Join Bridge Winners
All comments by Len Fettig
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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, 2018
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The Milwaukee Sectionals in the 1970's featured free beer and cheese at their Sunday Swiss Team events.
July 23, 2018
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Chris, We tried the different options and settled on a percentage display.
The Traveler option slowed down play and caused loud discussions of the hands.
We are happy with the percentage display and do not plan to go to No Display.
July 22, 2018
Len Fettig edited this comment July 23, 2018
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Often Swiss Team pricing is by team and includes lunch. The Sioux City entry fees were $13 per person per session. There was no bundled pricing for the Swiss Teams. Therefore, each player paid $26 and paid for their own lunch.
July 22, 2018
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David, Good question!

The table counts are only meaningful when we examine the population of ACBL members within the tournament ‘foot print’.

In the wide open spaces of the US, a tournament foot print is generally a 200 mile circle around the host site. In super-dense urban areas, that range may be smaller.

Districts should establish realistic attendance goals for their tournaments. While the historical attendance can be helpful in establishing attendance goals, it is really the market size that must be the foremost factor.

Jokingly, ‘don’t lose money' is not a suitable goal.
July 22, 2018
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Steve M.
My District has been very active in running NLM Regionals; paired with a Sectional.
We have learned that our 0-299 players are grossly underserved by many Regional tournament schedules.
Regionals that offer as many sessions for the 0-299 players, as they do for Gold Rush, will achieve a 10-15% increase in total table counts.
Further, our 0-299 players are eager to attend tournaments that cater to their peer group.
July 22, 2018
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When trying to solve problems, I really perk up when the solutions are either:

throw money at the situation, or

establish rules or restrictions.

Instead, let's go back and see if we really understand the problem. Sometimes it is easy to be distracted and try to micro-manage an adverse outcome, rather than the actual problem.

Coordinating tournament scheduling is a significant issue and it can be quite challenging.

Earlier there was mention of six Regionals in a narrow timeframe and too close geographically.

That means that six sponsoring organizations, six Tournament Coordinators and six Tournament Chairs all seemed to overlook the cramped calendar. Any of those persons/entities could have recognized the developing problem and made alternate plans.
July 21, 2018
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Ken,

As I recall, the ACBL requires the gap of 500 MPs between the bottom and second flights.
Other posters may well correct or clarify what I have stated.
July 20, 2018
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Re: Tournament Success

I believe,

That all positive outcomes are due to the incredible volunteers who work tirelessly to deliver the best possible tournament experiences.

That all shortcomings and failures (including attendance shortfalls) must be entirely owned by the Tournament Chair.

When I review tournaments, low attendance is almost always due to a combination of three things - Bad Schedule, Bad Leadership and little to no promotion.

I don't like the suggestion that the BoD is in any way responsible or a factor in tournament success or shortcomings.

I respect the rights of all people to disagree with my point of view.

Let's all accept the challenge to improve the things in our own realms.
July 20, 2018
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I've published a Best Practices for Small Regionals document for my District.

Feel free to use anything that you like.

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

I've also developed metrics to assess our tournaments. If we achieve what we measure then it makes sense to measure something.
July 19, 2018
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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.
July 16, 2018
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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, 2018
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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, 2018
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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, 2018
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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, 2018
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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, 2018
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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, 2018
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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, 2018
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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, 2018
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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, 2018
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