[BLML] An untruth

Marvin French mfrench1 at san.rr.com
Mon Jun 11 22:31:52 CEST 2012

From: "Ed Reppert"

(snip of what Ed calls a "wall of text" that was meant to clarify the 
complicated relationship between the ACBL and the North American Bridge 


> Not gonna take the trouble to pare down this wall of text.
[Ed] The ACBL is quite welcome to give masterpoints for events (Sectionals, 
Regionals, and the NABCs) conducted under their auspices as the ZO (or ZA, 
take your pick) for North America. The NBOs (show me where the change to NBF 
was made, please, as I don't recall it) are also welcome to give 
masterpoints for events conducted under *their* auspices (which, imo, should 
include club games).

[Marv] In 2001 the WBF wanted to partcipate in the Olympics.  The 
International Olympic Committee required any international sport 
organization wanting that right to have a National Federation for each 
country in its membership. (At that time the ACBL acted not only as Zonal 
Authority but in effect as an "NBO" for the USA.) The USBF was formed to 
fulfill that requirement and most countries changed the names of their 
"NBOs" to NBFs. The British call their NBF a "Bridge Union" (EBU) because it 
includes more than one country. "NBO" is still popular informally. The name 
doesn't matter, they are national bridge federations.

NBFs are free to have masterpoint systems of their own, as some European 
countries do, but North American NBFs have not chosen this route. Their 
members want ACBL masterpoints.

[Ed] The only reason, as far as I can see, that the situation vis a vis the 
ACBL and the NBOs in NA is different from the situation vis a vis the EBL 
and the NBOs in Europe, for just one example, is that the ACBL predates the 
WBF and has always been the "500 pound canary".

What difference? Players do not join the EBL, they join their local 
orgaization. The EBL awards EBL masterpoints to any NBF that wants them, but 
others may award their own masterpoints, and some do. The EBL maintains 
records of EBL masterpoints awarded. Looks like the EBL operates just like 
the ACBL, but perhaps with less control over games that award masterpoints. 
Also, like all other Zonal Authorties except the ACBL, the EBL accepts the 
WBF version of the 2007 Laws of Duplicate Bridge and doesn't create its own.

Now I will sneak in a second untruth: If you look on the WBF website you 
will find that the Canadian National Federation (CNF) has over 17,000 
members. This is not true, as the actual CBF membership is about 1/3 that 
.When Canadians join the ACBL they are given the option of also joining the 
CBF, but only 1/3 do. However, the ACBL reports all Canadian ACBL members as 
members of the CBF. Why would they do that? To maximize the number of  NBF 
members in North America, that's why. There was a time when the WBF was 
going to reduce the number of North American teams eligible for WBF 
championships, which would mean one USA team instead of two. A compromise 
was reached whereby Europeans were given an extra team qualification, and 
the USA could retain its two. It therefore behooves the ACBL to  fudge the 
number of North American NBF members.

Foreign citizens must join the ACBL in order to play in NABC+ events, and 
the bean counters wanted to include them in the USBF number sent to the WBF 
even though they belong to other NBFs. Ex-CEO Jay Baum said no to that idea, 
good for him.

Another maximizing policy is to deny USA citizens the right to decline 
membership in the USBF when they pay their ACBL membership fees. If 
Canadians have that right, why can't we have it? Every USA citizen who joins 
the ACBL is willy-nilly made a member of the USBF, non-voting of course. I 
became a voting member of the USBF ($50) last year, but did not receive a 
ballot for the 2012 elections because the number of nominations from the 
USBF Nominating Committee did not exceed the number of positions available. 
No ballot necessary in that case.

Marvin L French

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