National Board Representative
Houston NABC, March, 2009 The
2009 Spring NABC was held at the Hilton Americas Hotel in Houston, Texas.
Despite a well- run tournament and good weather, attendance was only 9,729
tables, about 6% lower than pre-tournament estimates. Probably another
Highlights of ACBL Board Meetings
League CEO Report
Baum, CEO, reported that ACBL membership increased by almost 1000 members in
2008. This increase, coupled with a rise of 431 members for the first two
months of 2009, brought total ACBL membership to 159,500 members. March
provided 1200 new members, so 750 net for the year. This growth pattern
should continue as players take advantage by dodging the upcoming new
stiffer Life Master requirements. In view of the economy, these are a very
Progress on acquiring the great new Horn Lake, Mississippi (in the Memphis,
Tennessee area) ACBL headquarters site is going very well. All negotiations
should be finished by the end of the year.
calendar year 2008, the ACBL reported an excess of revenues over expenses of
about $890,000, 23% (over $200,000) higher than the forecast made in late
November. Although this news is very good, caution is the word in
forecasting future results. This was the second year in a row the league
have shown excellent profits. Now if we survive this one ... and the next
passed that, at the option of the sponsor, permits Stratified Pairs events
at local sectional and regional tournaments to be based on the average
masterpoints for the pair. Using “average masterpoints” for Stratified Swiss
Teams events is already an option - we need to expand the concept to
Stratiflighted Pairs and Teams. Details for doing so are in the works.
New Event: Platinum Pairs
“Platinum Pairs” was established as an annual scheduled event held at all
Spring NABCs, beginning in 2010. This will start on the first Friday of the
national and will be a six-session qualification pairs event open to members
(1) have won 50 or more platinum points in the three calendar years prior to
the event; or,
(2) own 200 platinum points lifetime, or,
(3) have attained the rank of either Grand LM or Platinum LM.
But not all is happiness.
event will begin on the same day as the Silodor Open Pairs, and the
Vanderbilt Teams will start on Monday instead of Sunday, which will have a
negative impact on the Mixed Pairs.
The Board of Governors requested that the ACBL Board reconsider all the
schedule changes resulting from this motion. I also wonder about the success
of this one ... seems like a traffic jam.
motions were defeated soundly ... like renaming the Board of Governors to
Council of Advisors (it lost due to a 50-3 no vote from the Board of
Governors!), and lowering I/N card fees by $5.00 at national tournaments. I
voted no with the majority on both these issues.
ACBL Hall of Fame
Lair, Canyon, Texas, the number four living masterpoint holder in the world,
was elected to the ACBL Hall of Fame. Popular Goodwill Committee Chair
Eileen Osofsky, Phoenix, was chosen for the Blackwood Award, awarded
individuals who have made major contributions to bridge in an administrative
capacity. Aileen was blindsided by the appointment and was almost
speechless. Agnes Gordon, one of the great players of the past, was chosen
for the von Zedtwitz award for persons who contributed greatly, but have
been out of the limelight for years.
Upcoming 2009 NABCs
Summer NABC will be held July 23-August 2 at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel
in Washington, D.C. Despite summer heat, Washington, D.C. NABCs have been
the among the most popular. San Diego’s Fall 2009 NABC follows, beginning on
Thanksgiving Day, November 26, at the luxurious Manchester Grand Hyatt Hotel
in Seaport Village, downtown.
WBF World Championships
World Bridge Federation has lost the Russian playing site for its Fall World
Championships in 2010, and is hunting a replacement venue. We’ve been
approached to bid to host it, and several ACBL board members think it’s a
good thing to do.
I’m not sure.
believe the WBF tournament is mistitled at World Championships since it is
not as strong as our NABCs, and to bring it in here will simply be to add a
fourth major tournament to compete with our current three nationals for
attendance $$$ in these years of a very shaky economy.
untold negative impact could be felt at our scheduled regionals, sectionals
and clubs in the area when a “world championship,” 10-day affair, invades
our turf. Inviting in another “national” suggests several of these
competitive pitfalls and I’m not sure of the advantages other than a real
nice chance to play in one.
WBF Circus Comes to Town
has volunteered to host the WBF WC; okay, but I’d think offshore or in Los
Angeles would be better, or, maybe to combine it with a tournament like an
NABC in Orlando, Florida (Fall, 2010), would have been more geographically
convenient, and do less area damage.
Growth & Aging
April Quip report shows District 22 at a total of 6656 members, up 1.55% in
the past 36 months which was the fourth largest growth percentage in the
ACBL. Overall the league was up only 0.38% which included active unpaid Life
Masters, but excluded inactive unpaid LMs.
Long in Tooth Growth: The
average age of an ACBL member is 68.78. We in District 22 best that by a
little as we average out at 70.37-year-old gray hairs (third oldest group in
the league behind Ohio Valley and Florida).
I’m staying just barely under the curve. Whew!
ACBL Board Details Online
more details on all motions presented in Houston, refer to the minutes of
the board meeting on the ACBL web site: www.ACBL.org,
and mine at: www.KenMonzingo.com
Online with OKb
of issues ago I wrote a very complimentary paragraph on Bridge Base Online
and their aggressive moves toward online ACBL bridge.
error was in completely omitting both OKbridge and Swan, two major pioneers
in online bridge.
My error. My bad.