New Orleans Report
I went to Horn Lake Mississippi for the opening of the new Headquarters of the ACBL. It was a grand affair with many local dignitaries attending. The Bridge Library and the Museum are terrific and I recommend any one traveling any where close to take some time and go tour the wonderful new facilities.
New Orleans NABC
New Orleans was a great place for a tournament with a fine facility and wonderful restaurants within walking distance; however the attendance was down (10,955) from what was expected. One of the reasons was the high cost to park your car ($33.60 per day). Some of the best restaurants in the US helped easy the pain of the parking. The host committee did a great job with the after game food having gumbo and red beans and rice often. The World War II museum was great; in particular the IMAX movie is something everyone should see if they visit New Orleans.
I was honored to be part of the induction of our own Paul Hodge (one of Texas's greatest players from the 50's & 60's) into the Hall of Fame. It was a much deserved honor for him. His son Hunt Hodge accepted the honor for him and made a very nice acceptance speech.
The Youth NABC was a success with over 80 youngsters taking part. On Friday Louis Sachar (from Austin) addressed them and talked about his book and did a book signing. On Saturday (Houston area Astronaut) Greg Johnson addressed them about our Space program and answered questions.
In the first 6 months of 2010 membership increased by 250 and the June to June increase was 4,957.
Tournaments are doing well with an increase in Regional's of about 3,000 tables so far this year.
Highlights of the Board meeting
- Changed the name of the ACBL Goodwill Committee to the Aileen Ofosfky ACBL Goodwill Committee in honor of Aileen who for 25 years exemplified and promoted Goodwill kin ACBL as the chair of the committee.
- Established a new national event, The Senior Mixed Pairs, to be held at the Fall NABC. It will be a 2 day event and the winner's become eligible for Grand Life Master status if they have the required number of master points.
- Made the 0-5000 Blue Ribbon pairs a mid-chart event.
- Eliminated the requirement to pre-alert 5 card major week 2's and 6 card major 3 level pre-empts and undisciplined pre-empts. Alert now required only on occurrence.
- Appointed a committee to form new and stiffer regulations for SLOW Play.
- Approved a change in the conditions of contest for all two session Swiss Team events with 4 to 9 tables in any particular flight or grouping or strata. Each team entering shall play every other team in their group. The following chart is recommended:
Three matches of 18-20 boards.
Four matches of 13-15 boards
Five matches of 10-12 boards
Six matches of 7-8 boards
Seven matches of 7-8 boards
Eight matches of 6-7 boards
- Approved changes to the Code of Disciplinary Regulations (CDR) that limit to a maximum of 90 days a suspension or probation that a Tournament Disciplinary Committee may impose. Discipline procedures are to be expeditious with written notice of the date, time, and place of hearing to the person charged with the violation. Notice in writing is to be sent to the disciplined party of penalty imposed and right of appeal. A written report is to be sent at the same time to ACBL along with a copy of the decision made and penalty imposed.
- To help those adversely affected by the oil well leak in the gulf, the ACBL Charity Foundation approved a $5,000 grant to the Louisiana Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and a $5,000 grant to the New Orleans Mission.
- Unless instructed otherwise by a tournament director, a member of each side must be present and seated before cards are removed from a board.
- Marketing has produced 30 second radio ads that target "baby boomers" and "empty nesters" for use by clubs and teachers. They can be personalized with local contact info and the cost is eligible for the co-op advertising program.
- ACBL marketing continues to have a strong presence at the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics convention and has developed a work shop entitled "Teaching Math concepts and applications using Duplicate Bridge". After their recent convention five requests within a week were received from teachers desiring to start a bridge class in their school.
- The ACBL will be targeting "Baby Boomers" with an exhibit at the AARP 2010 convention September 30 – October 2 in Orlando Florida.
- As of this date Marketing has sent a total of 217 tournament advertisement e-mail blasts to members on behalf of tournament sponsors for 2010
- Beginning with the August 2010 issue, a regular column dedicated to youth activities will be included in the Bridge bulletin magazine. Check out the new and improved email@example.com web site.
- A goodbye and thank you to long time ACBL employees Gary Blaiss, Merrell Branan, and Rena Hetzer who have retired.
- Free Learn to Play Bridge software is available on the ACBL website for anyone to download.
- Louis Sachar's bridge themed youth novel, the Cardturner is now available. I recommend this book for anyone and it makes a great gift for the young (9-21) person in your life.
- The World Championships will be in the US (Philadelphia) October 1-16 for the first time in many years if anyone is interested in playing in a multi-national field.
All the best, see you at the tables.