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All comments by Mike Cassel
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Walter,
my clicking on your links only show the eighth round pairings, not the results.
Nor does my browser for acbl live show the final VP results of the Swiss
July 18
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One of biggest regrets from the days of the GNT/NAP Coordinator forum was our inability to convince the league that supporting a position to centralize and disseminate Best Practices being employed around the country would pay dividends.

Offering the GNT Flight A second place squad a subsidy to play in the mini-Spingold is a CAPITAL IDEA. How many districts have even considered such an idea?

Why is it that the income from NAP club qualifying is more then $200,000 above the expenses of giving free entries at the spring NABC and the award for an NAP district champion ($700) might barely cover the typical airfare and two hotel nights?

We have two Grass Roots events that COULD mobilize interest from our grass roots club players through “Win A Trip to the NABC” promotions, but we haven't.
July 18
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Y, could not believe that a VP score in low 60s could Q for the final 16
July 18
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In my district a number of former Flight C GNT champions became regular NABC attendees having never been to a National after they won a trip as a GNT champion.

“Win a Trip” does provide an incentive to compete.
July 17
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This is the first year that districts with GNT district final fields of 8 or more teams can send a second team to the national finals in flights B & C.

There are 41 B teams and 26 C teams in the Swiss today.

Two districts fielded no C teams.
Only four districts have a second C team.

The GNTs could be such an opportunity to offer less experienced players an entree into the NABC experience.

The WSOP Main event just ended with over 8,500 players. Part of the explosive growth this century came from the advent of satellite tournaments where winners punch a ticket to the big show

The ACBL's Special Events could be so much more. We obsess about driving new member growth and we don't use a leverage in front of our noses to kindle interest among members we already have.

We're not, of course, talking about $10K WSOP entries, but we certainly could offer larger travel subsidies to our NAP and GNT champions. “If you build it they will come”. But we don't.

What are your districts doing with their Grass Roots Fund dollars to encourage participation in the NAPs and GNTs?
July 17
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kid you not
“No bid is truly bad if it evokes an even worse bid by your opponent”
July 16
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Ely Charlie Oswald Edgar Fred

Mount Rushmore of our Bridge World
July 14
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Steve
Your energy and thoughtfulness and commitment to the game are beyond commendable.
I also do not see the current BOD relinquishing their grip.
I think there is a natural belief that the interests of 25 individual districts might be irreparably diluted in the 9 & 50 proposal.

I like the idea of creating a 9 member executive function. I think a consensus of what talents are needed to constitute that body would be possible and that subgroups of that group could take assignment to oversee a viable committee structure.
The current committee structure is absurd. Stretches the 25 member BOD to the point where elasticity is shot.

If BOD and BOG and selected interested member volunteers staffed workgroups (taskforces) the skillsets of those groups could be much more effective, imo, than the current committee structure.

The BOG has been an underutilized primarily ceremonial vestige? in the 15 or so years I've been ‘politically’ interested. I don't know if it was ever a highly functioning cog. I give the group great credit for forwarding reconsideration of any number of proposed GNT motions that failed on first try.

My fondest experience was the Special Events Task Force that dovetailed with the NAP/GNT Coordinator Forum from late 2011-12. Of course, after a single year, a new ACBL prez came in and deposited the BOD members of the group into a subcommittee of the IIRC, the Bridge Committee.

We wanted to focus on Best Practices and target resources to reward districts doing the best job of increasing participation in the Special Events. We got the Grass Roots Fund established only to be stonewalled by the league's refusal to use the generated funds to reward best practices. They did not want to administer the fund. The result was a few districts getting huge income boosts and the need for a complicated formula to redistribute 20% of the funds raised. A district's ability to raise a lot of Grass Roots Fund $ doesn't mean they are encouraging play in the NAPs and GNTs.

No interest on the part of the BOD to fund a position to highlight and disseminate best practices. No willingness to direct NAP club qualifying profit (now more than $200K annually) to further participation in Special Events. Little or no recognition that the NAP and GNT could be gateways for less experienced players to come to and then love the excitement of participating in NABC competition.

Bahar may have had serious problems but he was right on the money when he encouraged new ideas and experimentation. I wonder if what is now known as the mini-Soloway KO would have gotten off the ground without his encouragement.

I see no future for tournament bridge in ACBL land unless and until we can inculcate a desire for continuous growth and improvement for the Gold Rush graduates and New Life Masters
when they stop having masterpoint success in tougher fields.
I'd like to see a histogram of regional and NABC table counts by MPs over time.

How about a new reward system beyond masterpoints. Something like boy scout merit badges. When an advancing player finds a coup, or squeeze, or partial strip endplay etc.

You are right about cliffs, it's not just demographic. It's also experiential.

It's hard to keep loving something that doesn't love you back.
July 11
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y i picked out the wrong link
July 10
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Item 182-29: Extend KO Experiments
The experimental method of running KOs as first day qualifying (usually Round Robin) and second day semifinals and finals, with associated increased Masterpoint awards, be extended through December 31, 2018.
Effective immediately
Carried unanimously
July 10
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With a number of teams in the event that is not a multiple of the number of teams in a bracket, you can put the extra teams at the top or you can put them at the botton.

Why not extra teams in the middle:
e.g. 7 9 12 9 if you have
 9 teams with less than 1,000MP average 
12 teams with 1,200 to 2,500MP average
9 teams with 3,000 to 5,000MP averag
7 teams with MP average > 7,000MP

natural bracket breaks, not arbitrary bracket numbers
July 10
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I think D6 is running what I call 3KOs on Saturdays. They have an unusual format re. match lengths IIRC.

The 3KO format was tried here (D14) quite a few years ago and abandoned. Just another attempt to get a team event on the weekend before the last day Swiss.

On another recent thread David Halasi described a three round KO, 18bd/match, held over only two sessions
http://bridgewinners.com/article/view/is-this-a-way-to-run-an-organization/?cj=824905#c824905
July 9
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I must have looked too soon, seen only the 2018 commentary, and then on looking again, got caught viewing a cached page rather than the new one. Does that make sense?
July 9
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thanks to salt lake city
https://www.bridgewebs.com/slcbridge/Summer%20IMG%20Anaylsis%202019.pdf

maybe it's just my club that didn't provide a link, but i couldn't find at at acbl.org
July 9
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I played two days of Bracketed Swiss, the format du jour here. In this format, the field is divided from top down based on average master points into 9-team brackets

Why set arbitrary bracket sizes? If you have 6 quality top bracket teams then consider CoC that don't require paying 4 overall places. Let the directors look for natural breaks.

We had a pair of directors running a bracketed Swiss who wanted to set brackets from the bottom up with the remainder in the top bracket. Arbitrary bracket sizes serve expediency at the cost of logical bracket breaks.

Allow up and comers to play up if they choose.

At the present time there really isn't a solution to the 1/3 of the players seemed forced into the top bracket by master point “inflation,” clearly belonged in a lower bracket, and (I imagine) were not so happy to be in the top bracket.

I'm curious how the mini-Soloway format was received at the February Lone Star regional. The bracketed Swiss may be quite popular, but isn't there a value to the 24-32 bd KO match lengths?
July 9
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D4 has LONG had a bizarre flighting for X.
It wasn't that long ago that I saw Howard and Daisy and and compadres as an “X” team.
Setting that upper limit at a 5K average does a disservice to the teams with a total of 10-15K who have vastly more experienced teams sitting on top of them in the “X” flight.

Reminds me of a recent NABC where we washed out of a NABC+ event and chose to play the daylight A/B/C Daylight Swiss. There was no room at the inn (overalls) for our 18K MPs. Way too many pro teams biding their time before a National Swiss coming up.

Unless the DIC has the ability to set flight breaks based on the distribution of the teams actually entered you are at arbitrary risk.
July 9
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The real hybrid environment will be affordable electronic tables where venues can be linked. The event could be run as Swiss Pairs so that you may play opponents at your site or via an online connection. The better you are doing the better the next round's opponents will be.
July 8
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Do the B & C flights play the same boards?
Is the start time the same at all venues?
Will procedures be in place to prevent electronic communication with friends at other venues? {Cellphone, tablet quarantines)
Will all sites be required to have a minimum number of tables to qualify for overall awards?
A pair playing 4 6-bd rounds in one site may have a big advantage vs. a pair at another site playing 8 3-bd rounds.
July 8
Mike Cassel edited this comment July 8
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The ACBL sort of sold their soul by encouraging Gold Rush. The bottom dropped out of the regional KO structure and the 0-750 pond does not prepare the guppies for waters with bigger fish.
It used to be that the extrinsic and intrinsic rewards of attaining your Gold Card were linked.
By the time many less experienced players reached the goal in ‘days of yore’ the intrinsic joys of the game were ingrained.
We now are experiencing the jetwash turbulence as recent Gold Rush graduates and other bronze LMs find they are no longer competitive in Open events.
As long as they continue with some success in club games there is hope that their desire to grow their game might blossom into tournament interest.
In our 1100 table spring regional there is a veritable desert in table counts among this group.
If your tournaments are not large enough to sustain mid-Flight events you have a real challenge on your hands.

I try to compliment players who make good plays. Offer suggestions for those who might benefit from constructive ideas.
It is going to be tough for tournament players in the future unless this cohort learns to appreciate the ‘inner’ game even though their masterpoint gains diminish.
Clubs would do well to have mentoring games not for experienced players and novices, but matching 1500+ players with the 500-1250 folks.
July 6
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