Join Bridge Winners
All comments by Len Fettig
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Tom Moore,

The Alzheimer's Association did nothing for your Club. Your members did it all.

Bahar Gudwani stated that he re-negotiated the agreement with AA and there were some (unstated) benefits to the ACBL.
I'll wait until I learn what those benefits might be.

We should engage with other organizations where an affinity relationship can be developed, to mutual benefits. I have not seen that in the Longest Day.
20 hours ago
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Jeff wrote:
“We can spend all the advertising bucks we want and we'll go no where. There is hardy any infrastructure in place once you get someone interested.”

Bravo!

We (the ACBL) are a membership organization without any member recruitment entity and without any structure to support folks who are trying to recruit members.

There are pieces scattered around that can be used as building blocks, but there is no strategy, no structure, no direction and no measurement or assessment of success.

Other than that, everything is fine.
July 13
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Thank you all for your thoughtful comments.

My original question dealt with the use of the word Fun to describe bridge. If we are promoting a bridge activity (tournament, lessons, Club, etc) can we come up with words that are more effective, that have more texture, that motivate and inspire?

Your recommendations have included: enjoyable, accomplishment, addicting, enriching, curiosity, rewarding, challenging, creative and exciting.

A tournament flyer might say:

Join us for a fun week of bridge, or
Join us for an exciting week of bridge, or
Join us for an enjoyable week of bridge, or
Join us for a rewarding week of bridge, or
… your choice.

My opinion is that the word Fun is bland, generic and does not convey as much meaning and motivation as other possible choices.

While I did not intend to challenge whether people enjoy bridge, many responses were to defend the enjoyment that we get from playing bridge.

I found the various responses to be enlightening.

Thank you.
July 11
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There are two interesting Cost-Savings Items on the agenda.

Newly elected BoD members are currently invited to attend the Fall NABC and their expenses paid; in the same manner as sitting BoD members. Item 182-48FI waives that provision of the ACBL Codification.

Item 182-64GO - Shortens the period during which the expenses of BoD members are paid at NABC's.
Currently, if Board meetings end on Friday evening, the policy is to pay room expenses through Saturday night and per diem through Sunday.

Item 182-64GO eliminates the room expense of Saturday night and the per diem for Sunday.
(BoG meetings are on Sunday mornings and District Directors like to attend those meetings.)

One item hurts the current 25 BoD members. The other hurts a few people who will assume a BoD seat on January 1st, 2019.

Given the recent chatter over the cost of holding meetings in Hawaii, these two cost-savings items will be closely watched. If both are passed, then no push-back from the players. If one or both are not passed, then it will be difficult for the BoD to justify their decisions.

(As a candidate for the BoD, I have a vested interest in 182-48FI.)
July 5
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A 40% response rate for the first 12 hours seems pretty high to me. I'd give it another 3 days before complaining.
July 3
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Jeff,
I think my comments are clear. Further, I'm not suggesting, implying or in any way discouraging Clubs from running STaC events.
July 3
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Comment #1 - STaC's were created so that in the less-densely populated areas of ACBL-land, players would have an opportunity to earn Silver MP's without driving 6 hours to the nearest Sectional Tournament.
It takes 75 Silver points to earn Life Master. It is easy to see that the creation of STaC games would help many of those players.

Comment #2 - Level Pricing (charging the same entry fee for all games at the Club) will make your clubs more profitable and eliminate all up-charges to your players.
To the Club Manager, this means no complaints about the entry fees for any Special Games and more revenue.
But I've covered this topic before, so no reason to write more on this thread.

Comment #3 - If STaC games are properly and positively promoted by both the Clubs and the Units, then players will support them. If the Club Managers dread STaC games, in part because of the push-back on up charges, then the players will have a low level of interest.
Look around your own situation and answer this question:
'Who is the Cheerleader in your Club for StAC games?'
If the honest answer is No One, then you may have found an area for improvement.


Build for Tomorrow
July 3
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If our objective is to manufacture Duplicate Bridge players, then success would typically be measured in ACBL memberships and additional tables at Club games.

If we aim to manufacture happy bridge players, then we need to integrate them into local social bridge groups.

If the instructors only have connections to Duplicate Clubs, then many (most) of the students will be lost in transition (or lack of a transition).
July 2
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Each person who teaches Bridge should define what constitutes success.

If the goal is to add ACBL Members, then that would be a very different path than a goal of teaching people to play bridge.

It is my belief that social/rubber bridge players only play one convention. They may know it as Blackwood. They may not be sure whether it is called Blackwood or Gerber. They may just take the safe route and tell people that they play ‘the 4-NT convention’.

Rather than a discussion of what System to teach, go back to the basics and try to relate to someone who is just starting out.


But, above all, define success.
June 28
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The SAYC card is fine for many players. We don't need any changes to it.

If you are not familiar with the ACBL's Fat-Free convention card, take a look: http://www.acbl.org/tournaments_page/general-information/convention-cards/

We encourage all newby's to try the fat-free card.
June 27
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I really don't mean to derail the main topic.
Let me try to wrap the Home Schooling idea up.

Each state has a Home Schooling association. I'm not very knowledgeable in this area, but think the US Org. is : https://nationalhomeschoolassociation.com/

Parents are looking for meaningful developmental programs. This market is rather large and would fill most Bridge teachers class rooms.

While the ACBL should pursue this at the top level, any teacher can approach their local organizations.

Back to teaching bridge…. This topic has been explored at length on multiple threads. My belief is that we have failed when we try to put newbys through a weeks-long teaching program.
I'd say, a maximum of two hours of basic instruction, spread out over two weeks is enough.

Further, I think the organization goal should not be ‘to add 10,000 new ACBL members’. Instead, it should be to add 1,000,000 new rubber bridge players; who hopefully will replicate into 5M new social bridge players.
June 26
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My marketing idea is to reach out to the young people who are Home Schooled. We have a much better chance competing for Home Schooled kids.
June 26
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We discourage guns at our DBC. My state does allow ‘open carry’ in Church. The individual Churches can opt out and ban hand guns.
I'm really not in favor of Arming our Members.

(I hope you realize this is humor.)
June 23
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Steve,
You do a great job of presenting ideas.

I'd to see a report from the newly-restructured Educational Foundation. The only Meeting Minutes that are available on the web site are from the KC NABC; nothing from the last three NABC's.

Also, I feel that there has been some really great BW discussions about Teaching bridge, engaging Social bridge groups, marketing to key demographic segments and Best Practices.

This might be an impossible activity, but wouldn't it be nice to have a single-source document which captures those many good ideas?

Build for Tomorrow
June 22
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I thought that Body Odors were already covered in Zero Tolerance or in the ACBL Laws.

Tobacco odor should be treated like other body smells; including fragrance.

I would not promote additional rules, but instead urge for clarity of working in existing rules so that our players can be as free as reasonable from voluntary offensive odors.
June 22
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Gary,

My only interest was in opening up a discussion about the BoG and to seek input on the current operation.

Yes, I agree that it should not be about the candidates and that all posts should be limited to BoG operational topics.

I felt that with an election coming up, it might be timely to explore organizational direction for the next few years.
June 16
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I looked up the figures for my small unit and the numbers are quite small. We get $4.17 per ACBL member per year from the ACBL and we get $100 to $150 per year for STaC rebates from our District. We make a few dollars on our Tournament.

The money from the ACBL and STaC games is marginally enough to cover our fixed expenses.

Up-thread, someone said that Districts should limit their bank accounts to $100K and give the excess to promote bridge. My District is $60-70K short of that $100K threshold.

In addition, I don't feel that we are being short-changed or that any other entity should be giving us (Clubs and Units) a bigger allowance.

If we perceive a problem, we fix it.

Yes, I agree that the leadership structure of the ACBL is very ineffective and needs to be changed. But that is unrelated to any financial issues that Clubs might have.

I also completely disagree with the premise that Clubs lose money when their players are away at a tournament. Instead, I believe that tournament play helps to create stronger players which in turn results in stronger and larger Club memberships.

So in my view it isn't that the table count is down during tournaments, instead it means that table counts are up for the other 40+ weeks of the year.
My belief is that if you want to grow your Club, heavily promote attendance at tournaments.

While I respect other viewpoints and encourage open discussion and exploration of ideas, I also expect that respect to be a two-way street. Some of the interaction on this site has become personal and we all need to just Chill-Out a bit. We should be able to discuss topics on the basic merits.


Build for Tomorrow
June 13
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John B.

“…bridge would never be an Olympic sport.”

Then I need help understanding this: http://www.worldbridge.org/2016/09/25/bridge-added-to-the-asian-games/
June 12
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Gary,

Districts are on a three year rotation. One year the BoD position is up, then the two alternates and then the three BoG positions follow. Also, the Districts rotate so that only one third of the BoD positions are up for grabs in any one year.

The chart shows the current office holders, then the incumbents and finally the action taken or to be taken.

In the case of the BoG, six Districts had no one file for the positions, so the offices become vacant on Jan. 1st.
June 11
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Peg and Steve,

Finally you agree that there is a problem with the table counts from the Gold Rush pair events being added to the Open Pair table counts.

Now the next step by the BoD is to expand upon that problem so that the two events don't even have to be in the same Tournament.

Second reading occurs in Atlanta, but it permits the table counts from a NLM Regional to be added to the table counts from a Sectional's open pair event. The two tournaments are being run at the same time and in the same location.

The BoD believes that the proposed change corrects an oversight.


I say B.S. We need to go back and find a reasonable correction to the current Regional Gold Rush/Open pair MP calculation.


The Motion before the BoD expands the problem.
May 28
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