ACBL BOARD OF DIRECTORS’ MEETING

SAN FRANCISCO, CA

NOVEMBER 18-20, 2007

 

REPORT FROM BILL COOK, JR.

DISTRICT 10 REPRESENTATIVE

 

Š       Approved a 3 year contract extension for ACBL CEO Jay Baum and a CEO Plan of Succession to secure Baum’s replacement prior to his retirement date of June 30, 2011.

Š       Narrowed the choice of location for ACBL Headquarters to the Memphis, Dallas, Atlanta or Orlando areas.

Š       Gave final approval to changes in the master point awards presented to the board at the summer meeting in Nashville. (Changes were included in my report of the Nashville meeting)

Š       Modified the Board Policy on readmission of expelled members that would deny consideration for readmission for a second expulsion or resignation to avoid possible disciplinary action. In addition, requests for relief for readmission would not be considered more frequently that every three years.

Š       Modified the Code of Disciplinary Regulations “Required appearance at hearings” that failure of complainants or charged persons or witnesses to appear by telephone or provide a written signed statement when committee chairperson determines their testimony is critical to the hearing, shall be grounds for discipline.

Š       Junior coupons at all NABc’s will have a flat value of $10 per session or the per person price of entry, whichever is less.

Š       Defeated a motion that any defense to a INT opening would be a general chart convention.

Š       Approved additions and changes to the Administrative Guidelines for ACBL Club Games and ACBL Club Director Accreditations as follows:

The ACBL Handbook of Rules and Regulations is amended as follows:

A. ACBL Handbook of Rules and Regulations Chapter 4, Section One, V., F. is deleted; Section

One, IV. D. is added as follows:

D. Cancellation of Sanction

1.     ACBL management has the right to cancel or suspend a club game sanction for cause upon thirty days notice to the club manager. Any one of the following shall constitute “cause” for cancellation or suspension: operation of a club out of compliance with ACBL regulations; egregious conduct by the club manager or club director which is detrimental to the ACBL; unsuitable club venue; or discriminatory practices as set forth in this Handbook. A suspension is for a fixed period of time whereupon the sanction shall automatically renew. A cancellation is for a fixed period of time whereupon the club manager may apply for renewal or permanent without the possibility of renewal.

2.     ACBL management may immediately suspend or cancel a club game sanction without notice if the “cause” for cancellation is such that continuation of the sanction will result in substantial and immediate violation of ACBL Regulations; or increase the likelihood of lawsuit against the ACBL; or result in violation of state or Federal law.

3.     The thirty day notice of suspension or cancellation shall provide the club manager with the option of providing ACBL management with reasons in writing why the suspension or cancellation should not take place, whereupon ACBL management, in its own discretion, may leave the suspension or cancellation in place, amend the suspension or cancellation or withdraw the suspension or cancellation

4.     The club may file a written appeal of a suspension or cancellation with the Appeals and Charges Committee of ACBL Board of Directors within thirty days of the effective date of the cancellation, provided however, that the suspension or cancellation will remain in effect until the appeal before the Appeals and Charges Committee has been decided. In order to be considered, such written appeal must include reasons why the cancellation is inconsistent with the terms of this Section D.

B. ACBL Handbook of Rules and Regulations Chapter 4, Section three, III.C. is added as follows:

C. Cancellation of Passing of Exam Accreditation

1.     ACBL management has the right to cancel a club director’s passing grade on the club director’s examination (“Accreditation”) accreditation for cause upon thirty days notice to the club director. Any one of the following shall constitute “cause” for cancellation of Accreditation: direction of a club game out of compliance with ACBL regulations; egregious conduct by the club director which is detrimental to the ACBL; unsuitable club venue; or discriminatory practices by the club director as set forth in this Handbook. A cancellation of Accreditation is for a fixed period of time whereupon the club director may apply for reinstatement of Accreditation (a new examination may be required by ACBL management for reinstatement); or, A cancellation may be permanent without the possibility of reinstating Accreditation.

2.     ACBL management may cancel a club game director’s Accreditation without notice if the “cause” for cancellation is such that continuation of the club director’s club activities will result in substantial and immediate violation of ACBL Regulations; or increase the likelihood of lawsuit against the ACBL; or result in violation of state or Federal law.

3.     The thirty day notice of cancellation of Accreditation shall provide the club director with the option of providing ACBL management with reasons in writing why the cancellation should not take place, whereupon ACBL management, in its own discretion, may leave the cancellation of Accreditation in place, amend the cancellation or withdraw the cancellation

4.     The club director may file a written appeal of a cancellation of Accreditation with the Appeals and Charges Committee of ACBL Board of Directors within thirty days of the effective date of the cancellation, provided however, that the cancellation will remain in effect until the appeal before the Appeals and Charges Committee has been decided. In order to be considered, such written appeal must include reasons why the cancellation is inconsistent with the terms of this Section C.

Effective Immediately.

Š       Approved an addition to the Formula For Extra pairs in NAOP as follows:

The extra pairs will be based on the percentage of participation, at the club level, within each Flight.

Š       General Conditions of Contest are amended to state that:

English is the international language of bridge. ACBL recognizes its

Membership is multilingual. Every effort will be made to accommodate

our membership. However, once hands are removed from the boards,

all calls, questions and plays will be in English. Exceptions maybe made

if both captains in a team event or all four players at the table, in a pair

event, agree to use some common language.

Š       Revise the NAP Conditions of Contest that states “A district may opt to not require unit qualifying games. If a District does not require unit qualifying games, units within the District may still hold non-qualifying unit finals at their local discretion. Effective January 1, 2008.

Š       Approved a 2008 Budget that projects an income over expense surplus of $493,000.00.

Š       Approved eliminating the reimbursing of board members for one companion transportation cost per year and increased the expense reimbursement related to the office of District Director from $750.00 to $1,000.00 three times per year. Estimated cost savings $10,000 annually.

Š       Authorized the ACBL President to appoint a committee to study the requirements for becoming a Life Master and other rank changes.

CEO Jay Baum reported the following:

Š       Membership continues an upward trend with 992 more members in October 2007 than at the same time in 2006.

Š       Tournament tables in play in all categories are up despite fewer tournaments.

Š       Online tables continue to grow with more than 325,000 tables anticipated for 2007.

Š       For the first time in ACBL history we could go over 3,000,000 sanctioned tables for 2007.

Š       A $1,272,000 surplus of income over expenses for 2007 is anticipated due to lower costs and increased income.

Š       ACBL Educational Fund games can now be held in lieu of or in addition to the current Special Fund Games: Junior, Charity and International Fund games. Masterpoints are awarded at 100% sectional black. Minimum donation is $4.00 per table to Educational Foundation. Education Foundation games cannot be held during the other special fund game months (February – Juniors; April – Charity; September – International).

Š       Beginning in January ACBL will run all STaCs through the Memphis headquarters using salaried Tournament Directors. A sliding per table sanction fee will be charged to support the staffing of these tournaments and to fund all or most of Tournament Director increases.

Š       Electronic scoring continues to be evaluated. Bridgemate and BridgePad are the two available wireless scoring devices. Bridgemate is now used by several clubs and BridgePad is continuing to be tested in clubs and sectional tournaments in California.

Š       Will begin a quarterly news letter in April 2008 to new members during their first year of membership geared toward introducing them to the many facets of ACBL, ACBL history and improving their bridge skills.

Š       Co-op Ad program has reimbursed over $109,000 through the first 10 months of 2007.

Š       ACBL web site has lots of information for club managers and directors to make new players and potential members feel welcome at their club.