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Thoughts on the makeup of the BoD.

Creating the next generation of duplicate players is essential. We are not socialist China. We can't expect the government to come to our rescue. We need to do it ourselves.

At present there are twenty-eight hundred bridge clubs and, I don't know how many, hundreds of independent teachers out there. I do know, that of those nearly three thousand clubs, less than one-tenth have novice games. This leads me to believe that that same small percentage are the only clubs trying to create new duplicate players. That's about five clubs per state. As to our hundreds of independent teachers, I can only attest to how effective they are here in New York City. I suspect that there are several players at my clubs that would credit someone other than a friend, relative, or a club, private or public,  with teaching them the game. The number would be very small.

This leads me to ask, is reducing the size of the BoD the critical issue before us, or is it increasing the size of our membership?

San Francisco awaits.  To which of these two "critical" issues will the Board be devoting the greater proportion of its time, energy, and creativity? And is reducing the size of the Board without changing the makeup of the Board the right way to go?

Case in point:

I would welcome reopening a discussion on incentives. The BoD recently raised the "bounty" from a one time $5 or $6 payout per new member created, to $10, for up to three years. That equates to a six fold increase, and I'm sure made Board members feel like they had accomplished something. They had. But not what they thought. What they did not take into consideration, was how their 2,800 member clubs would react. After all, we are the ones growing the organization. In conversations with other club sanction holders, not a single one said this would make the slightest difference in how they were going to conduct their business going forward. Not a single non-teaching club committed to begin teaching. Not a one. The costs for starting and sustaining a teaching program are enormous. Advertising alone would come to way more than the extra $25 (over three years) could cover.

Raising "the bounty" $25 will accomplish one thing for sure. Teaching centers in my District, like my Honors or like Silvana's  Sagamore Bridge Club, as well as most of the other couple of hundred teaching centers in the country will make out like bandits. We all create lots of players already, and did so at $5. Nothing will change, except we'll now be getting $30, instead of $5. Let's see, there's about two hundred and fifty clubs creating about four thousand new members a year. At $25 per, that's a nice round hundred thousand dollar give away. 

Returning to one of my previous questions.

Is reducing the size of the Board really more critical than the Board's makeup? If there were a half a dozen, or even one or two Board members from the club end of the business at the table, this latest waste of our money, and our time, might have been tabled.

Not to throw the baby out with the bath water, I believe the BoD is on the right track when it comes to increasing the size of "the bounty".  I think it could be a game changer. It just needs to be sized properly. 

Proposal: Going forward, base "the bounty" on some percentage of the card fees members, created from now on, pay at Sectionals, Regionals, Nationals, and also at clubs other than the one that was responsible for having brought them into our duplicate bridge world.

I know there may be a mutiny on this bounty, but understand, the ACBL and the BoD fully endorse the concept. As the old joke goes, "all we need haggle about now is the amount".   

I won't be in San Francisco. Anyone care to make a motion on my behalf?

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