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When you join an archery club as a full member for the first time, you also become a member of Archery GB, a county association such as CSAA and a regional association, like SCAS. Part of your annual fees go to these organisations and pay for things like your insurance to shoot in the case of AGB. 

Your AGB membership card will show the club and county that you affiliate to them through, for example, “CMO Bowmen” and “County of Surrey”. The membership year of these organisations runs from October 1st - September 30th, which can be confusing because many clubs’ membership periods are different.

The club that you affiliate to AGB through is known as your “first claim club”, and this carries with it some obligations. For instance at tournaments, you must shoot for your first claim club unless they have given you permission to shoot for another club. This applies to archers who belong to more than one club as associate members.

You are also only allowed to shoot for your affiliated county at county tournaments, and your region at regional events. You are able to change county and club affiliations mid-year by filling out a form with the help of your membership secretary, but you still cannot shoot for more than one county in the current year (Oct-Sept).

You may join a number of other clubs as an associate member, and enjoy the benefits that their club associate membership offers, but you are still affiliated to AGB through your first claim club unless you fill out an AGB transfer form to switch mid-season. If your associate club keeps your scores and issues a handicap, it is up to you as the archer to make sure that your first claim club has a copy of your records, and they must submit any county records to the county of your affiliation.

Here’s a handy table showing what’s what:

Activity Associate Member of CMO with Full Benefits Associate Member of CMO with Shooting Only
Shoot at CMO Regular Sessions YES YES
Shoot at CMO Fun Shoots & Events YES NO
CMO Records Officer Keeps Your Scores YES NO
Receive Handicaps and Classifications at CMO YES NO
Receive CMO Club Badges and Awards YES NO
Shoot for CMO at Other Clubs’ Events* NO NO
Shoot for County of Surrey NO NO

*You may shoot for CMO only with the permission of your first claim club