District 25
NEBridge - Larry Weiss Award

Larry Weiss Trophy

The Trophy

The New England Bridge Conference (NEBC), the ACBL's District 25, periodically awards the Larry Weiss Trophy. In The Bridge World magazine, the late Edgar Kaplan once said the late Larry Weiss was "the first gentleman of bridge." When Weiss, a longtime New England expert, died, his brother Stephen Weiss of Special Projects, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation in New York, donated the trophy, which is inscribed, "For Grace and Skill at the Bridge Table."

Three Criteria

Weiss listed three criteria for the award:

1. Some degree of success in contract bridge during the year for which the award is made.
2. Some degree of association with New England bridge.
3. Notably, superior behavior and gracious presence at the bridge table.

The first of these is not tied to any specific event or masterpoint achievements. It requires only subjective judgement that the candidate is a skilled player. The second requires a familiar face at NEBC events. It would be helpful for an individual proposing a candidate to consider association as meaning that the candidate is a skilled player. The third speaks for itself.

Mr. Weiss left these determinations to the NEBC, which has normally delegated an awards committee to consider annual nominations for the Larry Weiss Trophy by NEBC members. Past practice is that the last Larry Weiss winner is responsible for establishing a procedure to select a new winner. It would seem to make sense for the committee selecting the current nominee to include the current winner plus one representative from each of the Units, with a preference being given to former winners of the trophy. This would provide for nine voting members on the selection committee with at least five votes being needed to select a winner.

Anyone submitting a candidate's name for consideration should present a rationale in support of the person, which would include their contributions to bridge, especially in the form of volunteerism, as mentioned above.

Announcement of the Award

This is clearly a very prestigious award which should be given considerable publicity. Consideration should be given to announcing the award at the Sunday Swiss following the delegates' meeting when the award is made, sending an article regarding the award winner to the recipient's Unit publication, and posting on the District website.

Daily Bulletins for subsequent regionals should carry announcements for the latest winner and requests for nominations for future candidates.

Past Recipients

In some years, no award has been made. Recipients have included:

1981 John McDermott EMBA
1982 Ethel Keohane EMBA
1985 Bernard Miller RIBA
1991 Thomas Goodwin MBA
1992 Charles Coon EMBA
1994 Stephen Gladyszak EMBA
1995 Ann Reynolds EMBA
1997 Thomas Wilder EMBA
1999 Rosemarie Goodwin MBA
2000 William Lenville WMBA
2001 Barbara Shaw CBA
2003 Jane Smith CBA
2004 Tony Petronella RIBA
2005 Geoff Phipps NHBA
2006 Phillip Sharpsteen VBA
2007 Walter Fontaine RIBA
2008 William Hunter EMBA
2010 Stephen Rzewski EMBA
2011 James Rasmussen EMBA
2013 Frank Hacker VBA

2016 Luke Gillespie EMBA
2017 Mike Wavada, CBA
2018 Bob Bertoni, EMBA