WBF “Membership” Numbers

Evidently, in order for the United States Bridge Federation (USBF), or any National Bridge Organization (NBO), to compete in World Bridge Federation (WBF) tournaments, that country has to be a WBF “member” and pay them dues. If we do not pay, we cannot play. The amount a country pays is on an honor system: how many bridge members you have times $1 equals your dues. So even though the WBF “membership” value to any country, if any, is exactly the same, dues are based on each country's reported numbers.

A good guess is that some countries do not count very well.

In 2005, hoping for an Olympic invite, ACBL Board Item 051-40 and Item 051-41 authorized management to comply with WBF regulations requiring dues paid on current year membership. In the spring of 2006 item 061-140 said, due to the reality that our participation in the Olympics was out of the question, a motion to reduce WBF fees from 50 cents per member to its original 10 cents was filed and defeated 10-14-1. In 2007 the board was asked to reconsider this and that motion (062-140) failed again. For some reason this WBF membership has since been bumped up to $1.00 per person (our WBF reps voting aye), and we now are paying $165,000/year.

With the below figures it’s obvious that we are the cash cow for WBF and that our “population membership” in this organization costs us one-half million dollars during a three-year term! No other country comes close. Only France contributes more than $100K – only twelve others contribute more than $10,000 (China lies at only 34K – they used to report more, but got smart).

If we are to continue this very expensive WBF membership, my motion requested the dollars come from the more obvious International Fund instead of the league’s ACBL General Fund. The International Fund is supposedly used to support our International play sponsored by USBF. Since USBF has a membership of only 300, maybe they should pay dues only on that number.

WBF Countries reporting at least 1000 members. Figures (in thousands) are from WBF website.


165.0 United States 23.8 Indonesia 8.7 Turkey 3.8 Switzerland 1.7 Finland
104.0 France 23.6 England 8.0 Belgium 3.3 South Africa 1.5 Ireland
 88.6 Netherlands 22.7 Denmark 7.4 India 3.2 Taipei 1.4 Hong Kong
 34.0 China 19.9 Sweden 7.2 Japan  3.1 Iceland 1.4 Chile
 32.7 Australia 17.9 Canada 7.0 Poland 2.9 Greece 1.1 Brazil
 29.9 Italy 14.2 New Zealand 6.7 Scotland 2.4 Austria 1.0 Russia
 28.3 Germany 9.2 Norway 5.7 Israel 1.7 Wales 1.0 Egypt
        1.0 Pakistan


73 other countries reported less than 1000