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ACBL NABC Schedule Analysis
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Hi All,

There has been varied discussion about the NABC schedules recently. To better understand the event layout and attendance for each event, I put together a spreadsheet here: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1AaY7TSiJjvb7zxXWZA0B6qA3sWstU0HYbxx7II_4_r8/edit?usp=sharing

Some explanations:

I used #s from Kansas City 2017, Toronto 2017, and San Diego 2017. The numbers in () are # of pairs. For team events, this is 2x the number of teams. Obviously some teams will have more than 4 players, but this at least gives the feeling of how many people are playing bridge in that event at any one time.

Red highlighted areas are times when people who focus on NABC+ events but would be willing to play a 10k could have NO event to play in for 2 days if they fail to qualify in the first day. In the Spring this is anyone who isn't 60+ who fails to Q, in the fall this is everyone who fails to Q in the blues.

Yellow highlighted areas are times when people who focus on NABC+ events but would be willing to play a 10k might have a hard time finding an event to play in due to gender restrictions for a 2 day period.

Some observations:

1) The long KOs are a lot less popular than I realized. This includes the Vanderbilt 10k. There seemed to be an assumption (from what I heard) in the C&C meeting that everyone would want to play the Vanderbilt but in reality the Vanderbilt and Spingold are two of the least popular events with regards to participation. The only open event that is less popular is the Reisinger although the Reisinger starts parallel with an Open Swiss which likely has a huge negative impact.

2) The women's events seem to be held consecutively in sensible fashion. I hadn't looked at it before, but women (especially if 60+) can play all the women's and mixed events in sequence with the exception of the Mixed 10k Swiss in summer.

3) The final weekend area seems ripe for improvement with regards to open events. In the Spring 2 events start at the same time on Saturday. In the summer, there is only one open event and it starts on Friday with no new open event on Saturday. In the fall, there are three NABC+ events with two starting on Friday and a mixed swiss starting on Saturday.

4) 10k events which start on the 2nd day of a national event seem more popular.

5) 10k team events seem to get less popular with time, while 10k pair events don't necessarily experience the same decline. The 10k mixed swiss in the summer dropped 23% from DC to Toronto while total table count in Toronto was up. The 10K KO was down 33% from Reno (although overall Reno attendance was lower). The only exception was the fall 10k swiss grew slightly more than the attendance.

 

Some suggestions on next page...

When thinking about crafting an "ideal" (in my opinion) schedule, I thought the following guideline is a good one: You should ideally never have to go more than 1 day without an NABC+ event to play in.

 

Never having to sit out more than one day of NABC+ events would be great. Having a 10k on days 2-3 of a national event is fine but not ideal. Offering nothing at all that isn't age restricted doesn't work. With that in mind, I think there are a few small tweaks that noticeably improve the schedule:

1) Move the imp pairs to Sunday/Monday, with a new NABC+ event opposite the plats as was suggested in San Diego and deferred.

2) Move the NABC+ Fast Pairs back to summer, but the final weekend. Having the Fast Pairs on the last weekend seems really great since it lets people fly out Sunday, but having it starting at the same time as a two day swiss doesn't make tons of sense.

3) Move the 10k fast pairs to the final weekend (fast pairs works well at the end to catch a flight, provides a non gender restricted event for those who don't Q in Swiss/Reisinger)

4) Move 10k Imp Pairs to Blue Ribbon Day 2

With some changes already coming to add the new KO to the fall, hopefully a general update can be made for 2019 across the board to improve the schedule.

Here's a link to a slightly adjusted version of the first schedule with these 4 changes made: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1RVbFsPZ-NOsqirKLHi9HqoCA3fjcL8HmfPByAeRrvSU/edit?usp=sharing

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