December 1, 1995
Dear District 2 District and Unit Board Members:
It gives me great pleasure to announce my 1996 appointments to
the ACBL Goodwill Committee. This is a lifetime appointment that
recognizes players who exemplify the best of our game in
promoting goodwill at the bridge tables. Congratulations to two
ladies who are long overdue for this award:
My appointments to the ACBL National Charity Committee for 1996 are:
- Mrs. Maureen Culp of Pickering, ON.
- Ms. Enid Roitman of Toronto, ON.
- Miss Katie Thorpe of Toronto, ON.
- Mr. Danny Schamehorn of Orillia, ON.
Highlights from the Atlanta ACBL Board Meetings - :
Toronto has been awarded the 2001 Summer North American Bridge
Championships (NABC) scheduled for July 20 - 29, 2001 (subject to
the final signing of contracts).
The ACBL has budgeted $25,000 (US) to Canada to host the 1997
World Junior Bridge Championships (WJBC) in Toronto.
Canadian players are now eligible to participate in the Grand
National Teams (GNT) event (flight "A"). This is a DISTRICT
event. The winners are eligible to compete in the National Final
held at the summer NABC. District organizers please note: if we
are to participate, planning should commence as soon as possible,
a co-ordinator must be appointed and conditions of contest
Dudley Brown (District 19) was acclaimed as ACBL President for
Dan Morse (District 16) was acclaimed for a three year term on
the World Bridge Federation (WBF) board (replacing Jim
Sami Kehela, Edgar Kaplan, and Katie Thorpe were re-appointed
to the Laws Commission for another five years.
Aileen Osofsky was approved as ACBL's Honorary Member of the
Year for 1996.
As we head into the holiday season, I wish all of you a healthy,
happy and prosperous new year. For those of us who love the game
of bridge, let us endeavour to smile more at the bridge table,
recruit new members, and support our junior program. The future
of bridge depends upon it!
- Tournaments and Masterpoints - :
- My proposal to abolish "Special Alerts" along with the
Competition and Conventions (C&C) Committee's proposed "Alert
Chart" have all been deferred to the Philadelphia (Spring '96)
board meetings. It is my belief that we are creating a system
that is increasingly incomprehensible to the vast majority of our
players and detrimental to the future of our game. ACBL
management and the Board of Directors is soliciting YOUR opinion,
re: the entire alert procedure (pre-alerts, regular alerts,
special alerts, defensive carding pre-alerts, etc.). Please
write, fax, or e-mail your comments to the ACBL. We need to hear
- Regulations regarding the skip bid warning were revised.
Players are encouraged to protect their rights by using the
proper skip bid warning at ALL times.
- A joint proposal sponsored by the three Canadian District
Directors to allow computer operator technicians at our
tournaments was approved in principle. Management will report
back to the board as to feasibility and implementation.
- The sanction fee for sectional tournaments limited to non-LM
or players with less than 300 masterpoints will be $1.00 LESS per
table than an open sectional (effective Jan. 1, 1996). No action
was taken on a Unit having the authority to use non-ACBL
tournament directors (TD's) to staff a limited masterpoint
sectional tournament. Note: We may use non-ACBL TD's with
permission from the ACBL. (Thanks to Unit 166 for the above
- Overall masterpoint awards for national team events was
increased (again). Second reading required.
- Masterpoint awards for the Canadian Open Pairs Championship
(COPC) national final were increased to be equal to the District
Finals Flight A North American Pairs.
- Masterpoint awards for international fund games will now be
half red and half black. In Canada, it is no longer mandatory to
hold such a game. Clubs must hold at least one ACBL sanctioned
charity or international fund game. Clubs are encouraged to hold
- Seeding points for Vanderbilt, Spingold, or Women's Knockout
Teams are no longer given in either the GNT or CNTC events.
- Education and Juniors - :
- A Junior Bridge Camp will be held August 12-18, 1996 at a site
in Florida to be determined. (Immediately following the Miami
- The ACBL is budgeting $25,000 US funds to Canada towards the
cost of hosting the 1997 WJBC in Toronto. They will also make
their non-financial resources available to ensure the success of
- A combined North American Junior Team Trials will be held in
conjunction with the 1996 Miami Summer NABC. The winners will
represent Zone II in the 1997 WJBC in Toronto. Conditions of
Contest will be established by a committee consisting of
Canadian, American, and management representatives.
- The ACBL gives Canada 10% of the total funds allocated towards
the Junior Team Program. In 1996 Canada will receive US $1,666.67
and in 1997 US $2,222.22.
- The ACBL is committed to taking a stronger position in the
field of bridge education. Among ideas being studied are a
separate class of membership, new publications, and a new series
of teaching lessons. Management will investigate and report back
to the board.
- NABC Advisory Committee - :
- Toronto was approved to host the 2001 Summer NABC.
- A comprehensive new manual for NABC Tournament Chairmen was
reviewed. The final draft should be ready for distribution early
- Financial Health: Today and Tomorrow - :
A cursory glance at 1995's record profits (estimated to come in
at close to $1,000,000) and healthy balance sheet is an illusion.
The increased revenue is a direct result of raised membership and
sanction fees. It won't last. Projections indicate continued
increase in expenses, salaries, and inflation while attendance
and membership declines. As a result, within a few years 1995's
large profits will become a huge loss!
One scenario forecasts a loss of 1.2 million by the year 2000
unless changes are made! The ACBL cannot keep raising dues and
fees every few years. Therefore, the decline in membership must
be reversed if we are to survive.
Atlanta's attendance was 10,269 tables, down 21% from estimate
and eight hundred tables less than the 1986 Atlanta NABC. EVERY
NABC in 1995 was below estimate! This is a disturbing trend.
- Appeals & Charges and Other Unpleasant Matters - :
- Complete new regulations and procedures for the Recorder
system are being reviewed. Unit and District Recorders are
requested to send in their ideas, comments, and suggestions to
- The Code of Disciplinary Regulations was amended. The major
change is that discipline imposed by a Tournament Committee that
does not extend beyond the tournament will now become a matter o
record and be part of that player's permanent file.
- Election irregularities in the election for District Director
in District 11 resulted in some Units having their ballots
disqualified and a series of election protests and appeals.
The Appeals and Charges Committee recommended to the ACBL board
that a new election be held in District 11. It was the majority
opinion that we should NOT disfranchise voters as a result o
technical irregularities. Further, it was our belief that
elections should be decided by the voters; not committees or
The full ACBL Board defeated our motion for a new election. In a
blatant example of self-serving behaviour by a member of the
board, Don Moeller, the District Director for D. 11, chose not to
recluse himself from this matter but voted against holding a new
election, thereby confirming his re-election for another three
years! The vote for holding a new election was 11 for, 12
against, and two abstentions.
(I have already drafted legislation forbidding any District
Director involved in an election protest from voting on issues
pertaining to his own election! This will be voted upon at the
Spring '96 board meeting.)
- Special Committees investigating allegations against District
25 board member Howard Piltch and the removal of Bob Rosen as
ACBL National Recorder released their findings. No charges were
laid against Mr. Piltch. The removal of Bob Rosen was upheld.
- Task Force on Future of Bridge - :
President Cook appointed a Blue Ribbon Task Force on the future
of bridge. They had their first meeting prior to Atlanta and the
minutes of that meeting were reviewed. The next meeting will be
in mid-January, 1996. While no firm time-line has been
established, it is expected that the task force will be concluded
within one year.
Our own Barbara Seagram is a member of this group and I'm sure
she would welcome input from anyone with constructive ideas and
The task force identified the following goals:
- Improve the public image of the game of bridge.
- Improve image of duplicate bridge.
- Increase ACBL support of teaching programs in schools.
- Increase ACBL support and promotion of bridge at the local
level, with specific emphasis on clubs.
- Determine means of improving the health and vitality of clubs.
The task force is working closely with ACBL management and
especially ACBL's new Chief Administrative Officer, Ellen Adams.
As anyone reading my reports is aware, the ACBL has serious long
term problems. Approximately 1% or 1,500 ACBL members are under
28 years of age. The average ACBL member is around 70! Your ideas
for saving this game are solicited!
District Director - Jonathan Steinberg's Home Page