By Bonnie Bagley
National Board Representative


As I write this, it’s “Springtime in the Rockies.” A record high temperature of 78 degrees was set yesterday, possibly another one will be set today, and tomorrow is predicted to be 45 degrees (10 degrees below average) and snow.Speaking of Spring, the Spring Nationals in Memphis were a huge hit with all who attended - southern hospitality abounded and the enthusiasm of the co-chairs, Don Patterson and Henry Francis, was catching. Those who took the opportunity to visit ACBL Headquarters were able to put faces to the names of the people who keep our organization running so smoothly. The 75th Anniversary Kickoff Celebration was festive, with the Beale Street Flippers, the Reba Russell Band, birthday cake, and flowing champagne.

D17 Stars shine Bright

As usual, D17 players did quite well. Fred Hamilton of Las Vegas won the Leventritt Silver Ribbon Pairs playing with James Sternberg of Florida; Linda and Paul Lewis, also of Las Vegas, were third. Pat Norman of Lone Tree, Colorado, won the Women’s Pairs, playing with Georgiana Gates of Texas, and Linda Lewis was second. Curtis Cheek and Joe Grue, both of Las Vegas, were on the Amoils team, which won the Vanderbilt KO Teams; the Diamond team which placed second included Las Vegas players Fred Gitleman and Geoff Hampson. Carolyn Lynch of Scottsdale, Arizona, playing with Mike Passell of Las Vegas, placed third in the Jacoby Open Swiss Teams. Congratulations to these players. For a listing of the D17 players in attendance who scored masterpoints, go to http://www.bonniebagleyd17.com

Business

And then there was business. Robert Hartman, ACBL’s new CEO, reported to the ACBL Board that membership has hit a high of 166,145, the most since the mid-1990s, and that regional and STAC table count is up while sectional table count is down by 5%. Robert announced that ACBL and Hammond Software have come to an agreement to develop a system to replace ACBLscore. The new system is called ACBLscore+. Nicholas Hammond is the project director. Completion is to be within 23 months. There are several new marketing initiatives in the works, one involving a Groupon promotion; this sounds interesting, I love Groupons!Most of the motions were “housekeeping” items, appointing committee members, approving updates of the codification of Board minutes - see http://www.acbl.org/about/codification.html -  and ratifying the 2012 budget. Of note, Becky Rogers of Las Vegas, was appointed to a five-year term on the ACBL Laws Commission. Rand Pinsky, (D23, Los Angeles) was elected the treasurer; his term is May 1, 2012-April 30, 2013.

Motions

A motion for additional penalties to players found guilty of several conduct violations and/or ethical violations was deferred to the 2012 Summer meeting in Philadelphia. ACBL staff will complete a study of masterpoint penalties given in the past ten years. Motions were passed that all Juniors less than 26 years old receive a $10.00 discount coupon for all events at NABCs and Juniors less than 19 receive free entries at all regionally-rated events at NABCs.

The motion to adjust masterpoint awards for regional and sectional pairs and Swiss Teams games, known as the Strength of Field motion, was deferred to Philadelphia. Sanity prevailed; initially, testing of the formula was to be done after the motion passed, but now there will be a shadow testing period beginning May 1, with the comparisons available before the second reading.

Strategic Planning

A portion of the board meeting focused on strategic planning to determine key issues for the future of ACBL. The Special Events Task Force focused on the Grand National Teams and the North American Pairs, the goal being to strengthen these grassroots events. An enormous amount of brainstorming was done and hopefully there will be effective motions ready for the Philadelphia meeting. All suggestions are appreciated; please do not hesitate to contact me at bonnie@bonniebagleyd17.com or 719 593-0205.

Gold Rush Pairs

The Denver Regional, May 22-28, has added the increasingly popular Gold Rush Pairs. These are double session pairs events stratified 0-300/750 which award gold masterpoints in the lower strats (up to 750). Players with more than 750 points play in the separate A/B Pairs. The Gold Rush games are Wednesday, May 23, and Friday, May 25, at 10:00 a.m. & 3:00 p.m., and Thursday, May 24, at 1:00 & 7:00 p.m. If you don’t get all the gold you need in Denver, there are five Gold Rush Pairs at the Las Vegas Regional, June 18-24, Tuesday-Friday at 1:15 & 7:00 p.m. Make your plans now to attend one, or even better, both of these great tournaments.




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