May 2011 Bon's Mots

By Bonnie Bagley
National Board Representative

About one hundred District 17 members joined me playing at the Louisville, Kentucky Spring NABC in March. I am sure they agree that Louisville is a wonderful city with many varied attractions – Churchill Downs, the Kentucky Derby Museum, the Louisville Slugger Museum and the Muhammed Ali Museum (just to name a few), and great restaurants. The Galt Hotel was a good venue for bridge players, spacious playing areas with good lighting, even temperatures and ample water. The volunteers, led by local chairman Hannah Davis, were cheerful, enthusiastic, well organized and always gracious. One couldn't help but to have a good time . . . even if the bridge wasn't the best (speaking for myself here).

Louisville Board Meeting Highlights

The committee meetings, the ACBL Board of Director's meeting, and the Board of Governor's meeting were all quite interesting; never a dull moment. CEO Jay Baum reported that membership should remain stable in 2011; year 2010 ended with 165,419 members.
• The preliminary table count for club games in 2010 is 2,965,821 – 713,135 of which were on-line games. Regional and sectional table counts for 2011 are ahead of 2010.
• Marketing is working on a smart phone "find a club" app, also on the update of the ACBL website. They reported 2000+ "fans" now on Facebook plus 250 followers on Twitter and 88 members on LinkedIn.
• The initial study report of ACBL Score is to be completed April 15.

International Bridge

I was surprised by the board rejection of the motion that annual dues paid to the World Bridge Federation (WBF) by the ACBL are to be paid from funds raised from "International Fund Games." Evidently it was interpreted as being a motion against international competition, which most certainly was not the case, and it was soundly defeated.
I was in the minority, having voted for this motion. It seemed only logical to me, and I hope the motion will resurface.
Currently ACBL pays one dollar per ACBL member (Juniors excepted) for WBF dues. Last year that was about $165,000, which was paid out of the league's General Fund. This motion would have taken the WBF dues out of the funds raised by not only the International Fund Games, but also by the $1.50 per session per player for all NABC plus events that also goes into the International Fund (IF). Even with the WBF dues paid out of the IF, there would still be available monies to provide for USBF members (which is less than one percent of ACBL) to compete in international events. ACBL members must also be United States Bridge Federation members to compete internationally.

Support the GNTeams

The above motion would have freed monies in the General Fund for other things. How about providing monetary assistance for the District Grand National Teams (GNTs) finalists, which is a possibility for any ACBL member? The four qualified teams per district could receive $1000-$1500 and the General Fund would still be ahead.
Let's encourage our players to attend our Nationals, they just might get hooked. I did. Winning the District 17 GNT C in 1995, and going to the Miami NABC to compete nationally, was the beginning of my interest in NABCs ... and the rest is history. Believe me, if I could win, so can you. In fact, my team (a different one from the C team) won the District 17 B in 2001 and went to the Toronto NABC.
Yes, most districts provide a stipend for their winning teams - District 17 currently gives each of the flight winners $1,600, which is helpful, but Nationals are expensive and that $1,600 must be divided between 4 to 6 teammates.
I encourage all D17 players to participate in the 2011 District GNT finals to be held May 28-30, at the Denver Regional and, hopefully, go on to the national competition.

Online Bridge

There were two motions of interest to online players. Defeated was a motion to discontinue awarding masterpoints for any game that includes one or more robots. Passed was a motion approving the present policy for online games: "… a player may not enter more than two ACBL-sanctioned online games of any kind in any 60 minute period."
• All masterpoints won online continue to count toward a player's total, but online points do not count toward masterpoint races such as the McKenney and Mini-McKenney.
• Online masterpoints won are unpigmented, and no more than one-third of the total points required for rank advancement can be attributed to online winnings.
• Online masterpoints count 100% toward strat and flight advancement and robot games continue to run as individual events.

D17 Tournament Trail

The recently completed Mesa Senior Regional has continued the upward trend of Western Conference and District 17 tournament attendance with 2557 tables, up 551 tables. Well done Unit 351. I must admit I had a great time; there was a sea of smiling faces in Mesa.
We now look forward to the Great Western Spring Fling STAC the first week of May, and the Rocky Mountain Regional in Denver which starts Tuesday, May 24 and runs through Memorial Day. See you there!

Check this Web Page for the complete ACBL Board of Directors' minutes, and a listing of D17 players who "got lucky in Kentucky." Do not hesitate to contact me at 719 593-0205 or e-mail bonnie@bonniebagleyd17.com