By Bonnie Bagley, National Board Representative

Happy New Year! I hope this is the beginning of a great year ahead for all of you, with family, friends, and lots of bridge.


The ACBL Board recently completed the third board meeting of the year, during which league elections are held. Phyllis Harlan of D15 ran unopposed for 2014 ACBL President. Merlin Vilhauer of D20 was elected to a three year term as a Zone 2 (that’s us) representative to the World Bridge Federation, of whom there are five on our board, the others being Bruce Blakely (D21), Georgia Heth (D8), Paul Janicki (D2), and Alvin Levy (D24). Phyllis Harlan was also re-elected as a trustee of the Charity Foundation. Jay Whipple was elected to the Educational Foundation, and Barbara Heller and Mike Bandler were re-elected.

We welcome three new national board members this year: Jay Whipple (D9), Russ Jones (D10), and Dennis Carman (D12) replacing, respectively, Shirley Seals, Bill Cook, and Bill Arlinghaus. Those three served a combined total of thirty years and will be missed.

Management Report Highlights

Robert Hartman, our CEO, reported that as of the end of October membership stands at 167,912, which is a 1504 net increase over 2012. Table count attendance at regionals, sectionals, and STACs is down slightly, as is attendance at clubs, but online table count has shown a slight increase. The ACBLscore+ project is in Phases 4 and 5. The internal testing and rollout program is in development. Online Learn to Play Bridge is currently being beta tested, with a rollout planned for early 2104.

ACBL will host four Regionals at Sea this year: an April Panama Canal Cruise with 16-time North American champion John Mohan; a May Western Caribbean Cruise with national champion and author Mel Colchamiro, accompanied by ACBL’s CEO Robert Hartman; an October Bermuda/Caribbean Cruise with national champion and best-selling author Mike Lawrence; and a Southern Caribbean Cruise with teacher and author Barbara Seagram.

Board Meeting Highlights

The agenda was a light one as far as motions were concerned. Four motions were passed: First, to ban electronic smoking devices in the playing area at NABCs. Second, authorizing the creation of a Youth Protection and Abuse Prevention Policy to communicate ACBL’s commitment to ensuring the safety of its young players, volunteers, and caddies. Third, to apply the Code of Disciplinary Regulations to unit, sponsored clubs (unit sponsored games had been covered, but not unit sponsored clubs). A unit sponsored club is one which meets one of the following criteria: it is controlled by a board which is either the same as the unit board or appointed by the unit, there is a commingling of funds with those of the unit or the placement of funds in a unit owned account, or the unit appoints the club manager or director. Fourth, to move an opening weak two bid which also includes a four-card minor to the Opening Bids section of the ACBL General Convention Chart. This convention requires an alert.

A motion presented by the Board of Governors that the Board of Directors establish a permanent Club Committee to include club managers/directors, ACBL management, and the board of directors failed. Management will establish this committee as a presidential committee.

A new mission statement was adopted: The Mission of the ACBL is to promote, grow, and sustain the game of bridge and serve the bridge-related interests of our members.

Don Mamula (D19) created an avenue for “discussion items” which, starting with the 2013 March meeting, allows us to consider issues in depth before a motion is filed to pass, fail, or be deferred due to possible unintended consequences. This has been very well received by the board and has been continued.

Las Vegas Goes Cosmopolitan

Of special interest to D17 members, the Las Vegas Cosmopolitan Hotel & Casino was approved as the playing site for the Summer 2019 and the Fall 2024 NABCs. The Cosmopolitan is a new luxury resort in the heart of the famous Las Vega Strip, an exciting venue for future Las Vegas NABCs.


All our committees work diligently, but there are two committees that deserve special recognition for going above and beyond. The first is the Conditions of Contest Committee, which spent hours and hours going through all of the league Conditions of Contest, standardizing the format and correcting errors. A phenomenal task, which will make the job of future updating much easier. The Committee for NABC Schedules (Spring, Summer, and Fall) also did a superb job, which also took many, many hours, juggling events and adding new 0-10,000 events. The approval of these schedules, which would begin in 2015, was deferred to the March meeting in Dallas to allow the Competition and Conventions Committee to review the schedules. Many kudos to the hard working committees.

Contact Me

Please do not hesitate to contact me at 719 593-0205 or

See you at the Las Vegas Regional. Remember the new date, January 20-26, and the new place, Bally’s Hotel & Casino.

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