Starting a new chapter of an existing club makes a lot of sense, and is
generally not frowned upon as in starting a new club. However, let this not be seen as an easy way to
get patched, or to inherit respect. As with all biking protocol, there is
an accepted and correct way of going about this.
These are the broad guidelines. We must stress that the specific procedural requirements will depend on the local
controllong body's rules.
The new chapter automatically becomes the same type of club as the mother club, and inherits its name and patch. Regarding the
patch, the only difference in most cases will be the location embroidering. The name and patch of the mother club are usually already approved and registered, so this should
pose no problem at all.
Starting the process
The process can start in many ways as there are many possible situations. For example, it may be that those wanting to start the new
chapter are already members of the mother club who have relocated, or it may be that they are a unique group in another town or city who are good
friends of the mother club etc. Whatever the situation, dialogue between the mother club and those wanting to start the new chapter will continue
until all parties are 100% happy. Amongst others, the mother club will ensure that:
The new chapter conforms to the minimum requirements for starting a new club. See starting a new club.
The constitution of the proposed new club does not differ from that of the mother club.
Agreement will be reached regarding the leadership structure.
The new chapter leader becomes a "chapter leader"
It could be that the mother club does not want to fragment its
leadership. In this case the most senior member of the proposed new
chapter becomes a "chapter leader" and that chapter falls under the
leadership of the mother club.
The new chapter leader becomes a "president"
The proposed new chapter may be given the freedom to run themselves, in
which case they operate under their own president. In many cases they
still operate under the mother club, the president of which now inherits
the title of "national president".
Finally, when all the ground work between mother club and new
chapter is complete, the mother club should draught a document regarding
its intention of starting the new chapter than arrange to attend the
next controlling body meeting in the area where the new
chapter will be be formed. At this meeting, which should be attended by
the leader of the mother club as well as the leader of the new chapter,
this document is presented and permission requested to start the new
At this point the local controlling body will specify what
happens next, according to their rules. In many cases we would assume
that this procedure would not differ much (if at all) from their
procedure to start a new club. The new chapter leader or president
should not attend the first meeting referred to above wearing a patch,
as this would be regarded as arrogant seeing that they have not received
a blessing to start the chapter yet, and have not been told what is
required of them. Once again, each application to start a new chapter is
unique and rules may differ depending on the club applying. For example,
there may be different requirements for the older respected clubs as
opposed to the newer clubs. We will leave it at that for now.
OSBM invites the controlling bodies to send us links to the pages on their web sites that deal with their specific requirements for starting a new chapter. As we receive the
links, we will publish them here. At this time we find no such published information.
A new chapter in a new area is the SAME as a new club in that area. That's how the established clubs in that area will see it.
For that reason the new chapter must prove themselves worthy, just as if they were establishing a new club. If you start a chapter without following accepted protocol, you run
the risk of becoming unpopular in your local biking community. If you want their respect, do what they require of you, and do it right.