Kansas City Report
By Roger Smith, ACBL District 21 National Director
Our most recent North American Bridge Championship tournament was held in Kansas City. If you enjoy good bar-b-que there was plenty close by to the playing space. Once inside one of the hotels providing playing space they were connected and you did not have to go outside again so the occasionally difficult weather was negligible. The playing space was good and it was a successful tournament.
Board Meeting: 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.
- The Longest Day fund raising games to benefit Alzheimer’s Associations in the U.S. and Canada is coming up Wednesday, June 21. The ACBL has raised over $700,000 each of the past two years to benefit research to fight Alzheimer’s disease. As you may be thinking, with an average age around 70 years ACBL members are sensitive to the disease which tends to afflict older people. Sonoma Valley Unit 512 has always been the biggest contributor for District 21 to the cause and I expect they will be very involved this year too. I want to encourage our clubs and units to plan unlimited charity games for extra masterpoints on that day. There will be efforts by management to incentivize clubs and teachers to get involved in this effort.
- We are seriously discussing the creation of an Anti-Cheating Commission. The purpose would be to deter, detect and prosecute collusive cheating or other serious ethical violations. Details are being worked out and a vote on whether or not to establish this commission will be made at our fall meetings.
- During 2016 we spent about $200,000 in Bridge Administration due to the costs of prosecuting cheating cases and increased surveillance activities. I strongly support this expenditure.
- Three-year membership renewal payments are attracting members. It saves the member over paying membership dues yearly and rewards their loyalty. It also saves management from yearly contacting members for renewal.
- While management has many programs to help gather and keep new members something new regarding membership has been instituted. Recently hired is a staff member whose main area of focus is reaching out to lapsed members by phone. We will get a report in the Toronto meetings this summer on the progress of the effort.
- Masterpoint awards for Regional events at North American Bridge Championships (NABCs) will be increased by about 15%. Attendance at NABCs has been declining over estimates and we are seeking ways to maintain or increase NABC attendance. One discussion element on this issue is that entry fees for Regional events at an NABC are higher than fees usually charged at regular Regional tournaments.
- For 2016 District 21 has maintained its position as second district of the 25 in Youth members and tied for second in Junior members. We have successful teachers, club owners and units with good programs attracting new younger members. Let us all do what we can to help these programs.
- ACBL wide Regional tournaments were down in attendance by 5% in 2016. It is an issue we need to consider here in District 21. What can we do to maintain good attendance at our Regional tournaments?
- Club games with more than one section may issue overall awards comparing all the sections. Club games with a single section exceeding fifteen tables may also issue over all awards. It will become effective when some updating of masterpoint programs are completed.
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.
American Contract Bridge League
District 21 Director