Pittsburgh: Dan Morse's Report
of the Spring Nationals - March 10-20, 2005

Despite the snowflakes and rain, the tournament was a successful championship with about 9,600 tables in play. District Director, Sharon Fairchild, and Roni Gitchel, Tournament Chairwoman, and their local volunteers worked hard to make everyone happy - and that's not an easy job. Their fund raising was extraordinary, as were their hospitality gifts. We thank all of District 5 for their hospitality.

This is a special year for the ACBL as we celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the National Goodwill Committee. Aileen Osofsky, Chairwoman of the Committee, would like the units to consider sponsoring a Unit Goodwill Committee. District 16 already has in place the Texas Star Award for outstanding workers of each unit. I would like to ask the units to consider this program to see if we can become a friendlier group and keep more of the new players. I would like to ask the members who have been given a Goodwill Pin to help in this project. If any of you are interested, please call Joan Morse, 713-599-0047, or DeWitt Hudson, 817-784-1313. Thank you.

We were happy to have Roger Smith, 2005 ACBL President, to be present at our recent Houston Regional. I hope those of you who wanted to visit with Roger were able to do so.

The ACBL had a record setting year in 2004 with the highest number of tournament tables of all time (463,409). Member numbers are rising and retention of first year members has increased to a record 66%. I think we can do even better on membership numbers, if we all recommend duplicate bridge to our non-bridge playing friends.

Club participation was up 66% in the North American Pairs for 2004.

Starting on January 1, 2005, any club official or teacher recruiting 25 new members during a calendar year will receive a $100.00 gift certificate to the ACBL Product store.

If any of the unit, clubs, or individuals would like to promote bridge in an event such as Senior Games, Health Fairs, etc., the ACBL will send a variety of promotional items, including an ACBL display.

The ACBL Board of Directors approved an increase in the quarterly rebate that units receive for their members. The new rate is 11% of full dues payments and Life Master Service fees.

ACBL membership is the sum of all paid members and active unpaid Life Masters.

District 16 members appointed to Committees are:

  • Bob Hamman to Competitions & Convention Committee
  • Mildred Breed to Ethical Oversight Committee
  • Tom Peters to ACBL Disciplinary Committee
  • Dan Morse to Real Estate Committee

A strategic Five Year Plan for the ACBL was approved.

An Insurance Committee was appointed to study all liability insurance policies of the ACBL, districts, units, and clubs and make a report in July.

A Real Estate Committee was appointed to study the real estate needs of the ACBL Home Office.

A Century Club will be established for our members that reach 100 years of age and an appropriate mention will be made in the Bulletin.

A sub-committee will be appointed to review the Regional Tournament Allocations.

The Board of Directors recommended to the Hall of Fame Committee that it increase the number of members who will be allowed to vote.

The ACBL will request our member countries (USA, Mexico, and Canada) to establish an appropriate dress code for teams representing us in international competition.

U.S. Junior Fund will limit its contribution to $50,000 annually to support International Junior Bridge

Congratulations to the numerous District 16 winners in Pittsburgh.

If any unit would like me to attend a unit meeting or have any questions or problems I could help with, please E-mail me at danmorse@sbcglobal.net or call 713-599-0047.

See you at the tables.