Reno: Dan Morse's Report
of the Summer Nationals - July 2005

Congratulations to the Atlanta Bridge volunteers for a wonderful tournament. Attendance was 13,464 tables which were about 2% more than predicted. The starting times were the controversial issue of the tournament. For the first time all events began at 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 or 4:00 p.m...

The game times were well received by some, however, if you were playing a two-session event starting at 10:00 a.m. and finishing at 2:30 or 3:00 p.m. one had very little time to eat and get ready to play again at 4:00 p.m. The initial intention for the time changes was to finish about 7:30 p.m. so players would have time for a nice dinner and have some evening time off. Every straw test showed about 50% in favor and 50% against. The players that were anti the time change made the most vocal complaints. . For the Anti players they will be glad to hear that the times are set by the local sponsors of the tournaments and for the next three Nationals the local sponsors have opted to return to the l:00 p.m. & 7:30 p.m. starting times.

The tournament had a nice surprise when Bill Gates dropped in to visit the Junior Reception and have his picture taken with the young players. He seemed to enjoy his visit with the young stars. We really appreciate his visit and thank him for coming.

It was pointed out that any tournament sponsors allowing vendors to sell products should be sure that both the sponsor and the vendor carry insurance. As a result of an accident at a vendor's space the sponsor, the vendor, and the ACBL are all being sued.

Membership is up 773 persons from June 2004 to June 2005. As we all know, the average age of the players is gradually going up and now the average age is 67.28. We also know that the game of bridge is healthy for those that are already retired or the ones nearing retirement. The ACBL is looking for a firm or a consultant to assist in trying to market over-50-years players to join our bridge world.

We have gone from being the ACBL district with the second most players to the district with the fourth most players. I am asking all of you in our district to make an effort to increase our membership. If we can increase the membership to 9,000 members from the present 8,235 members, we would be eligible for a bonus regional. After discussing membership with other district directors in the ACBL, I feel that this is a doable goal and that a good slogan is 9,000 by 09.

The ACBL has hired a consultant to help market to young people (elementary age through 26). The big news is that a website will debut about the middle of August. I hope everyone will check out this website and, if they like it, recommend it to young people.

The ACBL has embarked upon a mini-bridge camp program and if anyone knows of an ongoing camp that could incorporate bridge, please let me or the ACBL know.

The penalty for a fouled board in sectional and regional events was reduced from a full board to a quarter board. In NABC events the full board penalty will still apply.

The proposal from the Hall of Fame Committee was well received and approved. The main changes were to require 50% minimum percentage of ballots cast for a candidate to be elected. and the number of electors was increased from about 200 to 400.

Funding for NAP finalists was changed and now each player eligible for money will receive a subsidy equal to three nights lodging at the host hotel. Players will no longer be required to stay at the host hotel, nor will they be required to provide proof of where they stayed. This will simplify the accounting for both players and the ACBL.

There has been a problem for some time about residency with the GNT. There have been cases where players chose to play in a district in which they wished to play instead of the district in which they lived. During the next ACBL National the Board of Directors will legislate clear rules for determining residency, as well as penalties for violation.

The current ACBLscore can be downloaded from the ACBL website at free, if you already have an older version on your computer.

Outdated versions of the scores do not provide for electronic submission of accurate monthly reports. Effective January 2, 2006, an additional $2.00 per game fee will be charged to those clubs using the outdated ACBLscore. A minority of clubs (usually very small clubs) do not yet use ACBLscore. These clubs will receive a free version and will pay an additional $2.00 per game sanction fee if not using it after January 1, 2007.


Make plans to attend.

Hope to see everyone there.