District Director's Reports

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George Retek

District 1 Director

 

HOME, SWEET HOME

 

Our ACBL sold its Headquarters building more than a year ago in Memphis, mainly because of safety concern of our employees. Our Real Estate Committee could not locate an available building in a desirable area of Memphis, and based on its recommendation, the Board decided to construct a new building. As much as I believe in the necessity of relocation, I fell that the price tag attached to this project (representing a significant portion of our League’s equity) is very high. This was the largest magnitude of financial decision in the League’s history. I was quite disappointed in Management for not providing sufficient detailed and comparative information for this issue. I truly hope that our “compulsory bidding policy” requiring multiple quotes for expenses over $ 25,000 will be strictly followed every step of the way.

 

Our neighbouring District, under the guidance of Director Rich DiMartino put on a great show organizing the Fall 2008 NABC in Boston. It was great to see many familiar faces from our District in attendance.

 

HIGHLIGHTS OF BOARD ACTIONS

 

I – FINANCIAL

 

1.   Management anticipates a profit approximately $700,000 in 2008 and forecast a deficit of less than $200,000 in 2009.

 

2.  Fee changes

a)  Session fees at NABC’s:

Increase of $2.00 per session in NABC plus events

Increase of $0.50 per session in all other events

 

b)  Sectional surcharge (to cover travel expenses) increased from $135 to $165

 

c)  STAC charges: Tables

 

         0 - 500    $ 4.35 x tables

     501 - 1,000   4.10 x tables over    500  $ 2,175

  1,001 - 2,000   3.75 x tables over 1,000     4,225

  2,001 - 4,000   3.30 x tables over 2,000     7,975

  4,001 -             3.00 x tables over 4,000   14,575

 

This charge will actually decrease the present fees in most cases.

 

3.  Instead of a set annual charge, Management is authorized to establish the budget for Goodwill Committee reception on annual basis.

 

II - TOURNAMENTS AND CLUBS

 

1.   When a Sectional (excluding STAC’s) or higher rated event is being conducted within 25 miles of a club game’s playing site, the club is permitted to hold only its regularly scheduled club masterpoint games (i.e. no special games).

 

2.   Online bridge clubs may run one Club Championship quarterly for sessions 1-12 (Monday-Thursday) with a maximum first place overall award of 3.90. Each pair must play at least 18 boards.

 

3.   The six session Platinum Pair NABC event is established subject to 2nd reading in the Spring, starting 2010. Available to players who won at least 50 platinum points in the last 3 years or 200 platinum points for life time. To accommodate this event for the Spring, some other NABC events had to be rescheduled between the Spring and Fall NABC’s. Overall award 200 MP for first place.

 

4.   The strat levels for teams in a Stratified Board-a-Match team event can optionally be determined by the average masterpoint holding of all of the team members.

 

5.  Further master point award refinements:

a)   Fixed 100 mp for 0-5000 Mini-Spingold, when there are at least 48 teams.

b)   Fixed 60 mp for 0-1500 Mini-Spingold, when there are at least 32 teams.

Increased slightly the match awards for Mini-Spingolds, GNT, CNTC and CWTC.

New awards CNTC-A: 3.50; CNTC-B: 3.00; CWTC: 2.50

 

6.  Management is authorized to sanction silver point sectionals on cruise ships. Other than above, only Units may apply to hold Sectional Tournaments. However Units may nominate other organizations to conduct the Sectional subject to veto by Management that is not applicable when the nominated organization is the District.

 

7.  A Youth NABC is approved for the summer of 2010.

 

8.  For all games at NABC’s the hand records used in NABC plus events shall be different from the hands played in other games ( Regional, side, IN).

 

III - POT-POURRI

 

1.   The ACBL Board of Governors elected Mike Kovacich for Chairman and Ellen Kent as Vice-Chairman. The ACBL Board elected Georgia Heth and Jonathan Steinberg to the WBF Executive Committee.

 

2.   A new organization called: Foundation for the Preservation and Advancement of Bridge had been established. Joan and Elihu Schepps donated their 600 piece impressive collection of trump indicators to assist the Foundation.

 

3.   The ACBL Appeals and Charges Committee modified the discipline on Ken Gee for violating CDR Section 3.1, 3.2 and 3.7. He received suspension from November 27, 2007 to May 31, 2009 and will be on life time probation. All master points earned between July 31, 2006 and December 31, 2007 had been removed.

 

4.   Code of Disciplinary Regulations (CDR) is modified to mandate that the Disciplinary Committee must submit its report of findings and sanctions to ACBL Management within thirty (30) days from the conclusion of the presentation of evidence.

 

5.   Effective January 1, 2009 ACBL establishes a Youth Division (for players under 20 years of age) and a Junior Division (age under 26) in order to reorganize bridge promotion to youngsters.

 

6.   The Audit Committee under my chairmanship has decided to ratify a new firm as our auditors: Watkins, Uiberall, CPA.

 

7.   Last year when the Canadian Dollar was appreciating in value, quite a few Canadian members complained that the ACBL membership dues were too high in Canadian Dollar, since the conversion rate is established in July for one year ahead. Now the shoe is on the other foot. Since the ACBL dues were converted at the rate of 1.06 and the actual exchange rate is around 1.26, there is a huge advantage presently for Canadian members to prepay their membership dues.

 

8.   Jeff Polisner, who has served brilliantly as ACBL legal counsel for many many years, was well deservedly named the Honourary Person of the Year.

 

9.   As usual should you need more information or assistance, please do not hesitate to contact me.

 

PERSONAL NOTE

Next year our Unit Boards will be asked to vote once again for a representative to the ACBL Board of Directors. Quite a few of you have urged me to stay on and serve you for one more final term. I very much enjoy representing you and if you believe that I do a good job, then I would appreciate having your continued support.

 

WISHING ALL OF YOU A HAPPY HOLIDAY SEASON!