ACBL Board of Directors Meeting
July 10-13, 2006
• Sharon Fairchild from District 5 (Pittsburgh area) defeated Dan Morse of District 16 (Texas) to be the 2007 ACBL President.
• Approved the purchase of a Directors and Officers Liability policy from the Philadelphia Insurance Co. that would cover (including slander) units and committees at no cost to the unit or district. (As a member of the Insurance Committee since becoming a director I have pushed hard to get this done).
• Defeated by a 13-12 vote, a motion for ACBL Tournament Directors to hear and rule on appeals in North American Bridge Championships. Appeals would have been heard by a panel of Tournament Directors similar to regional appeal hearings. This would have eliminated the National Appeals Committee where rulings are made by player panels. (I supported the motion for a number of reasons).
• Voted to include in the website list of top Master Point holders the names of the deceased players interspersed within the numbered list.
• Approved the Galt House & Suites, Louisville, KY as the site of the 2011 Spring NABC.
• Approved changes in the Code of Disciplinary Regulations that would give more power to club owners to discipline members.
• Voted to require the ACBL Charity Foundation and the ACBL Educational Foundation to meet in special session to discuss combining of the two into one entity.
• Defeated a motion to raise the minimum age to sixty (60) to play in ACBL Senior events.
• Approved new sample bylaws for any unit needing assistance with writing appropriate bylaws.
• Agreed to provide unit and district board members or officials and club managers free electronic listings of members as an attachment to an e-mail.
• Voted to permanently remove from the Goodwill Committee anyone expelled from the ACBL, suspended for one year or longer or on probation for two years or longer. Any member of the Goodwill Committee who loses “good standing” will be suspended from the committee until they regain “good standing.”
• Defeated a motion that all ribbon qualifications would expire five years after being earned.
• Defeated a motion that NABCs would no longer include gender exclusive events with the exception of Mixed Pairs and Mixed Board-A-Match.
• Approved additions to the 2006-2007 GNT Conditions of Contest dealing with replacements and substitutions.
ACBL CEO JAY BAUM REPORT TO THE BOARD INCLUDED THE FOLLOWING ITEMS:
• 2006 total membership is up 754 boosted in large part by the Amnesty Program.
• 2006 year-to-date losses are very encouraging averaging 774 members lost per month vs. average over the last 10 years of 950 per month.
• Regional tables per tournament average is slightly ahead of 2005.
• Sectional tables per tournament are flat.
• STaC tables per event average are going at record pace.
• Bridgemate, the wireless scoring system, will be tested at the Tunica, MS Regional in September to determine how effective and efficient it would be for ACBL to adopt.
• The AARP/ACBL relationship has gotten off to a good start with the participants in both Alexandria, VA and Chicago expressing themselves on how much fun they had and how much they enjoyed playing duplicate bridge. Special games for AARP players are planned for Seattle & Atlanta. The big test will be the interest shown at their national convention in October @ Anaheim.
• Online sanctioned club games continue their rapid growth with 91,000 tables thru May and more than 225,000 expected in 2006.
• Having the Bridge Bulletin available electronically thru the member portal is progressing nicely and should be complete well in advance of its scheduled 2008 date.
• Continuing education and retesting for Tournament directors will begin in 2007 with concentration on customer service and appeals hearings.
• The Club and Diamond Series are being reprinted. LTPB has been redesigned and LTPB3 in the next project.
• We had a profit of $109,981 for the 4 months period ending 4/30/2006 compared to a loss of $209,594 for the same period in 2005. Income from membership dues were up. Revenue from regional and sectional tournament fees were up and the net profit from the Dallas NABC was more than double the profit of the Spring 2005 in Pittsburgh.
• Operating expenses are also on the increase with health insurance for staff up $39,280 after employee contributions. Salaries for tournament directors were up $89,165 and their health insurance was up $32,226. Marketing/Education expenses are $205,728 less that 2005 as a result of reduction for the Youth Bridge initiative program ($104,110), a reduction in professional fees used for NABC promotion, club operations and various marketing projects ($35,000) plus the elimination of the Unit Co-operative Rebate which penalized 2005 results by $60,579.
• Strategic priorities for 2006 are:
1. Improve the budget process with stricter adherence and updated forecasting methods.
2. Teacher development as service providers and marketers.
3. Increase the national awareness of bridge.
The 2006 Hall of Fame inductees included Richard Goldberg, a major figure in North America and World Bridge for many years, whose career as a director began in District 10 in 1959 in Nashville. Dick moved up quickly becoming ACBL’s Director of Tournament in 1963 and then ACBL CEO in 1971. He was the Treasurer of the WBF for ten years and on its Executive Committees for fourteen years. Tommy Sanders of Nashville made the presentation.
District 10's own Ralph Cohen, who died in Memphis on June 13th, was the recipient of the 2006 Sidney H. Lazard, Jr. Award for Sportsmanship.