Report of ACBL Board of Directors Meetings
It has been 27 years since Denver last held an NABC but that should change quickly. The facilities were first rate with all the playing space in the hotel (no convention center), the location was great and even though we were there in November (we hope for Summer next time) the weather held up and was very pleasant. The hotel is on the main downtown street and a free bus comes by about every two minutes which was very convenient for getting to restaurants and shops. I think everyone had a good time because none of the staff or the Board of Directors hears a single complaint.
Denver certainly fits the motion we passed in Atlanta to include, as a high priority, the popularity of the city. Add to that two other important criteria for our group, stay and play in one facility with no convention center, and Denver meets all three. We considered three future NABC sites and only one met all of the above -- San Francisco Marriott in the Fall of 2012. We are going there in the Fall of 2007 and for signing the new contract, they are reducing the 2007 room rate by $15 per room. Great. Unfortunately, the others were not as good. Montreal in the fall of 2013 was rejected because while Montreal is a great place, we would have to hold the tournament at three locations, all of which are more than two blocks apart. Then we approved Memphis in the Spring of 2012 at a convention center and several hotels of varying distance. I also question whether this is high on anybodyís list as a desirable city to visit.
Fall is when we approve and/or fight about the budget for the following year. This was no exception. Several increases in revenue were proposed and passed, but instead of being a lone dissenter, I was joined by seven others. The two worst increases are a StaC fee from $2.42 to $3.04 and the NABC entry fee of an additional $1.50 per person per session which will mean that the National events will now be $18.00 per session and the Regional events $15.50. Following is the total list of increases which are effective January 1, 2006 except for the Rating point game which is effective April 1, 2006.
1. Rating point game fee increase $ .65 to $ .74. (Effective 4/1/06)
2. STaC fee increase from $2.42 to $3.04.
3. Progressive sectional (qualifying) from $2.65 to $3.04.
4. Sectional surcharge increased from $110 to $135.
5. Tournament Director fees increased by 7%.
6. Supply fees increased from $ .85 to $ .95.
7. Tournament assistant fee increased from $25.00 to $50.00.
8. NABC entry fees increased $1.50/per person per session.
We made a major change to the GNT and NAP conditions of contest. A memberís principal physical residence will establish the District in which he is eligible to participate in these events beyond the qualifying stage. The principal physical residence is established as of September 1st of the year prior to the National Finals for GNT and June 1st of the year prior to the National Finals for NAP. This residency is required regardless of the memberís unit or district affiliation. There will be a Board of Directors Credentials Committee to hear all matters pertaining to these events. If a player wishes an exception from the residency requirements, he must seek permission in writing from the District Directors of the District where he lives and the District where he wishes to play. If both District Directors agree, the request will be forwarded to the Credentials Committee for final approval for the GNT Championship Flight and Flight A of the NAP. Both District Directorís approval will be sufficient for all other flights. Players requesting an exception must begin the process for the NAP by April 1 and the GNT by July 1. The effective dates are July 1, 2006 for the GNT 06/07 event and April 1, 2007 for NAP 07/08 event.
The NABC Appeals books will no longer be published. The plan is that the appeals will be published on the ACBL web site as soon as possible after each NABC. Hard copies will no longer be printed. Cases of interest will be published in the Daily Bulletin of the NABC where the appeal took place. There will be commentators selected by the Director of National Appeals and Management. Management has never been in favor of publishing an appeals book and I think that in a short time you wonít find anything on the web either.
Byes, three-way matches and four-way matches for the Vanderbilt, Spingold, Womenís KO, and Senior KO Teams have been a source of controversy for several years. Nothing is really satisfactory. Beginning this year only 2-way matches of 64 boards or, as necessary, 4-way matches (2 2-way matches of 32 boards followed by a 2-way match between the two losers to eliminate 1 team) will be used. With this method the objective of reducing the field within one day to a number of teams which is a power of two will be met.
In addition the closing time for entries to these events will be game time of the evening session the day before the event begins. If the number of teams entered is 17, 18, 33, 34, 65, 66, 129, 130, an announcement will be made during the evening session of all major events that the number of teams entered is an inconvenient one for running a KO, and that management will pay the entry of one to four teams (one for 17, two for 33, 34, etc.) in another event on the first day of the relevant KO if any teams care to withdraw. If too many teams offer to withdraw, the teams will be withdrawn based on the order of their offer. With insufficient withdrawals, there will be 3-way matches with one survivor. If the number of byes in any of the Vanderbilt, Spingold, Womenís KO, or Senior KO team events is six or greater (in the case of Spingold and Womenís KO the sum of byes in the two events), a two session Swiss event will be held for those teams which receive byes.
Other changes in conditions of contest for events at NABCs are:
1. The Mini-Spingold 0-1500 event will be no longer than five days and the field on the second day will be no larger than 16 teams. There was no change in the Mini-Spingold 0-5000 event.
2. NABC Regionally Rated Fast Pair Events may be 24, 26 or 27 boards at the local host organizations option.
Starting on July 1, 2006, non-members and non-service fee paying Life Masters will have to pay and additional fee of $1.00 per person per session for sectionals and $2.00 per person per session for regionals except for charity events or events limited to players with fewer than 20 masterpoints. This is double the current surcharge and it is mandatory.
An Arbitration Board will be established to resolve conflicts in tournament scheduling between districts. Districts and units perceiving a conflict with other units or districts must notify Management or the Arbitration Board within 30 days of the tournament posting on the website. The Arbitration Board will make a determination whether a conflict exists after a request from Management or a District or Unit holding or applying for a sanction. Decisions will be reached after consulting internal resources, demographics of tournament attendance (if available), usual tournament size, data from involved parties, etc. The decision of the Arbitration Board will be FINAL.
An amnesty program was implemented by Management January 1, 2006. It ends June 30, 2006. Upon payment of annual membership dues/service fees, people whose membership had lapsed shall be credited with all masterpoints earned during that period.
The Senior Swiss Team Trophy will be named in honor of Alan Truscott. Since sponsorship of the trophy has been made by the US Playing Card Company, the title on the trophy will be Alan Truscott USPC Senior Swiss.
The ACBL Goodwill Member of the Year, who is selected annually in the Fall, will be honored at the Spring Goodwill reception.
And last, but perhaps most important, my Goodwill appointments for this year are Fred King, Leo Cardillo, Ed Kinlaw and Henny Dorsman. The two charity appointments went to Richard Wegman and Pam Schaffer.