Bon’s Mots

May Contract Bridge FORUM D17

By Bonnie Bagley

National Board Representative

International Bridge

I was surprised by the reaction to the motion that annual dues paid to the World Bridge Federation (WBF) by the ACBL for National Bridge Organizations membership are to be paid from funds raised from “International Fund Games” before any other donations are made from these games. It appeared to be interpreted as being against international competition and was soundly defeated. I was in the minority having voted for the motion. It seemed only logical to me, and I hope this motion will resurface. Currently the ACBL pays one dollar per ACBL member (Juniors excepted) for WBF dues. Last year that was about $165,000, which is taken out of the league’s General Fund. This motion would have taken the WBF dues out of the funds raised by not only the International Fund Games, but also the $1.50 per session per player for all NABC plus events that goes into the International Fund. Even with the WBF dues paid out of the International Fund, there would be available monies to provide for USBF members (which is less than one percent of ACBL) to compete in international events. ACBL members must also be United States Bridge Federation members to compete internationally.

Support the GNTeams

This motion would have freed monies in the General Fund for other things. How about providing monetary assistance for the District Grand National Teams (GNTs) finalists, which is a possibility for any ACBL member? The four teams per district could receive $1000-$1500 and the General Fund would be still ahead. Let’s encourage our players to attend our Nationals this way; they just might get hooked. I did. Yes, most districts provide a stipend for their winning teams - District 17 currently gives each flight winners $1,600, which is helpful, but Nationals are expensive and that $1,600 must be divided between 4 to 6 teammates. Winning the District 17 GNT C in 1995, and going to the Miami NABC to compete nationally, was the beginning of my interest in NABCs . . . and the rest is history. Believe me, if I could win, so can you. In fact, my team (a different one from the C team) won the District 17 B in 2001 and went to the Toronto NABC. I encourage all players to participate in the D17 District GNT finals and hopefully, go on to national competition.