District Director Report

By Ken Monzingo

National Board Representative



National Board Meetings: Washington, D.C.


In a light agenda I presented one of the few motions to be decided upon by the twenty-five members of ACBL’s National Board of Directors, during the Summer North American Bridge Championships in our nation’s capital. My motion asked for an additional regional tournament be awarded to our district for two reasons:

1. The northern areas of District 22 (north of Los Angeles) are without a tournament of their own and must pass through Los Angeles County (District 23) in a torturous freeway trip to get to one of our southern regionals.

2. Palm Springs Regional has risen to great heights and is now one of the top five tournament venues in the country. As such I suggested we make Palm Springs (actually Coachella Valley) a “permanent” regional site such as Gatlinburg and Las Vegas, and, in so doing, would free one of our allotted four tournament sanctions to be used for that northern regional.

My motion was rewritten in committee to an acceptable compromise: that we be awarded a one-time sanction for 2010 and a new committee be formed to explore, not only the feasability of permanent status for Palm Springs, but to look deeper into the entire regional tournament allocation in the country. My cup was half full and half empty, but my hopes for the future are filling up fast as the board overwhelmingly voted in our favor.

I believe this new committee will help not only us, but all ACBL to reassess their current regional allocation procedures. Happily, I am vice chair of this committee so will be able to keep you informed as we go. Bruce Reeve of Raleigh, North Carolina is chair.

Short Strokes

    · Rich DeMartino, District 25, Riverside, Connecticut, was elected ACBL President for 2010.
 We are reassessing the “Alert” bidding procedures. Oh my, do we need this.
· We voted to allow stratification by average MPs (sponsor option) in stratiflighted events.
· We are buried in e-mail discussion - pro & con - of the so-called “special games” in clubs.

On the Bright side

    · We’re told our investments with Stanford Financial Group are safe and secure. Good.
· The move to the new headquarters building is going well. I am so excited about this.
· ACBL Membership is up! Yes, despite the economy, we are actually gaining members.
· Nationals and Regionals table counts are holding firm - Washington was over 14,000.

Call the Law

While in Washington, D.C. for the nationals some league sheriffs did their solemn duty. An internationally famous team, playing in Europe, reported a fictitious score for a match that was not played which allowed both teams to advance to the next phase of the Norwegian Team Trials; a tactic sometimes used in the past to better position yourself for future pairings. The Europeans frowned heavily on this. In a closed door committee hearing in Washington, ACBL members of the teams were also suspended. Nice try.

Other disciplines enforced

· A cell phone violation penalty was assessed to a team containing national champions. Although they were the top seed in their 4-way bracket, the twelve IMPs in penalties for having a cell in the playing area was just enough to eliminate them in the first round from the prestigious Spingold Teams competition.

· Slow play warnings were ignored by some national champions. Matt Granovetter and Ron Rubin were found responsible for a very late finish in the second quarter of their Spingold match. They were put on 30-day probation - the first major penalty I can remember ever enforced for this violation. The national board was unanimous in their praise of the stand the tournament directors took on this.

Detailed Washington committee decisions are at www.acbl.org

Lifetime Committees

My best annual perk is to be able to award lifetime membership in the ACBL Goodwill Committee to persons who exemplify the honor, and define good will. This year I’ve chosen two people I admire very much; and you will also when you meet them. They’ll both receive formal welcome into the Goodwill Society during the Fall NABC in San Diego this November.

Rex Latus, Escondido. Rex is the vice president (and secretary!) of District 22. What I admire most about him is that when a job is suggested he accepts it without question, and he does not stop until it’s done. And done right. A very, very valuable man to our district.

Laura Loring, San Diego. Laura is one of those giving volunteers we cannot do without. Always pitching in, always wanting to be included, never asking much of anything in return. A tremendous asset to the San Diego Unit and to District 22. A true goodwill person.