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Thursday, February 25, 2010


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I do not think it is worth the time to build a ranking system other than the masterpoint program currently in place. I would take a lot of time (decades, perhaps) to test, refine, reintroduce, etc. It may inhibit more experineced players from playing with newcomers other than those who show extraordinary promise. We will be told the system will take that into consideration, but good luck setting that up in a fair manner. It is just not worth the time it will take - we have other 'fish to fry'. For example:

The BOG members were so righteous about how horrible it was to offer 24 board sessions for pair games at the NABC for side and Regional events. It must be 26 (or 27). However, those same people flock to 24 board KO events, and ignore the desires of those who choose to play in the 24 board events. The 10 am and 3 pm 2 session open pairs were huge successes at the Vegas and San Diego nationals. Ask Ken Monzingo, the chair for those NABC's and current BOD member about it. Tom Shulman, chair of the popular Vegas regional changed his tournament schedule from only senior games at 10 & 3 to Open games at those times. He saw the light.

It is time for the more experienced players to realize that over 2/3 of the ACBL is still made up of non-life masters. We have to be sensitive to what has brought them to the game and what will keep them coming back until they take our place as the masters and leaders.

Thanks for your service! Steve

On the subject of rating systems, I think it would be a lot easier to build one - as we could learn from OKbridge which employs one. That being said, I agree with Steve that it is not at all worth the ACBL's effort to devise this. Sure, you can have two players with 1,000 masterpoints and very different skill levels. But the accumulation of masterpoints is a simple but important concept - it is used for tournament stratification among other things.
Suppose there were a rating system. If would then be possible for people to artificially lower their ratings by playing horribly. Or, maybe you wanted to play in a certain event down the road that required a certain rating. How could you be sure that you and your partner or teammates would retain the rating needed to qualify and not by too high or too low. A ratings system is not practical for the ACBL, but rather the brainchild of those that rightly recognize that masterpoints are a function of skill and attendance. Or as Michael Flader might say, time and money.

As for the timing of events, that is something I know little about. But I do know that daytime games are often more popular.

Since I don't have a lot of original recommendations, I would at least encourage the leadership to regularly survey the membership for areas of improvement (is there a suggestions box at the NABC).

I'm in the "give the membership what they want" camp. Go to a regional and see the popularity of KO's. They give away too many points, some say. They ruin the pair game, some say. But some people love teams and that's what they want. I think if you can give as many people as much of what they want as possible, it will be better for bridge. Incidentally, any time I see major events on the BBO vugraph it is usually teams.

One of the main reasons I like teams at tournaments is because the clubs usually offer nothing but the same old pairs games all the time. I would like us to play different kinds of events more often but I doubt that suggestion will go anywhere.


the acbl has many issues to consider but reconstitution of the ranking system would rank fairly low on my priority list. job 1,by any standard , is a well thought out targeted program that will revive bridge among the younger strata of american society.

i am well aware that this issue is not easy and has been considered for some time. still,to me, it is all consuming. we must change the image of bridge and somehow convince a fair share of the population that the game is worth their precious few hours of leisure time. it is a marketing issue and we could well take lessons from our european counterparts.


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