Report of the ACBL Board Meeting
and the Summer NABC in Toronto

August, 2017


Toronto is a beautiful city – the tournament was held in the Convention Center, which provided a great playing space. Players stayed at nearby hotels that were a short walk from the playing site. There were a myriad of restaurant choices within walking distance. And the best thing about Toronto was that Bob and I, along with teammates, Rick Rowland and Marty Rabinowitz won a national event!! As I write this report, the NABC is still going on, but early numbers indicate that attendance will be higher than expected.

The Toronto board meetings were held for the first time overlapping bridge play. We had four days of meetings that began on Wednesday and ended on Saturday, just in time for our attendance at the Board of Governor's meeting on Sunday. This schedule cut the cost of the meetings for the ACBL since the board was only required to be in Toronto for five days instead of the usual seven.

In Toronto there was a changing of the guard. We wished a fond farewell to Robert Hartman, who had resigned as ACBL CEO in order to take over a family business in Florida, and welcomed with great anticipation our new CEO, Bahar Gidwani. Click here to view the Toronto CEO Report that Bahar shared at the Board of Governor's meeting.

Toronto gave us the first online robot game held in conjunction with an NABC. 2,500 players participated in the "Win an NABC Title in your Pajamas." A player from Athens, Greece was the event winner.

Attached is a great video from the Toronto NABC. Click here to enjoy!


Year to date numbers are favorable. As of June 30, 2017, the ACBL is showing a profit of $500,000. Assets are up to $13M from $11.5M at this time last year.

The 2017 forecast, however, is predicting a breakeven at year end. Reasons for the positive numbers:

• The Search committee saved a considerable amount of money by finding our new CEO without the use of a professional search firm.

• Unfilled positions in IT and Marketing during the first six months of the year made these areas under budget in expenses.

• Our new CEO has eliminated the outside public relations firm and plans to bring fewer ACBL staff members to NABCs, cuts that will save the ACBL just under $100,000 annually.

On the negative side, the ACBL paid a penalty of about $80,000 to get out of the 2022 Orlando contract. The Swan and Dolphin was a poor site for an NABC and we determined that it was better to cut the losses by getting out now to avoid a much larger financial loss later.

Although the Toronto playing site was wonderful, the cost of using the convention center was very expensive and this NABC is projecting a loss.

The Kansas City NABC was not as profitable as expected since new overtime costs caused expenses to be over budget and San Diego will likely come in below budget. Regional and Sectional tournament attendance is down across the ACBL, resulting in lower sanction and session fees.


In the second part of the year, the ACBL will be implementing a new CRM system (Customer Relations Management). Moving to this new system will replace the outdated AS400 servers that the ACBL is currently using. The move will be expensive ($450,000), but will provide better financial recordkeeping, better customer service and a technology change that is way overdue.

The Board narrowly passed a motion to have the NBOs (the United States Bridge Federation, the Canadian Bridge Federation and the Mexican Bridge Federation) pay the $167,000 annual dues to the World Bridge Federation. In return the ACBL will increase fund raising efforts and donate more $$ to these organizations.

The WBF is running a World Bridge Championship in Orlando in the fall of 2018. There was a commitment made several years ago for the ACBL to put up $100,000 and the USBF to put up $200,000 to assist in the funding of this championship. This financial commitment places a heavy burden on both the ACBL and the USBF in 2018.

Management is authorized to establish a $2M line of credit and also plans to simplify pricing, compensation and fund-handling in Canada and Mexico. Management has also brought the ACBL investment portfolio in-house to eliminate the cost of the current portfolio manager.


The STOP card will disappear. The Board voted to curtail the use of the red card in all ACBL tournaments. Opponents will still be expected to wait 10 seconds after a skip bid is made, but no skip announcement or card will be used. The rule will go into effect on January 1, 2018. This regulation will not affect club games, but it is highly recommended that clubs stop using the cards as well.

A motion was passed that allows teachers to use prepared lesson hands for regular club games with a masterpoint limit of 20 or less and give ACBL masterpoints if the game is run with between 6 and 12 boards and in conjunction with a lesson.

Jeff Meckstroth has submitted a new schedule for the fall NABC that adds a Soloway KO event that will run for seven days, starting with a two-day swiss qualifying. The schedule will be voted on in San Diego and if accepted will go into effect in 2018.

Danny Sprung and Tom Carmichael made a presentation on new Convention Charts that will greatly simplify what conventions are permitted in tournament play. Their committee is proposing red, yellow, green and white convention charts that have clear explanations of what conventions can be used in each level of events. Final consideration will be done in San Diego.

Two new NABC sites were approved - Phoenix in the fall of 2022 (to replace Orlando) and Chicago in the summer of 2023.

A new and completely updated CDR (Code of Disciplinary Regulations) was passed and is available on the ACBL website.

The Club Task Force, led by Kevin Lane, worked on strengthening the relationship between bridge clubs and the ACBL. The ACBL as an organization is dependent on local clubs for new members and there has been a disconnect between the ACBL and this important stakeholder group. Kevin's Task Force is working on how we can better serve clubs.

The Tournaments Task Force, headed by Margot Hennings, provided a detailed analysis on tournament attendance. Table counts at regional tournaments declined by 6.7% between 2013 and 2016. The Task Force tied declining table count with declining knockout participation, unpopular playing sites and volunteer drain.

In District 4, we are actually ahead of the curve in many areas discussed at this session. Meyer Kotkin has added Mid-Flight events and Dupli-Swiss to our regionals. John Dickenson and Mike Giesler are currently working on bracketing knockouts to make the events more fair. John and Deb Klinger have moved the Lancaster tournament to the popular new Spooky Nook site. District 4 is one of the few areas around the country that is maintaining and increasing table count at our regional tournaments. The next time you see one of our District's volunteers, remember to thank them for the behind the scene hours spent in an effort to make our tournaments more attractive to the players.


Truscott Senior Swiss Teams: 1 - Rick Rowland, Bob Glasson, Joann Glasson, Marty Rabinowitz;
28 - Meyer Kotkin

0-10,000 NABC Pairs: 8 - Samuel Amer; 16 - Rhoda Prager; 38 - Louis Glasthal, Bob Glasson

Von Zedtwitz Life Master Pairs: 21 - Barry Gorski, Bill Parks

Young 0-2500 Pairs: 4 - David Venetianer

0-2500 Mini-Spingold: 2 - Bruce Williams; 5/8 - Jian Chen

Wernher Open Pairs: 44 - Andy Kaufman, Kenneth Chatzinoff

Freeman Mixed BAM Teams: 2 - May Sakr; 9 - Bob Glasson, Joann Glasson;
14 - Connie Goldberg

Bean Red Ribbon Pairs: 2- Samuel Amer; 11 - David Venetianer

Roth Open Swiss Teams: 6 - Benito Garozzo; 9 - Marty Seligman

0-10,000 Mixed Swiss Teams: 6 - May Sakr; 10 - Rich Rothwarf


Thursday Open Pairs: 6 – Dan Boye, Meyer Kotkin; 7 - Frank Morgan

Friday Evening Swiss Teams: 3 - Benito Garozzo

Educational Fund KO Bracket 1: 2– Benito Garozzo

Saturday Afternoon 299er Pairs - Flight C: 6/7 – Wes Buchanan - Patsy Brannon

Saturday Evening A/X/Y Swiss Teams: 4/7 - Miriam Harris Botzum, John Botzum; 10 - John Dickenson, Lisa Mita

Saturday Evening B/C/D Swiss Teams: 10 - Bill and Mary Silky

Friday-Saturday KO Bracket 1: 3/4 - Connie Goldberg

Saturday Evening Side Game: 4/6 - Anna Ying Pun

Sunday Morning 299er Pairs: 8 - Wes Buchanan, Patsy Brannon

Sunday Daylight A/X Swiss Teams: 7/8 - Rick Rowland, Marty Rabinowitz

Sunday Afternoon Side Game: 1 - Rui Marques

Sunday Daylight B/C Pairs: 9 - Wayne Rosenberger, Andrew Rosenberger

Sunday Afternoon 299er Swiss Teams: 2 - Mollie Slattery

Sunday Compact KO Bracket 2: 2 - Thomas Coxey, Deborah Klinger, John Klinger, Jeanne Gehret

Saturday-Sunday KO Bracket 1: 2 - Benito Garozzo

Saturday-Sunday KO Bracket 2: 3/4 - Meyer Kotkin, Larry Sunser

Sunday Evening A/X/Y Swiss Teams: 1 - John Botzum, Miriam Harris-Botzum; 3 - Larry Sunser, Meyer Kotkin

Sunday A/B/C Swiss Teams: 6 - Connie Goldberg; 9 - Richard Morgen, Alvaro Ronderos

Monday Morning Side Pairs: 8 - Mollie Slattery, Lisa Mita

Monday Afternoon 299er Pairs: 6 - Wes Buchanan, Patsy Brannon

Monday Daylight Swiss Teams: 8/10 - W. Burns, III

Monday Open Pairs: 6 - David Hoffner

Monday Evening A/X/Y Swiss Teams: 6/7 - Michael Zeller

Tuesday Afternoon Side Pairs: 6 - Amy Lowenstein, Daniel Schwarzkopf

Tuesday A/B/C Pairs: 2 - David Hoffner

Tuesday Zip KO Teams: 3/4 - Andy Antipin

Tuesday/Wednesday KO Bracket 3: 3/4 - Mary Jo Stofflet, Naim Rizk, Mimi Lengel, Lynda Schoeninger

Wednesday Afternoon Side Pairs: 8 - Mark Freedman

Wednesday Evening 299er Pairs: 2 - Patricia Latshaw, Jean Pryzbylkowski

Thursday Compact KO 2: 3 - Michael Zeller

Thursday Daylight B Teams - Bracket 7: 2 - Lisa Mita, Susan Morse

Thursday Daylight B Teams - Bracket 8: 2 - Mark Freedman

Friday Afternoon Side Pairs: 6/7 - Dennis O'Brien, Joan Brandeis

Friday Open Pairs: 4 - Rhoda Prager

Saturday Open Pairs: 5 - Richard Popper

Saturday Afternoon/Evening Compact KO: 1 - John Dickenson, Lisa Mita

Sunday Open Pairs: 3 - Barbara Rhoades

Top Ten District 4 Masterpoint Winner at Toronto NABC

1. Bob Glasson 141.01

2. Joann Glasson 134.27

3. Benito Garozzo 133.66

4. May Sakr 118.32

5/6. Marty Rabinowitz 115.71

5/6. Rick Rowland 115.71

7. Rich Rothwarf 62.70

8. Marty Seligman 60.35

9. Meyer Kotkin 60.34

10. Connie Goldberg 59.32