IAM Election Committee- Not living up to the IAM Board Vision?

There is a discrepency between the stated vision of the IAM Board regarding the eligibility of people to join the IAM as a member and what the Election Committee tells to people. Can someone in the Election Committee please explain?

The more strict criteria of the Election Committee is now being used to deny IAM Membership to a number of my supporters. At least 2 have complained so far to me, so I would require a prompt explanation, if possible.

I suspect that the Election Committee is not interpreting “a member of the IAM community” as broadly as it was meant by the IAM Board. Among my supporters that are being denied are Mike Rodin, who won the 2018 Ontario Memory Championship this year and Yang Tchew who is a Canadian Memory Championship Board Member and who was on hand this year to help run the 2018 Canadian Memory Championship.

Both are being told that they have to participate in IAM event to be part of the IAM community. This, in my opinion, is clearly not what the IAM Board had in mind to see happening.

Hi Simon,

Regarding your topic:

The election committee’s interpretation is based on the considerations and intentions of the election rules, which are in particular reflected in no. 3.a) which literally mentions “IAM helpers and volunteers”, and was made consulting the Board.

Best wishes,


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My first reaction to this is that the eligibility criteria for IAM Membership makes it impossible for a significant number of memory athletes to join the IAM as a member. IAM membership is ceryainly not as easy to get everywhere.

It also leads me to wonder if you need to be an IAM member in order to run as a candidate in the IAM Election.

As far as I know, I have had never volunteered or participated in the IAM before.

However, I have volunteered as a candidate in this election and therefore this may be why I received my membership and have voting rights.

It is interesting for me to find that running as a candidate in the IAM election is the most economical way to join this group. Any other means would have cost me over $800 or 521 Euro.

This membership sure is prestigious here in Canada. I am investigating others who told me they applied and didn’t get rejected. If they can confirm this with a screenshot, I will have more questions to put forward here soon.

One needs to be a member in order to become a candidate, yes.

As far as I understand, you could become a candidate because you took part in Memory League events online which, according to the election rules, also counts as being active.

Feel free to inquire.

Best wishes,


Joining the IAM as a member is basically open for everybody.

But in order for a member to attain voting rights it is required that they have been active in the last 3 years within IAM or partner organizations as an athlete, arbiter, organizer or volunteer because for the right to decide about the future course of IAM it is expected to have shown a certain commitment in the past.

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See here:

Just out of curiosity: Why do you post the screenshots here for everyone to see instead of contacting the IAM for clarification?

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I did this probably for the same reason as to why you posted your screenshot here and didn’t send them off privately to me instead. It is okay with me. I have, by the way, used private messaging as well.

Yes, I have participated in this online competition a full 2 years ago. Yes, I remember now. So now I understand why I am a member and I realize that it isn’t that pricey at all, which is good to know. Thank you.

Election Committee:

In the reply that the applicants received, there is no mention of the online Memory League Option as a way to earn voting rights, as you can see in the snapshot provided.

It would have been great had a mention about ML been added up there. Maybe next time. Keep up the good work! It is great that you try and explain things to IAM applicants. This election would not be possible without you. Thank you.

IAM Board, Simon:

First, thanks for your thorough and prompt answers. You are amazing. Second, you wrote the IAM has partner organizations. As a matter of curiosity, is Memory League the only organization recognized by the IAM where participation in their competitions will give you voting rights? Will involvement in say, the US Memory Championship or any other championship in the past 3 years give you voting rights with the IAM?

I now wish I had asked for clarifications on these points before the Election.

I did this probably for the same reason as to why you posted your screenshot here

I don’t think so. Anyway, good luck for the election.

Hello Simon,

Thank you for your appreciation.

Regarding your remark: If you take a second look at the messages from the Election Committee, you will find a link to the Election Rules. The Election Rules mention Memory League.

On the other hand, participation in the US Memory Championship is not sufficient because IAM does not have any affiliation with that group.

Sufficient is a participation in events that can be found on iam-stats.org as ranked events, within the last 3 years, plus, to ensure equal treatment, events from organizers whose request to hold a ranked event had been approved but where the event could not be ranked due to factors outside the organizer’s control (no IAM arbiter available, for example), plus Memory League online and offline events. In the end it is about a sense of commitment as the overarching factor.

On a different note, I can say I, we value the work of the Election Committee very highly. Everyone involved is doing a thorough and impeccable job and they are sacrificing much of their spare time during this time of the year. We are happy to have them :).

Best wishes,


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It is a kind of job where a person is skewered for mistakes but largely ignored for competence and even excellence, and it is also a kind of job where every judgment call will be displeasing to some.