Marvin French, D22 member
May 23, 2011

Almost every country has a national bridge federation (NBF) that is a member of the WBF. Some do not call themselves an NBF, but that is what they are in effect. The older term, National Contract Bridge Organization (NCBO) is still used, even on the WBF website.

The European Bridge League (EBL) manages inter-NBF competitions (e.g., European Bridge Championships). Each European country has a national bridge federation, but the British Isles call theirs the English Bridge Union (EBU) because it includes more than one country. I guess it should be called an NCBO. The EBL now has grown to 47 countries, including Lebanon and Israel. The NBFs are independent, sending in WBF dues on their own, not thru the EBL. No doubt they pay dues to the EBL

Players do not join the EBL, they join their local orgaization. The EBL awards EBL masterpoints to any NBF that wants them, but others may award their own masterpoints, as the EBU does. The EBL maintains records of EBL masterpoints awarded.

The ACBL does things differently for no good reason. The Canadians, Americans, and Mexicans have NBFs that could be independent of the ACBL. Instead of joining the ACBL, players would join their NBF, which would pay dues to the WBF based on the number of members they have.

There was once an effort to divorce Canadians from the ACBL, but it got nowhere because the ACBL would no longer award masterpoints in Canada, and Canadians wanted their masterpoints. However, the ACBL could do what the EBL and EBU do, which is to allow the award of ACBL masterpoints in the CBF and the Mexcian bridge federattion (MBF).

Besides doing that, the only role of the ACBL would be the coordination of inter-NBF competitions, such as a Canada-USA competition (which does not exist as of now).

The current BoD would be the board of the USBF, except for the Canadian directors, with a subcommittee of competent people to handle the qualification of teams for international competition. The board of the ACBL would be elected by the NBFs, just as EBU and EBL boards are elected by the NBFs in their jurisdiction. Each NBF would be allotted board membership based on their membership size, with at least one board member for each NBF.

The Board of Governors would be abolished. Current employees of the ACBL (e.g., the CEO) would become employees of the USBF. USBF districts would in general be unchanged from those of the ACBL now except for the exclusion of foreign territory (which means deletion of a few districts and a shrinking of some).

The Europeans are quite happy with their system, evidently, so what I am recommending is neither novel nor undesirable.

Marvin French