To: ; ; ;
Sent: Sunday, May 22, 2011 2:24 PM
Subject: Re: Response to May editorial in District 22 Contract Bridge Forum

Hi Sharon & others,

Where on the ACBL website can you find the treasurer's report or other financial reports?
The ACBL is a nonprofit organization and is not very transparent when it comes to financial disclosures.

What are the actual economics of the USBF & WBF in terms of ACBL support?
On top of that how much money is raised through the International, Charity and Junior Fund Game special fund game months?  1.50/NABC entry makes sense to me, but  3% of membership dues is not insignificant  there are other important priorities deserving of that $165K.

Ken Monzingo's website indicates that the table fees from International Fund Games is over $200,000.

My focus is simple, deriving from my position as the District 14 GNT coordinator.
The ACBL's addition of GNT Flight A in 2001 (which made perfect sense) and it's decision to cut awards for small flights in GNT district finals in New Orleans in 2010 have made it more difficult to field decent-sized GNT flights in the top brackets of the smaller districts. 

What does the ACBL do to support it's own national grass roots GNTs?  What it's done is diminish our efforts to revitalize the event. Why do GNT teams have to pay their own entry fees when NAP finalists do not? District GNT champions should also win a trip.... not win the right to pay for one.

Total entry fees from 25 districts' worth of GNT entries over 5 days this summer will be about $36,000 across 4 flights.  Surely the ACBL can find a way to fund this.  One easy way to do so would be to designate
.25 of everyone's ACBL membership fees to support our league-wide grass roots events.  This would touch many more lives than those of the couple hundred junior, senior, women's and open internationalists.

Or, why couldn't the ACBL run a month of Special Fund Games for it's own members who don't play internationally, but might compete to play against their peers in the grass roots NAPs and GNTs if it wasn't so expensive.  We'd offer more enhanced masterpoint games, the coin of the realm, increase the table count for clubs, and materially assist the GNTs.

What are the economics of the NAPs?  That event is run in 3 flights over two days and the ACBL pays out something like $6,000 to 26 sets of pairs across three flights. That's $156,000.  Does the ACBL subsidize the NAPs with their free entry fees or does the large table count in NAP club qualifying games over the summer cover their NAP obligations?

Some of you are aware of my lobbying regarding the potential for an unsubsidized 5th GNT "Platinum" flight. 
The inability of the 2 largest districts populationwise to field 5 team Open flights in their district finals is testimony that something is broken.  We carved out Flight A a decade ago.  Why don't we reward the longterm 5,000-10,000 or 5,000-15,000MP holders who have played in clubs for years, but who are not fulltime players the opportunity to play against their peers in a GNT final?  This is a battle for representation that is 'way down the road' I fear, but doing so could revitalize the current top flight of the competition where the dominance of the usual suspects pours cold water on the desire of many competant players who might otherwise compete save the inevitability of dismemberment in the early phases of the KOs and the nearly, if not complete, total league-wide inability of districts to fully fund their district's GNT champions at the summer NABC.

I studied the GNT turnout across the league in the 2009-2010 GNT cycle and the results are sobering re. the health of the event in the top bracket.  We can do better.

One last unrelated point:  holding the ACBL-wide International Fund Game on the Saturday before the Super Bowl makes perfect sense.  Therefore, instead of redesignating the last weekend in January for that game which creates problems for all of the sectionals that weekend as was done in Louisville,  why not designate February as the Special Fund Game month for the International Fund and make September the designated month for the Junior Fund.

Count me as a supporter of further discussion of Ken's motion which appears to have been roundly rejected without a whole lot of due process.  It boils down to 'what taxation, and what representation'.  I vote for something for GNTs from that 1.00 of my annual membership fee.


Mike Cassel, D14 GNT Coordinator