Updates to ACBL's Alert Procedure
The ACBL Board of Directors unanimously approved a comprehensive update to the ACBL Alert Procedure at their November meeting, the first major overhaul in 20 years. The new procedures go into effect Jan. 1, 2021. Click here for more details.
Due To The Ongoing COVID19 Situation,
the San Diego Regional has been cancelled.
Our California 99er NiteClub, which debuted mid-Oct and has hosted in excess of 640 tables to date, is expanding! D17 is joining us in offering our 99ers a dedicated virtual game Mondays to Thursdays at 6:30PM. We are rebranding our club as the ALL-WESTERN 99ER NITECLUB in light of our latest partner coming on board. D17 encompasses the states of Colorado, New Mexico and Arizona; the southern part of Nevada including Las Vegas, a portion of Wyoming, a small section of Utah and the portion of West Texas including El Paso. Along with our existing partners D23 (Greater Los Angeles area) and D21 (Northern California), we are very excited to spread our wings and decided that our new name would be much more representative of our players’ geographical locations.
We have assembled a team of highly qualified directors/instructors to run these games, and are very appreciative of their dedication to the program.
Mondays: Lynn Yokel, directing and teaching
Tuesdays: Arleen Harvey directing and Wirt Gilliam teaching
Wednesdays: Will Watson, directing and teaching
Thursdays: Ellis Feigenbaum directing and Paul Darin teaching
District 22 2020 Goodwill Inductees
Congratulations to all!
David's National Dialogue
National Board Representative
The crystal ball remains very murky. Lots of questions with not a lot of answers. Here are a few things we do know.
The pandemic has had a very adverse effect on membership numbers. The number of members dropped from 158,000 at the end of 2019 to 150,000 at the end of 2020. The annual budget, discussed below, is based on a 4% drop for 2021. The rate of membership termination accelerated dramatically as the pandemic took hold in the April/May time frame. There is a bright side in that with the advent of online bridge, the number of tables in play rose enough to generate a very handsome “profit” in 2020. Technically, we don’t have profits, we have revenues in excess of expenses. This excess revenue was approximately $3,200,000 in 2020. What we do know is that only about 60% of the players that were playing in face to face (f2f) bridge are playing online. ACBL HQ continues with marketing efforts aimed at expanding this number. While no one knows for sure, management is positing that the rate of decrease in membership will decline because many of those members who were inclined to quit their membership did so last year and the remainder are more likely to continue.
As I’ve written before, one of the benefits of working remotely is that the BOD can, and does, meet much more frequently than pre-pandemic. We have at least one meeting each month and in some cases several. One of the interesting meetings last month provided the BOD the opportunity to participate in a Zoom call with an attorney who specializes in representing non-profit organizations and their boards. We learned that the primary duty of a BOD member is to the organization. We must tread carefully where there is a potential conflict of interest, and in many cases may have to recuse ourselves from voting where those conflicts exist. An example might be a situation wherein the BOD member campaigns to have an NABC in his or her district knowing that it would not be in the best interest of the ACBL. Additionally, we as BOD members are prohibited from criticizing the organization. This does not prohibit us from explaining one’s vote that may have wound up on the minority side of the issue.
I am the Vice Chair of the Finance Committee. As such, I am more involved than most in examining and questioning the budget. The current budget was the object of more scrutiny than any since I’ve been a member. Whereas, the excess revenues in 2020 were approximately $3,200,000, they’re expected to be $750,000 in 2021. Of course a big question is whether we’ll have any f2f bridge in 2021, especially the NABCs. The revenue, assuming no NABCs take place, is budgeted to be lower by $1,230,000. The largest decreases in normal operating revenue are in membership dues (-$260k), and tournament director fees (-$680k). 2020 also contained a $420k one time item for payroll tax credits arising from the first COVID relief package. There were other reductions in several categories that totaled $440k. On the plus side, revenue from daily club totals and tournaments increased by $570k.
Expenses are budgeted to increase by $585k. The largest areas are IT and Marketing where expenses are budgeted to increase by $490k and $430k respectively. These increases are offset somewhat by decreases in all other areas in the amount of $335k. The biggest portion of the increase in the Marketing budget is for an amount of $300k to pursue unique membership growth initiatives. This money will be deployed in small tests and will only be fully spent if the tests show expected results. The major portion of the increase in the IT budget is the addition of two new positions.
Pre-pandemic, each member of the BOD received 3 checks a year, each in the amount of $1,000. This money was intended to cover travel and administrative expenses of the individual member. When the pandemic began, I co-sponsored a motion to eliminate that payment for the second two periods of last year (we had already received the first payment). At the January BOD meeting, there was a discussion about continuing the elimination of the payments or returning to the pre-pandemic payment structure. Although many of us have little or no expense related to our BOD work, many members suggested that they had incurred significant expense in telephones, replacing computers or printers. It was the consensus to restart the payments. I will be donating all of my stipend to District 22.
Another discussion involved the payment of money to NAP qualifiers who qualified in 2019 and expected to play in 2020. That event will be played virtually this spring. Management decided to pay the normal amount to those previous qualifiers as long as they participate in the upcoming finals.
By the time you read this, hopefully my wife and I will have received the second vaccine shot and be on our way to significant protection. I hope that most if not all of our membership follows the same path and gets us back on track to opening clubs as soon as possible. I’m excited about seeing all of you at your clubs, at sectionals, at regionals and at nationals.
Be safe and stay healthy,
Phase-In Plan for Face-to-Face Bridge Announced
Here’s a summary of the recent announcement from the ACBL:
The Providence North American Bridge Championships (NABC) set for Summer 2021 has been moved to Summer 2022.
The 2022 Summer NABC in Washington DC has been canceled.
Return to playing in person will begin at the local club level, followed by the return of Sectionals, estimated to begin in August 2021, then the return of Regionals, estimated to begin in early October (all dates subject to change).
All tournament sanctions have been canceled through the end of July.
The dates for the 2021 Fall NABC are set as November 25-December 5.
Click here for more details.
2021 Online Schedule
Click here for more details.
Virtual Clubs Visitor Policy
Effective July 24, 2020 the ACBL has relaxed the guidelines for members wishing to access club games other than their 'home' club. Please review the amended policy and contact club managers with any questions you may have. The district strongly urges members to support, when appropriate your local club.
ACBL Safety Considerations
The ACBL recently issued guidelines to the club managers regarding reopening of clubs, which you may find interesting. It can be can viewed on this page on the ACBL 's site.
2020 GNT Update
ACBL has announced the next GNT finals will be held in July 2021 at the Providence, RI Summer NABC.
District 22 did not complete their club/unit qualifying. The GNT District 22 finals for 2020 scheduled in April 2020 were cancelled.
The board is awaiting amended national GNT Conditions of Contest from ACBL and will post them as soon as they are available.
Teams that qualified in 2019 will be eligible to compete in the same Flight. We urge members, to secure and retain if possible a copy of their qualifying results.
Watch for further updates on this site and in the D22Connection.
We are in a virtual world - clubs are all closed, tournaments are cancelled. Furthermore, we are missing a lot of the social interaction and mental stimulation we were accustomed to enjoying in the bridge world. Sounds like a dire bridge reality.
Thanks to the folks at BBO, the Common Game and the ACBL, the bridge world made a hasty transition to online bridge. Despite the glitches and challenges along the way, the time and talent that have gone into this migration so far are unbelievable; and the dedication of our volunteers has been inspiring. ACBL’s Chip Dombrowski features the burgeoning of the virtual movement in his Bridge Feed article.
The ACBL now boasts approximately 530 virtual clubs, 17 of them are in our District. Refer to the Virtual Clubs tab under Units/Clubs to get a complete listing of the Virtual Clubs in your area and to view short tutorials on the various aspects of navigating BBO.