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The importance of understanding how ACBL players feel about bracketing

This is in some ways a continuation of the thread that Steve Robinson posted about how to run an organization.

I think that, in light of shrinking tournament attendance within the ACBL, it is important to understand how critical bracketing is.

Some folks are saying that it just isn't reasonable for players to ask to "play up".

Well, without any type of reasonable rating system, we have bracketing based on total masterpoints.  These totals are in part a function of succesful results, but also have a large participation component, based on how long a player has played bridge, both in person and online, as well as how frequently a person plays.

Someone who plays infrequently, could be a player of reasonable or even expert level, yet they will simply never play enough to get into the top bracket.

I do understand that most players wish to play againist their own peers.  But I really find it annoying when people pooh-pooh people's desires to play up.

There are players (such as Ron Zucker, a strong local player who wrote on the other thread about why he doesn't come out for tournaments much anymore) who are being driven away by this issue.

To the people who say that it's too hard for the directors to at least consider requests to play up -- well, actually, the ACBL is a membership organization that is supposed to consider the wishes of the membership.  There are still ACBL players who work and have careers.  When they take time off from work and commute or travel to a tournament, they want to be placed in an appropriate bracket for a two-day event.

In addition, when players in a lower bracket see that they are about to play a tough pair that they thought would be in a higher bracket, they aren't that thrilled either.

So, we need to figure out a way to address these issues -- both the players who have lots and lots of masterpoints but don't want to be matched up against world-class experts, as well as considering those who may not have tons of points, but do want to move up and play against tougher competition.

By the way, I'm not speaking about myself, because ironically, due to an apparent effort to correct this problem, the ACBL Board has voted that anyone who has ever won any of a certain list of events, will permanently be placed in the top bracket anywhere, any time, beginning in January, 2020.



Queen of Bracket 3!

(member of team that won Friday/Saturday RRKO Bracket 3 at Reston Regional two years running)

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