May 2016 Bon’s Mots

By Bonnie Bagley
National Board Representative

Reno was the site of the first North American Bridge Championship (NABC) for 2016, and the first Board of Directors (BOD) meeting of the year. With a table count of 11,643, this was the largest Spring NABC since 2010, the last time we were in Reno, when the table count was 12,197.
Attendance may have been high because room rates at the hotels were quite reasonable. The next NABC that also has room rates below $100 will be the 2017 Spring National in Kansas City. After that it looks as if the $100 rate will be a thing of the past. [More on Reno on page 9.]

CEO Report

Robert Hartman, ACBL CEO, reported to the BOD that ACBL membership at the end of January was 168,403, an increase of 717 from January, 2015. Regional table count showed a 2.55% decrease, with one fewer regional. Sectional table count was down 3.14% with seven fewer sectionals. STAC table count was essentially unchanged with 13 additional STACs. Financially speaking, 2015 was better than 2014, even though net assets decreased $173,204 to $11,856,589 from 2014’s $12,029,793. Technology continues to be a priority. Infrastructure improvements have been made: new firewalls, routers, and switches have been implemented to bolster network infrastructure; three web server capabilities (WWW, MYACBL, and ACBLLIVE) have been migrated to servers in the Amazon Cloud; the Internet circuit at Horn Lake has been upgraded from 20 MB to 100 MB. There is more to be done, especially with ACBLScore and Tourney Trax. It will be done.

Elections & Appointments

Claire Jones of Regina, Saskatchewan, D18 (Western Canada, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, and Utah), was elected ACBL Treasurer for a one year term beginning May 1, 2016. Committee appointments made by the ACBL President were ratified by the BOD – these are the Hall of Fame Committee, Competition & Conventions Committee, Ethical Oversight Committee, Disciplinary Committee, and the Laws Commission. D17 members reappointed were Danny Sprung, Las Vegas, to the Competition & Conventions Committee for a one year term; Robb Gordon, Sedona, to the Ethical Oversight Committee for a three year term; and Adam Wildavsky, Dillon, Colorado as Appeals Committee Chairman.
Thank you all for your willingness to serve.

Reno Board Motions

A motion was passed abolishing the ACBL position of League Counsel and replacing that position with a full time employee as “In house Counsel,” whose employment will start August 1, 2016, or as soon thereafter as possible.
• Also passed was a motion requiring that every team member playing in the Spingold, Vanderbilt, Senior KO, and Wagar Women’s KO must play at least half the boards of each match, exclusive of playoffs, in order to continue on that team for the remainder of the event.
• A motion to establish a seven-day Knockout Teams event named in honor of Paul Soloway starting the first Friday of the Fall NABCs was deferred to the Summer BOD meeting.
• The motion that ACBL tournament directors hear, and rule upon, all appeals filed at NABCs passed. There were strong opinions on both sides of this issue. I voted against this motion, having listened to several District 17 players whose opinions I respect.
• NABC tournament chairs may now choose to receive $5000 to be used to recognize their volunteers, instead of having a Volunteer Dinner normally held the Wednesday before the start of the NABC. If they choose to hold the Volunteer Dinner, the ACBL President, the District Director for the district in which the NABC is held, the chairs of the Board of Directors and the Board of Governors, the ACBL Treasurer, the ACBL CEO, and key ACBL employees will join the chairs and volunteers. One guest per invitee will be welcome.
• Players in a newcomer game (0-20 masterpoints) held at clubs may, at the discretion of club management, ask for advice from anyone, refer to notes, and have any other help on any hand.
• An ACBL Anti-Cheating Commission (ACC) was approved, which will be composed of at least five expert players appointed by the ACBL CEO.
• A motion passed that for NABC teams events in which all team entrants receive full overall masterpoint awards, entry fees will be on a per person basis.
The foregoing is a short synopsis of the BOD actions; to read the full minutes, go to my website:

District Director

I am in the third year of my second term on the BOD and have filed for reelection for what would be my third and final term, in following D17’s unwritten policy of only three terms as District Director, and the example of my bridge governance mentor, Bob Wingeard. It would an honor to serve you, the members of D17, for three more years.
Please do not hesitate to email me at or at 719 593-0205. See you at the Rocky Mountain Regional in Denver, May 24-30.