District 9 Undate

By Shirley Seals
District 9 Director


Many of you do not know what the World Bridge Federation (WBF) does or who participates in their activities. In order to play in International Bridge competition, the ACBL must pay dues to the WBF. Currently ACBL pays one dollar per ACBL member (Juniors excepted) for WBF dues. Last year this was $165,000, which was paid out of the league’s General Fund.
The General Fund is where your membership dues, tournament fees, and club fees go. Also, in order to participate in International Competition, members of the ACBL must pay $50 annually to become a member of the United States Bridge Federation (USBF). The USBF current has about 250 voting members. 99.82 percent of the United States ACBL members do not choose to be active member of this organization.
I was one of the makers of the following Motion at the Spring Louisville, Kentucky NABC board meeting as follows:

“Item 111-100: Dues/Membership Payment
Dues paid to the World Bridge Federation WBF) by the ACBL for National Bridge Organizations’ dues are to be paid from funds raised from “International Fund games” before any other donations are made from those games.”

This motion was defeated 21-4. Evidently this motion was interpreted as a motion against international competition, which was most certainly not the case.
In 2010, we, ACBL members, funneled $225,000 from the International Fund to the USBF (not ACBL) which this organization used to pay expenses for the country’s best players ... professionals and experts ... to compete in international play.
I was one of the minority who voted for this motion. It just seems logical to me that if we raise money all year for International competition, that the WBF dues should come from these funds collected by the International Fund, and not from the ACBL General Fund. Just think what $165,000 a year could do for the majority of our bridge players and to promote bridge. (Aggressive advertising program in AARP journals and other senior media, Better sponsorship for our GNT Teams, expanded school education programs for all Juniors nationwide, to mention a few.)
I am concerned that I sit in board meetings as we raise fees to our members, and then turn around and give $165,000 to the WBF of which 99.82% of our membership are not members and have no interest in being members.
This issue will come up again at the Toronto NABC Board meetings in July and I want to know what you, as members of District 9, think about this situation. Let me hear from you. I am on line several times a day … it is my window to you.