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28 Board RR + bonus: GNT politics
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Our district's GNT finals often feature a three-way Round Robin on qualifying day.

This necessitates having 42 boards in play as our contest conditions call for 28 board matches.

Boards 37-42 can easily be created by masking tapes  over a spare set of 5-10 or 21-26

Can the common composer software generate sets of 42 instead of 36 hands?

Are board sets available with more than 36?



Don't click on next page unless you care about the politics of the GNT

The carve out of Flight A in 2001 effectively ended vibrant competition at the top in our district.

The notion of grass roots competition is essentially meaningless in a district like Florida (D9).  Hundreds of competent Florida club players with more than 6,000MPs have no incentive whatsoever to try to compete against  Meckwell, Berkowitz, Cohler, and Coren, Spector, or Becker.  

There is little incentive for the league to handle a hot potato issue like professionalism in grass roots events.  Players who are paid to compete fill hotel rooms, play lots of sessions, provide instruction and mentorship to advancing players and bring recognition to the game.  You don't get to play against the best in many forms of sport, but you can at the bridge table.

However,  I believe that the OUR NATIONAL GRASS ROOTS EVENTS, THE NAPs AND GNTs, SHOULD BE AMATEUR COMPETITIONS appealing to club players. (I have no idea how you would begin to define who is a Flight A,B, or C pro)


In our district we have had many Flight C NAP and GNT champions who have come to NABCs for the first time and have striven to improve their game and continue to attend NABCs.  We moan and groan about how our big tournaments are leaking table count, but the two events that culminate in PAID TRIPS to the NABCs could be springboards/gateways for new players to experience and love the stratiflighted national finals.  

I think the ACBL is squandering an opportunity to reach out to the lower rungs on the national ladder.


Stop here if you think  you've heard enough       or    .....

KILL THE OPEN FLIGHT OF THE GNTS.  District travel awards jump 33%.  District champs then may WIN A TRIP instead of often winning the right to pay for one.  Keep the flights equivalent in the NAPs and GNTs.  


MAKE THE FLIGHT C NABC FINALS START WITH A 2 DAY SWISS QUALIFYING  the top 8 teams to KO quarterfinals.  Give these players a taste of a prestigious event by having all players play the same boards (no shuffle, deal, play) like we do for Day 3 of the NABC+ team events.  Make them feel special and honored to have earned the right to be at the NABC.


Reward districts who do the best at increasing table count among NLMs.  Clubs who do so could receive Grass Roots funds from the district.  Encourage IMP play among our less experienced members with club qualifying events like is done for the NAPs.  Part of the problem for Flight C participation in the GNTs is the lack of exposure to team play and tactics.


We've created a bright line in the sand at the top of the Gold Rush. Change the Flight C competition to reflect that?


 ALLOW A SECOND PLACE TEAM TO GO TO THE NABC if the district winning team is a repeat winner In any district's GNT competition at the A, B, and C level.

Competition is stifled at all levels when there is a dominating team in a given flight.  Or allow district winners their generous masterpoint awards but set district contest conditions such that you cannot win the trip money in consecutive years.  Open the trip to a different team every year.  

Doing one of these things gives teams, who doubt their ability to win, a reasonable expectation that they still get a reward for coming in second.  There won't be that many extra teams coming for the first day Swiss at the NABC and this will breathe more life into the GNTs at all levels.

We created the Grass Roots Fund to support the districts' special events.  Let's use those resources to energize the base of the membership period, NLMs and lower flight players.  Lower Flight C GNT entry fees or make them nominal at the club level with clubs receiving Grass Roots Fund $ to offset reduced entry fees.


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