[BLML] An untruth

Eric Landau ehaa at starpower.net
Tue Jun 12 15:00:17 CEST 2012

On Jun 11, 2012, at 4:31 PM, Marvin French wrote:

> 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
> Federations)
> [Ed}
>> 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".

There are historical reasons for the difference.  The ACBL used to be  
unique in that it served as both the zonal authority for North  
American and, simultaneously, as the national authorities for the  
U.S., Canada, Mexico and Bermuda.  In practice, although no longer  
officially, it still does.

Since then, as Marv alludes to, the world of bridge underwent a spasm  
of on-paper reorganization in a futile attempt to meet the  
requirements of the IOC for being certified as an Olympic sport.   
This required the creation of a useless, unnecessary and Byzantine  
bureaucracy that nobody understands (with the possible exception of  
Marv, after much research).  But bureaucracies are famously easier to  
create than to dismantle, which has left us with several redundant  
organizational authorities that we'd be better off without.

Eric Landau
1107 Dale Drive
Silver Spring MD 20910
ehaa at starpower.net

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