Dear District and Unit Board Members in District Two:
It gives me great pleasure to announce my appointments to the ACBL Goodwill Committee for the year 2002. These are lifetime appointments, honouring players who exemplify the best in our game and promote goodwill at the bridge table.
Congratulations to our newest Goodwill Committee members:
Sheena has also been honoured as ACBL's 2002 Goodwill Member of the Year (shared with Kay Afdahl, Virginia Beach).
The adult amusement park where there are no clocks to be seen continues to draw bridge players in record numbers! Despite the world situation, the large Summer Toronto NABC, and the unusual Sunday start and Tuesday finish, Las Vegas, with 16,818 tables in play, became the largest Fall NABC ever held.
The playing facilities were first rate: everyone played at the same location, the hotel elevators were capable of handling rush hour bridge players, the food provided after evening sessions was tasty, and Las Vegas was...Las Vegas! We'll be back at the Las Vegas Hilton in Summer, 2008. Reno is scheduled for Spring, 2004 and 2010.
Our local megastar, Fred Gitelman, Toronto, WON the Reisinger Teams; 8th in the NABC Open Board-Match; 40th in the Blue Ribbon Pairs.
Colin Revill, Burlington, placed 2nd in the NABC Swiss Teams, and WON the 1st Monday Senior Pairs.
Joan Eaton, Willowdale, placed 8th in the NABC Womens Board-A-Match; 14th NABC LM Womens Pairs.
Darren Wolpert, Thornhill, placed 13th in the Reisinger.
Knockout events found many local players in the winners circle. The following players all WON the brackets they were placed in:
Jim Howie, Etobicoke: Bracket 1 of the Bracketed KO Teams I
Jonathan Steinberg & Eric Sutherland, Toronto; Ron Sutherland, Mississauga: Bracket 1 of the Thanksgiving Day KO.
Kal Kaleem, Etobicoke: Bracket 2 of the Aces High KO's.
Reel 'Em In KO Winners:
Bracket 2: Peter Kline & David Cummings, Richmond Hill; Larry Cara, Thornhill; Ron Smith, Don Mills.
Bracket 4: Ivy Steinberg & Allan Quaile, Newmarket; Peter Petruzzellis, Toronto; Carolyn Feldman, Downsview.
Bracket 11: Andy Risman, Toronto; David Kroft & Sharon Bain, Thornhill; David & Annie Harbour, West Hill.
Deuces Wild KO Winners:
Bracket 2: Colin Harrington, Cambridge; John Moser, St. Agatha; Ron Sutherland, Mississauga; Eric Sutherland, Toronto.
Dealer Busts KO Winners:
Bracket 5: Jan & Walter Galloway, Despina Georgas, Brent Gibbs, Toronto.
Houston Morning KO Winners:
Bracket 5: D. & Frances McCrady, Scarborough; Meryl Chin, Don Mills; Andy Risman, Toronto.
The Top 25 District 2 Masterpoint List can be found at the end of this report.
Much more than an expert bridge player, a long time bridge volunteer, world class writer, coach and theorist is Canada's Eric Kokish, who is known world-wide. As Chair of the ACBL Honorary Member of the Year Committee, it was my great pleasure to telephone a very surprised Eric to inform him that he is being honoured as ACBL's 2002 Honorary Member of the Year. Eric is the second Canadian so honoured; the first was Kate Buckman in 1973.
By a 16-9 vote, the ACBL Alert procedure has undergone major revisions effective March 1st, 2002. Between now and then, a new appropriately colour coded convention card will be designed and ready for use. I suspect the new alert chart, complete with explanations, will be published in upcoming ACBL Bridge Bulletins.
While I recognize that a lot of hard work by our expert community led to these changes, I voted no because I fear that we will create many months of mass confusion, particularly among the majority of our players who are not experts but play regularly at bridge clubs around the country.
Be that as it may, this is what we have to live with until 2005 which is the earliest the board will consider new revisions.
Here are some of the highlights to remember:
Doubles with specific limited holdings or meanings will still require an alert. These include: support, Rosenkrantz doubles and re-doubles, as well as unusual low level penalty doubles (1H-X or 1D-P-2S-X for penalty).
Note: Alertable passes, doubles, and redoubles require an immediate, not delayed alerts.
We defeated (or deferred) many more items than we approved. Here are the key items that carried.
Effective 2002, first year new members will receive their choice of either The Bridge Bulletin or Play Bridge (formerly Better Bridge). The new member rate will increase from half price to 25% off regular dues (US $24.00).
Renewing members who receive Play Bridge will receive The Bridge Bulletin at renewal time and be given the option of paying an additional US $12.75 if they wish to continue receiving Play Bridge as well.
"As soon as an error in crediting masterpoints has been discovered and/or brought to managements attention (the error must have occurred within 36 months of notification), corrections shall be made as soon as possible. This will not affect masterpoint races already completed or rank achieved already recognized. A letter to the players involved shall accompany the change if the adjustment is greater than 10 masterpoints."
The ACBL has about 1,000 junior members. Obviously juniors do not remain juniors indefinitely. They graduate into adult full paying bridge members. Over the last decade little progress has been made in increasing the number of junior players who are ACBL members. To my way of thinking, this market segment needs as much support as possible.
On the plus side, for the ambitious program to develop a nationwide educationally sound after-school bridge program (funded by the ACBL Educational Foundation) two individuals have been hired to start the ball rolling.
The 2002 ACBL bridge camp (July 29 to August 5) next summer has been finalized and will be held at Frostburg University, MD. Transportation from the Washington NABC will be provided. Cost of the camp will be US $425 (LESS the $200 subsidy provided by the Educational Foundation for ACBL members in Zone 2).
On the negative side, there appears to be a disturbing anti-junior bias among my fellow ACBL Board members that I find hard to fathom. By a 20-5 vote (I voted NO), we restricted the use of junior coupons at NABCs, as well as increasing their cost.
In 2002, Junior Coupons at NABCs will be restricted to ACBL members 21 years of age or younger and/or ACBL members between 22 and 25 (inclusive) who provide proof of full time student enrollment.
Previously, eligible juniors paid US $6/session entry fees. In 2002, eligible junior players will get a $5/session discount. Given that NABC fees are increasing by $1 across the board in 2002, Regional entry fees will be $13/session. Juniors will pay $8 (a 33% increase). Most NABC+ events will be $15.50/session. Juniors will pay $10.50 (a 75% increase!).
While I support limiting junior coupons to full time students between 22 and 25, I believe we should NOT be increasing the cost of playing bridge at our NABCs for eligible junior players. We have so few juniors playing at our NABCs, that the the total savings involved are minuscule. But to the young players affected, the extra cost may be significant. What message are we sending when we nickel and dime our least influential members?
In 2002, I will be Chair of the ACBL Junior Committee. I look forward to working with the Youth Underground Committee (YUCC), the Educational Foundation, and anyone who has ideas to promote youth bridge. JUNIORS: I know you hate boring meetings and ACBL politics, but the more input we get from you, the better our chances to do something productive. Please send me your ideas, support the bridge camp in 2002, and attend the Junior Day receptions at NABCs whenever possible.
Any ACBL member may request detailed financial statements from the ACBL office. ACBL's current position is strong. After significant losses in 1999 and 2000 (budgeted for with extra marketing and EasyBridge money spent to stabilize ACBL membership), we expect to make a profit of over US $500,000 in 2001. There were several positive factors including the one time only sale of ACBL's Memphis property and exceptionally successful NABCs in Toronto and Las Vegas.
The 2002 budget is a break even one. Included in that are sanction fee increases effective April 1, 2002; TD Session Fee increases effective January 1, 2002 and a $1 across the board increase in NABC entry fees. No increase in membership dues. Full details were previously announced in my report from the Toronto meetings.
Wayne Hascall has done an outstanding job as interim CEO from August through the end of this year, all at no cost to the ACBL. We owe him our thanks. Among other items, the ACBL office staff in Memphis has been slowly getting smaller, perhaps by as much as 11% by the time all re-organizations, early retirements, etc. have been completed. This equates to $200,000 in salary savings in the 2002 ACBL budget.
Subject to the final crossing of the T's and dotting of the i's on his contract, I expect that we will welcome Jay Baum as ACBL's new CEO effective January 1, 2002. Mr. Baum joins us with a wealth of managerial and marketing skills (he has been Executive Director of the Greater Omaha Convention and Visitors Bureau since 1989; previously he was their Director of Marketing from 1984-89), and has an extensive bridge background.
Jay got right to the point when he told the ACBL Board that the ideal candidate for CEO should be a middle aged gentleman with 3,800 masterpoints. We have found the perfect fit!
The Unit 166 Board of Directors raised the issue of senior events at a recent meeting. There has been much discussion among ACBL management and Board members. By a slim 14-11 vote, the final motion that came from the Tournament Committee was deferred to the spring meetings in Houston. I was opposed to deferral -- why delay a good idea? Perhaps some board members had an eye to the clock and their plane ticket out of Vegas or perhaps it takes a little longer for the merits of the motion to sink in. I fully expect action to be taken in the Spring.
COMMENT: This allows the sponsoring organizations to separate the seniors into two groups where there are sufficient numbers. These would be stand alone events, NOT Flighted. The greater masterpoint restriction is because the more restricted an event becomes, the greater the masterpoint reduction (open event=100%; 55+=80%; 65 or 75+=70%).
COMMENT: This gives the sponsoring organization more options to do what is best for the senior bridge players in their part of the country. There may not be enough seniors in each group to hold stand alone events (see part A), so stratification becomes an option in which the 75+ members would just be competing for masterpoints with other 75+ players.
All in all, the above motion opens the door for experimentation and lets the local organizers do what is best for their people. Nobody is forced to do anything, but the options exist. I urge you to let your District Representative and the ACBL Board know your feelings. I look forward to reporting next Spring that the above options have been approved for use.
There are a few issues of particular interest to our Canadian players. First is the World Bridge Championships that will be held in Montreal next summer, August 16-31, 2002. Check out their web site.
All Canadian players must submit their name, player number, and the events they wish to play in to Jan Anderson prior to May 1st, 2002.
In 2002, I will be a member of a new Canadian Issues Committee of the ACBL Board of Directors. ACBL wishes to keep its Canadian members as part of the family. I urge you to keep abreast of this issue and check the CBF Chez Nous web site where a forum for discussion is available.
While nothing can beat the Toronto and Vegas NABCs, 2002 promises to be an attractive year with Houston in March; Washington in July and Phoenix scheduled to start Thanksgiving (US) evening in November. There is lots of bridge. Make your plans now!
Our world has changed since September, but bridge players remain united as friends and competitors. The holiday season has arrived. I wish each and every one of you the very best for a happy, healthy, and peaceful new year.
The cooperation of all unit Presidents and Secretaries in distributing this report to their members is greatly appreciated. this report may also be viewed on my web site at:
Top 25 Masterpoint Winners From District 2 at the Las Vegas NABC
|1||291.98||Fred Gitelman||Toronto ON|
|2||146.91||Colin Revill||Burlington ON|
|T3||101.48||John Moser||St. Agatha ON|
|T3||101.48||Colin Harrington||Cambridge ON|
|5||96.25||Jackie Boisseau||Etobicoke ON|
|6||92.97||Janet Galloway||Willowdale ON|
|7||91.85||Walter Galloway||Willowdale ON|
|8||87.93||Jonathan Steinberg||Toronto ON|
|9||86.07||Despina Georgas||Willowdale ON|
|10||84.95||Brent Gibbs||Willowdale ON|
|11||80.26||Ron Sutherland||Mississauga ON|
|12||77.67||Eric Sutherland||Toronto ON|
|13||74.74||Allan Quaile||Newmarket ON|
|14||73.67||Ivy Steinberg||Newmarket ON|
|15||67.25||Jim Howie||Etobicoke ON|
|16||63.13||Darren Wolpert||Thornhill ON|
|17||57.00||Ron Smith||Don Mills ON|
|18||55.31||Joan Eaton||Willowdale ON|
|19||54.71||Daniel Korbel||Toronto ON|
|20||54.44||Robert Hollow||Madoc ON|
|21||54.11||Andy Altay||Willowdale ON|
|22||52.28||Peter Kline||Richmond Hill ON|
|23||52.09||Larry Cara||Thornhill ON|
|T24||51.18||Vera Petty||Warwick Bermuda|
|T24||51.18||Roman Smolski||Warwick Bermuda|
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