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The Fall NABC Schedule

For the last roughly fifty years the Fall Nationals has had what I call a 2-2-3-3 schedule, that is two two-day events to start followed by two three-day events. The other two have had a different schedule; until the last few years the Spring was 2-X-2-2, the summer 3-X-2. The X is the KO, which for the majority is a two-day event, for three-quarters of the remainder not longer than four days. With the addition of the Platinum Pairs to the Spring, the Powers That Be ('PTB') have changed both to effectively a 3-4-3 schedule with a three-day Swiss at the end. I call them 3-4-3 because at the end of the fourth day of the Spinderbilt the remaining field is down to four or eight teams. Almost everyone is ready for a new event.

From what i understand, a subcommittee of the Conditions of Contest and Conventions Committee ('CoCC') is considering cloning this format in the Fall NABC, with a third imp-scored KO to follow the Blues. In the process we would lose the last serious Board-a-Match event in the world. Now I do think that the current practice of having two BAMs at the same NABC is not best. I would spread them out a bit. But I also think that losing them all is a bad idea. 

I may be wrong, both about what the proposals will be and about BAM generally. The CoCC is a secretive group: neither agendas nor minutes are posted in a timely fashion, and the minutes are minute. In general they do not provide any information on the substance of the discussion, saying only that something was discussed. 

I would favor a 3=4=3 schedule for the fall, with the Four Day event being a BAM. My own preferred format would be one day of multiple teams followed by three days of KO play. BAM KO play. I believe that BAM KO needs far fewer boards to be formful than imp-scored KO, and that half-day matches would be adequate. 

In general, I think the second weekend of the Spring and Summer NABCs should be "fun" events. I would try out a Swiss Pairs - a very popular event in the UK, or at least it was 25 years ago - in the Summer. I would have the serious 3-day Swiss at the Fall NABC when everybody could enter. 

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