By Bonnie Bagley
National Board Representative

About 100 District 17 members joined me in playing at the Louisville, Kentucky Spring NABC in March. I am sure they agree that Louisville is a wonderful city with many, varied attractions – Churchill Downs, the Kentucky Derby Museum, the Louisville Slugger Museum, and the Muhammed Ali Museum (to name just a few) - and great restaurants. The Galt Hotel was a good venue for bridge players - spacious playing areas with good lighting, even temperatures, and ample water. The volunteers, led by local chairman Hannah Davis, were cheerful, enthusiastic, well organized, and always gracious. One couldn’t help but to have a good time . . . even if the bridge wasn’t the best (speaking for myself here).

Louisville Board Meeting Highlights

The committee meetings, ACBL Board of Directors meeting, and the Board of Governors meeting were quite interesting; never a dull moment. Jay Baum reported in his CEO Report that membership should remain stable in 2011; year 2010 ended with 165,419 members. The preliminary table count for club games in 2010 is 2,965,821 - 713,135 of which were online games. Regional and sectional table counts for 2011 are ahead of 2010.

Marketing is working on a smartphone “find a club” app and updating the ACBL website; it reported that we have 2000 + “fans” on Facebook plus 250 followers on Twitter and 88 members on LinkedIn.

The initial study report on ACBL Score should be completed by April 15.

International Bridge

I was surprised by the reaction to the motion that annual dues paid to the World Bridge Federation (WBF) by the ACBL should be paid from funds raised from International Fund Games before any other donations are made from those games. The motion appeared to be interpreted as being against international competition and was soundly defeated. I was in the minority. It seemed only logical to me, and I hope this motion will resurface. Currently the ACBL pays one dollar per ACBL member (Juniors excepted) for WBF dues. Last year that was about $165,000, which is taken out of the league’s General Fund. This motion would have taken the WBF dues out of the funds raised not only by the International Fund Games, but also by the $1.50 per session per player for all NABC Plus events that goes into the International Fund. Even with the WBF dues paid out of the International Fund there would be available monies to provide for United States Bridge Federation (USBF)  members (who are less than one percent of the ACBL) to compete in international events. ACBL members must also be USBF members to compete internationally.

Support the GNTeams

This motion would have freed monies in the General Fund for other things. How about providing monetary assistance for the District Grand National Teams (GNTs) finalists, which is a possibility for any ACBL member? The four teams per district could receive $1000-$1500 and the General Fund would be still ahead. Let’s encourage our players to attend our Nationals this way; they just might get hooked. I did. Yes, most districts provide a stipend for their winning teams - District 17 currently gives each flight winners $1600, which is helpful, but Nationals are expensive and that $1600 must be divided between 4-6 teammates. Winning the District 17 GNT C in 1995, and going to the Miami NABC to compete nationally, was the beginning of my interest in NABCs . . . and the rest is history. Believe me, if I could win, so can you. In fact, my team (a different one from the C team) won the District 17 B in 2001 and went to the Toronto NABC. I encourage all players to participate in the D17 GNT finals and hopefully, go on to national competition.

Online Bridge

There were two motions of interest to online players. Defeated was a motion to discontinue awarding masterpoints for any game that includes one or more robots. Passed was a motion approving the present policy for online games: “a player may not enter more than two ACBL-sanctioned online games of any kind in any 60 minute period.”

All masterpoints won online continue to count toward a player’s total, but online points do not count toward masterpoint races such as the McKenney and Mini-McKenney.

Online masterpoints are unpigmented, and no more then one-third of the total points required for rank advancement may be won online.

Online masterpoints count 100% toward strat and flight advancement and robot games continue to run as individual events.

D17 Tournament Trail

The Mesa Senior Regional just completed and has continued the upward trend of Western Conference and District 17 tournament attendance with 2557 tables, up 551 tables - well done Unit 351. I must admit, I had a great time; there was a sea of smiling faces in Mesa.

We now look forward to the Great Western Spring STAC the first week of May and the Rocky Mountain Regional in Denver which starts Tuesday, May 24 and runs through Memorial Day. See you there!

Please go to my website for the complete Board of Directors minutes and a listing of D17 players who “got lucky in Kentucky.” Do not hesitate to contact me at 719 593-0205 or by email at

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