1 - Non Discrimination

This policy describes how the Association complies with the EQUALITIES ACT 2010.
Policy Statement

The Association does not discriminate on the grounds of gender, age, race, religion, sexual orientation, disability, or any other criterion, except as specifically outlined below.

How it is Implemented

Membership of the Association is open to all, and all members are entitled to enter its tournaments (subject to, in some cases, achieving a given qualification level).
The Association does not obtain or keep information concerning members’ colour, race, religion or sexual orientation. It does obtain and keep information about age (if under 18) and gender, but only for the purposes outlined below.

  • Disability - When the Association runs events, these are generally held in public buildings and the Association relies on the building owner to ensure that the requirements of the Equalities Act are met. Some events are held in private buildings, but these are normally events held by invitation only where the Association ensures that the individual needs of each participant are met.
    At its events the Association provides standard equipment (tables, chairs, boards, stones, clocks, etc.). Where a participant requires specialised (non-standard) equipment the participant is expected to supply this equipment. The use of such specialised or non-standard equipment will not be permitted if it puts the individual at an unreasonable advantage over his opponent (or puts the opponent at an unreasonable disadvantage).
    Where the participant requires personal assistance – for example to aid mobility - the participant is expected to arrange this and the Association will co-operate (for example the Association will not make an extra charge for such “helpers”).

    Case Study: A player with motor deficiency. A participant is physically unable to place stones on the board. One solution is for the Player to provide a specialised Board marked with Cartesian coordinates so that he can specify the location of his moves (“B3”, “K12”, etc.). The player is also responsible for providing an assistant who will place the stones on the Board for him, and for pressing the clock. In many cases the player’s opponent will be willing to undertake this task, but they are not forced to: for example, it is unreasonable to expect the opponent to do this when in overtime or byoyomi.

The Association does discriminate in the areas outlined below. In all cases the Association considers that such discrimination is permitted under the Equalities Act and passes the “proportionality” test.
  • Educational Status - The Association offers reduced membership rates for students – see the Membership Page for details.
  • Age Discrimination - The Association does discriminate on the basis of age in so far as it has reduced subscription rates for those under 18. It also runs some Junior (i.e. under 18) age-related events. It is noted that the government Equalities Office have specifically included “intellectual games” in its list of activities where age discrimination is specifically permitted.
  • Religious Belief Discrimination - The Association does not discriminate on the grounds of faith or religion. However, it may organise events at a date or time (for example on a Friday, Saturday, or Sunday) when members of a particular faith may feel that taking part is incompatible with their faith.
  • Gender Discrimination - The Association is aware that women are significantly under-represented, both in terms of membership and participation, and believes that it should take proportionate steps to encourage female membership and participation. We do this by organising two types of event
    1. Women’s only events such as Women’s training days.
    2. Pair Go Events. These are events which are open to teams of 2, who must be one male, one female (“Mixed Doubles”).
  • Externally Influenced Discrimination - On occasion the Association may be invited to send a representative to an event organised outside the UK where the Equalities Act does not apply, and where the qualification process involves discrimination. In such cases the Association will consider each case on its merits before deciding whether or not to accept such an invitation. In general the Association will accept such invitations where the discrimination is on the grounds of Gender, Age or Nationality, but not where the discrimination is on the grounds of Colour, Race or Religion.

Supporting Information

These statements refer only to events specifically organised by the Association.

The link for the Government Guide covering age discrimination in intellectual games is: Equalities Act Guide

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Last updated Tue Feb 21 2023.
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