January Bon's Mots

It is an honor to be your District Director; I am very appreciative of the support I received from you, the members of District 17. I will endeavor to represent you as ably as my predecessor, Jerry Fleming, and my mentor and good friend, Bob Wingeard, who preceded Jerry as our representative to the ACBL Board of Directors.

ACBL Board

Although my term officially begins January 1, it was my privilege to attend the ACBL Board of Directors meetings at the Orlando Fall NABC. A District Director Elect is invited to join the general meeting and the different committee meetings as an observer; not as a participant of course. The ACBL Board meets the week before each National – a jam-packed five days filled with meetings and more meetings, where much is accomplished. I will be allowed, and expected, to contribute at the board meetings at Louisville in March.


Craig Robinson, from District 4, Central New York, Eastern Pennsylvania, Delaware, Southern New Jersey, was elected 2011 ACBL president. The ACBL president usually visits regional tournaments outside of his district but Craig is going on a different path. He plans to visit 100 bridge clubs in 100 days. This will be quite a feat. Information will be sent to clubs on how to request a visit.
Bill Cook from District10, the Mid-South, was elected ACBL treasurer, and Larry Cohen of Florida was named the 2011 Honorary Member of the Year, an award given to a person who is widely known throughout the membership of ACBL and who has freely given time and ability, without thought of reward, in the interest and welfare of the League as a whole. Larry was honored at the Goodwill Reception.
Aside from me, there are two other new board members: Merlin Vilhauer of District 20, Washington, Oregon, Northern California, Nevada (not including Las Vegas) and Hawaii, replacing Jeffrey Taylor, who served two terms (six years) and Margot Hennings of District 6, Washington, D.C., Virginia and Maryland. Margot is replacing Nadine Wood, who served six terms (18 years), and is legendary for her many contributions as a valued board member.

Board Decisions

The bad news for tournaments is a 4% increase in tournament director sessions fees effective April 1, 2011. The good news is there are no other increases - membership dues and sanction fees remain the same.
Another item of interest discussed is slow play. A motion was passed to reiterate that slow play, especially habitual slow play, is a violation of law and subject to penalty. The motion states there is a strong expectation that the directors will penalize slow play. An appeal of an action taken by a TD with regard to time may be taken to the Director in Charge of the tournament, but no further. This applies to pairs games as well as NABC+ KO events.
The board passed two other motions that had been previously been hot issues which required intense study: 1. Regionals and Sectionals at Sea will now be monitored and controlled by ACBL. 2. The Technology Committee reported that District 17's own Kitty Cooper will be spearheading the redesign of the ACBL homepage, specifically aiming for easier navigation and a fresh look.
One final item of great interest is the replacement of ACBL Score, which is moving quickly, to be completed well before the end of 2011.
Future NABCs were announced for Spring, 2015, New Orleans; Summer, 2015, Chicago; Summer, 2016, Washington, D.C.; and Fall, 2018, San Francisco.
The complete board minutes may be found on the ACBL web site www.ACBL.org. I'm in the process of building a web site which will post the Board of Director meeting minutes and other pertinent information. Meanwhile, please do not hesitate to contact me with your cares and concerns at 719 593-0205 or bon1bon@comcast.net

Happy Holidays!

I hope your holidays are filled with blessings and good cheer. Best wishes for a Happy, Healthy, Prosperous New Year with lots of luck (combined with skill) at the table. Happy Bridging!

P.S.: If you have a clever name recommendation for this column, rather than "Bonnie's Communique," please let me know.