January Report


“At Christmas, all roads lead home.”

   Marjorie Holmes, 1910-2002


Holidays. My favorite time of the year. I just love the Christmas music, the lights, the hustle and bustle shopping, and the warm glow in everyone’s eyes. I miss the frosty chill in December of my pre-teen years in Oklahoma, but the feelings of family and friends remains. I wish you all the same joy I feel during this end of the year happiness, and hope for the future.

NABC Board Meetings

Just got home from the Fall NABC. The 5-day meetings of the ACBL Board of Directors produced not too many surprises for us in District 22, but lots of heavy discussion on issues for the entire league. Most important to me was the establishment of a firm league policy on Regionals at Sea, the new tournament phenomenon that has been heavily debated lately and directly effects us here on the coast of California. I started this controversy last year and was quickly joined by a few other board members which snowballed the issue to the forefront and required a new policy on ownership.

The result: regionals aboard Cruise Liners are now safely in the hands of management of the ACBL, after earlier being grabbed by private enterprise and used to compete against our land-based sectionals and regionals. Stability has been restored to protect our District 22 tournaments and our clubs - as well as to other US port districts.

People Moving Up

Of interest people-wise in Orlando was the board’s election of Craig Robinson of Philadelphia as ACBL President for 2011. Craig, the league’s present 2010 treasurer, joined us in Palm Springs for the annual “Passing of the Gavel” ceremonies, receiving the symbolic oak hammer from 2010 president Rich DeMartino.

CEO Jay Baum of Horn Lake, Miss., (ACBL Headquarters) was also on hand, as was other national board members. Jay has announced his retirement in mid 2012, and a search for a new CEO for the league has begun. In my 45 years as a member of the league, I can never remember, nor try to imagine, anyone who better served us.

I will miss him greatly.

As for Western Conference people, Bonnie Bagley of Colorado Springs, and my co-chair of the 2009 San Diego Fall NABC, ascends to the seat of District Director of District 17 on January 1, which automatically awards her a seat on the Western Conference board.

Other Board Issues

Many national issues were voted on, including (1) the possibility of a pre-senior (less than 55-years-old) pairs game at the NABC, (2) changing the masterpoint awards for Flight A/X events, (3) new methods for breaking ties for qualifying purposes in national Swiss Teams, (4) altering the use of the STOP card and (5) (hopefully) better enforcing slow play violations.

A volatile board issue to me personally included the present ACBL voting procedures of our unit boards for national positions. I feel strongly that a person’s vote should be kept private, but the league feels otherwise. I did not win this argument.

Internet bridge and the awarding of masterpoints for online play versus those in face-to-face sanctioned events remains a very controversial and heated topic. As the cyberworld of bridge continues to grow and improve, it becomes very difficult to stem the online MP flow and/or predict tomorrow’s environment. At the end of December, 2010, Leo LaSota of Glen Burnie, Maryland, had won more than 3000 masterpoints this year alone on Bridge Base Online!

To get full descriptions and results of these, and other board motions, check them out at www.acbl.org or I will post the complete minutes of the Fall NABC on my web site, www.KenMonzingo.com

Local People

The District 22 Board of Directors welcomes two new members to the fold: replacing Rex Latus of Escondido, our tireless 2010 president, who retired; and invaluable Fran Foresta who is also stepping down. Fran is replaced by newcomer Patrick Page of Morongo Valley, and Rex by Bill Grant of San Diego. Fran also served me as treasurer of the 2009 Fall NABC in San Diego. We lose two great men, and gain two exciting new ones.

Jon Wright of San Diego is the new 2011 District 22 President.

Many, many thanks to Rex and Fran for never wavering in their efforts to make District 22 a better place to be. Mission accomplished!


“What is Christmas? It is tenderness for the past, courage for the present, hope for the future. It is a fervent wish that every cup may overflow with blessings rich and eternal, and that every path may lead to peace.”

  Agnes M. Pharo