2009 Houston Report
We finished another great tournament in Houston, the facility, weather (except for 2 days) were terrific. The Hilton of Americas was an excellent choice as the playing site the lighting and rooms were all great. Under the leadership of Eric Snow, Toni Snow, & Betty Starzac the local volunteers did an amazing job with excellent food and entertainment every night. The attendance was about 9,730 tables about 500 less than expected. This was a good but not great turnout I believe the local players were down a little because of the economy and the problems with driving downtown.
This was District 16's year for Charity as we donated $26,000 to 6 different Charities during the National:
- MD Anderson Cancer Hospital - $5,000
- Alzheimer's - $1,000
- Blue Bird Circle. A pediatric neurology clinic at Texas Children's Hospital in Houston.
- Family Guidance and Outreach Center of Lubbock. Dedicated to the prevention of child abuse and neglect, as well as education and support for parents and families.
- Meals on Wheels, Plus, Abilene provides meals to area seniors and younger adults with disabilities, who are unable to prepare balanced meals themselves.
- Texas Hearing & Service Dogs, Houston trains dogs to assist Texans with hearing and mobility challenges. Eclipse, one of the THSD dogs, also attended the reception.
Hall of Fame Elections
Fellow Texan Mark Lair was elected to the bridge Hall Of Fame, congratulation Mark (Mark lives in Texas but just across the District line in District 15). Also, Ailene Osofsky was surprised to find she had been selected for the Hall Of Fame. It was announced at the Good Well Committee she has hosted for many years.
Astronaut Greg Johnson
Houston Bridge player and Astronaut Greg Johnson was on hand and he made a presentation of the Ace of Spades he carried around the world 18 times in space last year. He presented the Ace with a plaque and letter of authenticity to the ACBL for their Library. Thank you Greg, he also gave us a slide show about his voyage last year that I was fortunately able to see.
The ACBL has completed plans to move its headquarters to Horn Lake, Missisippi. This is a suburb of Memphis.
Good news on membership the ACBL increased its membership by about 1,000 in 2008 and have already increased by another 400 in 2009. Here in District 16 we have done our part with a significant increase.
Clubs are now allowed to hold either a regular club championship (18+ boards) or shortened club championships (12-17 boards). The total number of club championships will remain the same as currently allowed. The overall awards for shortened club championships are 60% of regular club championships. The overall awards for shortened club championships, if held online, are capped at 4.5 masterpoints.
Stratified pair events at local, sectional and regional tournaments may be based, at sponsor option, on average masterpoints of the pair.
Any member who pays their dues within 90 days after their membership paid through date shall have their masterpoints recorded free of charge, their dues payment credited from the original paid through date, and no break in membership recorded. If some one won master points when they were not paid up more than 90 days they can pay for the time period they won points and have them recorded if possible.
The board was addressed by both Gianarrigo Rona of Italy and John Wignall of New Zealand. These are the 2 announced candidates for the WBF Presidency in 2010.
The ACBL with the USBF is working on the possibility of having the 2010 World Championship in North America.
The Platinum Pair was authorized to start in March of 2010; this will take place at the same time as the 4 session Silodor pairs but will be 6 sessions, Friday –Sunday. The Vanderbilt will start on Monday instead of Sunday is the only other change. The event is open to anyone who has won 200 lifetime platinum points or 50 in the last 3 calendar years and to Grand Life and Platinum Masters.
Check out the website designed just for kids, it is youth4bridge.org, lots of articles and things for kids and bridge teachers of youth.
For complete details of Board actions check the complete minutes at the acbl.org web site.
Looking forward to seeing you at the tables