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All comments by Kevin Wilson
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I agree with Jeff that the teaching world needs more material for new teachers to work with and feel good about. It shouldn’t be perusing an 8-foot table and making a huge decision.

I also think that having a tiered system makes sense. I would prefer the ABTA to develop these standards and testing measures. The ACBL can help the ABTA with resources and meeting spaces, and needs to be part of a better solution, but the ABTA should take the lead.

I believe it will happen sooner rather than later.
Sept. 21
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I feel these questions are best answered when they come up and not before. We want to keep the game as fun as possible without inflicting ethics rules until complaints or questions surface.

I like this example because it has happened to me and, since it involves pre bidding box bridge, people feel like it is just a joke.

Before bidding boxes, there used to be three ways to open 1. (Imagine a little southern drawl)

1. One club.
2. A club.
3. I'll start with a club.

#1 was natural with a club suit.
#2 was a convenient minor usually just a three-card suit.
#3 was a strong club type hand 18+

Usually it gets a laugh and then you can use that to explain why it is not within the ethics of the game.

I think teachers should be prepared to handle these type of questions but that we should leave it until we're asked about it, instead of trying to present it as material to a class. I also think directors should explain complaints to the possible offenders after the game without making a big deal about a problem during the game. It is repeat offending that we need to fix and a private discussion of why an opponent was upset and what their issue might be can be useful as context to a newer player.
Aug. 21
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The report suggests a 4% decline due to aging from 2013 - 2017. That isn't the main cause of the declining attendance.

The players coming from within 25 miles of the tournament declined by 36% (281/438)and the players coming from 25-50 miles declined by 21% (371/473). Total attendance declined by 17% (1396/1674). I think it is short-sighted that your takeaway is that an aging bridge population is the main cause. Getting local players to come again would be much more effective at increasing attendance in the short term.

I'm roughing this guess but 46% of the attendees are traveling within 50 miles. This data is much more clear that something is happening locally. I'm not making a guess as to what that is, but I think it is a critical factor that should be looked into.

There is no question that weekend attendance is far less than weekday attendance. I believe it is because many players want to spend time with family on the weekend but having games on the weekend also caters to a younger demographic that may be working during the weekdays. I think more insight is needed in this area. I would love to see the demographics for a midweek regional because it may be more profitable for a district, but not helping advance the game to a broader demographic. I also question the data on average number of sessions per regional. I think that at least part of the decline here is that fewer regionals offer serious three session a day schedules any more. I'm not saying it is the only factor in the decline, but I believe that it is partially responsible for the decline. I concede that if we had a lower average age the potential for three session a day schedules would increase.

Any insights as to how to get more of the players that are actually playing more sessions per regional? (The 200-1000MP group)
June 25
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Here are my top five conclusions:
1. We must discover or figure out why locals are attending regionals less often. Is it because local clubs no longer recommend players go to local regionals? Is it because ACBL is offering many different club games that award colored points? Answering this question has to be the key takeaway from this report!
2. We need a plan from management and a budget to support the plan for recruiting 15,000 new members a year.
3. Are non-LM regionals and sectionals causing this decline? Is there some other important factor that we're missing?
4. The highest participation rates only occur once players reach 200 or more masterpoints. This is the only demographic (200-1000MPs) that is attending MORE regionals now than in 2013. How do we take advantage of this? Should we try to target more advertising/marketing to this demographic?
5. Perhaps we should have a more strict limit on the number of regionals that can compete in a week? It appears that six should be the maximum. I have no idea how to implement this goal.

Thank you for helping figure out the problems that need to be solved.
June 24
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Len,

I am a member of the task force and I have forwarded your ideas and posts to the entire task force.
June 24
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No apology necessary. All your comments were on point.
Nov. 30, 2018
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You're 100% correct and your grasp of the problem is right on point. The round robin solution isn't perfect and people are already pointing out its deficiencies to the board.

We prefer to try and create an event that would attract more high masterpoint players so that we can get at least 9 teams in the top bracket (what I'm calling a super bracket). We're simply reaching out and asking high masterpoint players to dream big and tell us what they would like to see in terms of events and scheduling and what could make them more likely to choose our regionals over others.
Nov. 30, 2018
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I should have used the term “high masterpoint players” or something similar instead of “pros”. Please forgive me and my poor semantics. At this time, we envision a super-flight in bracketed KO events (or something else that may be appealing to this demographic that we don't even know about).


@David
While you may be right about too many tournaments, subtracting tournaments is not the direction we want to go is there is any possible way to avoid it. I feel that we run quality tournaments now, but that doesn't mean that we can't improve them or that we can't try to serve all demographics better.
Nov. 29, 2018
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We'd love to have an embarrassment of riches but that is not the case today. I certainly hope and believe that we can get there. If there is something that we can do, I need to know!
Nov. 29, 2018
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Len, I couldn't disagree with a comment more strongly! All players deserve to have events that meet their needs and desires. Just like we plan special events and speakers for the 0-20 or gold rush for the non-LMs, we also want to plan attractive events for the pro teams! Why don't we give ALL players a good schedule, good hospitality, and a fair value. That's the point of this thread… to discover what could make our tournaments more attractive to a demographic that we feel we don't know as well as we should.
Nov. 29, 2018
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There are many, many ways. I don't want the thread to get away from its purpose of pro's ideas for a super bracket that they would really WANT to attend so I'm choosing not to respond here but if you see/email me and want an answer, I will be happy to give you a detailed one.
Nov. 29, 2018
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I applaud you for wanting to play against the best. We have no intention of excluding anyone who wants to be in the bracket.
Nov. 29, 2018
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Current District 7 policy is to allow you to play in the top bracket if you desire to do so, with a director's exception when doing so would cause problems. If we could attract more teams for a super bracket and you wanted to play in it, there is and will be no reason to exclude you. Our problem is not too many teams that want to play in a top bracket, the problem is too few. I assure you that there is zero arrogance and that we are trying to figure a solution that works for as many as possible.
Nov. 29, 2018
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I think that active teachers will be far more possessive of their materials. Isn't the quality of examples one of the important distinguishing factors for teaching? If I spend 20 or more years of life and bridge playing acquiring outstanding examples, I may not want to just share them with my competition while I'm still trying to earn a living. What if other's examples I acquire are not close to my standards?

Perhaps I'm wrong though… it happens all the time. I do know for sure that once I stop teaching, I'd be more than happy to give them to the universe. I'm merely suggesting that you target the group you believe is most likely to help and I think that is teachers who have recently stopped teaching.

I think it is a great idea and a worthy goal. Good luck!
Nov. 29, 2018
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There is a fair amount of free stuff from Richard Pavlicek at http://www.rpbridge.net/

I have no affiliation with him. His entire 7530 deals are available for $1500. Maybe we could get him to donate them upon his demise or something. I think that active teachers are less likely to want to donate hands but that teachers who have stopped teaching or are thinking of stopping would be a better group to target.
Nov. 29, 2018
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Jeff, here are a couple of hands. I will grant you that your initial given hand is about as bad of an 11 HCP hand as you could have for the auction. I'm not sure if you recommended passing with it, but it isn't out of the question.

First I'd point out that opener's range is about 12-16 for the opening 1 bid and 2 rebid, and that it shows a six-card or longer suit. With that still wide HCP range there is a fair chance that game is possible opposite some of my 11 HCP hands.

An 11 count I would bid 3NT with:
A109 J1063 Q102 A108

An 11 count I might bid 2NT with:
K87 J983 K10 A942

An 11 count that I might bid 5 with:
10752 AK83 A10732

An 11 count that I might bid 3 with:
10752 AQJ3 A1073 7

Is this what you intended by offering a hand?
Nov. 29, 2018
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I applaud your decision to run a team game(s). You're helping your players become accustomed to a Swiss Team and when they eventually enter one with you not around, they will feel much more comfortable and appreciate you for being the club manager you are.

I would suggest trying only 12 boards for the first three or four events and then switching to 15 boards once the players are acclimated. Expect it to go slow, but going slow allows social time that doesn't have to be a negative.

I think having the players compare scores on their own is important to gain confidence in their ability to do so, but be available for help. Comparing with your teammates is a bonding experience and finding out the results immediately is a good bit of the fun in Swiss Teams. Plus there are match awards! Just win at least 1 out of 3 and you win some masterpoints!
Nov. 28, 2018
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Chris, this final paragraph sums up my opinion very well. I thought the BOD as a whole could be convinced to incorporate change for the betterment of the League but time has proven that is not the case. There are some fantastic and amazing BOD members, but there is also a majority that prefer the status quo even though they admit the current structure isn’t working well.

I then considered using article 10 section 2 to go around the BOD. Currently, we just don’t have enough passion for changing the structure of the League in the BOG. I’m sad about this.

My suggestion to you and Steve is to plan an education campaign and promote it to the BOG. List the missteps of the past years and point out the lack of any change to the structure of the BOD despite the many voices demanding improvement. Finally, go to the separate districts and ask advocates for change to run for the BOG. If possible, show the path from A to B.

You and Steve have my full support and my voice for the final option you decide to pursue (I’m assuming it will be something similar to what you’re discussing of course).

Thank you for your efforts!
Nov. 16, 2018
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Sorry that I don't read here too often so I'm way late in responding.
I too like the idea of premier events and a higher level of service and facilities. I think you might add a dress code in the hopes of attracting press and sponsors to these events.
I feel that one issue with upper level bridge is the lack of a large number of well-dressed personalities suitable for television interviews and talking to corporate sponsors at a level that is appropriate.
You might begin thinking of someone who would be an ambassador and who could attract the attention and media interest that would make these events truly elite.
June 26, 2018
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I don't smoke and hate the smell of smoke as well but I don't think ACBL directors should become the sniff & smell police.

I think it should be the job of Tournament Chairperson to make a decision about whether someone is too offensive to participate in his/her tournament.

I can't imagine how humiliating it would be to be pulled aside and informed that I was going to be publically sniffed by someone or by a small group of people. I don't want to vote for a motion that I know would intentionally shame and humiliate fellow bridge lovers.

I think it is a mistake to attach a bridge penalty when also codifying that there is no due process (one can't appeal).

I didn't read anything in the motion about how the accusers are to be dealt with if the smell police disagree with the accuser. If you're going to publically humiliate someone by having them sniffed, it seems to me that there should be some codified penalty for a single false accusation.

I fully support codifying the policies and procedures for players to lodge a written complaint and for the path ACBL directors are to follow once a written complaint has been made.

I generally concur with Len.
June 24, 2018
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