France have gained the right to full membership of the International Polocrosse Council (IPC) but their fellow European associate members have suggested that they may consider not remaining as associate members due to the increase in affiliation fees. France were apparently told of the decision in late 2013 after it was discussed at the IPC meeting in July 2013. France have not confirmed yet whether they will accept the full membership but it seems likely that they will.
Full membership does mean an increase in affiliation fees to be paid to the IPC and it is not clear yet whether it would guarantee France a place at the 2015 World Cup, as previous world cups have been structured to accommodate teams from 8 countries and if France take up full membership there would be 9 full members of the IPC. France would become the third European member of the IPC, joining the United Kingdom and Ireland as full members.
Three other European nations are currently associate members, Germany, Holland and Norway, though all have recently suggested they may not stay as members in light of the IPC raising associate affiliation fees from AUS $300 to $600 per year. Full membership fees were also increased from $600 to $1,000 for the eight full countries and this was voted through at the last IPC meeting in July 2013. However the associate countries do not have a vote at IPC meetings and therefore got no say in the fee increases.
The associate countries have suggested that the doubling of IPC affiliation fees will mean that most of their own membership fees will be spent paying for their countries’ registration to the IPC and that they do not feel that it represents value for money, given they have no vote within the IPC and no right to play at events such as the world cup. Per the IPC minutes the increase in fees was necessary in order to fund the travel of the IPC executive commitee to IPC sactioned events, as its important for the IPC to be represented at these events. The vast majority of IPC membership fees each year is spent on travel costs and the cost of hosting meetings.
Aside from gaining full membership, 2014 is also set to be a busy year for France, as they are hosting the European Challenge at Bouvelinghem, located in Pas de Calais from the 17-21st July and are due to be demonstrating polocrosse at the World Equestrian Games (WEG) which is being held in northern France in August and September 2014.