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All comments by Len Fettig
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A radio program devoted to bridge! An interesting approach to developing players.

I expect that prior episodes are available on 8-track tape, cassette and VCR.
Nov. 19, 2018
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Reply #1

International Competition - I wrote this document 3 months ago and have no idea why I assigned that responsibility to the BoD. Let's just delete it and move on.

The Election process for Board members - I'm sure that we can come up with several good suggestions. My preference is that the District Boards vote and that the election be ACBL-wide.
What is more important to me is the way the Panels will prepare folks to move up to the Board. When we have 40-50 people who are actively engaged in dealing with the organizational issues of the ACBL, those folks are growing and developing their skill sets.
For those members who have felt that some BoD members were inadequately prepared for the role, having an incubator process for leadership development will be a big advantage.

Thanks for the comments.
Nov. 19, 2018
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Steve,

I always appreciate your thoughtful research and analysis. You have certainly put a lot of time into these two proposals.

My view is that both of them throw money at the perceived problem. There is also an assumption that current members will recruit more new members if we provide tangible rewards.

My opinion is that such contests do not create the desired outcome. Instead, the current ‘high producers’ will reap rewards for what they are already doing.

Administratively, methods of tracking production by person would need to be considered.

I continue to favor publishing the District QUIP data. Let's put that information in the Bulletin quarterly and let our members see where their District ranks.

I also want to see a structural commitment at the BoD level for Membership Growth. So far all we have is an ACBL President who thinks chanting ‘Membership Growth’ three times will magically create better results.

Sorry Steve, I'd like to be more encouraging. Good Luck.

BTW, I don't expect a quorum in Hawaii for the BoG meeting.
Nov. 16, 2018
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Las Vegas in the Summer will not be a problem for hotel space.
That is the off season and Las Vegas has more hotel rooms than any other city in the world.
Nov. 12, 2018
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They left off my motion:

Item 189-99: Removal of Deck Chairs

A 3-year moratorium is effective immediately on:

Any changes to Master Point awards,
Any changes to NABC tournament schedules, and
All non-critical changes to documents (Bylaws, CDR, etc.)

This motion will take away the distractions that seem to impede progress on important Governance topics.
Nov. 12, 2018
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Does ACBLScore handle this type of game?
Nov. 11, 2018
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Club Appreciation Swiss games are really good for our newer players. Many times, it is their first (fractional) Gold Points.

The issue that concerns me is that we also have Grand National team (GNT) games during this same time frame.

For many Clubs, that creates a team game overload.
Nov. 9, 2018
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Stu,

Thank you for the information. It is welcome news to me.

I've gone through this exercise to encourage others to participate in this activity. All too often, rocks are being thrown at the BoD, but plans for improvement are missing.

I have no immediate plans to advance this Proposal to the BoG.
Instead, I felt that at least one idea needed to be floated about to stimulate thoughts.

Stu, anything further you can share about the ongoing process will be encouraging to our members.
Nov. 3, 2018
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When negotiating for a tournament at a hotel, the major components of the contract are:

Number of room nights that will be booked,
the cost of the playing space,
the cost of the food that will be provided by the hotel and
the complementary rooms provided.

When the Bridge Rate for lodging exceeds the normal rate for that hotel, that is a transfer of direct tournament expenses to players staying at that hotel.

I consider it a deceptive practice. The solution is to do a better job of marketing the tournament, to attract more players. That will generate additional revenue.
Nov. 3, 2018
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Don M. wrote: “ They were poorly attended - probably because the intended audience already knew how to run a tournament. Or so they thought.”

I agree with the statement as an observation. It is definitely my experience.
However, I wonder if the host organization (Unit or District) has established any measurable objectives for the tournament; other than ‘don’t lose money'?
Nov. 3, 2018
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I'll provide a better explanation of the Proposal.

The Board of Directors is only involved in strategic topics. Shrinking the duties means shrinking the size; likely in the range of 6-8 members.

All decision-making is handled by the nine Panels. All of the current 17 BoD Committees have been accounted for. Some have been combined as appropriate.

Two new Panels are being created. They are Membership Recruitment and Retention and Leadership Development.
The ACBL is a membership organization which has not had a Membership recruitment component.
Leadership Development is an investment in developing our various management teams; Clubs, Unit and Districts.

Staffing for the Panels will take 40-50 people. They will come from the Board of Governors, Clubs, Teachers, Units and Districts. For those members who have called for more engagement for Clubs and Teachers, this is just what you wanted.

The Leadership Development Panel also has the role of recruiting and selecting members to fill the Panels. As such, it is sort of a Human Resources function.

I hope these additional comments are helpful. I'd be pleased to add further clarity or to respond to messages. However, I do not engage in debates on BW. When I want to invite frustration into my life, I go play golf.

Let's Build for Tomorrow.
Nov. 2, 2018
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Jeff, thank you for your insight on this very important topic.

I think you have made some really great points.

• It is a huge change in subject matter going from the District-level to the ACBL BoD. As such, you have noticed that more meeting time is devoted to subjects that are more familiar and comfortable to the experience level of the BoD members.

• There is a need to improve things for the base-level of our organization. While we could talk about structural changes that feed in ideas from our Teachers and Club Managers, I’d like to view this recommendation from another perspective.
Missing from the BoD committees is anything to do with membership recruitment and retention.

While those are generally considered to be grass-roots activities, the importance to our organization is huge. Without proper attention, a continued decline in membership seems inevitable.
What is appropriate at the BoD-level, is a meaningful strategy that our loyal and dedicated Bridge Teachers and Club Managers can employ for more successful membership recruitment and retention.

Jeff, I think these observations are important and should be clearly addressed in any recommendations for replacing the current structure.
Oct. 29, 2018
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North has a three-loser hand and South opened the bidding. Any blame for missing the slam rests with North.
Oct. 28, 2018
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Post #2

To replace the existing governance structure with something better, we will need to have a list of all of the activities that the DoB handles.

Starting with the list of Committees,
https://www.acbl.org/about-acbl/administration/board-of-directors/meeting-motions-and-minutes/#comm

we might be able to understand the general activities performed.
(It would be nice to see a description of the responsibilities of each committee. If anyone finds that information, please post it here.)

So any governance replacement must provide for the current activities. If you feel that anything is missing from the current responsibilities, add it to your list.

What is likely to occur is that a significant amount of current BoD activities will be moved lower in the organizational structure. This will allow for shrinking the size of the BoD.

What about the Board of Governors? What role if any do you see for continuing this panel?

How about the CEO? How does that role fit into your recommended organizational structure?

… more to follow.
Oct. 26, 2018
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The last sentence speaks volumes:

“Every editorial product is independently selected. If you buy something through our links, New York may earn an affiliate commission.”
Oct. 26, 2018
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Craig, your experiences are very different from mine.
Ranking NT defenses in my neighborhood, it would be Capp., DONT and Brozel.
I haven't played regular Landy since 1970. I did play revised Landy until about 1975; then moved to Brozel.
I don't even see newbys learning Landy.
But if your area has a lot of Landy players, that is fine.

I doubt that the bridge teachers in my area have ever heard of Landy vs NT.

Nothing wrong with Landy. We just don't see players using it.
Oct. 25, 2018
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People still play Landy?
Oct. 25, 2018
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Mike,

The issue isn't the cost of a TD, it's a need for better tournament management.

An $8 entry fee is too low. Your neighboring Districts charge $12-14 per session. Within reason, players are not price sensitive to entry fees. Hotel rooms are a more significant pricing factor.

Looking at the Davenport schedule, I'm confused about your target audience and objectives behind the collage of events.

Low attendance is generally a result of poor tournament promotion.

Gone are the days when we could schedule a tournament, send out a few flyers and lots of players would show up. Now we need to do target marketing and spread flyers to Clubs and tournaments.

Being on the edge of Districts 14 and 8 means marketing to both Districts. But you also need to draw players from D-13. Quad Cities tournaments used to draw a lot of the D-13 players.

Looking at the list of players who attended your Sectional, all I see are local players.

Major changes are needed to provide the type of tournament experience that our players want.
Oct. 22, 2018
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We must grow our customer base.
Look to new people moving into your area.
Develop new players by teaching programs.
Stop viewing your former players as a solution.
Oct. 18, 2018
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From the Atlanta BoD meeting:
Impaired Asset Write-off
It is expected that a $375K impaired asset will be written-off in 2018. The CRM software project is being re-evaluated and it is unlikely that the initially selected Microsoft CRM software will be a viable solution. The write-off amount represents the capitalized software and development costs directly related to the attempted Microsoft CRM implementation.
Oct. 11, 2018
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