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All comments by Mike Cassel
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http://www.acbl.org/tournaments_page/ethics-and-discipline/active-ethics/#Disclosure

Principle of Full Disclosure

The philosophy of active ethics tells us that winners should be determined solely by skill, flair and normal playing luck. Actively ethical partnerships take pains to ensure that their opponents are fully informed.

A major tenet of active ethics is the principle of full disclosure. This means that all information available to your partnership must be made available to your opponents.

Let’s take a look at weak two bids from the point of view of full disclosure. When an established partnership opens a weak two bid, they have a great deal of information of which their opponents are not aware. The convention card discloses the point range, but little else. However, the partners are aware of the range of hands on which the bid can be made (discipline?, suit quality requirements?, five-or-seven card suits allowed?, side four-card major ok?, void ok?, positional variations?, etc). Full disclosure requires that all these inferences, restrictions and tendencies be made known to any opponent who inquires about their style.

If you are interested in knowing these things about your opponent’s bid, merely say to the bidder’s partner, “Would you tell me more about your style?” You may use the style inquiry’ to ask about any call your opponent makes.

The actively ethical player will often go beyond what is technically required in volunteering information to the opponents. Quite often, the declaring side in an actively ethical partnership will volunteer such information before the opening lead is made. (But remember, when there has been misinformation given, such as a failure to alert or a mis-alert, there is a LEGAL obligation on the player whose partner misinformed the opponents. He, the bidder, must give the opponents the correct information at the end of the auction if his side is the declaring side or at the end of the play if his side is defending.)

New players or infrequent partnerships usually will not have understandings about the items discussed here and , of course, it will be perfectly proper for them to reply “We have no agreement as to style.”
May 16
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I fail to see how a 3 imp or 1/4 bd. deduction will mean the end of bridge. We are all entitled to forget what we are doing. I don't think we should profit from forgetting when it disrupts normal bridge/your opponents.

It's not like the penalty for fouling a board or misduplicating (not that we see that anymore in acbl land)

Out of curiosity, let's say a director is called after someones opens 1N with a small singleton. They are advised of current policy. Then they do it again in the next session. Is there a penalty?
May 15
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start low from the K toward the AQ
if RHO plays T or J then play LHO for the other 3
if LHO plays T or J then play low toward K so you can pick up the other 3 on your right

am i missing something?
May 14
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Count me as a believer in automatic penalties for convention disruptions that disadvantage the NOS.
How can it be that the opening preemptor isn't responsible for alerting his screenmate that 4 was a transfer preempt?
May 14
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I chanced to briefly chat w M Aquino last week
Our district made a very conscious decision that there NO carryover into the KO round
Your goal on Q day is to finish in a qualifying spot
If you are in 6th place at the dinner break you aren't going to Q with 4x 11 or 12 VPs in the second session
You could lose by 20 to a team right after dinner then get 3 big wins to get to 4th and a spot in theKOs
Starting a SF match down 20 because you had to press to Q, even if the c/o is capped, for us, was wrong
Q day is a different contest in our view

You made it and you aren't handicapped for doing so
May 3
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I've heard your and others' messages and I don't think there's any risk of losing the legacy Championship GNT flight. If for no other reason, you can't mess with people's payday.

In D14 we give our Open Flight champs the same free GNT entries as is given to the 3 lower flights. I moved that the district cover all Open flight entry fees. If our team got to the quarterfinals I thought the district should reward them. The motion failed.

Peg,
I think that B & C district champions skew younger than Open Flight champions. They are more like to still be working. They may well be less wealthy. But I've seen no data and treating awards differently would not be my choice.

I want to utilize the huge overage from the NAP to support growing the event at the bottom. This is the pool from which future NABC attendees will come from and a WINNING A TRIP WITH A SIGNIFICANT, not $500 or $700, AWARD can make the cost of playing in a district final for the hope of nice reward worth it.
May 2
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The ACBL gets a very small $1.25/table? from GNT club games. A district receives any other upcharge or per table fee. In D14 it is $5/table and it goes into the pot of special event funds. Our district's ‘nut’, in the form of NAP and GNT awards is about $13K.


$5/table from Grass Roots Fund games goes to and is aggregated by the ACBL. At the end of the cycle 80% ($4/table) is returned to the district in which it was raised. 20% goes to the league for redistribution to the districts based on which quintile (using a standard deviation calculation) in production (GRFd$ raised/#of players in district) and the population size of the district. A district's free GNT NABC entries are deducted before returning the balance of the 20%. Russ Jones (D10) can explain it better.
May 2
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One piece of math
If you eliminate subsidies for the Open flight you automatically boost subsidies 33% for everyone else.
That is NOT what I am proposing…. it's just math

Maybe the grass roots team event's flights should mirror the NAP. Just 3.

In the last day or few I suggested an idea to allow a second team to compete in a nonNABC+ top bracket if a district's winning team chooses to ‘play up’.

I'm ALL about the bottom of the pyramid. Sometimes you need a little less focus at the top to grow the bottom. Sometimes if your open up the top you breathe life into the event and a beneficial breeze reaches all levels

I don't believe you have any clue about how much homework I've done on these issues.
May 2
Mike Cassel edited this comment May 2
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you chose to not answer any of my questions but instead choose to gnaw at someone who is actually and actively working to effect a positive change. you clearly DON'T get what I am about.

FUN is winning a trip to the NABC not winning the right to pay for one.

send me a message with your tel # and we can have a civil conversation

after I finish my district's GNT paperwork, prepare a presentation for the board meeting, finish composing and editing the daily bulletins at our spring regional before Memorial Day, and finish entertaining a friend coming from China to play at our regional before his daughter's college graduation.

you've got quite the nerve.

I daresay we wouldn't have a Grass Roots Fund without my efforts, as well as those of other members from the now defunct Special Events Task Force.

GRFds have now accrued over $500,000 “across the league” that is supposed to be being used to support our special events. We've NEVER had a report, accounting or otherwise, of what districts are doing with their GRFds.

Had I had my way the ACBL would be rewarding districts doing the best at building participation from the combination of annual NAP table fee profit after expense, and Grass Roots funds. That's about $400,000 every year.
May 2
Mike Cassel edited this comment May 2
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Gene
how bout you opine on how many district GNT champs would choose to play up in the Open against a handful of teams with professionals vs competing in a second tier if offered a choice.

Evolve via devolve or perish?

I am continually surprised by the number of seeming true believers who consider the Open Flight a fully legitimate NABC+ event. If it was don't you think there would be more sponsor-based teams? If it was don't you think the event would been deemed worthy of maintaining seeding or positioning points?

You said “is your purpose to increase attendance, by reducing participation?” We would have more teams competing if there were different contest conditions. We can decry the dumbing down effect of Gold Rush events, and flighting (like the carve out of Flight A in the GNTs at the turn of the century) or the conferring of Life Masterhood to players who may have rarely played against a Life Master, but they are putting bodies in seats. Can we get them to keep playing after they achieved Life Masterhood… when they have to play against better Flight B players?

Maybe you'd like to do a little homework and find out if participation in the GNTs increased after 2001. Participation decreased in the top flight when flight A began. I would guess that attendance increased after you add the table counts in district finals of both Flight A and the Championship flight.
May 1
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Dave,
i think this is the kind of elitist commentary that reminds me of night blindness. There's a storm brewing as we potentially age out of viable live tournaments…

But let's not embrace any change that threatens TRADITION.
We COULD recast this into a leaguewide special DESTINATION event that creates new NABC attendees but……Nooooo, don't take away a title most district champions will never be able to win.

You said “Either send a representative or don't send one. The players will let you how well they like your choice”. Give district champions a choice of
1. GNT Open Flight or
2. Bracket 1 of the North American Grass Roots teams

We'll see which event withers like the Wagar.
April 30
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Peg
There is a loyal contingent that can't seem to bear the idea of losing a NABC+ championship flight. So we retain the legacy GNT Open Flight.

Teams that win their district championship have the right to play in either the GNT Open NABC final or lesser event that does not qualify for grand life master status.

Let's call it the North American Grass Roots Teams Bracket 1. Any district champion team with two or more grand life masters MUST play in the legacy event.

The district champion must declare it's intent vis a vis GNT or Grass Roots top bracket. If the the district champion ‘goes high’ the district can send it's second place finisher to the grass roots bracket if the team is not ‘a team of professionals’.

just thinking ‘out of the box’ here. would this encourage more competition in the teams portion of this special event? I believe it would.
April 30
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Our original contention, IIRC, from the early days of the Special Events Task Force, was that the GNT was “broken at the top”, not because of sponsor-based teams, but because participation in the event is dampened by the dominance by teams OF professionals. Again, the mission of the task force was twofold
1. Explore new grass roots events/strategies and
2. Recommend programs that encourage participation in bridge both at the local level and in tournaments/NABCs.

In D14 we probably could generate a 5 team Open Flight field instead of the two or three we typically get IF the top flight was differently configured. “Why bother” when we have no chance IS a reality. I wish we had a survey to develop more than anecdotal data about who competes and doesn't compete and why… across all flights not just the Open flight.

I stated earlier (doth i protest too much), ~zero GNT disrict champion teams with no grand life masters enter the Spingold after the GNTs end.

We never had data to determine if the ‘amateur’ teams stayed to play in other NABC events or they went home. if these teams were bounced from the Wed GNT Qualifying Swiss did they play in the Thursday Charity events?

There were clearly two classes of Open Flight teams: Spingold class teams and other teams. Thus, to encourage more participation in the GNTs we proposed that the top flight of the GNTs start on Spingold Day 1. YIKES… the pushback AND it still continues. We were accused of being anti-professional but the reality is that we were PRO little people considering strategies to breathe more life into an event that the ACBL abandoned around 1991.

I continue to believe in the soundness of the above missions.
I see no route to accomplishing this until we have a scoring program that makes it easy to run team games in clubs.
April 30
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I believe a distinction must be made between professional teams and teams of professionals. There have been fewer sponsor-based teams in recent years. Is this what you meant, Peg, when you said the majority are not professional teams?

I wonder if this was what Chris W was referring to above when he “did count teams which have members who have played professionally as long as the team itself would not be a professional-class team for the Spinderbilt”

I wish the national conditions of contest required club qualification. IF professional or other world class players HAD to earn a Q at the club level I think there WOULD be heightened interest in the event. Whereas NAP club games generate over $400K in table fees the GNT club games generate a paltry $10-$15K in table fees. High level players are NOT playing in GNT club games
April 29
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I'm not sure what the question is but if district champions in the lower flights of special events received A REAL REWARD, $1,500 or $2,000?! I would bet we'd find a big increase in the event's interest from less experienced players.

D Waterman kind of unintendedly hit the nail on the head. Let's do away with the not so Grand National Teams and focus on a new Grass Roots National Teams. Retain a non-subsidized GNT Champion flight if folks can't let go and want an ACBL member only unrestricted event.

STOP HANGING ONTO THE GLORIOUS PAST and focus on BUILDING AN EVENT FOR THE FUTURE
April 27
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If the team that had these hands were down 50 they may have made the assumption that their counterparts were surely going to stretch to bid a thin game, so they decided to go the other way.
April 26
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a link to online gold points?

never mind

http://web2.acbl.org/documentLibrary/about/163OrlandoBoDMinutes.pdf
Item 163-46: On line Events
Management will continue to experiment with holding online events at Regional tournaments, using
the following conditions provisionally added to the Codification as guidelines, for a period of two
years, and will report to the Board of Directors thereafter.
April 26
Mike Cassel edited this comment April 26
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If anyone thinks it important it would not be difficult to determine how many Gatlinburg 2016 attendees were in Victoria or Tyler this year.

We went for a few days this year BECAUSE of the fire.

Local service staff were uniformly appreciative of bridge player support.

We received a survey as soon as the regional ended. Maybe a survey should be sent to 2016 attendees who did not come this year to ask why they did not return?

family conflicts
work related conflicts
loss of housing (or fire related)
attended other regional
cost issues (including cost of venue access)
other ______________

is there anything the regional committee should do to ‘woo’ you back?
April 24
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If you restricted the top four to choosing from 13-16 instead of 9-16 and randomly seeding 5-8 with 9-12 some of the less accomplished teams might have an easier road to a quarterfinal or better finish.

If two really good squads had a bad Swiss the teams that finished third and fourth in the Swiss will be bummed.

the increased randomization might lift the hopes of some of the 9-12 Swiss finishers, but I don't see the practice enticing more teams to play in the Open Flight district finals
April 22
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re Unit Qualifying
in our D14, in the old days before Flight A was carved out, you had to qualify in a unit final to be eligible to play in the district final.

this kept the field sizes manageable for a 2-session Swiss on Saturday morning and afternoon that would qualify 8 teams for quarter-, semi- and final KOs on Sat eve and Sunday.

those days are long gone. one thing is for sure and that is that each district can design their own contest conditions. no one size fits all.

i haven't seen any stats on overall attendance increase from districts that moved to online finals.

The GNT/NAP coordinators advocated for a regular column in the monthly ACBL bulletin that could highlight success stories from districts doing the best job. We need to do a better job disseminating “best practices”. It's in the league's interest to do so.
April 21
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