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If I was king for a day

10 things I would change about ACBL Nationals, and the USBF:

1. Change the trials rotation so that the cycle ends with the Reisinger. Have a 2 stage trials, with much longer matches; the first phase would be in early February, the last 1 or 2 matches would start the Wednesday or Thursday before the spring NABC's.

2. Change the method for seeding the Vanderbilt and Spingold. I would use current seeding procedures to rank the teams, but then I would divide into groups of 16, and have random draw within each group.

3. Change the Reisinger into a much longer event, along the lines that has been suggested here. 2 or 3 days of RR to get to a KO, with seeding based on results in the RR. If 16 teams made the KO, the top 4 would choose from 13-16, then 5 and 6 from 9-12, with random draw for the last 2 matches.

4. Eliminate Seniors events. Having events where 90% of the league is eligible seems wrong, and also bifurcates other events.

5. Allow more conventions in the premier open national events. Multi, for example, is allowed in club games in Europe and Australia, but not the Reisinger, or the big 3 pair games.

6. Eliminate suggested defenses at the table. They create oodles of UI, and are really against the laws of bridge. The way around the rules about having no memory aids is to consider your suggested part of their convention card.

7. Cut the Junior rate in half again. I am glad they brought up that silly notion of charging Juniors full rate for those over 500 MP. What a joke. I'd rather let them play free. I can see some cutoff, but I'd choose 5000 MP as a sign a Junior is playing full time.

8. Enforce the Convention Card rule. Now that our directors aren't tied to a computer entering scores, we should have one director walk the floor and make sure everyone has at least ONE convention card available for the opponents.

9. Enforce the cell phone rule. Have a random check of one section per session. Enforce the penalties without exception for offenders. Make the cell phone check a VOLUNTARY $2 donation.

10. Have fewer regional events at the nationals. Run 3 pair sessions per day. Pick which 2 you prefer to play. You can still have separate winners for Seniors, Men/Woman, stratified flights, or whatever. But whoever has the highest across all of those enters actually wins something more meaningful that day. Don't start a 2 day KO the same day you have compact KO's, or Swisses.

11. Have 32 teams in the top bracket of KO's. The top 24 would automatically be in the top bracket, but this would leave room for those who want to play up. The top 8 teams of those wishing to be in the top bracket would get to play the top. Run 3 matches of 22 boards the first day. The losers in round 1 would still have a 16 team bracket to keep playing in.

Sorry, that was 11. I would love to hear your thoughts, good and bad.

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