May 2015 Bon’s Mots

By Bonnie Bagley
National Board Representative

Our first ACBL board of directors (BOD) meeting of 2015 was held in March at the New Orleans North American Bridge Championships (NABC). New Orleans provided a swinging NABC; the table count of 11,402 was well over the estimate, and more than the 10,956 tables at the 2010 Summer New Orleans NABC.

CEO Report

Robert Hartman, ACBL CEO, reported to the BOD that ACBL membership at the end of February was 167,392, a decrease of 371 from February, 2014. Regional table count showed a 1% increase, although the average table count per regional was down 2% because there were four additional regionals in 2014. Sectional table count was down 4% with average attendance down 6%. There were 20 additional sectionals; most were Intermediate/Newcomer Sectionals with an average table count of 60. There were 1,775,008 tables of bridge at clubs – wow, a lot, but a 2.74% loss from 2013. Online bridge was up 7% with 1,007,856 tables.

Financially speaking, 2014 was not a good year for ACBL. There was a total decrease in net assets of $4,085,658, due to the ACBLScore+ write-off of $1,905,329, pension termination expense of $1,740,500, and tournament director travel back pay of $281,372. Assets at year end were $12,029,793.

Elections & Appointments

Ken Monzingo, D22 (Southern California, excluding Los Angeles), was elected ACBL Treasurer for a one year term starting May 1, 2015. Committee appointments made by the ACBL President were approved by the board. These are the Hall of Fame Committee, Competition & Conventions Committee, Ethical Oversight Committee, Disciplinary Committee, and the Laws Commission. D17’s Danny Sprung, Las Vegas, was appointed to the Competition & Conventions Committee for a one year term. Former D17 member Lesley Davis was appointed to the Ethical Oversight Committee for a three year term.
Congratulations, Danny and Lesley.

Board Motions

The BOD approved the Columbus, Ohio Convention Center and Hyatt Hotel as the playing site for the Spring 2020 NABC; the Hyatt Regency and Hilton will be the host hotels. Also approved was the Toronto, Ontario Convention Center as the playing site for the Summer 2024 NABC; the Intercontinental and Sheraton will be the host hotels. We are not waiting until 2024 to return to popular Toronto, which was previously approved for the 2017 Summer NABC. D17 currently is scheduled for the 2019 Summer NABC at the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, and again at the Cosmopolitan for the 2024 Fall NABC.
• A petition requesting formation of a new unit comprised of the Georgia counties of Cherokee, Cobb, DeKalb, Forsyth, Fulton, and Gwinnett was approved; the new unit is Unit 253.
• The Summer NABC Roth Swiss Teams will be changed from four sessions to six sessions. The Fall NABC Keohane North American Swiss will continue to be six sessions.
• A motion passed that at non-NABC events – regionals, sectionals, etc. – players who sit out will have their masterpoints reduced by 5% for every segment they don’t play – for example, if a player’s team wins a four session KO and that participant played only half of each match, that player’s masterpoint award will be reduced by 20%. I voted against this motion because I feel that the reduction should apply to all Knockout events. This motion requires a second reading at the Chicago Summer NABC.
• Another motion I voted against, which also passed, was to waive the entry fee for the first two days for Flights A,B,& C of the GNT National Finals. I voted against this motion because I feel that all GNT National Final entry fees should be waived for all flights.
• On the losing side again, I voted against a motion that districts raising a certain amount of Grass Roots Funds (based on district size and number of games run) receive 80% of the amount raised with 20% disbursed to smaller districts unable to hold many fundraiser games.
• A motion I voted in favor of would have raised the stipends for first place qualifiers at the NAP Finals to $800, and to $400 for second place qualifiers. This motion failed.

Technology Committee

The Technology Committee appointed by Robert Hartman had a two hour open forum at the New Orleans NABC. There were about 100 people in attendance, including myself and several D17 members. It seemed to me that not all the members of this committee were in agreement as to the direction ACBL should go concerning ACBLScore. The forum was taped, and may be viewed at: (you might want to skip ahead, the actual meeting starts 9:55 minutes into the video).

I am interested in your thoughts. Please do not hesitate to contact me at 719 593-0205 or
See you at the Rocky Mountain Regional in Denver, May 19-25.