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Priorities for the WBF - Followup

Thanks to everyone who chimed in with thoughtful comments on my Priorities for the WBF? post! The concerns raised most often were transparency, collusive cheating, drug testing, and the Olympics. One proposal a few mentioned that resonates with me is that Conditions of Contest should be fixed well in advance and should be clearer.

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Transparency seems an especially productive issue to address, in part because achieving it may make others easier to handle. Long-time Executive Committee member Al Levy made a start a few years ago by posting the 2015 Treasurer’s report and 2015 Membership & Dues report here on BridgeWinners, and he's given me permission to post a link to the 2018 Agenda and reports.

I'd like to see such material posted to the WBF website as a matter of course, as the ACBL Board of Directors does with its agendas and minutes.

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Dealing with collusive cheating - preventing it, detecting it, properly handling accusations, and meting out strong and consistent penalties upon conviction ought to be a top priority. Sadly, the WBF has never had a good record in this regard. I've learned that the WBF now has an anti-cheating committee, and I'll start by asking them what they've recommended and whether it's been acted on.

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Eliminating or substantially modifying drug testing makes perfect sense to me, since as far as I can tell there are no significantly performance-enhancing drugs for bridge. Caffeine and nicotine may serve that purpose for some players, but they are allowed!

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Abandoning the Olympic dream might well have benefits for two of the objectives above since I believe it would remove the WBF from the jurisdiction of the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). I propose to start by, as others have suggested, asking the proponents of Olympic recognition to identify and quantify the specific advantages sought. Being part of the Olympic movement is embedded in the WBF Statutes and the WBF Mission Statement, so effecting change will not likely be quick.

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I've been writing and updating Conditions of Contest since the early '80s. Nowadays I think there's a lot to be gained by crowd-sourcing, so I'll endeavor to post draft CoCs here and to the Bridge Laws Mailing List.

I'd like to see the WBF adopt the policy followed by the USBF and others that Conditions of Contest should attempt to cover all foreseeable cases and that once a tournament begins, or ideally well before, all further decisions are placed exclusively in the hands of the TDs.

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