Join Bridge Winners
All comments by Adam Parrish
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We've made the barrier to entry too high. Back when bridge was at its height of popularity, the most complex conventions were Stayman and Blackwood. You could sit down and learn to play in half an hour. We need to get back to basics.
July 11
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For some reason pasting the tinyurl has stopped working. We're looking into it. But if you copy the tinyurl into your browser and then copy and paste the full URL that is generated it should work fine.
July 9
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The biggest issue here is only 4 A-level teams showed up to Mid-Atlantic regionals. These used to be huge tournaments. We have to admit that we have fewer people playing, especially at the top, and a calendar saturated with tournaments. If we can't field real events, we desperately need to reduce the number of tournaments.
July 4
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We encourage candidates to create their own threads (as I did) to allow for better discussion and engagement. This thread was intended primarily for information about the new forum.

If you've posted here, don't worry. You haven't done anything wrong! But consider creating your own post.

Or, if all the candidates from a district would prefer, we can create a post for the district and all the candidates can have a page outlining their platform. PM me if you're interested in this or have any questions.
June 23
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These red boards could not have been the idea of a bridge player. Why anyone buys them is beyond me.
June 19
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TDs are supposed to assess penalties and inform the recorder. Both are rare.

When I said ZT is not grounds for disciplinary action, I meant on the unit/district level. The directors' penalty is a decrease in your session's score. I'm talking about things like probation, suspension, etc.
June 19
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I recently became my district's recorder and have learned some shocking things about Zero Tolerance.

1. Zero Tolerance is not grounds for disciplinary action. (Maybe it needs a different name.)
2. At a tournament it is enforced by the TDs and they are supposed to assign an automatic penalty.
3. The CDR does suggest disciplinary action for “a series of Zero Tolerance violations.”
4. But, there is no automatic way for TDs to report when they assign a ZT penalty, and most of these penalties go unreported, making it virtually impossible to establish the “pattern of conduct” the CDR requires for disciplinary action.

We absolutely have to simplify – and preferably automate – this system to that frequent violators are punished appropriately.

At the club level, your point is well taken. Even if someone plays at your club every day, I honestly believe it's better business strategy to get rid of him if he is making the environment unpleasant. I know I avoid certain clubs where there are unpleasant people.
June 16
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I don't know that much about Hool, but I think it's much more complicated than mini-bridge. I want to get them playing, ASAP.

I support anything that helps promote bridge. There are several recent documentaries, including John's, and some others in the works. I saw Aces and Knaves in Memphis and was extremely impressed. The more we can do to get these things out there, the better!

Thanks for all you're doing for the game, John!
June 13
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To your other point. My dad likes to tell me about going to college in the late 60s and playing bridge in one of a dozen games going on in the cafeteria. Certainly society has changed in the 50 years since then, and our entertainment options have increased dramatically. But it was the 60s on a college campus; there was other stuff to do! What we forget in all this is how much the game has changed. He said to me, “There was this new thing called Stayman. Do they still play that?”

It wasn't just that there was nothing else to do and only three channels of television. The game was easy to sit down and pick up. The innovations have been wonderful, but there is a downside that needs to be acknowledged and worked around for newer players.

This is one of the reasons I love mini-bridge. It's just the beautiful play of the game. It takes 15 minutes tops to get someone playing. And if they're ever going to be interested in bridge, they LOVE it.
June 13
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I'm not suggesting we should prohibit anything. Notice that I said players under 2000 MP don't NEED to know more than one NT defense. If they WANT to, go for it. But we're putting them in a situation where they are having to learn these things at the expense of other, more important things.

I just see so many intermediate players filling out a card saying, “DONT or Cappelletti or Meckwell or HELLO. I know them all.” And then they get down to signals and say, “I don't know count signals.” We need to focus on the important stuff. If learning system stuff is what someone wants to do, that's great. But when one teacher is teaching DONT and another is teaching Cappelletti and everyone is getting confused and having to learn new things to play with new partners … it's a problem.
June 13
Adam Parrish edited this comment June 13
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Hi Randy. I'm pretty good at making myself heard. Even by those who don't want to listen. Especially those, actually. :-) I don't think I can change the culture of the board or HQ overnight. (I wish.) But there's enough new blood on the board that I think we can make some change happen.

I'm definitely a bit biased towards teachers and professionals. But I think having that voice and perspective on the board is a good thing. We can't get new players without teachers. And professionals add so much to the game. I would never vote for something that was not in the best interest of the League just because it would benefit pros. If I felt I could not be impartial I would abstain.

My focus is on increasing the number of members in the league. I will look to teachers and pros to help in that effort. And everyone else in the League. It's gonna be a huge undertaking!
June 12
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I'm really glad to have started this discussion. Even if nothing comes of it an no one's mind is changed – which is likely – the discussion itself is worthwhile and gets us thinking about ways for the ACBL and clubs to work together in everyone's best interest. We need to attract new players. We need to teach them well. We need to get them playing at the club and then at tournaments. And we need to make the experience enjoyable enough that they want to come back. Any idea to help with any of these needs is worth discussing. My suggestion – which, by the way, is nowhere near the top of my list of priorities – has flaws, but it addresses a real problem. The key is that we need more new ideas. Some will work. Some will fail spectacularly. That's part of the cost of doing business. But we cannot bury our heads in the sand and continue on the road to oblivion.
June 12
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I agree 100% with decreasing the number of tournaments.

What is your issue with giving the teacher/club who recruits and teaches a new member a stake in that member for the beginning part of their bridge career? Do you not think that's going to encourage teachers and clubs to create more new members?
June 11
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I don't have data – this hasn't been tried. I can tell you from personal experience of clubs not putting out flyers for local tournaments, discouraging newer players from travelling to tournaments, staying open during local sectionals. Right now that's in their financial interest, so why are they going to do anything else?

I think supporting clubs in whatever ways we can is important. This specific proposal I think is a good idea, but it's nowhere near the top of my list of things that needed to be done yesterday to save the ACBL. But it's looking in the right direction: support clubs and give them incentives both to create new customers and drive those customers to our product.
June 10
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That's the idea!
June 10
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I absolutely think it will produce an increase in ACBL revenue in the long run. Why does Avon give a percentage of sales to the person who recruited the salesperson? Because the more salespeople you have out there, the more product you sell. And 80% of $100M is more than 100% of $50M.

Give clubs the incentive (and the tools) and they will bring in more new bridge players. Give them the incentive and they will encourage them to play in tournaments.

The ACBL would have virtually no new members without its clubs. It needs to acknowledge and reward them for their contributions.
June 9
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I agree it's an uphill struggle. And that's why I think we need to get the top teachers together and create a standard curriculum. And I'd definitely want to certify teachers to this new standard. And as you suggest, that certification should take into account teaching quality, not just knowledge.

As to institutional inertia, it's a huge obstacle. That's why creating meaningful incentives is so important. If we can show that this new method of teaching is better – it attracts more students, it keeps them around longer, it creates more club and tournament players, it ultimately produces better players who can advance beyond beginner/intermediate levels – and then give the teachers and clubs who bring these new players in a stake in their development, I think we can overcome the inertia.
June 9
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The local district has to raise several hundred thousand dollars to host an NABC. That money goes to hospitality, entertainment, special events, etc. They start setting aside money years in advance, as soon as the NABC location is announced. Could we run NABCs profitably without that local money? We couldn't expect three districts to raise that kind of money year after year. The ACBL's current model for NABCs is built on the backs of the local units and districts, and unless that changes – which, by the way, I think it should – this suggestion is a non-starter.
June 9
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Hi Richard. Go Wes!

I think the fact that the ACBL and club owners are so unaligned is why they need to be represented. The clubs are where the majority of ACBL members play. They are where new members are created. The league should serve the clubs, not the other way around. Bridge is about more than tournaments and regulation. It's supposed to be fun! I think we need to be reminded of that, and giving the club owners a voice would be a good way to start.
June 9
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Good suggestion. I added that I'm running in District 24.
June 9
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