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Will This Forum Become More Than an Exercise in Herding Squirrels?

I was pleased to see this new forum, and looking forward to an exchange of ideas and "best practices" so we could all improve at what we do.

What I have found so far is lots of dissatisfaction with ACBL, and people trying to organize to take some action hoping to get some improvements thereby from ACBL.  Trying to organize -- like trying to herd squirrels!  

So far there is no specific list of grievances to agree on, no specific list of changes to unite in support of, and no specific setup to escrow funds (the only action I've seen pushed).

So far there is some kind of split between member-owned, not-for-profit clubs, and entrepreneurs who make (not enough of) a living from teaching and/or running for-profit clubs.  At least that's what I read the latter writing; the former are conspicuously silent (perhaps conspicuously absent?).  Both types of clubs do essentially the same thing -- provide opportunity for players to enjoy duplicate Bridge (and some add rubber bridge, Chicago, even Canasta) and improve their games (some with big teaching programs, some with not-so-big teaching programs, some with no formal programs).  Why disparage and write off the smaller clubs, or not-for-profit clubs?  Are they really your enemies, you big for-profit clubs?

You don't need -- WE don't need -- an ACBL to do what we do.  Just walk away if you are dissatisfied. A small investment in hardware and bandwidth will give you all you need to offer Bayone/Compton/Zangri Masterpoints equivalent to ACBL Masterpoints.  Set up an equivalent organization without Districts or Units; see how many Clubs and Members disaffiliate from ACBL and join you.  See where and when you can have your umbrella organization join with member clubs in specific areas to offer tournaments as in the models you cite.  With none of your $$ going to ACBL, see if you can fund the recruitment and teaching to provide a steady stream of new members.

Don't just rant, make a viable plan, carry it out, and get out there and show us something that works! 

Replace ACBLscore -- use Bridgescore+ or other available software; that may prove to be a boon to all.

In the meantime, I have boards to pre-deal for tomorrow's games, and Tuesday's, and Wednesday's, and Thursday's, and so on -- and hand records to print as well.  All for $FREE -- everything coming in this week goes to Alzheimer's Association.

And until there is a viable alternative, I'll continue providing ACBL Masterpoints to the players in my games, and continue paying table fees to ACBL for the games I run.  I'll provide the one-month trial ACBL memberahip to non-members who get excited about Duplicate, and many of them will go on to join ACBL for a full year.  I'll even continue to work with my Unit and District -- no one else is running any nearby tournaments now except ABA, and I have seen no waste, fraud, or abuse in how the Unit and District are handling money and spending it to support Bridge in this area.  Their bank balances are not constantly rising and are certainly nowhere near the large numbers about which I read gripes.

I'll come back and see if there are any good ideas I can use to help grow my club, and I'll continue to use "A Taste of Bridge" as the basis for my teaching beginners.  I'm two for two with groups of satisfied students so far.

I'm still looking forward to that exchange of ideas and sharing of best practices!

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