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Advisory Council Report

By Tomi Storey

D16 AC Representative

The Advisory Council (AC) latest meeting was held March 24. All our meetings are held by Zoom now and we had 51 members in attendance. As always, I want to thank Steve Moese, our AC vice chair, for his helpful summaries that help me verify what we hear as the meetings move along.

Margot Hennings, ACBL president, and Bronia Jenkins, ACBL executive director, were there for a portion of the meeting to update us about management issues and plans. Louisville seems to have been a popular and successful location for an NABC. There is a new effort to reduce costs for attendees who stay in the host hotel by reducing fees purchased by Express Entry. The ACBL is making a large push for players to stay in the host hotel because that is the only way meeting space is affordable. If they don’t meet the contracted number of room nights, they are on the hook for paying for meeting space that would otherwise be free. It is an excellent plan – if we can save money on entries, it offsets the cost of another hotel down the street that might be a little bit cheaper.

I’d love to hear your opinions on what constitutes a good NABC. Is it the hotel price? The playing area? Places to eat close by? Remember we have an NABC in Dallas in 2027. As your co-chair for that event, I’d appreciate it if you would shoot me any ideas you have to improve the experience (skeeter303@yahoo.com), other than winning a lot of points. There is also a task force being appointed to help with NABC selection and improvements.

 

EDGAR

 

One topic discussed at length was EDGAR, our anti-cheating software. It is up and running, and work is also progressing on an ethical behavior policy, starting at the top level of players. Roughly half of our membership now plays online, in addition to F2F. I know that this is an area of concern for all of us and I will update you as I get additional data. For now, we have learned that over 7000 players have been screened since February 1, with more being added each week.

EDGAR sees players as Green (no issues), Yellow (needing further information or review) and Red (cheating beyond a reasonable doubt). Players must have played enough deals to have a meaningful result. Out of these 7000 players, about 1.3% identified as red. EDGAR looks only at games that award ACBL masterpoints. We have no control to ban players from other online bridge sites. Your Advisory Council representatives take this program very seriously and want to make sure you know that the ACBL is working very hard to clean up online bridge.

Here’s a factoid for you: EDGAR stands for Everyone Deserves Games Above Reproach. We most assuredly do.

 

IT Department

 

Work continues on our IT department issues. The ACBL website has never been very user friendly and I applaud all efforts to change that. New formats for STaC are scheduled to be implemented. ACBL will manage billing and then return fees to the sponsoring districts. I promise you that District STaC coordinators all over the ACBL will be cheering for this one.

 

Membership

 

ACBL membership continues to drop, but the good news is the tide is slowing. One thing I found very encouraging in the F2F/online issue is plans to send club managers names of BBO only players in the area so they can invite them to play locally. All units should also be aware of changes being made to the membership compensation to them. Proceeds to units have gone from 11% to a tiered 15% program called 5/5/5. It is scheduled to go into effect in the second quarter of 2024. All unit presidents should have received this information, but if you have not, or need additional information, you should contact Sherry Terraciano at membership@acbl.org or D16’s Membership Chair Lauri Laufman at llaufman@texas2211.com

There is also a “Return to the Fold” recruiting tool that needs to be utilized to qualify for the tiered program. If you do not have that yet, contact ACBL’s Club and Member Services at club@acbl.org

 

New Goodwill Committee Chair

 

Lastly, Lamya Angelidis of District 22 is the new chair of the National Goodwill Committee, and our very own Rebecca Brown is the new Charity Committee Chair. Congratulations to both of them.

 

That’s it until after Toronto! Please let me hear from you with any questions or comments. I’m here to be your liaison between player and management.

Play more bridge!

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