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Is this a way to run an organization?

Is this a way to run an organization that wants to keep players playing in their tournaments?I arrived at the Richmond regional around 9:PM on Monday since my team could not want to play on Monday.I'm the chairman of the conditions of contest committee for District 6 and Shawn Stringer is the past Presidentand helped make up the conditions for this new type of Knockouts. We have a round robin the first day in every bracket qualifying four teams who play the second day.This way all teams play two sessions. And this works with as few as five teams. I think that lots of players would rather play in an all day eventrather than having half of them losing the first match and having to play in a side game.We discussed what happened at the Monday/Tuesday knockouts which had started at 1:00PMWhen the entries were closed, there were only four teams with grand life masters who usually would play in the top bracket of a Regional Knockout.Usually there are a lot more top teams who want to play in a District Six regional top bracket knockout.Below them were teams who usually play in the second/third bracket and very few of them had more than 3000 points.There was a large masterpoint break between team number four and team number five. (20000, 7000)They took the top five second/third-bracket teams and put them in the top bracket in with the four top-bracket teams.Since there were five brackets you couldn't handicap the teams. Guess what happened to the five second/third-bracket teams?The five second/third-bracket teams were buried and they were not very happy. Second/Third bracket teams do not come to a regional to play against the likes of Meckwell and Robinson. It was too late to fix the Monday/Tuesday Knockout but Shawn Stringer and I talked with the chief Director and the three of us thought about howwe should have worked the Monday/Tuesday knockout. What should we have done to make everyone happy? Forcing second/third bracket teams to play in the topbracket will drive those teams away. That was the last thing we wanted to do. You want players to be happy when they play in your regional and I think that theACBL headquarters would want that also. There is no reason to drive players away from the game. So we decided that the best answer would have been to have a four-team top bracket knockout. The four top bracket teams came to play inknockouts and they would be happy. And the second/third bracket teams would be happy because they would play in their own bracket and nothave to play in the top bracket. We knew this was against the rulesbut sometimes you have to be reasonable and break the rules when that is the best solution.

Now comes Wednesday and the same four bracket-one teams are ready to play in Wednesday/Thursdays knockout, but no other top bracket teams show up.The Directors asked if any team would like to play in the top bracket for free and no team volunteered. So what should the Directors do? The best solution was to have a four-team knockout. The top four teams were happy since they came to the tournament to play in knockouts. No second/third bracket team would be unhappy by being forced to play against teams that they didn't want to play against.Seems like this was best solution to an impossible problem and how bad could it be if everyone was happy?

So what happened when the so-called-experts-in-running-tournaments-that-players-like at ACBL headquarters heard about what we did?They forced us to give the top four teams their money back and did not allow three of the four teams to win masterpoints.I don't think that so-called-experts-in-running-tournaments-that-players-like at ACBL headquarters understand that you want to make bridge players happy.Happy bridge players keep coming back to tournaments. Unhappy bridge players quit playing bridge.I understand that having a one-day knockout was against the rules but sometimes rules have to be modified on the spot if circumstances dictate.We need people at the top of our organization who understand that the object of bridge tournaments is to have happy players, and ifmodifying a rule would make players happy, the so-called-experts-in-running-tournaments-that-players-like at ACBL headquarters would figure out how to modify the rule on the spot to allow this to happen.

Now comes the Reston Virginia regional Wednesday-Thursday knockout. There were three teams entered with grand life masters on it.There were no other teams that would be happy to play in the top bracket. Only a few of the other teams had players with more than 3000 mastepoints andnone of the other teams would be happy playing in the top bracket. It would make sense to have the three teams battle it out in one day to see who comes in firstor second, however the so-called-experts-in-running-events-that-people-like at ACBL headquarters made it clear that this would not be allowed. So we had to put fourunhappy teams in the top bracket and you'll never guess what happened. We had four unhappy teams and we'll be lucky to have them play again in our knockouts.I'm a firm believer that when it makes sense to do something that is reasonable but not allowable, you find some way to allow it.I'm very disappointed in ACBL headquarters.

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