The National Association of Men's Morris & Sword Dance Clubs

The Constitution of the Morris Ring

This Constitution was agreed at the Annual Meeting of Club Representatives at Nottingham, 25th February 1978, and amended at the Annual Meetings at Sheffield, 26th February 1983, Yateley, 21st March 1987, Cheddar 16th March 1991; Moulton 21st March 1992 and Mendip 2011.

OBJECT AND DEFINITION

1. The object of the Morris Ring shall be to encourage the performance of the Morris, to maintain its traditions and to preserve its history; to bring into contact all the Men's Morris Clubs or Teams. The purpose of the Ring is not to replace or supersede the existing organisations, but to subserve them. The Clubs shall in all respects retain their independence.

2. The Morris Ring shall be an association of Men's Morris, Sword and Mummers Clubs and Teams. Any established Men's Club or Team which meets regularly for Morris or Sword Dancing or Mumming, which restricts its dancing or acting members to men, and endeavours to uphold the standards and dignity of the Morris, shall be eligible for Membership of the Morris Ring.

GENERAL MEETING

3. A Meeting of Representatives of the Member Clubs shall be held annually for the conduct of business. Each Club shall have one vote. Additional meetings may be called at the Squire's discretion. In addition, a General Meeting of the Member Clubs must be held within six weeks of a written request by at least one third of the Member Clubs. A notice of this Meeting must be given at least three weeks before the Meeting.

OFFICERS

4. There shall be three Officers of the Morris Ring, to be called The Squire of the Morris Ring, The Bagman of the Morris Ring and The Treasurer of the Morris Ring. The Squire may appoint a deputy for any Officer in case of need. In the event of a vacancy occurring in the Office of Squire, the Advisory Council shall take such action as it thinks fit, pending an election to that Office.

5. The Squire, Bagman and Treasurer shall be elected biennially at the Annual Meeting of Club Representatives. The elections of Squire and Bagman shall take place in alternate years. The election of the Treasurer shall take place at the same time as the Squire. The Squire may not, but the Bagman and Treasurer may be re-elected. The Officers shall be elected by an absolute majority of the votes cast. If there are more than two candidates, Clubs shall indicate their order of preference and a transferable voting system will operate. A short biographical sketch, photograph and the nominating Club's supporting statement of not more than two hundred and fifty words, shall be submitted for each candidate, for circulation by the Bagman.

ADVISORY COUNCIL

6. The three officers, officers elect and all past officers of the Morris Ring for a maximum of six years following the conclusion of their term of office, together with the nine elected members shall constitute the Advisory Council of the Morris Ring. The duty of the Advisory Council shall be to advise and assist the Squire and the other elected officers to further the objects of the Morris Ring and to take action in an emergency. The Advisory Council shall meet at least one a year. In such cases where it is entrusted with executive powers, a quorum shall consist of five members, including three elected members.

7. Three Elected Members of the Advisory Council shall be elected at the Annual Meeting of Club Representatives each year. They shall serve for three years and will be eligible for re-election. For the sole purpose of choosing elected Members, Member Clubs will be allocated to nine areas within the United Kingdom and may only vote in one area. The candidate for an area must be a member of one of the area Clubs, be nominated by at least one of those Clubs and be elected by a simple majority of votes cast by Clubs in that area. Clubs from overseas shall be represented by the Officers. The only co-options to the Advisory Council are to be replacements for Elected Members, as appointed by the Squire.

ADMISSION INTO THE MORRIS RING

8. Admission of a Club into Membership of the Morris Ring shall, after recommendation by the Officers, be effected by a majority of votes cast at the annual Meeting of Club Representatives. Each Club so admitted shall be provided with a Symbol of its Membership of the Morris Ring, and shall, from within its members, depute a correspondent whose name and address shall be communicated to the Bagman, together with an indication of the central geographic location of the Club and details of the costume of the Club.

9. Clubs whose standards fall below those generally accepted by the Member Clubs, may, following the advice of the Officers, be suspended from Membership of the Morris Ring if at least two thirds of the votes cast at the Annual Meeting of Club Representatives are in favour of such suspension.

GENERAL

10. There shall be at least one gathering of Morris Men in each year, to be sponsored or Arranged by the Morris Ring.

11. The Morris Ring shall encourage research into all aspects of the Morris and conserve its history as it is able.

12. There shall be an annual subscription from each Club, the amount to be determined from time to time by the Annual Meeting of Club Representatives.

13. Any alteration to the Constitution shall require at least two thirds of the votes cast at the Annual Meeting of Club Representatives to be in favour of the alteration.

PERIODS OF NOTICE

14. Member Clubs shall have at least six months notice of the date of the Annual Meeting of Club representatives.

15. Nominations for the positions of the Officers and the Elected Members of the Advisory Council, proposed alterations to the Constitution and formal resolutions for discussion at the Annual Meeting of Club Representatives shall be received by the Bagman at least three months before the Meeting.

16. Details of the nominations for the positions of the Officers and the Elected Members of the Advisory Council, proposed alterations to the Constitution and formal resolutions for discussion at the Annual Meeting of Club Representatives shall be circulated by the Bagman to Member Clubs at least one month before the Meeting.

17. Clubs unable to send representatives to the Annual Meeting may, in the case of elections, send a postal vote to the Bagman, to arrive at last seven days before the Meeting.