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All comments by Len Fettig
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Jeff. Excellent post!
A healthy discussion should lead to better planning. We are watching the RaC event and looking for insights that will help our organization.
Good luck to you and your players.
Nov. 11, 2017
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Since responder may have no points, for me it takes 17HCP and four trumps for a super accept.
Nov. 11, 2017
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In my area (center of the US), very few players have even heard of The Common Game. To my knowledge, none of the clubs participate in TCG.

This Regional at the Clubs concept came as a real surprise. I had written assurances from Bahar that none of the Big Ideas would be voted upon at the San Diego meeting. Now I learn that one of them is already in ‘pilot’ mode and expansion is on the agenda for S.D.

Whether or not it is a good idea, without some overall direction and some goals, proceeding with this transactional item is troubling to me.

Rather than take a “Let's try this.” approach, we need some well-thought out strategies.
Nov. 10, 2017
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Jeff, Thank you providing the background.

Are there Conditions of Contest? Where might we find them?

Thanks again,
Len
Nov. 9, 2017
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My reading of the STaC 25-mile rule, is that a Club may run a STaC on days, other than their regular sanctioned days, if no other club within 25 miles is already running a STac on that day/time.
That seems reasonable to me, regardless of the population density.
Nov. 8, 2017
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If players view the non-member fee as a penalty, then one mind-set is in play.

If players say they are going to skip a tournament because of a $3-4 extra fee, then I tend to think that something else is a bigger factor.

If tournament attendance costs $100 per day - lodging, food and entries - an extra dollar here or there is not really a factor. (yikes, I hope they don't look at all of extra fess that go into a hotel bill.)

Maybe we need to invert the process. Instead of pricing that goes up for non-members, let's offer a discount to members. Humm, entries are $15 per person, with $4 extra for non-members or entries are $19, but ACBL members get a discounted price of $15.

Savvy club managers have already figured out that their 2017 Instant Membership Applications are good until 12/31/2017 and have a $29 fee. While going through the ACBL will cost a new member $36.
So take your membership applications to tournaments and sign up some new players (wink wink, pre-fill in the information at the bottom so your Club gets credit.)
Nov. 2, 2017
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Peg,
ALL of the Regionals in my District are small regionals. It was a category and not a put-down.
There is a lot of acreage in the middle of the US, where bridge players have a pretty good hike to find a tournament.
Best,
Len
Oct. 25, 2017
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To add some additional information to this topic:

In my area, KO's have largely disappeared from Sectionals. In our largest Regional, we can get two brackets. The other Regionals usually have one bracket.

The Non-Life-Master players don't play in IMP events very much. A District-wide survey of our Club Managers showed that 70% of the clubs run no team games; with small size games as the main reason.

So I am interested in ways to provide a safe way for NLM players to learn and become comfortable playing in team events.

I appreciate all of the comments.
Oct. 24, 2017
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David, I looked at the schedule and the table counts. I like many of the things on the schedule, but at 600 tables, something has to change.
Unless we have a well-defined marketing program in place, tournament attendance will suffer. Under 800 tables, the Olympia schedule will just not work as well as it should.
So your tournament planners need to pick which solution is best for your players.
Good Luck.
Oct. 23, 2017
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Mike, I can see that you are concerned and seeking either answers or insights.

I've looked at your Regional data for 2017 and have a few observations to share.

With 721 players and 1152 tables in play, your Regional would be ranked as a small tournament. Those are the ones that I have the most experience with, so I'll use the metrics that I use in my D-15 efforts.

The number of plays-per-player comes in at 6.39. A healthy number for a ‘destination’ tournament would be 6.8 to 7.2. The next step is to do a detailed analysis of where your players come from. If that yields more local players (day-trippers) then we would expect to see a lower value for plays-per-player and it might explain your 6.39.

A quick scan of the MP winners seems to show a low level of market penetration in neighboring states. For my District, I compile that information as part of developing a marketing plan. I did not do that for your tournament.

If you are not getting the attendance from within your 200 mile radius or from your 500 mile radius, then attention needs to be paid to the tournament marketing plan. Marketing is very different from advertising!!!

Your tournament has an amazing 151 tables of I/N players. That is huge and will pay dividends for many years.

Your tournament is Gold Rush friendly; with GR events every day.

Your 22 sessions of Swiss teams is high and should be more in the range of 12-16 sessions.

Concurrent sessions are a problem for many tournaments of your size. You have a peak level of 6 concurrent sessions in a time slot and that occurs on five days.
My strong recommendation is that a peak of 5 sessions is acceptable for your tournament size. If, on one day, you hit 6 sessions that would be acceptable.

Looking at the MP awards, a four-session KO plays 30 MP's and a two session Open pair event pays 30 MP's. Except for the Pro teams and the folks who really want to play KO, you will find most of the players in the Open Pair event.

That is as much effort as I am willing to put into this activity. Perhaps something I've shared will be helpful in tournament scheduling and most importantly Tournament Marketing.

Good Luck. Len
Oct. 22, 2017
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Nicolas, I have the same result in my District.

Our Tournament Chairs are over-confident in their knowledge. Also, there does not seem to be any goals set. Therefore, what ever outcome is achieved, is just fine with the sponsoring organization. Just check off another tournament from the to-do list.
Oct. 21, 2017
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There are several good ideas included in this thread.

I'll add three additional thoughts.

1) over a 3-5 year time horizon, the mix of players at our tournaments changes. I assert that tournament data will obscure those changes.
Therefore, we always need to re-examine our tournament schedules and deliver the events that our current players want.

2) Our newer players are not playing in Team events. 2a) the use of electronic scoring devices (ESD) insulates the players from the scoring mechanics to an extent that our newer players just do not understand how the scoring works.
2b) smaller clubs do not run team games. As a club's membership declines, then team games are eliminated. Players will not play in tournament team games if they are not familiar with IMP scoring or team tactics.

3) any tournament that starts a KO event, concurrent with a Gold Rush event has realized that the A flight players will play in the Open Pair event - where the master point awards for two sessions will exceed the awards for 3-4 sessions of KO teams. The exception is the Pro teams. Therefore, the KO events are primarily a shoot-out among Pro teams and everyone else is ‘cannon fodder’.
Oct. 20, 2017
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Club
Oct. 20, 2017
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Don, I really like your explanations. You bring so much background information to topics and that really helps to anchor the threads. Thank you.
Oct. 18, 2017
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Thank you Debbie Rosenberg for starting this thread.

The Conditions of Contest for Grass-roots events (GNT and NAP) should be well understood by all North American ACBL players.

This thread seems to show that there is much to do to educate our players. I am really surprised.

Some Districts require Unit qualification to play in the District qualifier and some Districts have no Unit qualifiers. It sounds like the grass grows differently across North America.

The ACBL publishes CoC and the Districts publish their own CoC.

If the members of BW are this unsure/confused, where does that put our newer players?

Let's think about solutions. Is this a communications issue? Is it a procedural issue? What does it take to bring ACBL-level clarity to Grass-roots qualifying?

Thanks,
Len
Oct. 16, 2017
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This post is about ‘Big Ideas’ that will transform our organization.

Many of the replies are about master point awards in team games.

Surely we can do better!
Sept. 27, 2017
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Opponent just realized that Declarer had no honors in his trump suit. Now opponents need to re-think the high-card distribution of the hand.

Perhaps the first question is to determine whether to allow partner to retain the lead, or over take.

Yes, there is a lot that needs to be thought about in the deal.
Sept. 22, 2017
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Many people have noted the decline in Swiss Teams and KO participation.

We did an experiment at our recent tournament. The results can be found here: http://www.lenfettig.com/Swiss%20Teams%20or%20Pair%20Events.pdf

Participation is an outcome and we can't directly affect that outcome. We can however, determine the causation factors and do things which would reasonably affect future outcomes.

Random ‘tweaking’ of things just creates a sense of instability. We must avoid doing things, just to try to affect the outcome. Instead, we must clearly identify the factor(s) that are contributing to the adverse outcome.

… or so says me.
Sept. 22, 2017
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Don Mamula,

So true, but it takes a person with the right talents to overcome the obstruction.
Sept. 22, 2017
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Right on John D'Errico!
I think it is in the cards that the ACBL will allow Bridge PAC's. Incumbent BoD's who are defeated will write books about their experience; “I was Slammed Out”.
If there were election irregularities, then the results could be revoked.
Sept. 19, 2017
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