January 2014 Bon’s Mots

By Bonnie Bagley
National Board Representative

Happy New Year! I hope this is the beginning of a great year ahead for all of you, with family, friends and lots of bridge.

League Elections

Yet again, the ACBL Board completed the third meeting of the year, during which league elections are held. Phyllis Harlan (D15) ran unopposed for 2014 ACBL President. Merlin Vilhauer (D20) was elected to a three year term as a Zone 2 (that’s us) representative to the World Bridge Federation, of which there are five on our board: the others being Bruce Blakely (D21), Georgia Heth (D8), Paul Janicki (D2) and Alvin Levy (D24). Phyllis Harlan was also re-elected as a trustee of the Charity Foundation. Jay Whipple was elected to the Educational Foundation, as Barbara Heller and Mike Bandler were re-elected.
We welcome three new national board members this year: Jay Whipple, (District 9), Russ Jones (District 10) and Dennis Carman (District 12), replacing respectively, Shirley Seals, Bill Cook and Bill Arlinghaus. Those three served on the board a combined total of thirty years, and will be missed.

Management Report Highlights

Robert Hartman, our CEO, reported membership stands at 167,912, as of the end of October, which is a 1,504 net increase over 2012. Table count attendance at regional, sectional and STAC is down slightly, as well as at clubs, but online table count has shown a slight increase.
•The ACBLscore+ project is in Phase 4 and 5. The internal testing and rollout program is in development.
•Online Learn to Play Bridge is currently being beta tested with a rollout planned for early 2104.
•ACBL will host four Regionals at Sea this year: an April Panama Canal Cruise with 16-time North American champion John Mohan; a May Western Caribbean Cruise with national champion and author Mel Colchamiro, accompanied by ACBL’s CEO Robert Hartman; an October Bermuda/Caribbean Cruise with national champion and best-selling author Mike Lawrence; and a Southern Caribbean Cruise with teacher and author Barbara Seagram.

Board Meeting Highlights

The board agenda was a light one as far as motions were concerned. Motions passed:
1. To ban electronic smoking devices in the playing area at NABCs, to be consistent with the policy banning smoking.
2. Adoption of authorizing a Youth Protection and Abuse Prevention Policy - to communicate ACBL’s commitment to ensuring the safety of its young players, volunteers and caddies.
3. To apply the Code of Disciplinary Regulations to unit sponsored clubs. Unit sponsored games had been covered, but not unit sponsored clubs. A unit sponsored club meets one of the following criteria: a board which is the same as the unit board, or which is appointed by the unit; or there is a co-mingling of funds with those of the unit; or there is placement of funds in a unit-owned account; or the unit appoints the club manager or director.
4. To move to the Opening Bids section of the ACBL General Convention Chart any opening of a Weak Two Bid which also includes a four-card minor. This convention also requires an alert.

Las Vegas goes Cosmopolitan

Of special interest to D17 members, the Las Vegas Cosmopolitan Hotel & Casino was approved as the playing site for the Summer 2019 and the Fall 2024 NABCs. The Cosmopolitan is a new luxury resort in the heart of the famous strip, an exciting venue for our Las Vegas NABCs.
A motion presented by the Board of Governors that the Board of Directors establish a permanent Club Committee that will include club managers/directors, ACBL management and board of directors failed. The consensus of the BOD was that this would be better handled by Management. Management agreed to this.
A new mission statement was adopted: The Mission of the ACBL is to promote, grow, and sustain the game of bridge and serve the bridge-related interests of our members.
Don Mamula (D19), starting with the 2013 March meeting, implemented an avenue for board “discussion items” which allows us to consider issues in depth before a motion is filed to pass, fail or be deferred with possible unintended consequences. This has been very well received by the board, and will been continued.

Committees

All our committees work diligently, but there are two committees that deserve special recognition for going above and beyond. The first is the Conditions of Contest Committee that spent hours and hours going through all of the league Conditions of Contest, standardizing the format and correcting errors. A phenomenal task, which will make the job of future updating much easier. The Committee for NABC Schedules (Spring, Summer and Fall) also did a superb job again; with many, many hours spent juggling events and adding new 0-10,000 events. The approval of these schedules, which would begin in 2015, was deferred to the March meeting in Dallas during the Spring NABC to allow the Competition and Conventions Committee to review the schedules.
Many kudos to these hard-working committees

Contact Me

Please do not hesitate to contact me by phone at 719 593-0205, or by email at  bonnie@bonniebagleyd17.com
See you all at the Las Vegas Regional: new date, January 20-26 and new place, Bally’s Hotel & Casino.