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Ribbon events

I recently perused my ACBL Membership page, and noted that I likely won't live long enough to use all of the qualifiers I have earned. Checking with friends, I ascertained that this is not an uncommon situation. So it got me wondering: What is the POINT of having the Blue and Red Ribbon Pairs as once a year events that are supposed a big deal? Clearly, just about everyone who attends NABCs has qualifiers to play in these, thus making the ribbbon events essentially a duplication of the various LM Pairs events. So, one could argue these events should be eliminated. Alternatively, I would propose that they be changed / enhanced in some way to differentiate them from existing events. My hope is that this would create some additional marketing pull / incentive for people to choose to attend NABCs.

I think making these events more exclusive would help. To do this, one could either make the qualifiers harder to get, or limit their shelf life to, say, one year. I would recommend the second, and bill the Ribbon events as something you can only enter if you came in first or second in some regional event within the past year. I would not be opposed to changing the way you win qualifiers so it applies to first places only, which would make the Ribbon events somewhat more exclusive.

Another oddity associated with these qualifiers is that they can be won at either pair or team events, but they can only be used in pair events. Why not introduce Ribbon Team events also? We could, of course, create a separate color set for team ribbon qualifiers, but to me that seems like adding complexity for little gain.

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