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All comments by Jeff Bayone
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The Alzheimer's Foundation.
It should be a “good cause” for the ACBL to champion. Not so much because it is a good cause, indeed, most of us have been touched by Alzheimer's in one way or another, but because it should also be a good cause for bridge.

Cause bridge participation slows the onset of dementia. Study after study has shown that the simple act of needing to communicate with another human has a positive effect on brain health. Couple that with bridges demands on keeping one's mind flexible to what's being thrown at you during a session, and you've just nailed the description of what a perfect brain healthy activity should be.

My question is, has The Alzheimer's Foundation reciprocated in any way? Have they extolled the virtues of playing or taking up bridge?

If they haven't, I'm for discontinuing wasting our money on them. If they won't champion us, let's find an organization that will.

How about the insurance industry? They have deep pockets and if they believed bridge playing would be helpful to their bottom line, maybe a deal could be struck with them.

There are plenty of good causes out there. It's time we decided on what the meaning of good is.
Feb. 16, 2018
Jeff Bayone edited this comment Feb. 16, 2018
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Jay has received hundreds of comments from the survey he sent to every REACH participant. After he sifts through this we should have a better understanding of why people played, what they expected, what they actually received, and would they do it again or recommend it to a friend.

Clubs need to be contacted too. What do we think the role of REACH is or should become.
Feb. 15, 2018
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We tried a Facebook ad for four months. We offered a $25 discount if you said you came from the ad. No one took us up on it. Not one person. We averaged a little over 70 views a month from the ad or about a dollar piece.
Perhaps our ad didn't resonate. You can be the judge by taking a look at it:
www.honorsbridgeclub.org/fbad.JPG

We are terribly discouraged by this. We've also put ads in a Parent magazine for two straight months, the second was a half page, and got a total of one hit. One.
Word of mouth and our website are the only two ways people reach us. Always has been. Nothing's changed.

As I said in another posting earlier today, The Alzheimer's Foundation and the insurance industry should be our biggest champions because we help prevent the onset of dementia. Each organization has either limitless money or the enormous exposure needed to help us promote our game. Anyone out there with connections?
Feb. 15, 2018
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Tournaments may be suddenly imploding. But we all saw this coming. Our core players are aging out. Clubs see this on a daily basis. 900 of our smaller clubs have completely disappeared. They held on until there were not enough players left to hold a game. They disappeared because they could not regenerate themselves. No new players.

A rising tide.
Create new players.
There are numerous good, solid points made all through this stream.
But if we don't begin to create a ton of new players what it really will come down to is simply fewer and fewer people making up the pie. Our smaller tournaments will suffer the same fate as did those 900 smaller clubs.

Can we use our energies and brains to come up with ideas that will show the world what bridge really is? We succeed at that, they will come.

The Alzheimer's Association and the Insurance industry alone have vast resources. Both should be champions of our game for obvious mental health reasons. Maybe some of you out there have connections or know people who do.
Feb. 15, 2018
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The trick will now be to find what will keep them coming back for more. Honors is working on a rubber bridge format with actual cash rewards. Modest of course, but built into the price. Jay Whipple is working with us on creating a handicap system that will allow weaker players (not beginners Don) to mix with stronger players in a competitive environment.
Feb. 15, 2018
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Richard,
While there are many areas that need improvement, unless the bridge community figures out a way to capture the hearts, minds, and souls of both the 22 - 45 age group and the 45 - 65 we are simply going to continue to implode and at an increasing rate over the next decade. Our demographics will see to it.

Evidence suggests that the younger (25+) group has become more interested in games playing than their predecessors. There are even several games oriented bars springing up in Manhattan. When I'm on the subway, which is longer and longer these days, I see many riders on one game's playing site or another.

How to tap into this and how to tap into the 45+ generation must be raised to priority #1. Rearranging deck chairs while the ship is sinking, won't save the life of the organization.

Other than that, the single biggest area that needs our immediate attention is finding a way to fix the relationship between clubs and their Units, Districts, and the League itself. Too often we continue to work against one another.
“The clubs ARE the life blood of the organization”. That's where day to day bridge excitement takes place and where beginners are brought into the fold. Tournaments are where a different kind of excitement happens. New faces, bigger challenges. Clubs and tournaments go hand-in-hand. We must find a much better way to have them coexist. Right now, in many Units, that doesn't happen. One hurts the other.

Unit 155 (NYC) has made great strides to try to rectify this. Other Units could look at our model, at where we are and where we are headed.

On a different note: Teachers.
Teachers cannot be underpaid, nor can we continue to depend on volunteers. It takes training and more to become a good beginner level instructor. We must find a way to reimburse our teachers and our teaching clubs BIG TIME when they create tournament players. Our BoG committee (Teacher and Club Manager) will be introducing an idea to address this (hopefully in Atlanta) whose time may have finally come.
Feb. 15, 2018
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So the present ACBL mission statement was developed after 2001?
What was the founders original one?
Feb. 4, 2018
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I think you are on the right “track”.
Feb. 4, 2018
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I'll be damned. You must go back farther then me!
Feb. 3, 2018
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Linda,
I don't think you've been to Honors but if you're curious, we don't have urinals in the ladies room either.
Feb. 3, 2018
Jeff Bayone edited this comment Feb. 4, 2018
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Unlike chess we can not rate the individual so we will have to rate pairs. Once we agree to this, the rest should be relatively simple. All that will be needed is enough data to crunch.
Feb. 3, 2018
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Tom,
First we are living in a “dumb down society” so why would we not expect it to filter into our bridge community?

Allan Graves refers to duplicate bridge as a mind sport. I see others have picked up on this term too. Good. I like it. So do many involved in duplicate.

But is that who the ACBL should only be concerning itself with? ACBL's mission statement is to promote bridge. Bridge, not duplicate bridge. Why? Did the founders just miss this distinction and intend all along to have it really mean duplicate? Don't know.

One difference, I'll note from running both duplicate clubs and a rubber bridge club (the latter I helped run into the ground) is duplicate players analyze everything, every hand, every bid, every signal, everything. My rubber bridge players just shrugged and went on to the next board. And they were playing for something real.

My point is that people covet what they see (Silence of the Lambs). People need to see other people playing and enjoying bridge. That's where the next generation will come from. Problem is, they don't see us playing bridge in great enough quantities. Great players are out there now just waiting to be introduced to the game. We need to find a way to reach the masses with our game, not our mind sport game, our game. Most of the country is not enthralled with higher learning. So much the pity. But to reach those who are we must cater to a much larger cross section. 20 to 30 million players in the forties and fifties yielded under 200,000 original ACBL members. Those are the numbers we must try to replicate if we are to keep our Regionals and Nationals from imploding within the foreseeable future.
Feb. 3, 2018
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John Adams.
Good question. Don't know. Only a very few won anything more that a point.We did have one fairly high O/A place.
Feb. 3, 2018
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Bob, Donald….What is your feeling of how a pairs strength-based system might effect the game?
Feb. 3, 2018
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No clue either as to why LM's would seek Gold over Sivler or for that matter, over Black. Of course, the answer to our prayers might be to wean them off points, once they attain LM status, and on to a strength based system.
Feb. 3, 2018
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I have a dream.
Will there ever come a time in a player's life when he or she realizes that whoever dies with the most Gold points doesn't necessarily win? The excitement of going to Regionals and Nationals is in the play, the different field, the running into old friends, the making new ones, the memories of wins against great competitors, and the agony of defeat. EHAA. ERAA, ENAA, every hand, every Regional, every National is an adventure, or should be. Not for the chasing of Gold, Silver, or even Platinum points, but for the chasing of memories and the sheer enjoyment of the game.
Feb. 3, 2018
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Having run the first REACH I can tell you that the vast majority of our 144 club participants were non LM's. The players PLAY against the stronger players, but COMPETE among themselves. I'm not sure if the reality isn't that the field is exactly as strong as Gold Rush events.
Feb. 2, 2018
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Donald,
The Instant Match Point Game does offer a Gold Point, but there is a catch. That one little point is only awarded in an Open field. Who in an Open field needs Gold? IN NYC it's no one. The 750 players would kill for one, but know they would have little chance against the much stronger players in the open game. They know they have to win their section to earn that point, placing gets them nothing. Then there is the added disincentive of that extra $4 a player cost.

A 750 section contains some LMs. That should make it acceptable for ACBL to loosen the purse strings. It is the fun event of the year and a shame it does not attract better.
Feb. 2, 2018
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Exactly. At least with match points good players have a chance.
Feb. 2, 2018
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I was advised by everyone not to open a bridge club back in 1976 for that very same reason. So I'm well aware of what you speak.

Would I want to try to open one today?

Today the median age of our Regional tournament player is a lot older than ever before, probably somewhere around 75 years old. Median is where half the people are above and half below. Ten years from now the older half will be in their high 80's. Never before has this been true. People are living longer, but that much?

I don't think anyone is trying to disguise the purpose of REACH. It is as Steve Moese has repeatedly pointed out. Evening the playing field. Bahar has the facts and they show that the growth and spread of Regionals, since way back in the early 80's, has had a serious negative effect on member clubs' health.

Through the early 80's weekends were clubs' cash cows. Friday and Saturday night games actually existed and were healthy. Find me one club in the country today that even runs a game of any kind on both those nights. Regionals were the cause.

Donald, I agree to some extent with what you say. Yes REACH may have a negative effect on Regional attendance. But it may not. Yes REACH may have a positive effect on Regional attendance long term. It may not. Doing nothing to strengthen teaching centers will have a very negative effect on Regional attendance long term. There's no or not there.
Feb. 2, 2018
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