April 2003

 Report of ACBL Board of Directors Meetings

Philadelphia NABC, March 2003

Philadelphia put on a good show in 1996 and this year they did it again. The entertainment, food and hospitality was outstanding. There are many wonderful restaurants in the area and the famous Reading Terminal Market is just across the street. The tournament attendance was slightly better than expected, once again proving the value of a single-site location. There were many nay-sayers, especially among board members, who predicted that Philadelphia was going to be a disaster. (They also predict New York next year will be a disaster.) Their reasoning was that the high hotel rates and expensive parking would keep people away, resulting in low table count and penalties for not meeting our room block (neither happened). I predicted that Philadelphia would do fine for two main reasons: (1) one-site location (the single most important factor for success) and (2) the extremely large number of bridge players within three hours drive.

This is my shortest report ever. The reason is that the Board meetings were the shortest in history (at least the past 20 years) and if it werenít for the Masterpoint Committee we would have had extremely short minutes. As it is, these minutes are five pages shorter than any in my history. A contributing factor is that Phoenix extended later than normal and Philadelphia began sooner than usual, so Board members really had only about one month to get motions into the journal.

We approved a World Junior Individual Championship to be held every other year (in even years starting in 2004) in North America at the site of the Summer NABC. Unlike the World Junior Team Championship, this one is open to everyone who meets the age requirement (26 or under). It will begin with a short opening ceremony on the Wednesday evening preceding the final weekend at the site of the Summer NABC. There will be four sessions: Wednesday evening, Thursday afternoon and evening, and Friday afternoon. A closing ceremony and awards dinner will be Friday evening. Now if we could just find some Juniors to play in the event.

The Masterpoint Committee proposals mentioned above were for three different things. The first was the awards for the Europeon Bridge Championships in Menton in June -- and as I mentioned in my last report, ACBL players will be given ACBL masterpoints. It is interesting that open and womenís events are given the same award in Europe. Team games receive considerably more points than the pair events, but in the ACBL conversion teams get less than pairs.

The next thing from the Masterpoint committee was the conversion to ACBL masterpoints of WBF masterpoints won at WBF championship events. They based these awards on the closest NABC equivalent. Only overall placings will be converted and they will count towards our annual masterpoint races. The final thing from the Masterpoint committee was

amending the awards for club/internet games when there are 30 or more tables. Basically, the scale for overall awards for 4-session events will be used. This will be effective when clubs install ACBLscore version 7.10 or newer.

Our CEO wanted authorization to charge our affiliated organizations (Charity Foundation, Educational Foundation, USBF, Canadian Bridge Foundation and Charity) for ACBL services they provide. At the present time some are paying nothing and others a modest amount. I was against this for two reasons. First, I am not ever again going to vote to give Management blanket authority for anything. Every time it happens, we get burned. The last time one of these blanket authorities was passed we lost Easybridge! Second, these affiliates should not be treated the same. One of them, the Educational Foundation, currently does not pay any fees. But then the ACBL is constantly going to them to fund some project and they do. For example they fund the School Lesson Series, the Junior Camp, the Collegiate Program and almost anything with education or juniors in it. Unfortunately, I was only one of two who voted no.

Another motion I was against was that a person must be an ACBL member whose service fee or dues is current in order to play in an NABC+ event. This also was brought to us by our CEO. I donít mind charging additional fees to those who are not members or paid-up LMs, but to tell our Life Members that they arenít members unless they pay I think is wrong. On this one there were four others who feel the same way as I do.

We got a report that was supposed to be on the Tournament Director Education most of them received in Memphis last year. Instead it was pages of what wonderful rulings our Directors make. We asked for a report on the training, evaluation and costs in 2002 and complete plan for training and evaluation this year.

Appeals casebooks of each NABC have now been published for about ten years. Perhaps now is the time for a manual of appeals guidelines to be created, so we granted approval for such a book.

The new ACBL Code of Disciplinary Regulations is finally tidied up and ready to use. We had a motion to delete the prohibition against betting on the results of any ACBL sanctioned event, since this is certainly not enforced, but it did not carry.

Another motion that failed was trying to get the reconsideration policy changed from 2/3 present and voting to a majority, as suggested by Roberts Rules of Order. Our policy applies to the current meeting and the subsequent meeting.

ACBL has been charging for sending hard copies of various ACBL rules and regulations to volunteer officials who need such copies. (Such can be downloaded free from the Web site.) Some officials do not have computers and even those who do refuse to spend hours downloading and printing out hundreds of pages. However, the old method of just sending things out resulted in getting the same thing year after year or in the same year when a person holds more than one position. Now volunteer officials will be notified by ACBL that they may request one copy of the necessary documents, free of charge, once each year. A postage-free reply card will be sent with the notice.

And finally we wrote procedures for the recall of District Directors. While the requirements for recall are in the Bylaws, the details of actually carrying out a recall were never written. This was discovered because District 20 is gathering petitions to recall Jade Barrett who took over the District Director position when Bob Lix resigned.

Maybe our Long Beach meetings will be more exciting.