District Director's Report
March 2010 (Rich DeMartino)

Reno NABC

The Spring NABC was held at the Grand Sierra Resort in Reno, Nevada. Attendance was 12,197 tables, approximately the table count expected but well below the record turnout of 14,955 tables when the Spring NABC was last held here in 2004. The playing space was excellent with all events being played on one floor in adjoining ballrooms. Kudos to the local volunteers who did a great job making the NABC enjoyable to all who attended. Two negatives: the plane trip is long because there are no direct flights to Reno and some believe the hotel is not up to our usual standards.

Top 10 Finishers in NABC Events - District 25

NORTH AMERICAN PAIRS - A

Doug Doub, W Hartford CT
Frank Merblum, Bloomfield CT
1

SILVER RIBBON PAIRS

Mark Aquino, Jamaica Plain MA
Shome Mukherjee, Randolph MA
3

MIXED PAIRS

Stephen McDevitt, Medford MA
Gloria Tsoi, Arlington MA
4

Lon Sunshine, Framingham MA
Ivanie Yeo, Brighton MA
10

WOMEN'S PAIRS

Karen McCallum, Exeter NH
6

WOMEN'S SWISS TEAMS

Phyllis Fireman, Chestnut Hill MA
1

Karen McCallum, Exeter NH
10

OPEN SWISS

Lloyd Arvedon, Bedford MA
Rich DeMartino, Riverside CT
John Stiefel, Wethersfield CT
6

Highlights of ACBL Board Meeting

CEO Report

CEO Jay Baum reported that he is pleased that membership increased by 170 members in the first two months of 2010. He expected to see a slight drop in the first quarter after last year's increase of over 6,100 members. He also pointed out that the loss of members in 2009 was the lowest we have experienced in decades.

Financial Results

For calendar year 2009, revenues exceeded expenses by $244,000. This figure is well above the latest forecast done in late November where an $81,000 loss was expected.

The initial 2010 budget prepared by Management in November projected a loss of $65,000 for 2010. The revised 2010 budget submitted by Management in February, and approved by the board in Reno, projects a loss of $374,000 for 2010. To summarize, actual results for 2009 are $325,000 better than the latest forecast and the final budget for 2010 is $309,000 worse than initially estimated.

The Finance Committee and the Board continue to be very concerned about our inability to forecast results accurately. One of our major 2010 goals is to determine what remedial actions are necessary to improve Management's capability to forecast results.

Special Games at Clubs ("Triple Points")

One of the most controversial issues over the past few years has been the policy of allowing clubs to run unlimited special games (e.g. Charity, Junior) which pay substantially increased masterpoints. Current regulations permit unlimited special games with masterpoint awards at 100% of Sectional rating.

A committee was selected to evaluate the pros and cons of allowing the current policy to continue. Based on the recommendation of that committee, the Board passed a motion to reduce both the masterpoints and frequency of these games. The new regulations, effective July 1, are as follows:

In my opinion, the committee assigned the task of addressing this controversial subject did an outstanding job of developing a workable compromise solution. There is probably no perfect solution to this complex issue but the committee's well-thought-out recommendation should certainly be acceptable to most everyone. The motion passed 23-2.

Senior Age

A motion was made to increase the senior age by one year from 2011 to 2015 until the minimum age reaches 60. An alternative was considered to make the senior age a district option (55, 60, or 65) but many board members believe this option would be confusing to the players so it was rejected. Management and some board members raised objections to increasing the senior age for our very successful senior NABC events. The motion was defeated 16-9.

Technology

The Technology Committee continues to make progress on several projects. By the end of April, we expect to have significantly improved reports of club games for those games where hand records were used. Players will be able to see each hand as well as the individual results for each pair. Where the score pads are used, the contracts will also be recorded. This is an exciting new feature so you may wish to encourage your clubs to begin reporting their results on the ACBL website.

We also hope to make significant improvements to the ACBL website by the end of May to make the site far easier to navigate. The home page will be restructured to make use of the full screen (1280 by 1040 instead of 800 by 600) and we will also reduce the need for scrolling as well as making use of pop-up menus and other technological advances.

Finally, we are evaluating a new product called Spinner which, if successfully completed as planned, will eliminate the need for boards and will allow all hands to be played simultaneously. Spinner will greatly reduce security issues as well as providing many other benefits (e.g. no skips in the movement). The product is still in development and may not be completed for 6 - 12 months or more but the potential is enormous. Price will be an issue but Management and the Technology Committee will continue to evaluate the potential of this exciting new product in the months ahead.

Platinum Pairs

The first Platinum Pairs was held on the first Friday through Sunday and all reports are that this event was a great hit with the players eligible to compete. Management send postcards to 1,580 players who qualified inviting them to attend and the entry was a very respectable 71 tables. The finals consisted of 36 pairs from this inital entry of 142 and most thought the quality of the field was exceptional.

Super Senior Pairs

A new Super Senior Pairs (age 70+) is being added on a trial basis to the Fall schedule as an NABC event. The first such event will be held at the Fall NABC in Orlando on the last Saturday and Sunday with starting times of 10:00 and 3:00. This event will consist of two qualifying and two final sessions. Winning this event will NOT qualify a player to the status of Grand Life Master.

For complete detail on Board actions, please refer to the minutes of the Board meeting on the ACBL website (ACBL.org). These will be posted within the next two weeks.

Top 25 Masterpoint Winners Reno NABC

   
Name
Total Points
Points Won in
NABC+ Events
1.
  Douglas Doub, West Hartford CT
154.63
154.63
2.
  Rich DeMartino, Riverside CT
139.95
64.50
3.
  John Stiefel, Wethersfield CT
113.67
47.73
4.
  Franklin Merblum, Bloomfield CT
97.43
97.43
5.
  Lloyd Arvedon, Bedford MA
94.56
51.37
6.
  Shome Mukherjee, Randolph MA
92.83
58.37
7.
  Mark Aquino, Jamaica Plain MA
91.68
58.37
8.
  Stephen McDevitt, Medford MA
90.73
45.64
9.
  Richard Budd, Portland ME
86.83
21.74
10.
  Lewis Gamerman, Westwood MA
81.89
27.19
11.
  Phyllis Fireman, Chestnut Hill MA
81.21
80.45
12.
  Gloria Tsoi, Arlington MA
71.23
46.19
13.
  Nathan Glasser, Somerville MA
63.58
2.79
14.
  Victor King, Hartford CT
61.52
59.76
15.
  Alan Applebaum, Brookline MA
59.76
59.76
16.
  Karen McCallum, Exeter NH
58.51
57.86
17.
  Stephen Gladyszak, Chelsea MA
49.25
6.21
18.
  Ivanie Yeo, Brighton MA
48.77
36.54
  Lon Sunshine, Framingham MA
48.77
36.54
20.
  Buddhadeb Biswas, Lexington MA
48.68
4.81
21.
  Melvin Marcus, Waltham MA
47.45
7.65
22.
  Ann Borgschulte, Lexington MA
44.81
2.65
23.
  Courtney Nelson, Wells VT
42.51
34.31
24.
  Robert Lavin, East Longmeadow MA
42.04
25.
  Pat McDevitt, Brookline MA
40.02
31.58

The Summer NABC will be held from July 22 through August 1 at the New Orleans Marriott and Sheraton New Orleans hotels in New Orleans. The Fall NABC will be held at the Marriott World Center Resort in Orlando from November 25 through December 5. In addition, the World Bridge Series will be held in Philadelphia from October 1 through October 16. Details on these events are on the ACBL website. For those unable to attend all three events, the choices will be difficult.

Rich DeMartino
District Director