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Is it time for ACBL Amateur NABC Championship?

I know, I know, there is great sensitivity about rocking the boat for the pros who earn their living from Bridge.  Nothing here disparages professional players nor gets in the way of their livelihood.  

I think it's time to enable excellent players who are not professionals, and do not play in tournaments for money, to compete for NABC titles.  

Many talk about the failed attempt by the ACBL to register professional players.  I think that strategy is wrong-headed and I am glad it failed.  

Better to follow on Golf and other sports - register the amateur.

That would allow at least one NABC to offer an NABC Amateur Title (Naming Rights TBD) for major forms of the game.  

Amateurs must never have taken payment as players to play in any sanctioned bridge event (travel costs and entry fees excluded).  They must never have competed in a "for-Money" Tournament and accepted the cash prize (if they turn it down, that's permissible - Pro-Am tournaments are run this way in other sports).  Penalty for misrepresenting amateur status is a ban from ACBL sanctioned Bridge for 5-25 years depending on the scope and repetition of the offense. Penalties should be consistent with existing CDR guidelines.

One can be an amateur and still play among the pros.

At least one NABC per year there would be an Amateur event contesting a National Amateur Championship. (There might also be a way to consider granting an award to the highest finishing Amateurs in Open competitions).

Amateur status is lost permanently once one takes a sponsors fee or a cash prize from any tournament. This includes fees paid to high ranking players at  Regionals and Sections to play on a hired team.  

(Note: Under 10,000 events do not accomplish this objective.  They are not NABC Championships and they allow lower ranking pros to play.  These are great and should continue.)

Demographics might or might not be ont he side o fthis idea - certainly there are many more Amateurs in our game than pros.  So I would expect this type of event to be an attendance positive.


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