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All comments by Len Fettig
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Ray,

I have not observed a change, but it may have occurred.

What I have done is to use a common Web browser to search the ACBL site. Entering: ACBL <search argument> will provide a more meaningful search of the ACBL web site.
Sept. 11
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I go to the ACBL web site quite often; likely averaging once or more per day.

There is a lot of information there that is not accessible from the menus. The search feature is too limited to be of much use.

Looking at the Big Picture: What should be the role of ACBL.org?
A resource of members?
A portal for services (MyACBL and Club results)?
An information and marketing tool for non-members?

The web site does an average job in those areas. While it would be great if it was improved, I see many other areas where technical resources should be allocated.
I also don't see an overall game-plan, so greasing the squeaky wheel will continue to be the default staffing strategy.

I noticed that the ACBL has a Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/ACBLbridge
7,000 people have subscribed (4% of membership).
Sept. 10
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Santhosh, Great idea! We will rename bridge.
Sept. 6
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When I began playing Duplicate, at age 20, my friends and I were the young players. As I think back to those days, I realize that the old people were actually in their mid-40's.
Today, the old people are mid-90's and I'm still a young person at my DBC.
Aw yes, 70 is the new 20 (spike the ball, end zone dance).
Sept. 6
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Yawn.

My summary: We don't know how to proceed. Let's try ‘tinkering’ with stuff and see if it helps. We got old people. We need to add young people. The End.
Sept. 6
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Mike,

Yes it is important to use the tournament flyer to promote tournaments.

Tell me, does this motivate you to attend a bridge tournament:

“The planned tech growth downtown reflects a growing cybersecurity boom in the Augusta area. Augusta University broke ground in June for the Georgia Cyber Innovation and Training Center. Fort Gordon is home to the Army’s Cyber Center of Excellence, which operates the U.S. military’s largest communications and cybersecurity training centers. By 2020 the fort is expected to be the new home of the Army’s Cyber Command, now located at Ft. Belvoir, VA.”

Well, they ate up a lot of space on their flyer with local trivia. Did anyone notice that they forgot to include the entry fees?
http://web2.acbl.org/Tournaments/Ads/2018/09/1809021.pdf
Sept. 5
Len Fettig edited this comment Sept. 5
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Topic #3

Masterpoint awards at Tournaments

A) Masterpoint awards at tournaments are not in any way related to tournament attendance.
B) The ACBL BoD should not be involved in determining MP awards. Instead, this topic (and other deck-chair topics) needs to be delegated to lower-level committees.
C) People believe that the current formulas for calculating MP awards are too complicated. But also feel that their idea for calculating MP awards is better.
D) BW posters love deck chairs.
Sept. 5
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Topic #2

Attendance at the Augusta Regional (or your tournament)


My experience and (extensive) analysis shows that attendance problems come from failures in these three areas:


Bad Schedule

Bad Management

Inadequate promotion

See: http://www.lenfettig.com/Best%20Practices.pdf

While I have long advocated for education programs for our Tournament Chairs, I also realize that many (most) of the TC's feel that they know how to run a tournament.
They would therefore be unlikely to attend any educational program.
It will really be up to the Districts and Units to raise the bar.
Without good metrics, most Districts and Units will not realize that their biggest issue with tournament attendance is their tournament staff.
Sept. 5
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Topic #1

Tournament Attendance is declining?

Don't let the tournament planners in my Unit hear that. They run a Sectional combined with a NLM Regional.
Last year, attendance was up 16%. This year attendance was up an additional 13.8%.

Why? They know what players want and deliver a five-star product.

We believe that players vote with their bridge-travel dollars and we want them to spend them to attend our tournament.

Also, we make a lot of money on our tournament.
Sept. 5
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I'm going to play Declarer for: Qxxx, QJx, Qxxx and Kx. Ruffing a club with my SJ is the setting trick.
Aug. 30
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Diversity of opinion is a good thing. Turning on each other is a bad thing. Let's try to solve problems with a healthy exchange of ideas.
Aug. 18
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We ask players to preregister for our tournament. Because 78% will tell us that they will attend, planning is so much easier and quite accurate.
When our D.I.C. arrives, he/she is handed a detailed report of the expected table counts for every event on the schedule.

If you were having a party in your home, would you want to know how many guests to expect?

Is it bad tournament planning of is it that our Tournament chairs don't know as much about organizing tournaments as they would like to believe?
I think we need to do more to develop our tournament chairs.
Aug. 18
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… and then there were five. Two of the challengers for BoD seats have withdrawn from the race.

http://www.acbl.org/about-acbl/administration/election-chart/
Aug. 18
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Non-members don't have an ACBL number, so the ACBL does not record their masterpoints. When they do join, their Club Managers can send in a report from ACBLScore and the new member will get credit for the points earned at the Club for up to the prior 12 months.
Aug. 16
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I saw a tournament flyer this year and the entry fee was $18; but ACBL members get the discounted fee of $14. I thought that was a rather nice way of dealing with this topic.

BTW, I think the fee is now standardized at $4 for both Regionals and Sections and only applies to lapsed ACBL members.
Temporary Memberships @ $7.99 are only available to people who have never been ACBL members.
Aug. 12
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Alan, I was not aware of that either. Does it follow that GNT games are also not counted toward total tables?
Aug. 12
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In my world, trick two to the SK is ruffed by RHO. The D return is ruffed by LHO, then it goes spade ruff and diamond ruff.
I throw my hand on the table and claim the rest; not mentioning the outstanding trump. The Director is called and LHO gets to claim another diamond ruff. Down 4 - all of them trump tricks. My partner is ballistic and yelling that I should have drawn trumps for down two.
On to the next hand.
Aug. 11
Len Fettig edited this comment Aug. 11
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…and then there is the NABC in Hawaii. Try resetting your internal clock for that time ZZonzzzz……
Aug. 7
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I'd like to understand the Education Foundation.

What I've discovered so far is that they hired a Florida Realtor to do Strategic Planning.
Her presentation had no strategy and no plan. It was a list of ‘things we might do’.

A film was proposed and $200K was allocated. The trailer is not engaging and it has no identifiable message.

If anyone has a better understanding of where this Foundation is going, please chime in.
July 26
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Michael Hopkins. Thanks for seeking clarification.

Our Intermediate/Newcomer (I/N - 0-299) players want to play against their peer group. While we might think that is the Gold Rush pairs, they really want a game with 0-199 or 0-299 MP limits. These players are a major force in District 15 (and I suspect in all Districts). They plan their tournament schedules (travel) around the tournaments that are I/N Friendly.
Regionals that add I/N friendly sessions see a 10-20% increase in table count. From that I conclude that we are drawing more players to our tournaments because we are I/N friendly.


BTW, I was playing in tournaments in the 1970's and certainly enjoyed playing in Open Pair events, that were wide-open and included all of the top bridge players.
However, I also recall that tournaments of that era offered Novice Sessions for players with 0-10 MP's. I clearly recall that I traveled to many tournaments in the 1970's to play in the Novice games; including one NABC.


Regardless of what any of us think about stratification and related Master Point tiers, we should not lose sight of our responsibility to deliver Member Benefits. The data strongly supports the need to offer certain events, because our players want them.


BTW, I/N friendly means that the tournament has at least two I/N sessions per day, on two consecutive days.
July 23
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