Darwinisms
By Darwin Afdahl, District 17 President

Albuquerquean Hospitality

Attendance was down a bit at the recent D17 Albuquerque, New Mexico regional due to a schedule change necessary to better accommodate the Summer NABC to be hosted by Las Vegas in July. Still, the tournament was blessed with great weather and retained its festive atmosphere. Daily offerings of cookies, cake, or ice cream were provided by Tournament Chair Bill Kass and a large group of volunteers, who also staffed busy partnership and registration desks and a hospitality suite. Complementary red and blue “Bridge Buddy” bags dotted the playing area. (Next year the regional will return to its regular mid-January dates.)

Gold Points for non-Life Masters

Tucson, Arizona hosted a NLM Regional (under 750 points) that for the first time offered GOLD POINTS. To win gold points you had to be in the overalls or win a section top in a two session or longer event. Attendance was up 20% over last year, 87% of the players won masterpoints, and 35% of the players received GOLD points, with the top masterpoint winner earning 16.20 masterpoints. (Since 2010, a player must earn a minimum of 50 gold points to become a Life Master.) According to Eric Bell, the Director in Charge, and Tournament Chair Steve Reynolds, players attending the tournament came from 28 states, the District of Columbia, four Canadian Provinces, and 24 different Arizona cities (some of whom) may have been “snowbirds.” A large number of out of town players stayed at the host hotel.

Attention District 17 Units

District 17 started a grant program two years ago to provide some financial support to units that have not hosted a regional tournament in the past three years. The first year, six grants were awarded for a total of $3050; for the second year, three grants were approved for a total of $2000. The budget for grants in 2014 is $3000. In the past, grants were used to:
Develop an effective outreach program that signed up many new members.
Hold a “Bridge Festival” to motivate folks to sign up for bridge lessons.
Improve and update bridge technology.

There are 15 District 17 units that have not hosted a regional in the past three years. Any or all of them are eligible. Applying for a grant is easy. A unit must submit a request via letter or email describing the intended purpose or goal, stating the requested amount, and providing a description of the program and when it will be implemented. Grant applications must include financial information such as the current bank balance for the unit and a plan to provide feedback on the results of the grant. Grant applications should be submitted to John Grossman (phone 719 233-9464) Blackstone.co@comcast.net by May 10. Decisions will be made at the Denver board meeting. Applications after that date will be presented at the Phoenix board meeting on October 12 if funds are available. While we want to reach new units in 2014, grant requests may also be submitted by units that have already received a grant.

District 17 January Board Meeting

This is a partial summary of the board meeting. The final minutes are subject to Board approval at the next board meeting, in Denver on May 24, and will be posted on the D17 website.

  1. A Youth/Junior (25 and under) discount of $6.00 per session at D17 sponsored regional tournaments will be offered. (Must be a member of the ACBL in good standing; not valid for any member playing for hire.)
  2. Fees at D17 regionals will increase to $12.00 per session, effective January 1, 2015.
  3. The following policy was adopted: “District 17 Regional tournaments are non-smoking tournaments with hospitality breaks. This includes electronic smoking devices.” This conforms to ACBL policy at NABCs. The D17 Board recommends all D17 units adopt this policy for their sectionals and unit events.
  4. It was noted that District 17 currently has over 9000 members; this means that in 2015 the district is eligible to hold seven regionals.

Upcoming D17 regionals and NABC are:


Mesa, Arizona Senior, April 7-13
Denver, Colorado, May 20-26
Las Vegas NABC, July 17-27
Colorado Spring, Colorado, August 11-17
Phoenix, Arizona, October 6-12

If you have any comments or suggestions, e-mail me at: Darwin@afdahls.com or call me: (Home) 520.742.1801 or (Cell) 520.305.0360



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