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Big Ideas
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By Bahar Gidwani, ACBL CEO

Here are 10 Big Ideas that ACBL’s Board and its staff are considering. The ACBL staff developed these ideas as part of helping move ACBL forward. (A link to details of these proposals appears at the end of this article on pg. 2.)

  • Advertise, Promote, Sponsor – Test a range of advertising opportunities; expand and improve our promotion programs; find new ways to attract sponsors.
  • Document Health Benefits – Encourage well-designed, broad-scale studies that will identify and prove the health benefits of playing bridge.
  • Expert Player Guild – Encourage expert players to form a guild that would provide them both benefits (health, retirement, discounts) and a voice in how high-level bridge develops.
  • Improve Teaching Results – Study different teaching methods and use the results to strengthen bridge education in general; improve ACBL's TAP certification program; enable the development of master teacher programs.
  • Integrate Social Bridge – Create systems and change rules to encourage social players to integrate into both clubs and tournaments.
  • Money Bridge – Create a money-bridge tournament platform that will bring attention and sponsorship opportunities to bridge.
  • Redistribute Tournament Activity – Reorganize regionals into four levels; shift sectional activity into clubs and create regional and national versions of STaCs; change how clubs, units and districts get paid for member tournament activity.
  • Simplify Masterpoints – Rebuild our masterpoint methodology so that it is easier to understand and administer.
  • Strength-Based Ratings – Offer members a new way to follow their progress by building a big data-driven methodology for estimating strength.
  • Upgrade Table Technology – Improve the integration of device and software technology into both tournament and club bridge.

These are not the only things ACBL’s Board and staff are working on. We have many operational projects under way that we hope will improve our organization and make ACBL members happy. However, we believe ACBL also needs to get “out of the box” and work on bigger, broader issues.

These proposals are intended to help find ways to bring our community together and accomplish our mission of promoting bridge. Each proposal contains the staff’s summary of the current situation for a particular area. Each has a summary of the problems staff believe ACBL faces due to the current situation. Staff has provided a proposed solution, a method of implementing our solution, and an estimate of the funding required.  We hope to eventually get everyone to agree on the first two parts of each proposal (where we stand and what is wrong). If we can do that, we will have a foundation on which to discuss the best ways to solve our problems.

We need your input on these ideas. Comments, criticisms, changes. Staff started with 14 ideas and already set aside four. We believe all of the remaining 10 ideas have merit and deserve your consideration. Our plan is to proceed as follows:

  1. Get feedback from the bridge community. We need to know which ideas you like, which you don’t like, and how we can improve each proposal. Twenty of our 25 Board members have already offered detailed feedback and have helped staff to start improving these proposals. We expect to get further input from the Board of Governors, our district and unit officers, and from ACBL members.
  2. Accumulate the feedback we receive. Further improve the proposals. Share revised versions of them with the Board and the bridge community.
  3. Ask the Board to rank the proposals from 1 (best) to 10 (worst), based on their value and the effect they could have on ACBL’s future.
  4. Review the 10 proposals at our November Board meeting. Discuss and further improve them via work by Board committees and the Board as a whole.
  5. Approve further development of at least three to five of these ideas.

We invite Bridge Winners to join us in taking this “big picture” look at how to move ACBL forward. www.acbl.org/bigideas will take you to a page that has details on the proposals. You will have to be an ACBL member (and log into our site) to see these details. We will monitor feedback comments on this post or you can offer input via your ACBL representative (Board member, district officer, unit officer), as you prefer.

Thanks in advance for your support and for sharing our passion for bridge.

 

Edited pg. 1 to indicate link information as suggested in comments.

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