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Thanks

From the looks of things, the data on the first page does not appear to be consistent with a claim that representatives from smaller district would be significant more likely to vote in opposition to this motion.

Of the eight cases where vote splitting occurred

There were 4 cases where the significantly smaller district voted in against the motion
There were 3 cases where the significantly smaller district voted in favor of the motion

The remaining one case is one in which the two district that would be merged are almost identical in size.
Nov. 27
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FWIW, I threw together a quick and dirty contingency table for the voting:

From the looks of things, 25 BoD members cast votes
15 of them (60%) voted in favor of the motion
10 of them (40%) voted against it

If we look at the assignment of districts we see

One case where three districts are being merged into one
Two cases where districts are not being affected
and 10 cases where two districts are being merged into one

Let's look at the last case (the 10 cases where two districts are being merged)

If we believe that votes are completely independent, then we would expect to see

Roughly 1.6 cases (.4 * .4 = 16%) in which both BoD members voted in against of the proposal

Roughly 3.6 cases (.6 * .6 = 36%) in which both BoD members voted in favor of the proposal

and roughly 4.8 cases in which the two Bod members split their votes.

What we actually see is

One case in which both BoD members were opposed (Districts 1+2)
One case in which both BoD members were in agreement (Districts 15+16)
Eight cases in which the two both members split their votes

There seems to be more vote splitting than I would normally expect

Here's the list of pairings. In each case, the BoD member from the district on the left voted in favor of the motion, the district on the right voted opposed

24 25
4 3
6 5
13 12
14 17
22 23
20 21
19 18

I'll leave it to someone better informed to figure out the likely winner in the various succession wars….
Nov. 27
Richard Willey edited this comment Nov. 27
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Well, this is rather sad

I'm curious if anyone has the following pieces of information

1. The list of districts that were to be merged together

2. Some measure of the relative “voting” power of each district with respect to BoD elections. (I believe that ACBL members don't vote for for BoD reps, however there should be some kind of count of those individuals that do)

3. Which BoD members voted in favor of the motion / against the motion…

In a perfect world, the likelihood that an individual BoD members voted for / against the motion would be unrelated to their current district's voting strength in the new combined district.

In a less perfect world, we might discover that BoD members who might perceive that they have a high likelihood of losing a future election were disproportionately inclined to vote against the motion.

And, if this turned out to be true, well I'd draw some conclusions about the individuals casting said votes…
Nov. 27
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What I would have really liked to have seen would have been some questions built into the survey to try and estimate the reliability of the results.

For example, at the most basic level, the ACBL knows how many ACBL members are over 45. So, if they survey had included a question asking whether the reader is an ACBL member AND the survey results deviated significantly from the objective truth then this suggests that the other results might be off as well…
Nov. 27
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If you don't believe the numbers, then why did you cite them?
Nov. 26
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Then bridge will die, because almost all of those clubs are going to die.

Please note: I don't believe that this needs to be true. Online playing environments like BBO are a completely viable alternative to the club ecosystem. All of the “serious” bridge play has moved from clubs to online. As F2F clubs continue to die, the same will hold true for the social game.

Hopefully the ACBL will recognize this before it's too late.
Nov. 26
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> so this information ACBL received through a paid
> survey run by professionals is “bull”
> or are you misreading results.

Randy, results like the one you are citing are used for PR purposes
This isn't the sort of thing that you want to use to make business decisions

Its entirely possible that the survey is achieving just what the ACBL wanted…
Nov. 26
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Few high level thoughts about this:

1. I am exceptionally skeptical whether anything can be done to salvage the club system outside a small number of geographies. As such, I am opposed to any suggestion that the ACBL should invest heavily in any such scheme.

2. I also don't believe that the ACBL should be subsidizing clubs. If private individuals can't make a profit operating “destination bridge clubs”, then destination bridge clubs might not deserve to survive.

3. I could be convinced that some kind of trial might make sense. However, I'd want to see a very clear description of the

A. The success criteria for the program (especially, how are things changing at the margin)
B. How we define failure and decide to cut our losses
C. The length of time before the program can be evaluated
D. The selection criteria with respect to the geography being evaluated
E. The extent to which we believe that the result of this program are replicable

4. As I have mentioned in the past, I think that the real challenge that the ACBL is facing is how to downscale the organization. I suspect the only real option is for the national organization to focus on running a small number of “destination” tournaments and, perhaps, focus on online bridge. Along with this, the ACBL should allow a lot of responsibility to devolve to local clubs and units (with the expectation that many of these will inevitably die over the course of the next couple decades).

5. If the ACBL is no longer providing much in the way of services to clubs and units,not sure that the organization can / should sustain their sanction fees.
Nov. 26
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w00t!
Nov. 26
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@randy

All fine and dandy, but how is this consistent with a claim that “social bridge is growing out of control”?

In order to show growth, you need to provide more than one point in time….

How do these numbers compare with, say, 10 or 20 years ago?
Nov. 26
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> Please don't say players dying off because social bridge is growing out of control.

This is a curious claim

Where is the data to support it?
Nov. 26
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> Why not?

Please explain how you derived your number and how this relates to the cost estimates for the proposal that Jeff is making.
Nov. 25
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Randy, my impression is that Jeff has a specific proposal in mind.

So, while I appreciate that you will always want people giving you more money, I don't find the specific amounts that you want helpful to this actually discussion.
Nov. 25
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> Good.
> Now we are getting some where.

I am asking for the third time:

If a fixed $25 bounty paid over three years is insufficient to cause any changes in behavior, how much $$$ do you require per tournament played by one of your recruits?
Nov. 25
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> I am intending on expanding my explanation. But I need
> people to understand first what the problem is.

> It is that there is no incentive for anyone out there
> to open a new full service bridge center. That is,
> one that focuses much of their attention and
> energies on creating future duplicate players.

Your original post is discussing actions at the margin: Are existing club owners willing to change their recruiting efforts based on a $25 bounty.

You are now shifting to discuss what is necessary to cause an individual to chose to invest resources to create a new full service bridge center.

These two things are not remotely equivalent. FWIW, I do agree that if a bounty is too small to cause a change in behaviour at the margin, it's not going to cause anyone to make a much more radical decision like investing significant $$$ in a new venture. However, this takes me back to my original question:

If a fixed $25 bounty paid over three years is insufficient to cause any changes in behavior, how much $$$ do you require per tournament played by one of your recruits?
Nov. 25
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WRT to the specific suggestion that Jeff seems to be advocating, this appears to be his traditional attempt to generate a downstream; Some percentage of the table fees that players pay to the ACBL would, in theory, be remitted back to Jeff.

Simple question: Would this ONLY apply to new players or are you suggesting that this should apply to any / all players that you have recruited in the past?

Complicated question: What is the net present value of the future cash flows that you would need to be paid? You’ve already indicated that $25 over the course of three years is grossly insufficient. The direct quote was:

“In conversations with other club sanction holders, not a single one said this would make the slightest difference in how they were going to conduct their business going forward. Not a single non-teaching club committed to begin teaching. Not a one. The costs for starting and sustaining a teaching program are enormous. Advertising alone would come to way more than the extra $25 (over three years) could cover.”

To further complicate this question, please note that there is significant uncertainty associated with any such revenue stream.

1. Not all players are going to move over the tournament bridge or how active they might be
2. It is far from certain that the ACBL will have the cash reserves to honor any commitments that it makes

And, of course, a dollar today is worth much more than a dollar in five year’s time…

If a fixed $25 bounty paid over three years is insufficient to cause any changes in behavior, how much $$$ do you require per tournament played by one of your recruits?
Nov. 25
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Because alternatives were tried and they failed miserably.

There have been a number of proposals for more radical reform focusing on restructuring the Board size / composition as well as selection criteria. They went nowhere because the BoD was unwilling to vote itself out of power.

The ACBL tried hiring an activist / reform minded CEO. He was removed by the Board after an extremely short tenure, the position of the CEO was neutered, and the responsibilities handed over to institutionalists.

I don't think that the burden of proof should rest on Chris to prove that an incrementalist approach will do better when it is all but impossible to do worse.

I will also note that the true value of this effort might be as a canary. If a well considered incrementalist approach is unable to gain support, then one needs to question whether there is any option other than schism.
Nov. 24
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> But, over time, this model started to die and
> people stopped playing. So, ACBL came up
> with ways to encourage/bring back players
> who weren't at the very top–

What you are doing here is making an argument in favor of necessity. (And I suspect that you are correct)

My original comments were directed against your claims of “fairness” which I did not find compelling
Nov. 23
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> what is the upside to not letting any team, even
> a team of 4 novices, play in the top bracket if
> they want to and the total number of teams in
> that bracket is still 16 or less?

Adding extremely weak teams to a strong event increases the variance of the results and decreases your ability to estimate the relative strength of the strong teams.
Nov. 23
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> But, the BOD does not want to extend that same
> opportunity to the rest of the membership, just
> those at the top. And, in my (and many other
> members') opinion, that is not fair.

Bridge is ostensibly a game a skill.

To me, there is a massive difference between a group of players would would be willing to play against all comers in the top section and a group of players who is demanding a small section that will allow them to win master points without facing strong competition.

I think that it is reasonable to accommodate the first.
I am less likely to twist the rules for the second group.
Nov. 23
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