ACBL Board of Directors' Meetings in Orlando

by Chuck Wilkinson, District 10 Representative

December 27, 2004

The ACBL Board of Directors met in Orlando, November 12-18, 2004. I have listed below the items that may be of interest to you.


Planning Session:


The Board and key members of the Memphis ACBL staff met for two days prior to the start of the meetings to do long range planning and set long term goals.


Comment: The ACBL board needs to devote more of its face-to-face meeting time to the planning function. Board meetings now solely consist of an agenda on specific proposals, which tends to restrict our focus on the specifics rather than to provide an overall direction to the organization and management. I strongly encouraged this  particular meeting, and I hope they have more of them in the future. 


Highlights of ACBL CEO's Report to the Board:


1.     After decades of declining membership, the ACBL will record a second year consecutive year of positive membership growth. Through October, we had 167,955 total members, 1,150 more than we had at the same time last year.  District 10 was one of only four districts in ACBL that broke the 70% retention rate barrier for the year to date.

2.     Table counts through October:       Regionals     +6.0%

                                                            Sectionals    +1.0

                                                            STaCs          +9.0

                                                            Clubs           +2.3 (through August)

                                                            On-Line        +1.3 (through August)

3.     Due to changes the ACBL board made last year in the North American Pairs event, club participation in the 2004-05 NAP has risen by more than 10,000 tables over last year!

4.     The 2004 ACBL Club Officials and Teachers Survey has been completed. If you are interested in the results, the entire survey can be found at User name is ACBL; password is Report.

5.     There have been 20 Inter-Club Championship Games administered on-line through October. 305 clubs have participated, for a total of more than 3,000 tables.

6.     In 2005, the ACBL is adding a high school division to the on-line college bridge team championship. On-line play will be on in February. To register, contact Charlotte Blaiss at

7.     Management action items from the New York meetings:

a.     Resources for Tournament Chairmen have been posted on the ACBL web-site.

b.     Convention charts will appear in the December Bulletin.

c.     Zip codes look-up for area clubs is being created, but is not yet implemented.

8.     With assistance from outside legal counsel, management will complete a number of issues dealing with privacy for ACBL members. They include:

a.     ACBL's Privacy Policy.

b.     ACBL's Consent and Release forms for minors.

c.     Photography of members.

d.     Children's On-Line Privacy Protection Act.

e.     Information Technology ("IT") Risk assessment.

f.      IT inventory information.

9.     ACBL has signed an agreement with Edge TV, a start-up cable channel. Edge hopes to be on air by June 2005. Our commitment from them is a minimum of 14 hours of programming for 2005.


Highlights of League Counsel's Report to the Board


1.     Blubaugh v. ACBL: On February 18, 2004 the court granted the ACBL motion for summary judgment and dismissed all 19 counts. Mr. Blubaugh has filed an appeal with the Federal Circuit of Appeals. Written and verbal arguments were made by the parties in November 2004. Decision by the Court is expected in March 2005.

2.     Zipporah McKinney v. ACBL: In 1999, Mrs. McKinney sued ACBL for alleged wrongful termination and unequal treatment. The case is still in discovery stage and no activity has occurred.

3.     Logan v. ACBL: In October 2002, ACBL member John W. Logan sued ACBL, claiming he was improperly denied the use of his decks of cards for the partially sighted. Settlement negotiations have not succeeded. A motion for summary judgment by League Counsel was granted. Mr. Logan had until November 20, 2004 to appeal that decision.


Item 043-180: Goodwill Member of the Year


Harold Jordan is appointed as the 2005 Goodwill Member of the Year.




Item 043-181: Honorary Member of the Year


Fred Gitelman is appointed as the 2005 Honorary Member of the Year.




Item 043-184: Second Reading of ACBL Bylaws


The ACBL proposed Bylaws are approved as attached.


Carried unanimously.


Comment: The first reading of the ACBL Bylaws were passed at the summer meetings in New York. The next step is to have it approved by the Board of Governors, then by the membership at the next membership meeting at the Summer 2005 NABC. A copy of the proposed bylaws were in the October

2004 ACBL Bulletin. The old bylaws can be seen on the ACBL web page.


Resignation of President Elect


President-elect Charles Wilkinson's resignation is accepted.




Comment: In March 2004, when I first learned that I would have opposition in the District Director election, I pledged to the ACBL Board that, if elected ACBL President, I would resign if not reelected to the board by my district. I made this promise for a couple of reasons. First, there are a number of ACBL board members who feel, as I do, that the ACBL President should be a member of the board during his term. Secondly, I had plans, as ACBL President, to instigate badly needed modifications to the way the ACBL Board operates. This could only be accomplished from a position of political strength. A loss of my seat on the board would irreparably damage any political leverage that I had, making those changes impossible.


Many encouraged me to stay on as President anyway, saying I deserved the honor as a reward for so many years of service. Others urged me to stay just to spite those that opposed me. Neither argument was a good reason not to resign. A better question to ask was, "What is best for the ACBL?" Posed from that perspective, it was an easy decision. Neither the ACBL Board, my district, nor my replacement would be well served by me staying on as President.

Item 043-185: Election of ACBL President


Roger Smith and Nadine Wood had previously declared their candidacy.  There were no other declarations of candidacy.  Nominations were closed.  By secret ballot, Roger Smith was elected to the office of ACBL President for a one-year term beginning January 1, 2005.


Item 043-01: Report of Hearings


The following actions were reported:


In the matter of the request for readmission of John Peters, ACBL Number 5609917, the request is denied.


In the matter of the appeal of Robert Roberson, ACBL Number M543289, from the Decisions of the Unit 161 Disciplinary Committee and the District 10 Appellate Committee, that part of the discipline that is one year probation is reduced to 6 months probation.  


Item 043-02: Amendment to Code of Disciplinary Regulations


The ACBL Code of Disciplinary Regulations is amended as follows:


5.1.12        If a complaint against a person based on the person's sexual harassment of a full-time or part-time ACBL employee or a unit or district tournament employee, is brought before an ACBL Disciplinary Body or to the Director-in-Charge (DIC) of a sectional or higher rated tournament, the Disciplinary Body or the DIC shall immediately forward the matter, in writing, to ACBL Management for action as follows:


(a)              ACBL Management shall expeditiously investigate the matter referred, including interviews of the complainant and accused, and make a decision to:


á       Exonerate the accused and take no action.


á       Impose a warning, which, although not a discipline, shall be maintained in the person's disciplinary file and may be used as evidence if future complaints of sexual harassment are made against this person.


á       Impose a reprimand.


á       Impose probation.


á       Impose suspension.


á       Impose expulsion.


(b)              A written notice of the decisions of ACBL Management and the reasons therefore shall be provided to the accused person and the Appeals and Charges Committee.


(c)        At its first meeting subsequent to the ACBL Management decision, if a discipline has been imposed, the Appeals and Charges Committee shall make an automatic review of the ACBL Management decision.  Such reviews shall be consistent with the procedures at appellate reviews, except that the accused party shall be entitled to present evidence and witnesses at the review hearing.


Carried unanimously.


Comment: This proposal now requires a tournament Director-in-Charge to forward a complaint of sexual harassment directly to ACBL Management for investigation and resolution. This will help us to better navigate any federal regulations regarding sexual harassment. It also restricts any review of those cases by the ACBL Board Appeals & Charges Committee to those cases in which management has actually imposed a discipline.


Item 043-45: Office of ACBL President Vacancy (042-48)


 If a vacancy occurs in the office of President, or of President-elect subsequent to election but prior to assumption of office as President, the Board of Directors shall act to elect a replacement in not less than 15 nor more than 45 days after the vacancy occurs.  Declarations of candidacy shall be required within 14 days.


These time periods shall start to run with the date the Board of Directors is notified in writing, by any means including electronic transmission, of the vacancy.  Notice may be provided by the office-holder, an officer of the corporation, or a member of ACBL Management.


Should a regular scheduled meeting occur during this time span the election will occur at that meeting otherwise the (acting) President shall conduct an election ballot by alternative means.


A vacancy in the office of Treasurer shall be filled by the Board of Directors at its next regularly scheduled meeting.


Carried.  Absent: 13 & 23


Item 043-47: Distinguished Employee Award


An award shall be established to recognize contributions that are made by an employee that dramatically change the nature of the Game or the way the League functions.  This award shall be called the Distinguished Employee Award.  Management, through the CEO shall recommend to the Board for approval the name of such employee when it deems it appropriate.  A plaque designating this award shall be designed and included in a position of honor, a story about the recipient shall appear in the Bridge Bulletin.  The recipient of this award shall receive a plaque and a remembrance of management's selection not to exceed $2,500 in value.


Carried unanimously.


Item 043-48: Board of Directors Expense Accounts


The National Board meeting expense accounts for ACBL Board Members and the Chairman of the Board of Governors will be submitted to ACBL within 30 days of the completion of the tournament at which expenses are incurred.  Failure to do this will incur a penalty of 1/2 of the trimester stipend payable prior to the next Board of Directors meeting.


Carried.            Nay: 3, 6, 12, 14, 24.


Comment: This proposal came at the request of our current treasurer. Apparently, some board members have been chronically tardy in submitting expense vouchers, causing problems in the Accounting Department.


Item 043-49: Insurance Committee


The ACBL President will appoint a committee of board, management and ACBL members to:


Hire an insurance consultant or attorney to assist with the following tasks:


            1)         Review all liability insurance policies available to cover ACBL and its

districts and units and report to the BOD specifically on what is covered and not covered by these policies at each level


2)         Investigate avenues for insuring ACBL and all its districts and units and

make recommendations for purchasing liability policies that will cover

ACBL and all its districts and units;


            3)         Make recommendations about how ACBL and districts and units should

pay for these policies with a goal of making the insurance affordable for

all levels of our organization;


4)         Review all liability insurance policies available to ACBL clubs and make

recommendations about a method for offering affordable insurance for clubs;


5)         Make at least a preliminary report to the Board of Directors at the Spring

2005 meeting in Pittsburgh with a final report no later than the Summer

2005 meeting in Atlanta.


Carried unanimously.


Comment: In our litigious society, this is an area in which the national organization could possibly offer our clubs, units, and district organizations adequate coverage at an affordable price. I heartily endorse this study, and hope that the ACBL Board takes an aggressive posture toward providing as much insurance coverage for these entities as possible under an umbrella plan(s).


Item 043-51: Board of Governors / Goodwill Committee


The Chairman of the Board of Governors will be given the right to appoint three members to the ACBL Goodwill Committee each year at the same time as the members of the Board of Directors.


Motion Failed.              Aye: 2, 7, 8, 9, 12, 17, 18, 20, 21, 23.


Comment: I opposed this motion for two reasons. First, it dilutes the significance of the award. Goodwill appointees recognize those exceptional people in our fold who make the game more enjoyable for others by their friendliness, courtesy, and high level of ethical conduct. The prestige of the award would be diluted by increasing the number of people appointed to the committee each year. Second, the privilege of appointing members to this committee has always been reserved strictly for ACBL Board members and the Chairperson of the Goodwill Committee. This is as it should be. Although the Chairman of the Board of Governors sits in on all ACBL Board meetings in an advisory capacity, he is not a member of the ACBL Board.


 Item 043-52: Hall of Fame Charter


The Governance Committee with advice from the Hall of Fame Committee shall determine if it is necessary to have a Charter for the Hall of Fame Committee and report back to the Board at the Spring 2005 meeting.


Carried unanimously.


Comment: The Hall of Fame Committee ("HOFC") and the ACBL Board of Directors have been at odds with each other for more than a year. The HOFC wants more autonomy in the administration of the HOF selections; the ACBL Board wants to maintain control of the process. The relationship was further soured  when the 2004 President did not accept the HOF recommendations for 2004 HOFC Chairperson or new appointees to the committee. Since the current (2004) ACBL President is the author of this motion, the motivations behind it are suspect, but I voted for it because of concerns about the directions the HOFC wants to take on HOF elections.


Item 043-53: Amendment of Hall of Fame Charter


The following changes will be made to the Hall of Fame Charter for the year 2005:


1.     Von Zedtwitz Award: Each year, as many as two (2) recipients may be selected by the ACBL HOFC whenever deemed appropriate.


2.     Blackwood Award: Each year, up to one (1) recipient may be selected by the ACBL HOFC whenever deemed appropriate.      


In either category above, in a year where the HOFC believes that an additional award is clearly warranted, the BOD may, upon receiving appropriate rationale from the HOFC in advance, vote to approve an additional award for that year.


3.   The Electors of the ACBL Hall of Fame will be as follows: 

á       All living Hall of Fame Members                                               

á       Up to 10 journalists, who are paid up ACBL members and permanent residents of U.S., Canada, Bermuda, and Mexico, to be selected by the International Bridge Press Association (IBPA) Executive Committee, based on criteria to be developed. 

á       Paid-Up ACBL Members in good standing, who

1.     Reside in the US, Canada, Mexico or Bermuda

2.     Have won at least 5 WBF/NABC Championships, and

3.     Have won at least one of the following events playing for ACBL.

                                    A.         WBF OPEN EVENTS  

1.     Rosenblum Teams

2.     World Open Team Olympiad

3.     Bermuda Bowl

4.     World Open Pairs

B.             MAJOR NABC +++ OPEN EVENTS

1. Vanderbilt KO Teams             Spring

2. Spingold KO Teams               Summer

3. Reisinger B-a-M Team            Fall

4. Life Master Pairs                    Summer

5. Blue Ribbon Pairs                  Fall

6. Master Individual (1931Ð60) Fall

C.             WBF WOMEN EVENTS

1.     McConnell Teams

2.     Venice Cup Teams

3.     World Women's Team Olympiad

4.     World Women Pairs

D.             MAJOR NABC +++ WOMEN'S EVENTS

1. Women's Swiss Teams           Spring

2. Wagar Women's KO Teams Summer

3. Women's B-a-M Teams           Fall

4.   The voting will be conducted on a straight voting method. All references to a weighted voting method are to be deleted.


The expectation is that a minimum percentage of at least 50% will be required for election  (the current charter says 40% of the weighted vote). This will be determined after the 2005 election.


5.   The number of votes an Elector may cast depends on the number of candidates. The Electors may vote for a maximum of two (2) candidates if there are 5 or 6 nominees; three (3) if there are 7, 8 or 9 nominees; four (4) if there are 10, 11 or 12 nominees;  and five (5) if there are 13, 14 or 15 nominees. 


Carried.            Nay: 7, 20, 23.


Comment: This is a major change to the way HOF members are elected. It reduces the electorate from over 800 to less than 200. This is in response to the HOF complaints that non-expert players are not qualified to evaluate experts on their bridge ability and elected ACBL officials were swayed too easily by the political winds. I voted for this because it was too late to make substantive changes to the format for next year's selections, and with the promise that the format would be revisited again next year. As an example, if you buy the bridge ability argument, we must find another group to elect the Blackwood Award recipient, since is given to a player who has made major contributions to bridge outside expertise at the table.


Item 043-54: Real Estate Committee Report


The Real Estate committee preliminary report was received. 


Carried unanimously.


Comment: I am very leery of the possible directions this committee might take. See my comments on Item 042-51 from the New York meetings.


Item 043-55: Conflict of Interest Policy


The ACBL Board of Directors' Conflict of Interest Policy is approved.






I.          Purpose


The purpose of these standards is to provide safeguards to members of the Board of Directors of the American Contract Bridge League (the "League") from (1) using their positions for purposes that are, or give the appearance of being, motivated by a desire for private financial gain for themselves or others such as those with whom they have family, business or other ties, (2) from violating their duty to the League by inappropriately disclosing confidential information about the League, and (3) from any other acts which may constitute, or may appear to constitute, a conflict of interest.  This policy is intended to supplement but not replace the League's bylaws and applicable state and federal laws governing conflicts of interest.


II.         Private Financial Gain


A.         Financial Interests.


No member of the Board of Directors of the League may participate in the selection, award or administration of a contract in which he/she or his/her immediate family has a direct or indirect financial interest or with whom he/she is negotiating or has any arrangement concerning prospective employment.


No member of the Board of Directors or spouse, child, parent, brother, or sister, by blood or marriage of an employee may vote on any matter which may directly or indirectly result in financial gain to that individual member, or which may conflict with that member's obligations to another organization or to his/her employer, it being understood that Board members may vote on matters which have a financial effect applying equally to all Board members.  Provided that the member of the Board of Directors has first disclosed a conflict or potential conflict, and abstains from voting in that regard, he/she may make a presentation to the Board of Directors relating to that matter and may participate in the discussion.


B.         Compensation to Members of the Board of Directors.


The League may reimburse members of the Board of Directors for reasonable expenses actually incurred by reason of their participation in Board activities such as travel expenses, meals and incidentals.


The League will not compensate members of the Board of Directors for services rendered in the ordinary course of service as members of the Board of Directors.  If a member of the Board of Directors, or an immediately family member, employer (or prospective employer), or business associate of such Board member, is qualified to perform services for the League, the League may consider contracting with that person (or entity) for such services, provided that: (1) the League's procurement policies, including those set forth in section II(D), below, shall be adhered to; (2) the affected member of the Board of Directors shall not participate in the discussion or vote on his/her selection; (3) the contract is in all respects "arms'-length" and (4) the contract is determined to be in the best interests of the League.


C.         Gifts/Gratuities.


The members of the Board of Directors of the League may not solicit or accept gifts, gratuities, favors or anything of value from contractors or potential contractors of the League.  A gift means anything offered directly by or on behalf of a contractor other than promotional materials of little or nominal value such as pens, calendars and other items intended for wide distribution.  Any member of the Board of Directors shall decline or return any gift and notify the Corporate Chief Executive Officer and the President or in the absence of the President the Chairman of the Board (Chairman) of such gift.


III.        Board Member - Employment Relationships


A.             Board Member Eligibility.


No member of the ACBL Board of Directors, or the spouse, child, parent, brother, or sister by blood or marriage, of the member, shall be employed as a permanent or temporary employee of the ACBL in any capacity other than that of tournament director until at least one year after leaving said position.  The requirement that a past Board member be out of office for at least 12 months shall not apply to independent contractor situations where sole payment is on a sales commission formula for quantifiable benefits brought to the ACBL.


B.         Board Member Conduct.


Other than as relates to Board duties, no Board member shall use their Board member status to receive preferential treatment from League staff and, where possible and appropriate, shall take reasonable, affirmative steps to avoid receiving such preferential treatment.


IV.        Confidential Information


Members of the Board of Directors may gain access to confidential (i.e. non-public) information by virtue of their position within the League.  Confidential information includes (but is not limited to) information relating to the League's business practices.


Members of the Board may not communicate confidential information about the League to anyone who is not also a member of the Board, respectively, absent the explicit authorization of the President or Chief Executive Officer.  If, as a result of negotiations in which the League is engaged, a member of the Board gains access to confidential information of another entity, the member of the Board may not communicate this information about the other entity to anyone who is not also a member of the Board, without the authorization of the President or Chief Executive Officer.  If the League executes an agreement with another entity which agreement includes provisions governing confidentiality of information, all members of the Board are bound by those provisions and required to comply with them.


V.         Disclosures


The League requires that all members of the Board of Directors disclose in writing (and update at least annually) all business and family relationships which might potentially create a conflict of interest on a form similar to that attached to this policy.


If a member of the Board of Directors believes that he/she, a member of his/her immediate family or partner has a direct or indirect financial interest in a contract of the League, he/she must immediately disclose this in writing to the Chief Executive Officer.  Disclosures by members of the Board of Directors must also be made to the President (and if it is the President who has such a financial interest, he or she must make disclosure to the Chairman).


VI.        Other


A.         Political Activities.


No member of the Board of Directors may use the League's name, facility, or resources in connection with political activities.


Members of the Board of Directors may not solicit political support in any manner which might suggest that the League supports any political party or candidate.  No member of the Board of Directors shall, in any manner, solicit financial assistance or subscription for any political party, candidate, fund, publication, or for any other political purpose from League employees in the workplace or otherwise in an employment-related setting.


VII.       Violations of Standards of Conduct


Violations of the League's standards of conduct must be reported promptly to the Chief Executive Officer who will promptly pass this information on to the President or in his absence the Chairman.  If the President has violated the standards, this shall be reported to the Chairman.


Members of the Board of Directors who violate these standards may, depending on the severity of the violation, be subject to oral admonishment or removal from the Board pursuant to the League's Bylaws.




Former ACBL Board of Directors Remuneration Agreements (911-26B) (011-49) is amended as follows:


The Chairman of the ACBL Board of Governors, or the spouse, child, parent, brother, or sister, by blood or marriage of the Chairman shall not  be employed as a permanent or temporary employee of the ACBL in any capacity other than that of tournament director until at least one year after leaving said position.  The requirement that a past Chairman be out of office for at least 12 months shall not apply to independent contractor situations where sole payment is on a sales commission formula for quantifiable benefits brought to the ACBL.


Carried.            Nay: 4              Absent: 13



Item 043-80:  Barred Club Game Players


A.  Items  (011-42) (021-201) (032-48) are amended as follows:


No open club may bar a player, or players as a class, based upon the player's race, creed, religion, political affiliation, sexual orientation, national origin or on his proficiency at bridge.


Except as detailed in the previous paragraph, a club may bar a player for whatever reason it deems proper consistent with ACBL Rules and Regulations and the Laws of Duplicate Contract Bridge. An obnoxious or incompatible partnership may be barred as a pair, but each may be permitted to play with other partners.


To bar a player, club management must notify the player in writing and send a copy of the notification to the ACBL Club Membership Department. The notification must include the player's name and player number and the reason for the barring.


An open club can bar players from its regularly club masterpoint games, membership games, ACBL-wide games, club championships, charity and international fund club championships, and other special events specifically allocated to clubs as outlined above.


If the player feels that his or her barring does not comply with these regulations prohibiting barring players as a class, religious or political affiliations, race, creed, sexual orientation, national origin, physical disability or proficiency at bridge, he or she may appeal the barring to the unit disciplinary committee. Appeals from the unit disciplinary committee may be filed in accordance with and under the authority of the ACBL Code of Disciplinary Regulations. Until the appeal is lodged and heard, the player remains barred unless reinstated by the club.


A club may extend the barring of a player from Grand National teams, North American Pair events, STaCs, qualifying sessions of a progressive sectional, unit or district competitions, and/or unit- or district-wide championships held at the club. A player so barred may appeal the extension of the barring under the process described in the previous paragraph. In such cases, the written notice to the person barred must include the person's right to appeal the action to the Unit Disciplinary Committee in which the club is located within thirty days of the action taken by the club. Such written notice is required, otherwise the barring shall not be effective.


The club may not impose partnership restrictions on such players for these events unless the unit, district or ACBL first imposes them.


B.  The ACBL Code of Disciplinary Regulations is amended as follows:


2.2           Of Disciplinary Bodies


2.2.1    Units have only original jurisdiction, except:  

(a)   In hearing appeals of a barring from a sanctioned game at a club.

(b)   When otherwise explicitly stated in the CDR.


Carried.            Nay: 3              Absent: 23


Comment: This merely clarifies the regulations so that a member appealing the barring from a club to the unit disciplinary committee can continue to appeal his case further up the line.


Item 043-81: ACBL Masterpoint Regulations (023-195 part E)


Item 023-195 ACBL Masterpoint Regulations is amended as follows:


For Continent-Wide Charity Games, ACBL-Wide International Fund Games, the annual ACBL-Wide Senior pairs, the annual ACBL-Wide Instant Matchpoint game and District-Wide Charity games, overall and district awards will be determined as follows (official hand records must be used):


Effective date: As soon as can be implemented by Management.


Carried.            Absent: 23


Comment: This motion merely standardizes the masterpoint structure for all special ACBL-Wide games. 


Item 043-82: Review of NABC Site Selection Procedures


A review of the NABC site selection procedure to ensure equal playing field for all cities will be conducted. 


In the opinion of some Board members, the present system does not function adequately in a fair manner.  Criteria cited for one site, do not seem to apply to other sites.  We must ensure that fairness will prevail within our system and have safeguards installed to ensure it.


Suggested: Establish a two person Review Committee consisting of one member from the Board (appointed by the President) and one member from Management (appointed by the CEO).


Deferred to Spring 2005 NABC.


Carried.            Absent: 23


Comments: I voted to defer, but I would vote against the motion as it is currently worded. The board already has a committee that reviews NABC site selections. This would duplicate their work.


Item 043-83: Unit Ð Wide Championships


I.               The following Board Regulations are rescinded: 882-25, 941-43, 943-71 and 942-74. 


II.              Unit-Wide Championships.


A.     Each club within the unit area is eligible to participate in a unit-wide championship that is scheduled on a session for which the club is sanctioned provided that it conforms to all ACBL regulations.

B.     When a club is not sanctioned for the same session for which the unit-wide championship is sanctioned, the unit may grant the club permission to participate in the unit-wide championship.

C.     For purposes of unit-wide championships, morning and afternoon sanctioned games are deemed to be the same session when there is not more than a three and one-half (3 1/2) hour time difference between the starting times of the games. If such is the case, permission of the unit to participate is not needed.

D.     A minimum of five (5) tables is required at each site in order to participate in the overall masterpoint award for unit-wide games.

E.     A Unit may combine with another Unit to hold a combined Unit-wide game. The game will be charged against the quotas of each Unit.

F.      Unit-wide championships may be conducted as stratified events.

G.     Non-playing directors are encouraged but not required for games having not more than one section of 17 tables or less. See Item 993-191.

H.     All sites must use identical hands.


Effective date: As soon as can be implemented by Management


Carried.            Absent: 23


Comment: This is merely a consolidation of past regulations and current management practice.


Item 043-120: Mini Life Master's Pairs (021-145)


A.   The David Bruce Life Master Pairs (LM-5000 MPs) and the Sally Young Life Master Pairs (LM-1500MPs) will be permanently added to the Summer NABC schedule.

B.   Except for the masterpoint restrictions, the conditions of contest will be identical to the six-session Life Masters' Pairs that has no upper masterpoint limit.

C.   The masterpoint award will be calculated using the current formula for a Nationally-rated event that has no pre-determined masterpoint award.  There is a cap on this first place award of 50 masterpoints for the LM to 1500 even and 75 masterpoints for the LM 5000 masterpoint event.


D.   An event will be reduced to a 4-session event if its table count is below 60.  The appropriate adjustments will be made to the overall masterpoint awards with a cap on the 1st place award of 60 MP's for the LM-5000 MP event and 40 MP's for the LM-1500 MP event.


Carried unanimously.


Comment: When this event was introduced, it was given a two-year trial. That trial period is now complete and the event has been permanently added on the Summer NABC schedule. 


Item 043-121: Summer 2008 Las Vegas Date Change


The dates of the 2008 Summer NABC to be held at the Las Vegas Hilton will be changed from July 10-20, 2008 to July 17-27, 2008.


Carried.            Absent: 23


Item 043-122: Director in Charge Fee


The Director in Charge fee will be replaced with an across the board increase to Tournament Director's session rates.


Carried.            Nay: 2, 5, 6, 7, 8, 11, 12, 13, 14, 16, 20          Abstain: 15


Comment: This motion is revenue neutral to ACBL. The effect on individual tournaments will vary, depending on the rating and number of tournament directors at the tournament. In general, it reduces the costs for small tournaments and increases them for the larger tournaments. 


Item 043-67: Correction of WBF Dues


Effective January 1, 2004 and forward, ACBL will remit WBF dues of $0.50 per member based upon ACBL's total membership excluding members under 26 years of age (juniors).


Deferred to Spring 2005 meeting.


Carried.            Nay: 9, 10, 11, 18, 23, 24


Comment: I was in favor of this action, so I voted against deferral. The above motion is the current dues requirement levied by the World Bridge Federation ("WBF"). Being one of the largest zonal organizations, I think we ought to set an example for the remainder of the WBF members, some of whom are trying to cheat on their membership numbers in order to reduce their financial burden.


Item 043-137: Unit Rebates


Units will receive 11% of full dues payments and Life Master Service fees paid by their members.


Carried.            Nay: 4


Comment: This places the unit rebate on a percentage basis rather than a flat dollar figure. Thus, in the future, any increase in membership dues will automatically increase the unit rebate and eliminate the need for a specific motion.


Item 043-138: Conversion of Masterpoints Won in Other NBOs


I.          Conversion of Masterpoints won in countries not in Zone 2 or ACBL.

A.    Except for conversion of WBF masterpoints, previous resolutions permitting conversion of masterpoints won in countries not in Zone 2 or ACBL are rescinded.

B.    The ACBL will recognize and convert masterpoints won in a country outside Zone 2, which has a masterpoint plan.

C.    An ACBL member may receive up to fifty ACBL masterpoints in a single year as a conversion of points won in other NBOs.  He or she must be a member of the ACBL. The member must apply to register the points within three years of earning the non-ACBL points. His or her dues or service fees must be current both at the time the points were earned and at the time of application for conversion.

D.    The points shall be recorded as red points.

E.    This resolution is not retroactive.

F.     Management shall determine the ratio at which other NBO masterpoints are converted.


II.         Item 943-78 is amended as shown below.  Such amendment is not retroactive.  An ABA member who joins ACBL for the first time will receive 10% of his total ABA points as a credit in ACBL red points to a maximum of 200 points.


Carried unanimously.


Comment: Under previous regulations, any points credited were black points, thus allowing some (mostly foreigners) to become Life Masters without ever playing in a club game. This regulation requires that the conversion be done in red points, eliminating that possibility.


Item 043-139: Club Recognition Program and Jane Johnson Club of the Year Award


The Club Recognition Program and Jane Johnson Club of the Year Award item 011-187 is rescinded.


Carried unanimously.


Comments: Management proposed this change. The above program was too complicated, offered too little in rewards, and had low participation. They plan to introduce an improved marketing program for clubs in 2005.


Item 043-140: Inter-Club Championships Masterpoints


The awarding of masterpoints for Inter-Club Championships (ICC) be changed as follows:


a)         Overall awards at club championship rating be given in each club to players who would qualify for such awards if the game were a stand alone club championship, based on the tables in play in that club, and


b)         When determining the final award for players who place in the overall standings for the event, such players will receive the higher of the overall masterpoint award or the club masterpoint award, but not both.


Motion failed.               Aye: 1, 17, 21


Item 043-151: Junior Camps


All Junior camps in Zone 2 will have a maximum age limit of 20 years of age for the campers.  When a member has reached twenty-one years of age they are no longer eligible for Camp.


Motion failed.               Aye: 1, 5, 7, 9, 17, 18, 19, 21, 22, 23.


Comment: After reviewing attendance figures from past camps, I determined that the camps could not attract enough attendance with the above restriction. We would be better off having camps with a wide age disparity rather than no camps at all.


Item 043-30: 2005 Budget


The Finance Committees' 2005 budget is approved.


Henceforth, all presentations of budget proposals submitted to the board by management shall include the following format.


      A                  B                              C                   D                E                      F

Prev Year      Current YTD      Current Year        Current Year   Next Year         % Change

Actual             Actual                 Estimated         Budgeted       Budget             C  - E


Carried.            Nay: 5, 6, 7, 11


Comment: This standardizes the report format to assist ACBL Board Members in understanding significant changes from one year to the next. The 2005 budget projects a $300,000 loss. We can afford to do that and still stay within our financial guidelines because of the net revenues over expenses we have achieved the last several years.


Please call if you have any questions or comments concerning this report.


Chuck Wilkinson

1806-B Saint Ann Street

Jackson, MS 39202-1257

Phone: 601-948-7108

Fax: 601-948-4522