Cindy Shoemaker, D17 National Representative
ACBL Board of Directors
Dear D17 Board Member:

There is a lot happening on the national front as the Board and Management address the unprecedented challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The last D17 National Directors Report was sent to you on August 9, 2021. I’ve included the link for reference:

See below for an additional update as it is important that you stay informed! 
Please feel free to contact me with questions and/or concerns. It is always a pleasure to hear from you. 


Cindy Shoemaker
D17 National Representative

Tournament Update

ACBL Management will meet early the week of September 13 to determine whether ACBL will staff tournaments held in October. Determinations will be made on a case-by-case basis using multiple criteria: Local restrictions, virus positivity rates, vaccination rates and local bridge club activity.* 

*The tournament status evaluation information was issued to stakeholders on April 15, 2021. 

Highlights from a Special ACBL Board meeting held Friday, August 20 and from the reconvened meeting held Wednesday, August 25. 

August 20: 

Strategic Committee Chair Paul Cuneo reiterated the committee’s recommended transition period plan for face-to-face and virtual clubs. See August 9 National Report. Management presented its views.  

The Board engaged in a question-and-answer period regarding the ACBL’s Visitor Policy. The visitor policy will be revised and sent to stakeholders mid-September. 

BOG Chair, Doug Couchman, presented a synopsis of the consensus views from a series of BOG town halls held August 17-19, 2021.  

August 25:

Discussions continued regarding operation during and after the pandemic. Individual Board members presented their views.

Following the two-day discussion, the Board provided three directives for ACBL Management: 

  • Support brick-and-mortar bridge clubs -- supporting the return to face-to-face bridge play, providing special games, and eliminating the masterpoint® multiplier.*
  • Provide bridge players with a place to play.
  • Enforce the regulations that have been put into place.

* “Online, in order to help players make the leap to playing there during the pandemic, we added an incentive to play,” states Greg Coles, director of operations. “We’re now moving towards equalizing online awards and face-to-face awards because clubs are re-opening.”

Protocols for National, Regional and Sectional Tournaments

The Board reconsidered its motion passed in July relating to mask requirements at tournaments. “Will be” required to wear a mask changed to “may be” required to wear a mask based on the fluctuations in CDC requirements due to the unpredictability of the Delta variant.

Highlights from a Special ACBL Board meeting
Thursday, September 9 

NABC Austin -- Update

Currently, ACBL is planning to hold NABC Austin, Management is encouraged by the drop in positivity rates. The 45-day decision marker is 10/9/21.

Management and Craig Rehak, ConferenceDirect, negotiated the following: If the NABC is held, attrition has been removed and food and beverage costs have been reduced by 50 percent.  

Safety remains the top priority. 

Sidebar: On August 17, Joe Jones stated the following in a correspondence to membership:  
“Many of you have contacted me asking if we will hold the Fall NABC in Texas. As of today, it’s a go. We are very hopeful that the current spike in infections will decrease by November and that we will be able to have a safe event. We are continually monitoring the local conditions for the Fall NABC and all the other upcoming scheduled tournaments. We will provide periodic updates on staffing.”

Jones continued to update the Board during the Special “reconvened” Board meeting on August 25.  

Messaging will continue to membership and segments thereof.

Future NABC Sites Approved 

ACBL Management presented prospective sites for two future NABCs to the Board based on recommendations from the Site Selection Committee. 

ACBL Board approved NABC sites for Memphis, March 13- March 23, 2025 and San Diego, November 26 - December 6, 2026. 

The NABC Memphis will be held at the Renasant Convention Center. The Center underwent a $2 million renovation in 2020. 

Highlights include:

  • Column free playing area.
  • Free WiFi in public areas. 
  • Many restaurants nearby.
  • Trolley access to restaurants located on South Main. 

There are four hotel options: Sheraton Downtown Memphis, Crowne Plaza Downtown, Courtyard Memphis and Springhill Suites Memphis Downtown. Regular room rate is $169. 

Current table estimate: 8,000. 

The NABC San Diego will be held at the Manchester Grand Hyatt.

Highlights include:

  • Play and stay option under one roof.  
  • Excellent lighting. 
  • Walking distance to beaches. 
  • Many onsite and local restaurants. 

Regular room rate is $189. 

Current table estimate: 9,700. 

ACBL Member Retention Work Group Now Formed

Member retention is a key driver for ACBL and its stakeholders. Therefore, this newly formed work group will:

  • Identify member retention issues.
  • Define metrics to gauge access.
  • Create member data dashboards.
  • Develop a program and content.
  • Develop training and pilot programs.  

Work Group members: Mary Stratton, director of marketing; Sharon Anderson, Len Fettig, Ned Irving, Steve Moese, Jeff Overby, Ashok Rao and Cindy Shoemaker.