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Tiers of National Championship Events at NABCs
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In making some comments to the thread authored by Peg Kaplan “Reschedule the Schedule”, I proposed assigning the multitude of national championship events to tiers … where the first tier would be comprised of the longest and most open events (think Spingold or Platinum Pairs) and the lowest tier would be comprised of the shortest and least open events (think senior pairs or women’s  Swiss).

I think the tiers could be used for many scheduling purposes for NABCs, especially prioritizing the avoidance of conflicts among some first tier events over avoiding conflicts among some other lower tier events.  Other purposes could be eliminating some semi-redundant events and redistributing retained but similar events over different seasonal NABCs.

From an assignment of events to tiers, I would hope that the Board of Directors could develop some broad scheduling principles that can be shared with ACBL Management.  Management, in turn, would be responsible for applying such principles to the detail of the schedules for individual NABCs.

In the hope of producing some constructive discussion about the preferred assignment of tiers and the preferred broad scheduling principles, I have drafted a possible assignment of tiers to all the national events being held in 2017 (per ACBL website).  (See end of this article.)

Although the central purpose for drafting the assignment of tiers is to produce YOUR thoughts about how the future schedules should differ from the current schedule, here are some of MY thoughts about scheduling principles that should be considered by the Board of Directors:

  • Eliminate all gender-exclusion events
  • Eliminate all mixed events
  • Eliminate all age-exclusion events … unless there is a change to the events to address the particular needs of seniors, such as reduced mental stamina producing shorter-duration events, or increased need for physical interruptions producing more frequent between-round breaks
  • Variety of game types – match points, IMP pairs, Swiss, KO, BAM, online, etc. should be retained.
  • Each NABC should contain (at least):
    • Two, substantially non-overlapping, Tier I events, one a team event and one a pairs event
    • Two, non-overlapping, Tier 2 events, one a team event and one a pair event.  Such events should begin after the second or third day of a Tier 1 event and expect to end before the start of the next Tier 1 event.
    • Two, non-overlapping, three- or two-day events that are master point exclusion events.  Such events should begin the second or third day of a Tier 1 event and expect to end before the start of the next Tier 1 event.  The master point exclusion events should themselves be concurrently “nested”; that is, if one such event is capped at 10000 mps, then concurrent events should be run that are capped at something less than 10000 mps.
    • Scheduling for Tier 1 events should be prioritized over scheduling of Tier 2 events which should be prioritized over scheduling for Tier 3 events, etc.  Regional events should generally fill the gaps between the national events in a manner decided by the host district.

Although the scheduling of events at an NABC is only one element of an overall plan to produce bigger, more prestigious events that will help motivate players to continue playing competitive bridge for a long time (re-working master points to better align awards with merit and reducing the number of regional and sectional tournaments and events being other elements of such a plan), I think that the board establishing some general NABC scheduling directives for Management is an important task to be performed.

Tiers of NABC Bridge Championships:

 Tier One = Three Day or Longer Events without Age, Gender, or Master Point Exclusions

    • Grass Roots Events:
      • North American Pairs, Flight A
      • Grand National Teams, Championship Flight
    • Three Day Pairs Events:
      • Kay Platinum Pairs
      • von Zedtwitz LM Pairs
      • Kaplan Blue Ribbon Pairs
    • Three Day or Longer Team Events
      • Vanderbilt KO
      • Spingold KO
      • Reisinger BAM
      • Roth Open Swiss Teams
      • Keohane North American Swiss Teams
  • Tier Two  = Two Session Events without Age, Gender, or Master Point Exclusions
    • Two Day Pairs Events
      • Lebhar IMP Pairs
      • Rockwell Mixed Pairs
      • Silodor Open Pairs
      • Fast Pairs
      • Wernher Open Pairs
      • Freeman Mixed Pairs
      • Nail LM Pairs
    • Two Day Team Events
      • Jacoby Swiss
      • Freeman Mixed BAM
      • Mitchell Open BAM
      • Mixed Swiss
  • Tier Three = Three Day Events with Master Point Exclusions, but without Age or Gender Exclusions
    • Three Day or Longer Pairs Events
      • North American Pairs, Flights B and C
      • Bruce LM-6000 Pairs and Young 0-2500 Pairs
      • 0-5000 Mini-Blue Ribbon Pairs
    • Three Day or Longer Team Events
      • 0-10000 KO
      • 0-6000 Mini-Spingold KO and 0-2500 Mini-Spingold KO
      • Grand National Teams, Flights A, B, and C
  • Tier Four = Other Three Day or Longer Events
    • Baze Senior KOs
  • Tier Five = Two Day Events with Age, Gender, or Master Point Exclusions
    • Master Point Exclusion Events
      • Pairs Events
        • 0-10000 Pairs
        • Bean Red Ribbon Pairs
        • 0-10000 IMP Pairs
        • 0-10000 Fast Pairs
      • Team Events
        • 0-10000 Swiss #1
        • 0-10000 Swiss #2
        • 0-10000 Mixed Swiss
    • Gender Exclusion Events
      • Pairs Events
        • Smith LM Women’s Pairs
        • Wagar Women’s Pairs
        • Whitehead Women’s Pairs
      • Team Events
        • Machlin Women’s Swiss
        • M.M. Sternberg Women’s BAM
    • Age Exclusion Events
      • Pairs Events
        • Leventritt Silver Ribbon Pairs
        • Super Senior Pairs
        • Senior Mixed Pairs
      • Team Events
        • Truscott/USPC Senior Swiss
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