August 15, 1995

Dear District 2 District and Unit Board Members:

Even the threat of Hurricane Erin (it missed us!) could not put a damper on the great time that all of us who were fortunate enough to be in New Orleans had!

Highlights from the New Orleans Summer NABC (North American Bridge Championship):

  1. Congratulations to our GNT B (Grand National Team B) team (Sam Yoga, Gord Brown, Hazel Wolpert, Darren Wolpert), who came second. They fought valiantly before falling behind in the fourth quarter to the defending champs, our neighbours from District 1.

  2. Junior Month will be an annual event starting in Feb. '96. Special sectionally rated club games will raise money for the CBF (Canadian Bridge Federation) Junior Development Fund.

  3. A proposal to require formal attire at selected NABC events was withdrawn.

  4. I proposed that seeding points for the CNTC (Canadian National Team Championship) event be re-introduced. The issue was referred to the Conventions & Competitions Committee, who will report back to the ACBL Board in Atlanta.

  5. The ACBL Board approved the CBF holding a second Canadian Rookie-Master point game. Next game: October 16, 1995.

  6. The new Handbook for Appeals Committees was approved for distribution.

  1. NABC Site Selection:

    1. Three cities - Orlando, San Francisco and Las Vegas were considered exceptional and to be visited every 6 years.

      Six cities - Toronto, Washington, Boston, Chicago, San Diego and Anaheim were considered very desirable as places to hold NABC's every 9 years.

      A third group of 26 cities was listed as desirable locations, assuming an appropriate package could be negotiated.

    2. The preferred dates for NABC's was clarified as follows:

      TournamentDate To Start
      Spring2nd weekend of March
      Summer3rd weekend of July
      Fall 3rd or 4th weekend of November

      Unfortunately, several upcoming NABC's do not start on the correct week but in the future - 2001 and beyond - we hope to stick to the above schedule.

    3. Management is studying Toronto as a possible site for the summer 2001 NABC. I predict that Toronto will be formally approved at the Fall meetings in Atlanta.

  2. Appeals & Charges:

    1. Currently, when a tournament committee imposes discipline that does not extend beyond the tournament, it does NOT become a matter of record and may not be used against the guilty at a future date. The Board instructed management to revise the above so that discipline imposed be a matter of record and an appropriate avenue of appeal be made available.

    2. Current regulations require us to publish the names and player numbers of players who have been expelled or suspended as a result of action by the ACBL National Appeals Committee. I proposed that the above also apply to players suspended or expelled by actions of the Ethical Oversight Committee.

    3. I further proposed that in 2. above, articles in the ACBL Bulletin be published explaining what occurred. The purpose of those articles will be to educate our members and to act as a deterrent. Passed 18-7.

    4. The new Handbook for Appeals Committees is now available. This all started from my motion 16 months ago to try to improve the consistency and standardization of Appeals Committee processes and decisions. This new handbook is a MUST for those who serve on or chair such committees.

      By next summer, we hope to have a new Handbook for Conduct & Ethics Committees approved and ready for distribution. In addition, after every NABC the ACBL publishes a booklet that reviews all cases that came up for appeal. This is MUST reading for appeals committee members.

    5. Effective immediately, the board by a 21-4 margin has approved the listing of the names of all players involved in NABC appeals Committee Hearings from NABC+ or Flight A events. Published in "Daily Bulletin" and NABC appeals casebook referred to above.

  3. Tournaments & Masterpoints:

    1. My motion to revise masterpoint awards for LARGE bracketed KO's was approved. This corrects an inequity that was discovered and only effects the 7th or higher brackets of huge events.

    2. Continuous pair games may now be stratified and award single session overall masterpoints in the same manner as side games.

    3. Two table team games at clubs may now award masterpoints. The award is .01 masterpoint per board played. No overall awards.

    4. ACBL will waive sectional and regional tournament sanction fees for events designed to introduce new players to ACBL tournament bridge held at a sectional or regional for which there is NO entry fee.

    5. An opening 1NT bid used as an all purpose forcing bid with a minimum of 16 HCP has been returned to the general convention chart (eg. Romex 1NT). Approved by a 16-9 vote.

    6. As requested by the Board, management presented a revised masterpoint plan for NABC events that incorporated the premier event concept (Spingold, Blue Ribbon Pairs, etc), degree of difficulty, size of field, and length of event. This excellent proposal would have REDUCED the overall awards for some NABC events. For example, the 14 team NABC Senior KO last fall that paid 100 masterpoints would now award "only" 44.80 points (if 14 tables). Unfortunately, the ACBL board defeated management's proposal 16-9.

      The ACBL now has many NABC events - they run opposite one another and some are restricted by age or sex. To say that they should all be treated equally with huge set awards is ridiculous. I'm sure this issue will be revisited in the future.

    7. Starting times: At NABC's some regionally rated senior events have been starting at 10:30 AM and 3:30 PM with great success. In 1996, look for some Regionals to experiment with different starting times. The major events will be at 10 AM and 3 PM allowing people to go out for a nice dinner and a good night's sleep! At 8:00 PM is the KO event. In effect, the "morning KO" becomes the evening KO. Will this catch on? Food for thought.

  4. Finances:

    1. The Finance Committee reviewed the budget for 1996. A conflict of interest policy for ACBL employees was deferred to the Atlanta Fall meetings.

    2. ACBL charges for printing tournament programs and inserts/onserts to the ACBL Bulletin are going up effective Jan. 1, 1996. The charge for reprints of Bulletin ads is increasing effective Sept. 1, 1995. Contact me or Memphis for details.

  5. Planning & Study:

    1. My motion that all officially approved ACBL non-playing captains in WBF competition be paid up ACBL members or Life Members whose service fees have been paid was passed unanimously.

    2. A joint motion by Jay Apfelbaum and me to effectively remove the concept of "Life Member" but retain Life Master with reduced Life Master service fees was passed 16-8, effective Jan. 1, 1996. This will only apply to NEW members.

    3. A proposal to eliminate ALL Regional results from the Bulletin starting October '95 was defeated. However, a committee will report back to the board as to how to improve the Bulletin and reduce the number of pages that are now allocated to Regional results. Your input on this matter is welcome.

    4. The ACBL is moving forward to establish high quality on-line F computer services. NABC "Daily Bulletins" are now available on the internet.

  6. The Hamman Report:

    Bob Hamman, the #1 ranked player in the world presented a controversial proposal to the Board of Directors. He contends that many modern conventions are designed to work primarily because the defenders are unfamiliar with the convention and are unable to adequately prepare a defense. He refers to many conventions as being "disruptive" and creating a controlled psyche type of environment. He feels that these tactics are detrimental to the future of bridge and destroy the games popularity.

    Bob suggests a return to a simpler world where such tools as "multi 2D" and initial pre-empts without a known suit are barred from use. His proposals will be discussed further at the Atlanta Fall NABC.

    What do you think? Please let me and the ACBL know your views!

  7. Education, Juniors & The Future of the ACBL

    Our CEO, Roy G. Green, made it very clear. The demographics of the ACBL are of primary concern. "The continued increase in average age... decrease in number of paying members... effectiveness of current programs... long-term viability of clubs...(must) initiate corrective action. Efforts to recapture the lost generation of bridge players...(present) a challenge we must meet head on as if our life depended on it -... as far as bridge is concerned, it does!

    Your ideas for saving this game are solicited and welcome. Please contact Roy Green, ACBL President Cecil Cook, or me at any time.

    Meanwhile, the ACBL is moving forward...

    1. As I write this, 51 ACBL Juniors (8 from District 2) are at the Belgium World Junior Bridge Camp. A report will be presented in Atlanta as to the feasibility of having a Junior Bridge Camp in North America next summer.

    2. Child care at NABC's remains a major problem. As committees look into the issue, the Board decided to underwrite the costs of the child care program at the Atlanta Fall NABC so that the cost to the parent will not exceed $15 per child per session. Passed 16-8-1.

    3. A joint motion proposed by District 1 representative George Retek and me led to the creation of Junior Month. Sectionally rated black point Junior Fund games will be held. All clubs may run as many fund games as they have sanctioned sessions. In Canada, the additional fee of $1 Canadian per player per session will go to the CBF Junior Development Fund. February, 1996 shall be the first ACBL-designated Junior Bridge Month and each February thereafter. Passed unanimously.

    Junior bridge is alive and well in District 2. Several individuals are worthy of special recognition including Barbara Seagram for her tireless promotion of the game and support of junior players; Enid Roitman whose teaching skills are unparalleled; and Eric Sutherland, the new President of CYBORG (Canadian Youth Bridge Organization) whose recruitment efforts for the ACBL have been phenomenal. The unconditional support that Units 166, 246, and 249 have shown towards our developing players are a model for the rest of the ACBL to follow. Let's keep up the great work.

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