Orlando: Dan Morse's Report
of the Fall Nationals - November 18-28, 2004

Orlando was a great place for a NABC tournament. The Marriott Hotel was the largest hotel I had ever seen. It has four towers and 2000 rooms. The playing area is all in one place on one floor. The hotel houses ten restaurants so it is not necessary to go out of the complex plus the Hotel gave the Bridge players 20% discount on food, but if you would like to go anywhere else, it is suggested that you rent a car for your stay in Orlando. The weather was wonderful, a little rain and a lot of sunshine and breeze. Table count was 14,650, the 3rd largest Fall NABC in our history. It was such a good tournament that Management contracted to go there again in 2010. We thank District showing us such a nice time.

Although District 16 did not have as big of a representation as usual, we did have a good many gold points won by our players. Congratulations to all of our winners.

I have made the appointments for the 2005 Charity and Goodwill Committees and would like to tell you that each of the members has given a lot of time and worked hard for their Unit and our District, and have helped make us a strong District. I am only allowed to choose two Charity appointments, but some years, because of losing many of our older members, I am allowed to choose additional two or three members for the Goodwill Committee. I thank them all.

Charity appointments are:
  • Betty Lowmiller, Lubbock
  • Ed Rawlinson, Helotes

Goodwill Committee appointments are:
  • Steve Bruce, Austin
  • Barbara Nance, Bryan,
  • Marilou Powell, Round Rock
  • Shawn Quinn, Richmond

Congratulations to all of you!

The 2005 ACBL President will be Roger Smith from Sacramento, California. Hopefully Roger will be joining us in February for the Lone Star Regional.

I was pleased to be elected to another 3-year term as a World Bridge Federation representative from the ACBL.

Linda Mamula was elected as Chairperson of the Board of Governors.

Fred Gitelman was named Honorary Member of the year for 2005.

Jim Lopushinsky was the first recipient of the Distinguished Employee Award.

The ACBL budgeted a loss for 2005 of between 200,000 and 300,000. Tournament Director fees were increased 6.5%; Sanction fees for Sectional & Regional tournaments were slightly lowered. The Director in Charge fee was eliminated and built into the all the directors fees.

Beginning January, 2005, membership fee rebates to Units have been increased to 11% of the amount paid by members. At the same time, the Unit incentive marketing program (that was time-consuming and annoying) has been discontinued.

Bridge Is Back. After decreasing for a number of years, membership is up an increase of 1,150 members from November 1, 2004, to November 1, 2005. Dues-paying members were up 385 for the same period. Retention for first year to second year members reached 65%, which was an increase of 9%.

NABC, Regional, & Sectional tournaments are all showing increases this year. Members are playing more and enjoying our great game all over again.

In 2005, the ACBL is adding a High School division to the on-line College bridge team championship. On-line play will be on Bridgebase.com on February 16, 2005. To register, contact Charlotte Blaiss at juniors@ACBL.org. Members of a single winning team will receive $250 college scholarships.

Resources for Tournament Chairman have been posted on the ACBL web site.

A Conflict of Interest Policy has been drafted for ACBL employees and Board of Directors.

Due to difficulties with delivery of The Bulletin to Mexico addresses, all deliveries are now on priority status. We are also sending back issues to those that did not receive their regular mailing.

An agreement with Edge TV has been signed, (a start-up cable channel.) They hope to be on the air by June 2005. Edge TV specializes in sports games.

A complete copy of the ACBL minutes will be on the ACBL website shortly.

National Bridge Tournaments are a lot of fun for those who have not been to a NABC. I urge them to schedule a vacation around one. In 2005 we will be going to Pittsburgh in the spring, Atlanta in the summer, and Denver in the fall.

In March 2006, the Spring National will be held in Dallas, Texas. Keep this in mind when you are planning your schedule for 2006.

Happy Holidays to all!