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Region 9 Director’s Report

District 15, 16 Director

Paul Cuneo

Louisville and the Galt House Hotel provided an excellent site for the Spring NABC. Final attendance was 6757 tables which exceeded the budget estimate and will result in either no attrition payment to the hotel or a very small one. Congratulations to all District 16 players there, and especially to Kristen Onsgard, Dallas. and Nancy Passell, Plano, who won the Women’s Pairs event.


ACBL is off to a good start to 2024 financially and while membership has stabilized, we have not achieved significant growth. New members and new guest members are up significantly over 2023. As the program to involve units in membership recruitment and retention started April 1, I believe we will see improvements in membership retention over the rest of the year, and a return to membership growth.


There were major revisions to the discipline process in February due to the certification of the computer based cheating detection system named EDGAR for online cheating. Outside statistical experts participated in the process. EDGAR examines the entire online playing record of the players and looks for patterns which would indicate exchange of information between partners outside of the bidding and play. The frequency and success of these patterns determines whether a pair is brought to the attention of the National recorder’s office. The statistical analysis demonstrated that there is extremely low probability of EDGAR having a false positive for cheating.

One of the changes due to certification of EDGAR was to implement “fast-track discipline” for players if both they and their partner hold under 2500 masterpoints. The fast-track penalties for collusive cheating range from a warning to up to a 2-year suspension, with half of the suspension being forgiven if the players admit guilt and take a course on bridge ethics. Pairs with a player with over 2500 masterpoints are notified of ACBL’s intent to pursue arbitration with the IBA (Institute for Bridge Arbitration) which has been certified by the American Arbitration Association. These players can avoid arbitration by admitting guilt and negotiating the penalty and most of these cases are resolved that way. Anyone charged has the right to take their case to arbitration with the IBA.

As a result, the pace of disciplinary actions has increased notably and as of this writing more cases have been initiated than during the entire year of 2023. I expect that nearly all members who have played online will be randomly screened by year end.   

ACBL Board Actions          

The two most significant board actions were to increase the number of quarterly club championships from 1 to 2 and the removal of the Life Member category of membership. Life members are those who achieved the rank of Life Master prior to 1996. There were two key reasons for eliminating this category:

• ACBL is currently rewriting the code for the membership portion of our major systems upgrade of all the old code which is over 30 years old, and including a separate category of membership increases the cost, complexity, and length of this project significantly.

• Inactive Life Members are not subject to the arbitration requirements. All Inactive Life Members will receive free active membership status for the remainder of 2024 and either renew their membership in 2025 and agree to the arbitration clause or they will lose membership status but will be eligible to rejoin at any time.

Stepping Down

At the District 16 meeting in January, I notified the board that I will not seek re-election to the position of Region 9 Director. Year 2024 is my 17th year of service on the unit, district, and national boards. I feel that it is time to have new leadership from our region on the ACBL Board to bring new ideas and energy to make progress. Thanks to all of you for your support over the years!

Tournament attendance is increasing and the tournament schedule is in full swing. I want to encourage you to attend your local sectionals and the district’s regionals. I enjoy getting reconnected to friends as they reenter tournament play and I am sure you will as well.

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