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All comments by A.J. Stephani
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@David: The language you quoted was not included in the motion actually passed. The language in the first numbered item was deleted in Committee for precisely the reasons you stated.

Sometimes the ACBL can edit to save its life.

@All: The motion that passed is simply the second numbered item, viz, “An agreement made between two or more people, at least one of whom is a contestant, to exchange or pass information illicitly. This section includes agreements made by persons who are not partners or contestants, including, but not limited to kibitzers or teammates.”

We didn't feel the definition was perfect (I am personally concerned with interpreting the word “illicitly”), but we felt it was imperative to get something in writing now and allow for refinements later.

If anyone has suggestions, we'd love to get your feedback.
July 23
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Hi Cam,

The Board passed a motion in Memphis authorizing management to implement a Voluntary Relinquishment Policy under certain parameters.

That Policy was presented and affirmed by the Board in Las Vegas.

Both votes were unanimous. I can provide a copy of the policy if requested, but keep in mind the Board minutes are not official until corrected and ratified.
July 21
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When teaching, my typical criteria for hands that should open 2C:

22+HCP (balanced); or
21+ishHCP (unbalanced); or
Any STYS hand

STYS = Sick To Your Stomach

(any hand you would feel Sick To Your Stomach if you opened it on the 1 level and it was passed out)
June 24
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Woo-Hoo, Jan!
May 24
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Two points:

* This motion came to the BOD from the Board of Governors. The diction of the motion was that of the motion maker, who was not a member of the BOD.

* The entire motion reads, “Notwithstanding the preceding provisions of Section 10.2, the ACBL Board of Directors will not hear, and ACBL Management hereby is instructed not to forward to the Board, any request for readmission of a member who was expelled for premeditated collusive cheating in NABC+ or equivalent events, or who resigned his membership for the purpose of avoiding possible disciplinary actions concerning premeditated collusive cheating in such events, or combination of such expulsion or resignation. Such a former member may never be readmitted to Membership in the ACBL nor participate in any ACBL sanctioned events.”

The “may not” language quoted upthread is my paraphrasing of the motion. I perhaps should have chosen less ambiguous language. The “may never” language in the final sentence of the actual motion should clearly be read in the context of the entire provision. I doubt it would be misconstrued.
May 3
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Some clarification: We neither considered nor passed a motion in Memphis requiring that “collusive cheating at NABC or equal events is a life time ban.” We did pass a motion that says, IF you have been “expelled for premeditated collusive cheating in NABC+ or equivalent events,” then you may not be readmitted. It does not mandate expulsion for any “premeditated collusive cheating,” or for any other reason. I agree that the President's column could have been worded more clearly to describe the motion we actually passed.

Additional points:

* If you have been expelled from the ACBL, you may not play in any ACBL-sanctioned tournament, club, or participate in any ACBL activity.

* The grounds for expulsion from the ACBL remain as they were, including conviction for various forms of cheating.

* The Appeals and Charges Committee, to whom the motion was originally sent, voted 0-5-2 against this motion, because of various flaws in how it was worded and the unforeseen consequences of the motion. Here was the Majority Opinion for the Committee's vote (we are required to provide a summary of the Committee's reasoning when the motion comes to the full Board):

* * *

The Committee had multiple concerns with the motion:

Placing handcuffs on the choice of actions of future Boards contradicts the principle that each case should be judged on its individual merits;

The provision does not contain clear definitions concerning the kinds of infractions that would be subject to the prohibition, and, in some, cases, would not include many behaviors that we would otherwise regard as some of the worst kinds of cheating;

The policy would not distinguish between expulsions for cases of cheating brought by ACBL disciplinary bodies and expulsions for cases of cheating by other bridge organizations; and

The policy definitely rejects any possibility of redemption for any bridge player regardless of circumstances.

* * *

Many of these concerns echoed similar concerns expressed in this thread and in other BW threads.

* Despite the Committee's position, the motion passed 16-9 with the friendly amendment that only expulsions stemming from “premeditated collusive cheating” (which, as Ray notes upthread, is undefined in the CDR) are subject to the “no readmission” policy.

* Those of us who did not vote for this motion did so for many different reasons; it absolutely does not reflect any principles or positions any single Board member may have toward cheating in general.

* Those of us who voted against the motion will nonetheless support the decision of the Board as a whole.

I hope that all makes sense. . . .
May 2
A.J. Stephani edited this comment May 2
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Alas, I was the all-world bottom South who doubled for a club lead. Uday was kind enough to blue that, and my partner, torn between a spade lead and a club lead, led the K instead.
April 5
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Also, please be aware that some of us on the BOD are staying on top of improvements for the playing conditions of the NABC+ events (better table spacing, screens earlier in KOs, pre-duped hands more frequently).

This was a critical part of the discussion on the motion raising the NABC fees – for myself, at least, I voted in favor of the motion only on management's reassurance that they would devote serious attention examining the options.
April 2
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Terrific win guys!
March 22
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Hi Li-Chung,

I think the awards in the All Western Open Pairs and the 2-day CalCap Swiss seem reasonable. Those awards are, of course, calculated differently from one another because uses the pairs formula and the other uses the Swiss formula.

I think the problem I saw can be noticed more in smaller 2-day pairs events. I originally submitted a similar motion for our Honolulu meetings (which is now being re-submitted in Memphis for technical reasons that aren't important here), in which I offered as a justification:

“There are only about a half dozen of these events scheduled at our Regionals. They are premier events, and if you can get some momentum, they represent the closest high-level competition you can get outside of an NABC.

We started this in Cincinnati 2 years ago (our Flying Pig Pairs Championship), and this year we increased attendance 70% from the first year, albeit from a small base. Our players loved it. However, the MP award is clearly out of whack:

1st paid 34.71 MPs (starting with 24 tables). Compare this to an earlier 2-session pairs event run earlier in the week – it paid 31.43 MPs with the exact number of tables. Both events had Gold Rush events running simultaneously. Our players clearly noticed the problem, and they indicated that they would not support a 4-session event that paid barely more than a 2-session event.”



I'm guessing that the All Western Open Pairs and the 2-day CalCap Swiss are big enough that you don't notice the discrepancy we noticed with a smaller event. That's all I'm trying to fix.

I don't think it would have any impact at all on NAP District Finals.

Hope that makes sense. . .
March 2
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Hi Li-Chung,

Under the current MP formula, these 4-session Regional events pay approximately 10% more (yes, that is correct) of what a 2-session event would pay. In 2017, the BOD passed a motion that gives a 4-session event a 40% increase over the award calculated by the formula. The 4-session event gets a 40% boost regardless of whether there is another event below it. However, we failed to specify that the 4-session event gets credit for underlying events AND the 40% boost.

This motion attempts to correct that mistake, and I was advised not to try for more than the 40%.

I agree wholeheartedly that these events tend to be some of the best competition you can find outside of NABCs. They deserve more, but they should at least get the lower event credit that the 2-session pairs events gets.
March 1
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@Jan: Yes. This motion did not originate from within the BOD.
March 1
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The only info I have is the negotiated room rate at the Hilton, which is $159.
Nov. 13, 2018
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The info we were provided included a $159 room rate at the Cosmopolitan. I'm not sure if that is subject to change.
Nov. 13, 2018
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@Jeff: Do you have a link to the contract chart you mentioned? Or send me one via private e-mail?

I really like that idea, as I find my Minibridge beginning players are overwhelmed at having to select a contract with no guidance.
Nov. 1, 2018
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Echoing Cheryl and Steve, and as D11's representative to the BOD for Columbus, I think you'll all love Columbus!
Oct. 20, 2018
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Right, Linda. . . .That was the best we could do with the current lineup of NABC events. We had to choose between leaving everyone under 60 without an event to play in Sunday (and Monday, if not entering the Vandy), or leaving non-seniors over 10K MPs without sufficient platinum points to play in the Plats without an event on Friday-Saturday.

No good choice here, but swapping the Silver Ribbon and IMP Pairs seemed to leave the fewest number of people out in the cold.

I can assure you it had nothing to do with BOD member convenience.
Sept. 12, 2018
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Item 182-23 originated as a motion made by the Board of Governors.

Not every motion is a nefarious self-indulgence by a member of the Board of Directors. :)
July 6, 2018
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I can't speak for the NABC Review Committee, but the Codification requires a review of this event:

For any NABC+ event with or without a set masterpoint award, whenever entry is fewer than 30 tables for three consecutive years, the ACBL Board of Directors must review continuing this event on the National schedule.

ACBL Codification, Chapter VIII(D)(1.5).
July 5, 2018
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I suspect the primary culprit affecting the decline of the 4-session KO, and IMP team play more generally, is our steadily aging membership base. Look at the average age of teams entered in your next 4-session KO (I will try to do so next week at Cincinnati's Flying Pig Regional) – I almost guarantee it's significantly lower than the average age of those entered in the pairs games.

For the typical new 65-year old ACBL member, it's pretty tough to form a decent partnership, not to mention the added task of finding ANOTHER decent partnership to team up with. Successful teams tend to hang around somewhat intact for a long time, and the trial-and-error cost of creating such a team may not be worth the benefit for older players.

Pairs events are reasonably satisfying to most of our players – though IMP play may be slightly more so, the extra hassle associated with it may tip the scale from the perspective of the typical tournament player. The extra-curricular aspects of team play (mostly eating and drinking with your team) seem more conducive to younger members as well.

I'm sure that wide-MP brackets, the MP formula adjustment, scheduling issues, unfamiliarity with IMP play, anecdotally bad experiences, and the other dynamics bandied about here and in other threads are certainly contributing factors, but I fear that our aging membership base is creating the headwind.
June 4, 2018
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