior Members, and
  • Other categories as are from time-to-time decided as appropriate by the Committee.

Details of some of these membership options are given in (4) below.


  • Application for Membership
  • Membership of the Club shall be open to anyone interested in tennis on application regardless of sex, age, disability, race, colour, ethnicity, nationality, creed, occupation, sexual orientation, religion, political or other beliefs.
  • To avoid over-demand for the playing facilities, the Committee are empowered, at their discretion, to limit the maximum number of Members at any one time, as long as this limit is not less than 100.
  • Conditions of membership

Each Member (of each category) agrees as a condition of membership that they will be bound by and subject to the Rules of BCTC and by the Rules and Regulations of the relevant CLTA (as in force from time to time); and to be bound by and subject to the LTA Rules and the Disciplinary Code of the LTA.  This confers a benefit on the LTA and, subject to the remaining provisions of this Rule, is intended to be enforceable by the LTA by virtue of the Contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Act 1999.  For the avoidance of doubt, the Members do not intend that any term of these Rules apart from this one should be enforceable, by virtue of the above mentioned Act, by any person who is not a party to these Rules.  A further condition of membership is that the Committee may, subject to Clause 8.6, terminate the membership of any person, or impose any sanction it determines to be appropriate, in connection with the breach of any condition of membership set out in this Rule.  The Membership Secretary is responsible for conveying these conditions to persons applying for membership and for seeking their agreement to them.

  • Applications for Membership to the Club shall be submitted to the Membership Secretary who is empowered to accept applications unless he is aware of a possible issue which needs consideration by the Committee. The Committee shall have the authority to reject applications by a simple majority where membership of that candidate would be contrary to the best interests of Tennis or the good conduct and interests of the Club.
  • The Licensing Rules dictate that persons may not be admitted to membership without an interval of at least two days between their application for membership and admission.
  • The Category of Membership (Full, Improver etc.) of all playing Members may be subject to assessment by the Membership Secretary and/or other Members of the Committee. For new applicants, this categorisation may take place by invitation to a Club-play period prior to becoming a Member.

4.2       Subscriptions

  • Subscriptions are due at times as laid down by the Committee and may be for a year or for a part year.
  • Members whose subscriptions continue to be unpaid after a one month period shall be deemed to have resigned from the Club.
  • The level of subscription etc. will be displayed on the notice board, and will be kept at a level that will not pose a significant obstacle to people participating. At the discretion of the Membership Secretary pro rata reduced subscriptions may be accepted from Members wishing to join for part of the year.
  • At the discretion of the Membership Secretary reduced subscription may be accepted from Members normally residing more than 30 miles from the Club (“Country Membership”).
  • When a Member resigns before the end of the subscription year, subscriptions are non-refundable, unless the Membership Secretary and Chairperson, if both are in agreement, choose to make a partial refund where the circumstances are considered appropriate.

4.3       Full Members

Full Members are adults and have full privileges of the Club.  They are eligible for selection to Club teams.  Some Club tournaments and some Club play sessions may be restricted to Full Members.

4.4       Junior Members

  • Juniors are 18 years old or younger on the 31st August of the year their subscription is due. There are two types of Junior members – Junior Full Members who have many of the privileges of Full Members, and all other Junior members who are not full members of the Club.
  • All Junior Members, whether Full or otherwise, who are under the age of 14 are only permitted to use the Club under the direct supervision of an adult unless by prior authorisation by the Committee. This requirement is for the safety of the Junior, but the Club cannot ensure Junior safety, and it is always the responsibility of the parent or guardian to judge whether a child over the age of 14 should be allowed to play unsupervised.
  • Junior Full Members are admitted on the basis of having achieved a minimum standard of play. They are eligible for junior Club tournaments, for selection for Club teams, and may be invited to play in adult tournaments and Club play sessions.
  • Other Juniors pay a smaller subscription than Full Juniors. They may play when a coach or responsible adult is present, and in junior Club tournaments.
  • Junior Members may attend social functions at the discretion of the Committee.

4.5       Weekday Members

Weekday Members may use the courts on Mondays to Fridays (subject to availability) before 6:00 pm.  They are not eligible for selection to Club teams.

4.6       Weekend Members

Weekend Members may use the courts on a Saturday or a Sunday (subject to availability).  They are eligible for selection to Club teams where the matches are held on these days.

4.7       Improvers

In order to encourage those adults who have not played tennis before, or have played but need some help to reach the basic standard of Club play, the Club has a category of Member called ‘Improver’.  This is organised as follows:

  1. Improvers take part in a special coaching package which includes attendance at a group coaching course and 6 months of Club membership, but with certain conditions.
  2. At the Committee’s discretion, Improvers may be invited to Club events or Club play, and may have courts allocated at other times which are specifically and only for their play.
  3. When Improvers have reached a required standard, which may be assessed at any time by a coach, appropriate Captain, or any such person as identified by the Committee, they will be invited to play in one or more Club play periods. At this point they will become eligible for selection for Club teams.
  4. Improvers who have attained the required standard are invited to become Full Members once their Improver Membership has expired. Those who have not reached the standard may elect to continue as Improvers for a second term of 6 months (with or without group coaching) upon payment of the appropriate Improver membership fee, but with the same play-restrictions as before.
  5. Improver membership will automatically terminate after two periods of 6 months’ membership with no rights to continue membership. Improvers may be invited to re-apply for a third or subsequent term of Improver membership at the discretion of the Committee.

4.8       Non-Playing Members

The Membership Secretary shall deal with applications for Non-playing Membership and such Members will be liable for an annual subscription.  Applications for non-playing membership will not be accepted where this would result in the non-playing membership exceeding 5% of the aggregate of Honorary, Full, and Improver Members.

4.9       Student Members

Student Members are those who are 19 years of age or older on the 31st August of the year in which their subscription is due, and are in full-time education whether in Bristol or elsewhere.  They have the same privileges as Full Members.

4.10     Honorary Members

The Committee may make recommendations for granting Honorary Life Membership to an existing Member who has given exceptional service to the Club or to tennis in general.  Such proposals shall be put to the Members at a general meeting.  Such Members shall have the same rights as Full Members.

4.11     Resignation

Any member wishing to resign from the Club is expected to give written notice to the Membership Secretary and return their Club key.


5.1       A General Meeting shall be held annually not later than the end of December, with fifteen voting Members to form a quorum.  Full, Improver and Honorary Members are entitled to vote.

The purpose of the meeting is as follows:

  • To receive an audited Statement of Accounts for the past year
  • To elect the following:
    • The Committee for the following year, including those standing for re-election.
    • Officers of the Club (where nominated) for the following year.
    • Honorary Auditor(s), who shall not be Committee Member(s).
    • New Honorary Members.
  • To approve or amend the Committee recommendation for the subscription for Full Membership (other subscriptions are decided by the newly formed Committee prior to the new subscription year)
  • To approve or amend Rule changes proposed by the Committee.
  • To vote on specific motions as set out in the agenda.

Note that election to the Committee is based on a simple majority of those present and voting.

5.2       An Extraordinary Meeting of the Club may be called at any time:

  • By the Committee, or
  • By any Members entitled to attend and vote at General Meeting if notified in writing to the Hon Secretary at least 21 days in advance and signed by fifteen such Members

5.3       The names of Members who may be nominated for Office (who must be Full Members) under Rule 5.1 together with names of their proposer and seconder (who must be Full Members) shall be displayed on the notice board at least 2 days before the General Meeting at which elections are to be held.

5.4       Members wishing to put a motion to the meeting must notify the Hon Secretary in writing seven days before the meeting.


  • The Committee

The Committee will consist of a maximum of fourteen Members each of whom is elected for one year, but who may stand for re-election in every year.  The Committee will include the following specific posts or “Officers” who will be elected either at the Annual General Meeting, or, where no name is put forward at that time, by the new Committee:

  • Chairperson
  • Hon Treasurer
  • Hon Secretary
  • Membership Secretary
  • Ladies’ Captain
  • Men’s Captain
  • Match Secretary
  • Coach/Representative of the Junior Membership
  • Bar Steward

In addition, a number of additional Full Members can be elected at the AGM as Committee Members without portfolio.  The Committee may also co-opt Members on to the Committee when required.

Seven Committee Members to form a quorum.

6.2       Committee Members – Fit and Proper Persons Requirement

Nominees for election to the Committee and to Offices including that of Auditor, and all cheque signatories, must satisfy HMRC’s Fit and Proper Persons test to be involved in the management of the club, and must declare that he/she is a fit and proper person prior to election or to co-option by the Committee.  A pro-forma must be completed by these Members and Officers which may be called for by HMRC.

6.3       Application of Rules to Committee Members

Each Member of the Committee will be required, as a condition of election or appointment, to agree to be bound by and subject to these Rules, the Rules and Regulations of the relevant CLTA and the LTA Rules and the LTA Disciplinary Code.  Such agreement must contain an express acknowledgement that the Contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Act 1999 applies and that the LTA and the Club can enforce any breach at its option and in its sole discretion.

6.4       Emergency Committee

In an emergency, any three of the following may form a quorum:  the Chairman, the two Captains, the Hon Treasurer, the Membership Secretary and the Hon Secretary.

6.5       Any Committee Member who fails to attend three consecutive Committee Meetings shall cease, at the discretion of the Committee, to remain a member of the Committee and the Committee shall have the power to co-opt a new Committee Member in his or her place.


7.1       The Committee will attend to the administration of the Club, and at the first meeting following the Annual General Meeting shall:

  • Elect such Officers and sub-committees as shall be necessary for the proper administration of the Club.
  • Elect the Officers of BCTC (Land) Ltd.
  • Ensure that the names of the Committee Members and the amounts for the Club subscription, fees, etc. are displayed in the Clubhouse.

7.2       At the final meeting of the Committee it shall ensure that the notice of the Annual General Meeting is made according to rule 5.1 and that the following are available for presentation at the meeting:

  • Audited Accounts for the year
  • Itemised agenda with speakers
  • Such amendments to subscriptions, fees etc. as they may wish to recommend
  • Any proposals for Honorary Members

7.3       A brief summary of any resolutions passed in committee shall be posted in the Clubhouse for general information.

7.4       The Committee will actively encourage members to stand for nomination for Club Officer and Committee Member positions.

7.5       Every member of the Committee, employee or agent of the Club shall be indemnified by the Club and the Committee shall pay all costs, losses and expenses which any such member of the Committee, employee or agent may incur or for which he may become liable by reason of any contract entered into or act or thing done by him in good faith as such member of the Committee, employee or agent in accordance with the instructions of the Committee or of a general meeting of the Club or otherwise in the discharge of his duties. The Committee may give to any member of the Committee, employee or agent of the Club who has incurred or may be about to incur any liability at the request of or for the benefit of the Club such security by way of indemnity as may seem expedient.


8.1       The Committee shall have the power to elect such Officers and sub-committees to act on behalf of the Committee as shall be necessary for the proper administration of the Club.  The Committee shall decide the duties and the authority of the sub-committees.

8.2       The Committee shall have power to make, repeal and amend such regulations and standing orders (but not these Rules) as it may from time to time consider necessary for the wellbeing of the Club provided that they shall not prejudice the Club’s status as a Community Amateur Sports Club. Such regulations and standing orders and any repeals or amendments to them shall have effect until set aside by the Committee.

8.3       The Rules of the Club shall be binding on all Members.  Any question as to the interpretation of these Rules shall be determined by the Committee whose decision is final.

8.4       The Committee shall have power to reserve the Clubhouse and any or all the courts for tournaments or league matches or for Club Coaching sessions.  Rarely, the Clubhouse may be used for non-tennis events, subject to prior approval by the Committee.  Due notice of all reservations will be posted in the Clubhouse.

8.5       The Committee has the power to suspend any person from the Club’s premises at their discretion.

8.6       Expulsion

8.6.1 Subject to the remaining provisions of this rule, the Committee shall have power to refuse membership or expel a Member only for good and sufficient cause, such as conduct or character likely to bring the Club or the Game into disrepute.  Expulsion may also be considered if a Member flagrantly and repeatedly refuses to follow the Club Code of Conduct as agreed and displayed in the Club by the Committee.

8.6.2 A Member shall not be expelled unless he is given 14 days written notice of the meeting of the Committee at which his expulsion shall be considered and written details of the complaint made against him.

8.6.3 The Member shall be given an opportunity to appear before the Committee to answer complaints made against him. The member must not be expelled unless at least two-thirds of the Committee then present vote in favour of his expulsion.

8.6.4 The Committee may exclude the Member from the Club’s premises until the meeting considering his expulsion has been held. For the avoidance of doubt, the member shall be entitled to attend that meeting for the purpose of making his representations.

8.6.5 The Member may appeal against the Committee’s decision by notifying the Committee who shall put the matter to the Club’s members in general meeting and decided by a majority vote of members present and voting at such meeting.

8.7       To keep subscriptions at an acceptable level, Members may be requested to attend working parties.

9          PLAY

9.1       Club play

At times set aside for Club play, Members are expected to play according to the system as organised for that purpose by the Committee.

9.2       Balls for Club Play

Balls will be provided for Club play and Members are responsible for ensuring that the number of tennis balls allocated to them is readily available at the completion of their play.

9.3       Clothing

Playing Members and guests must wear acceptable tennis clothing and footwear.  A Committee Member shall have the power to stop anyone playing who is considered to be improperly dressed.

9.4       Hours of play

The hours during which the Members shall be allowed on court shall be displayed on the Club Notice Board by the Committee.

9.5       Court booking

Certain periods will be set aside for booking by Members.  These times will be identified on the club’s online court booking system.  Members may book a maximum of 3 consecutive 30-minute periods.  Bookings may be made up to seven days in advance, according to the advance booking rights for various categories of member which shall be determined from time to time by the Committee and published on the club noticeboard.

9.6       The use of the floodlights during evening play shall be according to the planning permission as specified for their use.

10        COACHING

10.1     The Committee may appoint a Club Coach who will be responsible for the provision of coaches both for Club coaching sessions and for individual coaching.  The Committee may set aside courts for the coaching of Members and non-Members.

10.2     Members may receive coaching from the Club coaches at times set aside by the Committee for that purpose.  Coaching of Members or guests is also permitted during periods set aside for pre-booking.  Coaching of guests will require payment to the Club by the coach of guest fees as agreed from time to time by the Committee unless the Committee specifically waives this condition in particular circumstances.

10.3     Coaches should normally be licensed and registered by the LTA.  Where this is not the case, then any person acting as a coach is required to agree to be bound by and subject to these Rules, the Rules and Regulations of the relevant CLTA, and to the Rules and the Disciplinary Code of the LTA, such agreement to contain an express acknowledgement that the Contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Act 1999 applies and that the LTA and/or the Club can enforce any breach at its option and in its sole discretion.


11.1     Any Member is entitled to introduce guests to the Club, subject to the Rules of the Club, especially 11.3 below.  If the guest(s) play tennis, then the Member will be responsible for the payment of the appropriate playing fee and may, at the discretion of the Committee, be required to enter details in the Visitors Book.

11.2     Visiting teams and open tournaments.  Any player, coach, other team representative, match official or spectator attending the Club’s premises (by invitation of the Club) who is not a Member shall be a guest of the Committee, subject again to the Rules of the Club.

11.3     No guest shall be introduced to the Club, except by specific approval of the Committee for that visit, if that person has had an application for membership declined, is suspended, or their membership terminated by the Committee.

11.4     Guests may enjoy the full privileges of the Club during their visit, but any guest who purchases alcoholic drinks will be asked to enter their name and address in the Visitors Book along with the name of the Member making the introduction.

11.5     The Committee may, at their discretion, limit the number of guests that may be introduced at any one time by a member, or limit the number of times per year that a guest may be admitted to the Club, whether for playing tennis or otherwise using the Club’s facilities.  If such limits are introduced they will be advised to members, and posted on the noticeboard.

11.6     The Club agrees that so far as reasonably practicable, players and other persons using the facilities of the Club will be required, as a condition of such use, to agree to be bound by and subject to these Rules, the Rules and Regulations of the relevant CLTA, the LTA Rules and the LTA Disciplinary Code, such agreement to contain an express acknowledgement that the Contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Act 1999 applies and that the LTA and the CLTA can enforce any breach at its option and in its sole discretion.

12        CLUB HOURS

12.1     The Club will be available to Members and their Guests at any hour, subject to licensing rules, to council regulations regarding court lighting, and to ensuring that our neighbours are not inconvenienced.  Should circumstances demand, the Committee shall have the power to regulate hours of opening and closing of the Club, in which case these hours will be displayed on a Club noticeboard.

12.2     Bar Hours

The permitted hours of the Bar shall be those as may from time to time be fixed by the Council Licensing Authority.  The Committee may at their discretion apply to the Council for an extension of the permitted hours on special occasions.

13        CLUBHOUSE

13.1     The Clubhouse may be used for the playing of games of chance according to the provisions of the current Betting and Gaming Act.

13.2     A charge may be made to Members and visitors on not more than 12 occasions in each year for admission to any part of the Club premises upon which a social function is being held.

13.3     Musical instruments shall not be operated except under the direct supervision of a member of the Committee or their delegate.

13.4     Club keys are available to all adult Members on payment of a refundable deposit.  Keys are numbered and personally issued and must not be lent to other Members or guests.  The keys remain the property of the Club and may be recalled at any time.


14.1     Any person damaging the courts or any furniture, fittings etc. belonging to the Club must report to a member of the Committee, who may hold that person responsible for repairing or replacing that damaged item.

14.2     Members must follow the Club Code of Contact as laid down from time to time by the Committee and displayed on a Club noticeboard.


Members, their guests and visitors use the Club’s facilities and courts at their own risk and with the understanding that Committee Members will not be held liable for any loss, damage, injury etc. howsoever caused.


Membership details may be held on a computer.  The Club only holds such information deemed necessary for the proper administration of the Club.  Members may apply in writing to the Membership Secretary for details of such information held.


The Rules may only be altered by a two-thirds majority of those Members present and voting at a General Meeting.  All proposals for alterations must be received by the Hon Secretary at least seven days before the date of the General Meeting.  The Rules may not be amended so as to jeopardise the Club’s status as a Community Amateur Sports Club as first provided for by the Finance Act 2002 or to alter significantly the dissolution provisions as set out in Rules 2.4 and 2.5.


These rules were updated and adopted by the Members of the Club at the 2020 Annual General Meeting held on Friday, 4 December 2020 and are hereby signed as certified:

Ken Griffin, Chairman                              Carol Weeks, Hon Secretary (2020)