ACBL District 21 From the Golden Gate
to the Silver City
District Director Report

Reno Report

By Roger Smith, ACBL District 21 National Director

Having a North American Bridge Championship (NABC) tournament right here in District 21 is a wonderful opportunity for our players. This enjoyable tournament was well attended and came in 11th in attendance of the recent 20 Spring NABCs. The total numbers are good and we expect another Spring NABC to be scheduled in Reno in the future.

I want to give you information about actions taken during our ACBL Board of Directors meetings and information given to us that you might find interesting.

There has been a controversy the past years about whether appeals committees for NABC+ events should be made up mostly of top players or tournament directors, not players. These committees are meeting to decide if a tournament director made the correct ruling when called to the table to settle a dispute. Some players say tournament directors are not "good enough" to settle disagreements between high level players in our top events. I disagree with that argument and voted with a majority of board members to have all NABC+ event appeals handled completely event appeals handled by tournament directors.

A variety of arguments convinced me to vote for the change. Even if a group of tournament directors decide an appeal, they can and do consult with top players if they feel they need that perspective. The most recent two or three years the league has made director training and professionalism a priority. Players should play, not referee and determine results. Tournament directors can meet and decide the result of an appeal while players are playing. If players are needed for a committee to deal with an appeal the committee meeting must be during the dinner hour or after the evening session. Either way makes life more difficult for players who volunteer their time to settle disputes.

If you have people in your area who know little or nothing about bridge but are curious I want to recommend you investigate the Learn Bridge in A Day (LBIAD) program. LBIAD is offered at each NABC. Additionally some local units have scheduled the event. I have volunteered at two of them so far and I can tell you people attending to find out about bridge like the sessions. They get some materials about the game and we get information about how to contact them and encourage their interest in bridge.

At these board meetings we were given the current Youth and Junior Member Statistics by District. These numbers reflect paid members only. District 7 (east coast) has the most Youth and Junior paid members with 152. District 21 is second out of 25 districts with 130 paid members. A distant third is District 16 (Texas) with 78. There are 14 districts with a membership of 30 or less paid Youth and Junior members.

ACBL management has been evaluating our existing Cooperative Advertising Program. Management has recommended that for the return on investment we need to reduce the amount of money spent on this program. If you use this (CAP) program you need to carefully read the changed requirements. Most specifically, management is limiting the total amount of money spent on the CAP program. So in addition to reducing the funding on parts of the program, there is most likely a maximum cap on expenditures from headquarters. I would check back with your contact at headquarters about all the changes in the program. Additionally, it sounds like you need to apply for your reimbursement early in the year if you expect to get full reimburesement.

Unit Presidents will soon be contacted to provide input and insight for an updated Unit President Guide. The improved guide will include information helpful for new Unit Presidents. If you have ideas to share please respond to the request for information or email your thoughts to me at the address below and I will forward it to the right staff member.

Last year the ACBL sponsored The Longest Day in June to raise money for the Alzheimer's Association. We are doing that again on Monday, June 20 this year. Some information about the program will be available in various bridge publications. Additionally, there will be information available at the bottom of the ACBL.org sign on page under Resources for Clubs. Over $700,000 was raised on The Longest Day last year for the Alzheimer's Association and we hope to do that again.

If you have ideas for improving our bridge activities please email me at RLSmithD21@aol.com or chat with me at the table. Take care.