Darwinisms Feb 2015
By Darwin Afdahl, District 17 President
I would like to thank John Grossmann, D17 Vice President, John’s daughter Megan, and Kitty Cooper, D17 ScoreCard Co-Editor, for producing the D17 survey and John for also collecting the data. We have received 230 responses to date representing about 2.5% of the district membership. We welcome more responses in order to get a broader view of what we can do to make your district regionals more attractive to you, our players. If you have a preference or any comments on how we can improve our regionals, please respond to the D17 survey and/or contact your D17 board member. The survey is on the D17 web site, D17acbl.org; look under the admin tab and scroll down to survey. The D17 Board of Directors are listed with names, pictures, addresses, emails, and phone numbers on the D17 web site at http://www.d17acbl.org/index.php?page=board‑of‑directors which is under admin/board of directors. The board will review the survey data to determine if any changes or improvements can be made to satisfy your concerns. The board acts in an advisory capacity to your local tournament committee, so if you have suggestions you might also share your thoughts with the tournament chair as well. The volunteers who run our tournaments do their best to be responsive to you, our players, but without your input they can only guess what will keep you coming back.
From the initial responses to the survey the top four areas of concern were: start time and event scheduling, venue choices, food and hospitality, and tournament event structure. I personally favor daylight major events (10:00 and 3:00), with double-session events at 7:30 over two consecutive evenings. In my previous columns I asked for reader input. A large number of our players responded and expressed their preference for daytime hours and concerns about driving home late at night. I realize that not everyone agrees with me, but I think D17 Tournament Chairs should consider scheduling prime time events during the daylight hours.
Kay and I recently attended D22 regionals in Ventura and Palm Springs, California. Both tournaments had 10:00 & 3:00 and 7:30 starting times, as in the past. Ventura had 1144 tables, an increase of 18% from 2013, and Palm Springs had 3801 tables, an increase of 5% from 2013. In contrast, all of D17’s regionals in 2014 had a decrease in table count. In the first six months of the year, average table count for all ACBL regionals was down nine percent. I also spoke with the president of D16 (most of Texas and all of Mexico) who told me that, although each D16 regional has its own starting times, starting times of 10:00 & 2:30 and 7:30 are pretty normal.
In recent years D17 has awarded over $8000 in grants to 11 units that had not hosted a regional tournament in the prior three years. A separate article in the current ScoreCard describes the procedures for Units to submit their proposals involving bridge education, technology development, etc.
Please be aware that many people have allergies to fragrance which can make their attendance unpleasant or impossible.
At the Tucson Regional I will be completing my second one-year term as your president. With mixed feelings, I have decided not to run for another term of office. I have truly enjoyed my tenure and have been surprised and thankful for all of you who have read my column and responded with letters, email, and phone calls. I believe it is time for a new president and new leadership, but I am going to remain a district board member representing the Tucson Unit. In addition, I was just elected D17 representative to the Western Conference Board for a three-year term. The Western Conference is composed of District 17 (Colorado; New Mexico; Arizona; Las Vegas, Nevada; Cheyenne and Laramie, Wyoming; Moab, Utah; and El Paso, Texas); District 21 (Northern California and Northern Nevada); and District 22 (Central and Southern California not including Los Angeles county).
Upcoming D17 Regionals and NABCs:
Tucson, Arizona, February 23-March 1
New Orleans, Louisiana, NABC, March 12-22
Mesa, Arizona, Senior, April 6-12
Denver, Colorado, May 19-25
Las Vegas, Nevada, June 22-28
Taos, New Mexico, September 21-27
Phoenix, Arizona, October 5-11
Denver, Colorado, NABC, November 26-December 6
Come on out and have some fun. Bridge is a game, and a great game it is. The first D17 board meeting of the new year will be in Tucson, Arizona, on February 28. Start making your plans to attend the Tucson Regional; the weather should be beautiful and the finesses are free.
If you have any comments or suggestions, I welcome your e-mail at: Darwin@afdahls.com or call me: (home) 520 742-1801 or (cell) 520 305-0360
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