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All comments by Mike Becker
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Good idea
May 18
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The rules are vague. Paraphrasing Nick's excerpt of the EBL's rules:

2.7 of the GCoCs says the Credentials Committee of the EBL, may bar anyone for any reason and need not provide the reason. This clearly allows the latitude to bar players. Similar rules have been used by the WBF for 50+ years, I believe.

However, 1.1 of the Special CoCs says that entrants must be members in good standing of their NBO to be entitled to apply for entry, and, in 1.3, that only accredited players can enter the venue of the championship.

Apparently convicted cheats who have sued their way back into bridge are legally accredited players of their NBO.
I wonder, must the NBO, under its own rules, (what are they?), accredit such members for international play or may they limit such accreditation to play within their own country?

I oppose rules that allow the governing authority to “Barr” a player without giving the reason. So these may not be the best rules. But there they are. The EBL Credentials Committee can choose to bar players, IMO. Apparently they have not done so, yet. Does anyone know?

FYI - From memory, almost 50 years ago Egypt refused to play Israel while at a WBF event and were assigned 0 VPs in a qualifying round. (I don't remember what Israel scored). Then, as a result, a rule was made that if you entered a WBF event you had to play against everyone. There was another instance where South Africa was barred from entry for many years because of Apartheid.
May 4
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Thanks all. Your congrats are much appreciated.

Our victory gives hope to the masses. We won because we played better than expected, and our opponents played below their average. We needed both. What are the odds of winning 6 matches as a 17 seed (without knowing who you'll be playing in any match)? If you do the math, maybe 2%.

This is the first Vandy win for Jeff, Steve, Alex and Peter. The Brits were and are incredibly good. One set stands out – the first quarter against Pszczola. Mike and I thought we were flat at our table. Before we went to compare we peeked at the BBO monitor's computer and saw the score was 59-14. And then we saw we had the 59! Mike K thought that had to be a mistake, but the monitor assured us it wasn't. Jeff and Steve were solid all the way. In the last 4 matches, we were +7, -3, +10 and -11 when they were in, and they played the 2nd and 3rd quarters.

I've never played in an NABC K/O with a partner who played as well as Mike Kamil. By my count, he gave up 24 IMPs in 270 hands. He was easy to play with and brought out the best in my game.

At 75, I became the second oldest Vandy winner. The oldest player to win the event was….my dad, at age 76, in 1981! :)
April 6
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I like the reorganization very much. This better fits how things are done.
Feb. 14
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Yesterday I stumbled on many comments about my father and Dorothy Hayden in this thread. Here's the 709th comment in a thread whose 708th comment was on January 8th. I don't expect it will be seen by many people.

I was saddened and surprised to see Bobby Wolff write that my father and Dorothy were “…caught red-handed and tried in the Atlantic City Pair Trials in either 1966 or 1967 and found guilty as charged…” News to me. I couldn't sleep last night thinking about it, so I decided to type in cyberspace today so maybe I can sleep better tonight. I doubt it. This sort of thing is unnerving. When an undocumented story is 50 years old, there's bound to be more than one version of what happened. I supply my version of the facts I recall them as a son living at home with my parents back then.

What I remember is that around 1966-1967, my father told me that he and Dorothy had been accused by “others” of cheating. He was quite disturbed about it. Me too. An ad hoc committee had been formed, consisting of Edgar Kaplan, Oswald Jacoby and Alvin Landy to look into the accusations. Edgar and my father were on good terms. Jacoby and my father were not on good terms. Landy was the head of the ACBL and a decent player. This type of investigation was right up Ozzie's alley, as he was a keen analyst. All three were very well respected. The investigation took several months, after which a thick report was presented to the “powers that be.” (I don't remember who.) My father received a copy of the report and I read it all. Slowly. There were many hands that were analyzed and summaries. I was an expert, so I understood what I was reading.

The unanimous “verdict” was that the accusations were “unproven.” Neither innocent or guilty. We both had mixed feelings. B. Jay and Dorothy continued to play together. In the 1968 Spingold, for the first time, I played on a team with them, partnered with Steve Altman. We placed second, slaughtered by Edgar and a bunch of other people eventually to be in the HoF. Sometime after the 1968 pairs trials in Atlantic City, my father told me that he and Dorothy had been quietly asked to not play together anymore. I don't remember who asked them. It was a request. He was beside himself, and we thoroughly discussed whether they should stop playing or continue. He and Dorothy decided to end their partnership, so I wound up partnering him in the 1969 Vanderbilt.

There are deep holes in my memory – What was the basis of the accusation? Exactly who accused them? Who was the report submitted to? I can't remember a single hand, or what the committee was looking for. Now, Bobby is 86 and I am 75 and we are trying to remember something that happened 50 years ago. There are bound to be differences. Landy died in 1967. The 1968 trials were in Atlantic City. I played in them. He says they were caught red-handed there and found guilty as charged. I never heard of that. I say accusations were made about two years before the trials and have first hand information that the charges were found to be unproven. Well, that's a big difference.
Jan. 27
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1. There is a big difference between more than 90 days and 90 days or more. 1 day! Is three months more than 90 days or less than 90 days or 90 days? Does it depend on which three months are used and/or if it starts at the beginning of a month?

2. Look at those on probation or suspension and the offenses they committed. For example, Levin, Passell, and Lair, Morse and that team?

I don't recall who got probation or suspension or for how long.
IMO 3 months probation may be a regularly used length.

3. Suspension is a pretty strong sanction. Should that be treated differently than probation ?

I have no opinion.

But consider in writing the rules.
Jan. 20
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Among other things decided – Keep the old senior seeding points but decay them until they disappear.
Jan. 20
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Yes they were from the ACBL and incorporated into our CoCs.
The Old Appendix P.

You are right, as usual – the above paragraph was last used in 2004 CoCs.
I have nothing after 2004 that uses the word, “probation” in any document. So the Current General CoCs are on the USBF Website:
http://www.usbf.org/docs/COC/General-CoC.pdf
Jan. 13
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I mostly agree.

History: 2000 CoCs 1.e. below = more than 90 days (not 90 days or more) and this wording carries thru on docs in my archives thru 2012. ***However – this pertained to when a player was to play in the WBF event rather than when a player was to play in the USBC. So we should discuss what the 90 day or more (or more than 90 day) period includes. The Trials? The Trials and the WBF event? Both? The WBF may have rules about this that trump our rules.

I can't find info on when, after 2012, that, “more than 90 days” became “90 days or more.” This is a huge difference. But we are talking different docs (Me – WBF event and Jan –the USBF event)

Eligibility for NCBO of ZONE II (ACBL) Nomination for Invitation to WBF Championships:

An ACBL NCBO will nominate a player for invitation to play in a WBF Championship only if he or she:

(a) is a citizen of the United States or a resident of the United States according to ACBL management criteria* or a citizen or resident of Canada, Bermuda or Mexico, as appropriate,

(b) is an ACBL member in good standing,

© meets WBF criteria and/or conditions for nomination, ignoring participation in multinational events,

(d) will not, at the time of the Event, be under ACBL suspension,

(e) will not, at the time of the Event, be under ACBL probation where the period of such probation was more than 90 days,

(f) has not been specifically excluded from playing in such Event by an appropriate disciplinary body under ACBL jurisdiction,

(g) has not been refused nomination by the Board of Directors for reasons of personal hygiene, dress, deportment or ethics, and,

(h) has not played in events in more than one NCBO, in which he or she was eligible for qualification to represent that NCBO in the same WBF Championship (same event and year).

(I) has submitted a signed and dated certification statement, provided by ACBL management concerning the use of illegal drugs and inappropriate behavior during the course of any event requiring nomination and approval by the ACBL Board.

Non-Playing Captains (NPCs) must meet the same eligibility requirements as the players on the team they are serving.
Jan. 13
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“A player not in good standing can play in ACBL events other than the NAP and GNT Unit level or higher competitions.”

A confusing sentence. I think this means a player not in good standing cannot play in unit GNT, NAP, + Regionals + NABCs, but all other unit level competitions are OK = Regular club games, are OK.

Sectionals? Hmm. Sectionals are unit competitions, whether held at clubs or not. At the time they wrote this, there may not have been sectionals held at clubs.

Perhaps the ACBL wanted to allow these players to play in club games so as not to hurt club revenue. I seem to recall that reasoning.

No matter, it's not that relevant to the discussion.
Jan. 13
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So the vote was 17 to 13. Good to know. Thank you.
Would have been better to know earlier.
Dec. 19, 2018
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I see 16 Yes to 22 No and one “other.”
By the old rules, Board members can vote, whether they play in USBCs or not (or whether the TAC Chair has authorized them to be voting members even though they don't play in USBCs)
Two of the yesses are Marty and Brad.
Two of the yesses were “private.”

Assuming
1. the BoD vote was 4 to 3 and the 2 private were not Board members and,
2. all who voted were entitled to vote (Jan that's where you come in),

the vote was 18 Yes to 26 No counting all Board members + 1 “other”

That was the presumption I made from the vote results and based my subsequent remarks on. If it was close to a tie, remove all of my objections to the BoD deciding the matter. My apologies.

Jan?
Dec. 18, 2018
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I heard that the BoD vote was 4-3. Since the ITTC vote was not close, I don't understand why we are making a rule change based on 1 BoD member's swing vote rather than the 36 member TAC or the larger ITTC group. (Other than the BoD has the power to do so!) Did the ITTC overlook some technical reason or misunderstand the issues? Was the issue properly vetted? What if a subsequent BoD, with a change in personnel, revisits the issue decides by a 4-3 vote the other way?

The “prime directive” of the ITTC is to create CoCs responsive to the wishes of the members who play in the event. When the ITTC votes, a clear vote should be determinative. But not to this BoD.

The ITTC has already voted. The TAC has not. The TAC is a more sophisticated group of people. If the TAC feels similarly to the ITTC maybe the BoD will listen. If not, we'll complete this survey, which currently looks to me to be going nowhere – there is no majority on any issue. The largest vote on an issue is 11. This speaks to the issue's complications. (One of the reasons I proposed simplifying the matter (see my comment on question 1 – it eliminates questions 2 and 3)

Also, I'd like to know why people who have not voted —have not voted! 37* people on this important committee with few commentors and voters. let's get out the vote! (*Given that only active members can vote).

I make a MOTION that the TAC vote on whether a player who has won one USBC can play in a subsequent USBC when the WBF events are being held at the same time. Maybe the BoD will listen to the TAC if the TAC produces a clear vote on the matter. But
judging from the comments made, I suspect this vote will fail and we will have to proceed to finish this 100 hour exercise. But more than 11 people need to vote, regardless.
Dec. 18, 2018
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I voted other, I guess.

Today, in the previous discussion I wrote:

Make a rule that a player cannot resign from a winning team if it would disqualify that team under whatever rules we agree upon. That way the winning team would know it cannot be disqualified.

Then I could make a better decision on how to vote on question 1.
======================================
Then Mike R replied:

What if the team wants to play in the particular USBC as a team, but has no problem (or is willing to take the chance of) being disqualified if a pair wins another USBC and drops off? I think that scenario is quite possible. You are basically ‘preventing’ that team competing in the earlier USBC.
======================================
Then I replied:
We should have rules that encourage the winning team to be the one that represents us.
–Not rules where you can enter the event and hope, after you win, that your teammates do not win another trials and leave the team and disqualify you.
–Not rules that allow a second place team to go to the WBF WC instead of the winner.

But the BoD has decided differently. (In my 16 years as chair, the BoD always went along with clear ITTC CoC recommendations, but times have changed.)

My proposal would not disallow someone from changing teams. The proposal would disallow them from changing teams if their original team would be disqualified.

But there MUST be some measurement of the contribution the departing players made to their team's win.
This can be measured by boards played by the remaining players or departing players, each remaining player or the average of the remaining players, or seeding points, or less objectively by a vote of peers (anathema to us). Are there other ways?

So,…
1. We don't want the departing players to be hired guns/premier players.
2. Can the departing players be a little better than their teammates but not hired guns/premier players?
3. Should the departing players be no better than the rest of their team (like the substitution rules in place today)?

The sense of the committee seems to be in 2., above.

We can decide on the threshold if my proposed rule was in place.

Also, I think this eliminates questions 2 and 3, simplifies the issue.

My proposed rule blends Board's position with the clear majority view of the ITTC.
Dec. 16, 2018
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We should have rules that encourage the winning team to be the one that represents us.
–Not rules where you can enter the event and hope, after you win, that your teammates do not win another trials and leave the team and disqualify you.
–Not rules that allow a second place team to go to the WBF WC instead of the winner.

But the BoD has decided differently. (In my 16 years as chair, the BoD always went along with clear ITTC CoC recommendations, but times have changed.)

My proposal would not disallow someone from changing teams. The proposal would disallow them from changing teams if their original team would be disqualified.

But there MUST be some measurement of the contribution the departing players made to their team's win.
This can be measured by boards played by the remaining players or departing players, each remaining player or the average of the remaining players, or seeding points, or less objectively by a vote of peers (anathema to us). Are there other ways?

So,…
1. We don't want the departing players to be hired guns/premier players.
2. Can the departing players be a little better than their teammates but not hired guns/premier players?
3. Should the departing players be no better than the rest of their team (like the substitution rules in place today)?

The sense of the committee seems to be in 2., above.

We can decide on the threshold if my proposed rule was in place.

Also, I think this eliminates questions 2 and 3, simplifies the issue.

My proposed rule blends Board's position with the clear majority view of the ITTC.
Dec. 16, 2018
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Make a rule that a player cannot resign from a winning team if it would disqualify that team under whatever rules we agree upon. That way the winning team would know it cannot be disqualified.

Then I could make a better decision on how to vote on question 1.
Dec. 16, 2018
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Jan and Mike: Thanks.
Jan: I see it is possible if top pair plays all the boards, that the 60% average does have some effect.
Dec. 14, 2018
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Mike R
What's the “core 4?” If a 5-handed team has one player withdrawing, you are saying the team is not disqualified as long as every player played 50% of the boards. Of course. (They will have played at least 75% of the boards.

Jan:
“60% average”, in context above = the team is not disqualified if it loses a player or two on a 6 handed team, or a player on a 5 handed team. It's no threshold at all.

Say, 1.c. “The team remains eligible as long as it has 4 eligible players on it.”
Dec. 14, 2018
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FYI - The total board-percentage played in a match adds up to 400% for 4 players, 5 players or 6 players.

For example,

If a 6 handed team has 4 remaining players who averaged exactly 60% of the boards played, the two departing players played an average of 80% of the boards. 60+60+60+60+80+80 = 400

If a 6 handed team has 5 remaining players who averaged exactly 60% of the boards, the departing player played 100% of the boards. 60+60+60+60+60+100 = 400

If a 5 handed team has 4 remaining players averaging 60% of the boards, the departing player played 160% of the boards! Well, that's not possible. 60+60+60+60+160 = 400

It might be that the percentage of boards played by the remaining team members on a 5-handed team should be revised. Or not. (As a practical matter, quite often, on 5-handed teams 3 players play all the boards and two players play half the boards.)

Putting it another way, on a 5-handed team or 6-handed team, if one person who played any number of boards departs, the team would still be qualified using the 60% average threshold.
a. On a 5 handed team the remaining 4 players would have averaged playing 75% each, even if the departing played played 100%.
b. On a 6-handed team the remaining 5 players would have averaged playing exactly 60% of the boards even if the departing player played 100%

Was this enlightening, confusing or irrelevant to questions 1.c, 1.d, or 1.e? Should any of the questions be edited?
Dec. 14, 2018
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Russ had 5 major NABC wins, 6 seconds, and a first, second and third in world play. All since 1992. I was Russ's teammate from 1992 to 1996. He was a good teammate and we had some good results. When we stopped teaming up, he became an opponent, and my record against him was an amazing, 0-5!

This next paragraph will not leave you with that warm and fuzzy feeling: Russ had given up smoking when we were teammates, but I saw him smoking a cigarette at an NABC in about 1997 and asked him why. He told me, “I'm just having a few of them.” I begged him to not smoke another one. He walked off to speak to other players, and lit up a cigarette. A moment etched in my memory. Russ died from the effects of smoking (notwithstanding any news to the contrary.) To you smokers out there, let his death be, in part, a reason for you to stop.
Dec. 13, 2018
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