Join Bridge Winners
All comments by Ken Scott
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Many thanks for the comments — I'm putting together a bit of a presentation to newcomers at a forthcoming Sectional. An excellent website on one aspect of this topic is Dr. Martin Seligman's ‘AuthenticHappiness’. Look for the part on ‘Optimism’. Years ago I was strongly influenced by Seligman's “Learned Optimism” book which must be the root of the website. Seligman heads the Positive Psychology Centre at U. Penn, and by the way is an excellent bridge player (watch for him on BBO).
May 1, 2012
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I (and my friend) really appreciate the input. Many thanks.
April 4, 2012
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Thought I'd add some touristy ideas for those planning to go to Lethbridge.

In Lethbridge, the Nikka Yuko Japanese Gardens (Centennial project linked to the WWII forced relocation of west coast Japanese Canadians to Lethbridge area camps) is a great spot. Although the main attraction will not yet be open for business, still worth a walk-around.

A favorite for me is the sacred Writing-on-Stone prov park 90 Km southwest of Lethbridge. The largest collection of native rock art (both petroglyphs and pictographs) in North Am. The park is on the Milk River, I think the only Canadian river that flows to the Caribbean. Replica of the original NWMP fort, located there partly because of the horse/whisky smuggling through the coulee to the adjacent US. Probably good early migrant birding for those with that interest.

Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump 75 Km north is also very interesting. Name tells the story of what's there.

Waterton Park 100 Km south west is a fabulous National park where the mountains butt into the prairies (no foothills in between). Maybe a drive there for lunch?

The Frank Slide (1903 collapse of Turtle Mountain onto the then townsite) is also very interesting for those who have not stopped there (95 Km west of Lethbridge) while heading over the Crowsnest Pass. The nearby Bellevue Coal Mine Tour is also great, but unfortunately not yet open for the season.

And as a general treat to get out-of-Alberta players interested in trying Lethbridge (or the Calgary Regional in August) here is a link to an excellent Travel Alberta Youtube clip.
>http://www.youtube.com/watch_popup?v=ThFCg0tBDck
Feb. 25, 2012
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Yes Jay, the place last time was on its last legs and was mostly bull-dozed not long after the tournament. The Lethbridge Lodge is the original classy place downtown. I wouldn't have (and didn't) stay at that last place and was very happy to book this time at the Lodge. My partner and I look forward to being even more competitive against you and your partner this time.
Feb. 19, 2012
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For the Regionals I know about in western Canada and US, start times (and the program in general) are recommended by the local Planning Committee subject to final approval by the Head Director (the Head Director needs to know that there's sufficient time to finalize results, get the Directors away for a break and be back in time for the next session). The local Planning Committee is sometimes the local Unit and sometimes a group of volunteers - in either case the Tournament Chair (plus budget) being ‘approved’ by the District. For Regionals, start times are adjusted to suit local preferences. I think Chris is correct on Sectionals and NABCs.
Feb. 15, 2012
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I like the following comments posted by others:
1) ACBL is definitely not a ‘for profit’ organization. It's membership driven, not-for-profit. Of course members from time-to-time might disagree with one program or another and spending priorities, but it's their role to voice their opinions through their elected reps, or even better, to become elected themselves (essentially, put their hand up as volunteer).
2) Start times are a local issue and are influenced by venue location in the city, traffic patterns, etc.

I could be wrong, but I think ACBL is raising the age definition of ‘Senior’ so it's a transitioning concept. I presume ACBL sees the transition as ‘open-ended’ and if so, whether adhoc changes, or something more planned, such as pegged to average age of death (at par so we'll always have it, or faster than lifespan so it'll gradually go away)?
Ken
Feb. 12, 2012
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I am confident that a copy of Bobby Wolff's Lone Wolf book should be bolted-to-the-ACBL-CEO-desk with some kind of mandatory section read for the CEO each day. On caddies, just ensure that the reimbursement embraces the local state/province minimum wage legislation.
Feb. 10, 2012
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Hey Corey/Robert — I also was at Cal for a few years in the 70's. No bridge at that time, but nonetheless, a fabulous experience.
Feb. 10, 2012
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Robert — welcome.
Two thoughts:
1) In 2005/2006 I heard ACBL was looking at some kind of TV resurrection of the decades ago Goren bridge on TV program. I think the idea was to try to TV compete with poker as a way of giving better visibility and awareness of bridge. Maybe I didn't hear correctly, but if there was some action, what happened?
2) I think some kind of retention management program might help — something along the lines of an ACBL organized approach, run at the Unit level, that reaches out within a month or two to every player that does not renew, finding out why/ what could change that person's mind, and feeding into a forward planning agenda.
Ken
Feb. 10, 2012
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Thank you for the input. The ideas are interesting and helpful. Encouraging to see that the main attraction is ‘bridge buzz’: meeting/playing against the best; meeting big names (I recall a brief chat with Zia in the elevator at the St. Louis NABC) and non local friends, etc. Behind my question is a concern about the future of venues for face-to-face bridge, especially club games (the thread about Hazel's Club) and Regionals (other than destination-type Regionals such as Gatlinburg, Seaside, Penticton, etc.) which seem to be increasingly non economically viable. I suspect that ‘non-destination’ Regionals will increasingly be shifted to lower cost non hotel venues such as Convention Centres, Rec Centres etc. to keep entry fees affordable, and such a shift might undermine the ‘bridge buzz’ attraction.
Feb. 10, 2012
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A very good thought. One twist on this that has been a discomfort to me is that in order to enable ‘Seniors’ events, ACBL tracks birth dates (at least I think this is why ACBL requires that piece of info in our membership applications). The last time I saw the regular (Quip) report that goes back to Units, one column includes that piece of info. I've just never been comfortable with such a sensitive data point being so out there, especially with ‘all volunteers’ (no training in how to prevent mis-use) receiving the report. No Seniors events — no need to require all members to share that item.
Feb. 10, 2012
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Always an interesting discussion point. I like the input about ‘choice’. It's always interesting to see some pairs routinely choosing to ‘play up’, and always impressive and appreciated when the Director asks for a volunteer pair to play up to complete a table (and I think I've seen near 100% success rate on this ‘ask’). About 6 years ago I attended a Regional where (I think) the idea was to have ('force'?) newcomers to play up and the novice strat was set at 49 MPs. This was a medium (1200 to 1400 tables) Regional. Of course many newcomers ‘played up’, but the concept was not popular (and some newcomers stayed home). I saw some of the survey summary and I think one could conclude ‘don’t ever do that again'. Choice is good.
Feb. 7, 2012
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Many thanks for the comments. All very helpful.
Feb. 3, 2012
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Interesting thread. A cooperative venture that might be of interest was the local Unit offerring to all local clubs a three year lease on Bridgemates where the clubs essentially get them at 1/2 price. A super bargain but with 1 condition, that they be given back to the Unit for the 4 Sectionals each year. Some of the clubs choose to close during the Sectionals, some choose to stay open.
Jan. 18, 2012
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