Judy Kay-Wolff

Debatable Policies of Unit 373 (Las Vegas)

There is a lot of buzz about the rejection of two popular and respected Class “A” players to have their names accepted and placed in candidacy for election to the Board of Directors of our local unit.   The two individuals are Tom Grue and Bruce Rubin whom, in my and Bobby’s opinion, would be a tremendously uplifting addition and asset to the group because of their experience, knowledge, devotion to the game and gung ho attitude of improving the running of the Unit.   The reason stated for their unacceptability is because of their spouses.  Tom Grue’s wife, Sue, helps out by running the LVBC’s game once a week on Friday (for a pittance, I suspect) and Bruce Rubin’s wife, Jane is a one-third owner of the same club.

I was referred to the By-Laws which, in my opinion are stagnant and have been that way for eons – and I quote:

“4.  No member having a financial interest in any Bridge Club shall be eligible for nomination and/or election to the Board of Directors of the Las Vegas Unit; nor can such member be appointed to the Board of Directors of the Las Vegas Unit – except in an honorary and non-voting capacity. Provided, that nothing in this paragraph shall prohibit the nomination of election and/or appointment to the Board of Directors of the Las Vegas Unit of any director or as a substitute part-time director for a fixed compensation; said fixed compensation not being dependent on the number of tables in play.”

YOU WILL ALSO NOTE THERE IS NO SPECIFIC MENTION OF ‘SPOUSES” IN THE ABOVE DIRECTIVE.  I have gone to great lengths to check with friends around the country and all have advised in no uncertain terms that in their area there is no restriction of having a tie with a club (as a director or owner).   Many owners and club directors serve on various Boards around the U.S. – but UNIT 373 has their own ideas.

To me, if such members served on the Board, and an issue arose involving their club or any club, they would have the good sense to abstain from voting.  However, there has been no issue raised about the icky situation of the same individual serving as both Tournament Chairman and Treasurer of the Unit.   The gentleman is upstanding, respected and honorable and I have no reason to suspect any wrongdoing, but the precedent seems to be a potential conflict of interest for others who may appear down the road.

The two potential rejected candidates would have added much to the superiority of the Unit but it appears the one/s in charge have no interest in rectifying the situation by jeopardizing their own continuance on the board — waiving or changing such a self-serving condition so they may contain the controlling interest and prefer the status quo.


63 Comments

Bobby WolffOctober 25th, 2012 at 12:52 am

No one ever benefits from backing off from a worthwhile endeavor. Chances are (I am not privy to LV bridge politics) the rule being discussed was not well thought out before implementation, since almost the exact opposite positions are taken in units to which I have been active including worldwide bridge leagues. Quality members beget quality organizations.

The more experience that bridge BODs have, the better and smarter that unit usually operates. Of course, it should be a slam dunk if a decision needed to be made which financially (or practically) affected one or more of the BOD’s members, they should abstain from voting and only answer questions which are directed to them if they had a conflict of interest. That, of course, doesn’t even need to be said, but, perhaps LV had trouble with that in the past and because of that, added the controversial rule which now exists.

In any event, and I am not accusing anyone of any wrongdoing, mainly because I have no idea about any important business which has transpired in the past, but it seems to me that including a majority of BOD members who are relatively inexperienced in running bridge organizations is the opposite of what should be done and opens the door in the future for possible wrongdoing by the few in control by using their powerful undue influence to control what goes on.

Other than the above, I wholeheartedly recommend both Tom and Bruce to be elected to the LV BOD’s. They are both very bright, bridge loving, fair minded, unbiased, respected people who would tend to maximize performance, even in an already very well run organization.

Bobby

CHUCKOctober 25th, 2012 at 4:31 am

I am from your hometown of Philly and know for a fact that many of the club owners here have served on our Unit boards — going back several decades. The position of your Unit is very self-serving and they don’t know enough to come in out of the rain. I don’t know the individuals involved (who were turned down because of spousal involvement) but they have been discriminated against unfairly — especially the one whose wife is a one-day-a-week director. It sounds like the people at the helm are very controlling. Perhaps their power and importance will be challenged by the inclusion of these two new proposed candidates who sound like they can improve the quality of the Board in large measure!

And, by the way, I also agree with you that a Tournament Chairman (regardless of how honest he or she is) should not also serve as the Unit Treasurer. That’s a no brainer!

Thanks for sharing. We need people like you to bring issues like this before the bridge public!

Judy Kay-WolffOctober 25th, 2012 at 4:49 am

Thanks Chuck for reminding me of all the Philly club owners who served on the Unit Board. I remember Sue Raffel was a member for many years as was my old partner Jane Segal who at 80 is still directing. Sue owned the biggest bridge club in Philadelphia (coincidentally named Raffel’s) and Jane who taught and owned her own club was a qualified club director as well. They were both active Board members for many a year. Philly was a hotbed of bridge and no discrimination was shown to club owners or directors.

John Howard GibsonOctober 25th, 2012 at 3:21 pm

Dear Judy, More often than not hidden agendas are afoot working alongside ulterior motives, personal prejudices and bias.
Reasons given may not be the ones on which the actual decisions were made. Administrators are often clever and devious in these ways. The status quo must be preserved at all costs and so the idea of new blood ( the catalyst for a few changes ) is not one that is palatable to the old guard.
In my few officers of any organisation should step down after a few years to avoid complacency, corruption and other abuses of power. To deny keen very able people the opportunity to help take the organisation forward is a tragedy.

Marty DeneroffOctober 25th, 2012 at 6:02 pm

Having served on many volunteer boards over the years, I would claim that the main qualification should always be willingness to do serious work for the organization combined with a degree of common sense. People who have these attributes will generally be of value regardless of apparent conflicts of interest; people who don’t have them will have negative value no matter how pristine they look from a bias perspective. Here in NYC, many of the members of our board make money from bridge in some way (teaching, working at clubs, playing professionally,…). I can’t see why owning a club is any more of a problem than any other professional activity. Here we do have a separate issue that I wish could be solved in that the club owners see the activities of the unit as being largely in conflict with the needs of the clubs, and this has never led to good things. I would welcome adding club owners to our board, as it might help resolve this.

Judy Kay-WolffOctober 25th, 2012 at 7:14 pm

Dear John:

I start my letter with “Dear John” but the connotation of those words are far from what I feel for you in my heart! As much as you joke around on your own blog site as Howard Bigot Johnson, it is obvious you have a tremendous passion for the game and strive to have it played and judged fairly. Thanks for your vibes.

Fondly,

Judy

Judy Kay-WolffOctober 25th, 2012 at 7:32 pm

Dear Marty:

Welcome to my site. I don’t think you’ve ever expressed an opinion on it before and it sounds like you are quite qualified to discuss the subject of Unit Boards — especially being from New York which used to be (and I am sure still is) a hotbed of bridge. Though I lived in Philly, my daughter Robin (by my late husband Norman Kay) worked and lived in New York right after college and was quite active on the Boards with a hard-working group of people whose first consideration was what was best for the game.

Thanks for writing.

Cheers,

Judy

RENEOctober 25th, 2012 at 9:16 pm

I always enjoy your answers, but I am unfamiliar with your reference to a “Dear John” letter.
Clue me in please!

Rene

Steven GaynorOctober 25th, 2012 at 9:21 pm

If a club owner wanted to serve on a unit board I can see how that could cause a conflict, but the spouse of an occasional director?????? And if we refuse a spot to a great guy like Tom (I have know him since he was a better, uh, check that, more seasoned player than his son). Crazy, I tell you, CRAZY!

Judy Kay-WolffOctober 25th, 2012 at 9:28 pm

Hi Rene:

You were probably too young to have been around when it was coined — so here is the explanation from Wikipedia:

“While the exact origins of the phrase are unknown, it is commonly believed to have been coined by Americans during World War II. Large numbers of American troops were stationed overseas for many months or years, and as time passed many of their wives or girlfriends decided to begin a relationship with a new man rather than wait for the original one to return.

As letters to servicemen from wives or girlfriends back home would typically contain affectionate language (such as “Dear Johnny”, “My dearest John”, or simply “Darling”), a serviceman receiving a note beginning with a curt “Dear John” would instantly be aware of the letter’s purpose.”

Judy Kay-WolffOctober 25th, 2012 at 11:55 pm

When my daughter Robin read my blog, she was so distressed (because of her background as Unit and District President in her youthful days in New York), she felt compelled to send the following letter to Unit 373 President Barbara Dunkley (with a copy to Tom Shulman) who indeed work very hard in the name of bridge. Robin leaves no stone unturned and her passion for the game and doing right by its members is self-evident.
……………………………………………………………………………………….
Subject: Board of Director’s candidates and unit 373 bylaws

Dear Barbara:

I am a recent addition to the Las Vegas bridge scene — although not a newcomer to bridge politics. When living in NYC, I was on the Unit 155 Board representing the GNYBA (Greater New York Bridge Association). While there, I served as a Board member for nine years and spent two years as Unit President followed by two more years as the District President. However, I will be the first to admit I am not familiar with the workings of your particular Board of Directors although I am no stranger to the inner workings of an ACBL Board, in general.

I couldn’t help but be surprised when I learned of the restraints your Unit 373 bylaws put on the selection process for candidates to your Board. I have been involved in two different boards in my years of bridge and in neither of those units did we restrict players who were involved with clubs to be members of the Board. In fact, to be quite honest, people affiliated with the clubs were highly recruited to serve!

Upon doing a little research and looking back on the rosters from the years I served, I can tell you that during each and every year I served, the Board was comprised of no less that 30% of board members who were involved with the clubs on some level – club owners, club managers, club directors, club teachers, and guest lecturers. All derived financial gain from the club they were affiliated with; however, in those nine years there was never, not once, a situation where a conflict of interest arose. I have no doubt that any person who is worthy of serving on your Board would be honorable enough to recuse himself/herself in the event that a conflict of interest would arise. You might want to check with other units and I am pretty certain that you will find that club representation on the board is a huge asset — not a detriment. In my experience, those board members proved to be the most involved and the hardest working as bridge was their day to day livelihood and not just a wonderful pastime.

Throughout my years on the BOD I served with countless players who, like myself, were affiliated with one of the clubs.. I received a paycheck from Honors, a club in Manhattan, as I was one of their teachers and part-time manager while still serving on the Board. While I realize nearly 3,000 miles separates my former unit from yours, I imagine some of the names on the list below will be known to you as their contributions to the game are far-reaching. In retrospect, I can look back with no regrets regarding our bylaws as it would have been a true sin to have denied any of these players the right to have served on our Board. Thankfully our bylaws did not preclude their candidacy. It is interesting to note that no less than eight of the players below were OWNERS of clubs at the time of their term — and as I said before, never did a problem arise. That’s not to say that disagreements and heated arguments didn’t take place. They did! However, at no time was the integrity of the Board compromised. Quite to the contrary – it was enhanced!

EDGAR KAPLAN
JIM BECKER
LISA BERKOWITZ
GAIL GREENBERG
JUDY TUCKER
ALAN J MILLER
KATHY FALLENIUS
AUGIE BOEHM
SANDY STERN
MARK COHEN
JEFF BAYONE
BOB BLANCHARD
DEBBIE (ZUCKERBURG) ROSENBERG

From my point of view there are a couple of issues on the table. First of all, should Mr. Grue and Mr. Rubin have been denied the right to run? Second of all, if either of them were to win a seat on the Board, would that be a conflict of interest?

I understand that the integrity of the Board is important, and well it should be! Bridge is a small, close knit community and if we were to eliminate every candidate who was affiliated with a club owner in some manner, I think you would find our boards would be eliminating a lot of highly qualified, skilled candidates whose sole purpose is to give back to the game they love. Where do you draw the line? As we know, one was a spouse of a club owner, and the other, a spouse of a club director. So, who else is not acceptable? A brother-in-law? A daughter? A close neighbor? A past roommate? A best friend? An occasional bridge partner?

Before I write any further, let me state that I know first hand what a tireless, thankless job serving on the Board can be. I do not know any members of your Board personally and I am by no means trying to pass judgment. Their job is a hard one.

Without turning this into a legal debate, isn’t the point of the Board to interpret and uphold the bylaws? This particular bylaw is not ambiguous and does not need interpretation. The bylaws, as I read them clearly, allow each of these individuals to run for election. While I have no doubt that the board was acting in an attempt to do the right thing, I think they clearly missed the boat here and overstepped their bounds. Its not too late to correct a wrong, and if you agree with me, let your board representatives know.

Let the electorate do its job. If a candidate’s integrity or loyalties are in question, the rank and file will weed them out through the election process. Isn’t that the whole point of a democracy? Let the people decide whom they want representing them.

Now, to the second question: Would someone closely affiliated with a club serving on the Board be a conflict of interest? As for me, I personally can’t think of a better candidate than someone who does have his or her pulse on the bridge scene. Who better understands the wants, the needs and the interests of the bridge public more than someone who encounters the rank and file of our community on a daily basis? They hear the complaints and feedback from the masses and are in a great position to serve the players in a truly effective manner.

I agree that if said Board member was acting partially with the best interest of a particular club in mind, this would be unacceptable. However, from my experience the Board generally does not address issues regarding clubs on an individual basis. They address matters affecting club bridge as a whole. While I understand that clubs do have an adversarial relationship fighting for the same piece of the proverbial pie, when it comes to the clubs’ relationship with the ACBL and more precisely, with the Unit, they are working from a position of allies and need to be a united force to get their idea, wants and needs heard and represented on the voting board.

According to the Unit 373 bylaws, it states at least one of your Board members must be a player with 0-300 masterpoints, referred to as the Board’s “member at large”. Kudos to whomever thought to include that in the bylaws. I think it is wonderful idea that the newer players’ collective voice should be heard. Isn’t it equally important that the clubs’ collective voice should be given that same voting power?

By the way, I am sure that there will be somebody out there reading this who will question my motivation. Let me assure you that I have no personal relationship with either Tom Grue or Bruce Rubin although I have encountered both of them several times at the bridge table. I know them both to say “hello” and have a casual conversation with but I have never had any interaction with either of them outside of the bridge club. Every time I saw either one of them, I found them to be friendly, helpful, ethical and very knowledgeable about the local bridge scene. They were both a pleasure to play against and I would feel happy and confident having either of them representing my interests on the Board.

I truly hope the Board will reconsider their decision as not doing so would be a disservice to not only both of these men but to the Unit that the Board members were elected to represent. Maybe its time for Unit 373 to (as soon as possible) form a committee to look into the revision of its bylaws for the betterment of bridge.

Thank you for taking the time to allow me to express my thoughts and thank you for the work you do for the Unit.

Very sincerely,

Robin

Dixie PerkinsonOctober 26th, 2012 at 3:54 am

I was very distressed to hear of the exclusion of two brilliant and very highly qualified men from being allowed to run for our Unit 373 Board of Directors.

Both Bruce Rubin and Tom Grue are very fair, hard working, thoughtful, kind gentlemen and fine bridge players to boot. What more could a Unit want in members of its Board

To exclude them from helping make our Unit even better, is a travesty.

Rick LepscierOctober 26th, 2012 at 5:45 am

I believe that you hit the nail squarely on the head with this one. I, too, feel that Tom Grue and Bruce Rubin would be among the best candidates the Board of Directors has seen in many years. Hopefully, they will not be excluded by the current powers that be. Tom and Bruce would add a whole bunch of class, intelligence, and fair-mindedness to the Board, and Unit 373 would certainly benefit.

JaneOctober 26th, 2012 at 2:25 pm

Wow, what a response to local bridge politics. I knew about Bruce being excluded due to being the spouse of a club owner but did not know about Tom. Makes little sense to me, especially for Tom. Bruce’s situation is different because of the bylaws, so it is time to change the bylaws so this won’t happen again. The fact that Tom’s wife directs one game a week should have no bearing on his being able to run. How is it possible that the board even has the authority to reject him based on this? Methinks there is something going on here.

I totally agree that both of these men would add so much to the board. I was told, at least in the case of Bruce, that four members of the board voted against allowing him to run, but three members voted in favor. That is “too close to call” in my opinion. Let them both run, what could be the harm? If they both got elected, new strong blood would be added to a board who is in need of some new direction. Just MHO, of course.

JaneOctober 26th, 2012 at 3:49 pm

Forgot to mention Robin’s letter. Well done! You go, girl!

Judy Kay-WolffOctober 26th, 2012 at 4:36 pm

Rick:

Thank you for your input!

Living in Las Vegas and supporting the local games frequently as you and I do, we can feel the pulse of the people at the helm who are so obstinate about having their Board invaded by qualified, experienced, intelligent individuals who are deeply involved in the game and are very supportive of the duplicates and tournaments. Without their fresh contributions, bridge will eventually stagnate and go the way of all flesh. The subject potential candidates’ involvement would add fresh blood to the group leading to its expansion and improvement!

Those at the helm are hell-bent on having individuals with pecuniary interests (questionable) not invade their little castle. I believe it is time the powers on high listened to their public, especially their local constituents who resent the unrealistic position they have taken (citing the bylaws) under the guise of excluding anyone with pecuniary interests. Why does the rest of the country feel differently and welcome the advice and experience of club-associated individuals? Are our head honchos so omniscient?

THEY SHOULD CHANGE AND CLARIFY THE BYLAWS AS SOON AS POSSIBLE and allow some welcome fresh air into their little nest.

My daughter’s unit in New York was three times as large as our LV group and the great players there (with strong affiliation to clubs in various capacities) added much to the strength of the organization — and there was no hanky panky. This is 2012. It’s time our Unit got with it!

Judy Kay-WolffOctober 26th, 2012 at 5:04 pm

Jane:

Both your response above and your comments on Bobby’s daily Aces on Bridge blogging site undisputedly exhibit your great respect and passion for the game. I, too, believe (as you say) “methinks there is something going on there.”

To crudely get to the ‘financial” issue — Bruce Rubin doesn’t need his wife Jane’s money from the club (which I understand she purchased from a personal inheritance) and the pittance that Sue Grue receives from her one-day-a-week servitude as the Friday Director (and I might add she is terrific) in no way endangers the Treasury of Unit 373. Of course, every candidate should be considered on his or her own merits, but surely the monetary issue in this case is beyond ridiculous and does not address the individual backgrounds or potential contributions of either Bruce or Tom. To lose them on the Board would be an eggregious error. So be it!

Judy

Judy Kay-WolffOctober 26th, 2012 at 5:34 pm

Dixie:

Thanks for expressing your chagrin at the ridiculous denial of Bruce and Tom as potential candidates for the Board. It might interest you to know that you are not alone. I received a few phone calls from people I play against regularly (but only know casually) whose dander was aroused and offered to do anything they can — including signing petitions if that was the route in which the club was going.

That was not my intention — far from it. I just thought that the personal policies of the Unit 373 Board should be made public along with all the criticism for the ridiculous position they took because of some antiquated bylaw that was passed heaven knows when.

Judy

John SOctober 26th, 2012 at 8:23 pm

It’s usually very difficult to find good, highly qualified people who will volunteer their time and efforts for what often is a thankless job. That Bruce and Tom are willing to run says something about their love for the game and dedication which when coupled with their ability makes them outstanding candidates. I know Bruce and Tom well and I see no ethical issues that would preclude either from performing their duties objectively. I hope our unit finds a way to afford them the opportunity to run for office.

Judy Kay-WolffOctober 27th, 2012 at 1:54 am

Thanks John. You have always been a solid citizen (and a terrific teammate) and I am happy to know that you feel the exclusion of Bruce and Tom as possible board members is
improper.

Judy

Judy Kay-WolffOctober 27th, 2012 at 2:28 am

ARE YOU READY FOR THIS ONE???

Apparently the one who calls the shots for Unit 373 was enamored with a ‘new’ computer system (Phillippe’s Bridge Results) which the clubs were asked to use. Reluctantly, the LVBW agreed to try it — but replied if they did not like it — that they would return to their old format on December 1st. (The club owners of LVBW agreed their original computer source for duplicate scores was better — and so did the players)!

Well, I heard today from the LVBW owners that they were advised by the Tournament Chairman who was pushing for this new computerized method that ANY PLAYER WHO PLAYED AT A BRIDGE CLUB WHERE THE UPDATED SYSTEM RECOMMENDED WAS NOT EMPLOYED WOULD NOT BE ELIGIBLE TO PLAY IN ANY HANDICAPPED EVENT THE UNIT WAS SPONSORING AT ONE OF THEIR UPCOMING TOURNAMENTS. It sounds like Nazi Germany to me.

How does anyone have the right or authority to issue such a mandate or threat to a club?? Don’t the members have a say?

Just for the record, it might interest you to know that when Bobby was asked for his opinion by the individual issuing the ultimatum, he wrote a detailed reply vigorously disapproving of the suggestion of handicapped scoring. Here is part of his reply AND I QUOTE:

“All in all the idea of handicapped games (especially pair games) is very possibly the worst idea ever thought of by any person, whether a bridge player or not, and, at least to me, has to be thought of as no more of a person than who is retarded, biased, obsessed, not to mention stupid and likely, all of the previous.”

Bobby pulls no punches!

JaneOctober 27th, 2012 at 1:39 pm

Is this ultimatum coming from the ACBL? If so, what is their explanation? Can the ACBL require the use of Bridgeresults at all the clubs across America? The logistics of keeping up with who plays where would be impossible. What about the occasional out of town visitor who plays at a local club without Bridgeresults? Does this mean that they can’t play in a handicapped event? Would they actually have to ask the director what kind of recording program they use? This is off the charts.

I understand why the ACBL wants to use a program that is consistent for the recording of results at all of the tournaments, but how does this trickle down to the individual clubs?

I have not played in an event that has been handicapped in years. We used to have these at our clubs in Missouri, but I think they went away a long time ago. I have not seen a handicapped event at the clubs here in Las Vegas. Did I miss something? Are handicapped events going to reappear again?

Judy Kay-WolffOctober 27th, 2012 at 4:17 pm

I (Judy Kay-Wolff) am appalled at the operation of Unit 373 and its Tournament Chairman who is hell-bent on certain ideas because of antiquated by-laws which were never rightfully amended (which I think are discriminatory) not to allow two of our most conscientious members (because of marital ties — in the unit’s opinion) to be eligible for the Board. This same individual with his brainwashed “yes” people is now trying to force the clubs to use his preferred duplicate game results website (not preferred by a couple of the larger clubs) as well as adapt a preposterous system of Handicapped Pair Events in our Las Vegas tournaments.

My husband Bobby who has observed and been active on the bridge scene for OVER SIXTY YEARS in EVERY capacity (including being President of the ACBL and World Bridge Federation) is quite familiar with the devastating, disruptive and unfair concept of Handicapped Events and has the following strong, negative admonitions to make public about Handicapped Pairs:
**********
To all who are interested in fact and not fiction, please consider the following:

Although anyone trying to assess just why this is all happening, instead of just trying to learn the conditions of combat, they will find the so-called proposed glorious handicap will, by necessity, have the following components:

1. Some attempted period of assessing where a pair ranks and what his (their) partnership handicap should be.

2. Whether special handicap determining games are held or, instead, all games played by that partnership at all the eligible clubs are used, would be up to the organizers to determine. Would games from Sectionals and Regionals also be used where the subject pair is performing or will all the above be decided by some inexperienced committee at some later date? If so, there will be a constant changing of that pair’s rating, as should there be, in order to carefully determine where they belong. Otherwise there will be no credibility present in reaching final status.

3. While all the above is happening, would it or would it not be wise for that pair to, in order to earn an either maximum or close to, handicap for later play in order to give themselves a better chance to win master points by higher placing via the adding on of the handicap to their eventual score attained be interested in not doing well for the sake of securing a higher advantage?

4. Might not such a system lead to what might be called Sportsmanship Dumping during certain qualifying games, enhanced by games which start out badly convincing the subject pair to go for broke and attempt to earn as low a score as possible, possibly making an exception on certain rounds played against enemies (just for practice) but while playing against friends or neutrals trying hard to get zeros in order to accomplish their overall goal of being better placed later.

5. Please keep in mind the above scenario will be constantly present and unless, we have the personnel to constantly monitor certain pairs (and there figures to be floods of them), there likely will be no good method of proving what everyone will suspect.

6. Perhaps, out of this aberration, will develop a new game (actually, not so new) which used to be called Null Low wherein the task of the players playing is to take as few tricks as possible and thus go set the maximum number of tricks on all hands.

7. While some may laugh at these descriptions, THIS IS WHAT HANDICAP PAIR GAMES WILL SOON DEVELOP , but that laughter may likely cause many to simply give up the game, as we know it, entirely, completing the abrupt ending of the game we all seem to love to play.

Let me now turn to other sports which sometimes entail handicaps and therefore allow intelligent listeners to understand the major differences between them and tournament bridge:

A. Bowling, which in the past consisted of 5 people on each team with, perhaps many years ago, one designated (at that time) among women to have their lowest ranking member to automatically score 100 for the game if, indeed, she did not reach that not so lofty number. That was done to allow relatively poor bowlers (beginning or just not so inclined) to still participate without destroying that team’s ability to win the match by scoring a minimum fixed score in spite of not reaching that number.

With men it was usually (again in those bygone days) 140 causing that man to be designated their ‘140 man’ whose score would never reflect less than that number although if he scored higher he would, of course, be allowed to keep that score.

B. In golf, at many courses, often designated country clubs, all the players would seek their own handicaps, with the top golfers, usually the professionals involved being a scratch handicapper (par) around zero while the next rank would be golfers who usually attained (averaged) in the mid seventies, but were usually given perhaps a handicap of 3 or 4, although their average score was perhaps 6 or 7 strokes higher than the par average (71 or 72). The next in line would be the golfers who consistently shot in the very low 80’s and again were given about half the difference as a handicap to play in the organized tournament.

In all (or almost) cases there were money prizes and mostly were hotly contested with all of the above 3 classes of players (and sometimes 4 or more classes) with the lower ranked players having the best chance of having an especially good round or rounds — enabling them on those occasions to overtake the higher ranked professionals so overall, those tournaments were fun and well received. However, those two above sports were strictly physical which lent themselves to different types of performance, far different than the mental exercise of bridge, especially the luck element always present with what hands a pair plays against which players making the playing of bridge mental and therefore much different than the two sports mentioned above. Also, when one adds in substantial money prizes, it creates an altogether different environment to which golf responds well (particularly so since it is much easier to determine what that golfer’s average score is) rather than the totally subjective, almost impossible manner, in which a bridge pair can be accurately determined. The key fact to keep in mind, at least to my view, is that a hole in golf (and certainly the pin placement and alley in bowling) is always the same as it was yesterday with water hazards and sand traps always in the same place rather than in bridge where the playing field changes markedly on every hand making it entirely unpredictable as far as forecasting what might happen. There are neither bowling pins nor various physical hazards always visible and present in bridge, although the obstacles are there, but are all mental rather than body related.

Obviously much more could be said, all being even more negative about handicapped events in bridge, and although well intended to encourage more play would very soon be given up because of all the above factors, some of which, like incentives for better players to want to play being dashed, which, in turn, will cause little or no improvement in the lesser players who only have themselves to compete against causing the game itself to turn into a high card win contest instead of the fascinating game so many of us love.

Before leaving the subject, it should be mentioned, that KO team bridge play lends itself to handicap adjustment much better than do pair games, making that type of KO scoring rise to only a terrible and awful way of conducting a tournament instead of an off-the-charts laughable and disgraceful one which would represent the description of pair handicap tournaments.

In conclusion, but no less thought provoking, why have the above factors not been thoroughly brought to the LV BOD’s attention, before we attained the position in which we are now? Is it, with no ugly criticism meant to the hard working constituents of the BOD themselves, that their relative inexperience in our wonderful game is just not present among the included members of that group. For that reason, and SO MANY others, it becomes so necessary for willing volunteers such as Tom Grue and Bruce Rubin to become a part of the Board, if for no other justification than to be able to use their worthwhile knowledge, necessary experience, and general love for the high-level game (as well as being able to serve as mentors for our best and brightest who are only now novices), to nip these backward off-the-charts suggestions before they tend to pull our group apart and wreak havoc (if we let it) with our personal relationships.

Judy Kay-WolffOctober 27th, 2012 at 4:40 pm

Hi Jane:

I posted my comment above before I noticed yours. I think Bobby’s saga above will answer many of your great questions. It seems we are being controlled by some who know not what they are ‘backing’ and routinely and blindly go along with ‘the flow’.

I know you (as Bobby and I) are interested in what is best for the game but unless the populace wakes up, our Unit is in trouble.

JaneOctober 27th, 2012 at 9:35 pm

Thanks to Bobby for taking the time to explain all of this. This handicapped game idea sort of smells like that three day old fish. I don’t know why our tournament director has shown interest in offering handicapped games, but it seems very complicated, and would the rewards justify all the work it would require. Plus, the corruption that Bobby explained would happen makes me wonder why this type of game would even be considered.

I enjoy the tournaments that we have now, and it seems like we have lots of events to choose from. I feel very lucky to have three great tournaments right here in Las Vegas and always enjoy myself. Maybe if something is not broken, we should not try to fix it?

Judy Kay-WolffOctober 27th, 2012 at 11:20 pm

Jane:

As far as tournament events, your last sentence says it all but there is little doubt that something must be done about the impractical bylaws which are antiquated. When control freaks are at the helm surrounded by “yes” people, don’t expect too much.

And by the way, it wasn’t a tournament director who is gung ho on adding the event that Bobby vigorously advised against. It was the Tournament Chairman!

Cheers!

Judy

JaneOctober 27th, 2012 at 11:41 pm

Yes, of course, that was a typo by me. I meant tournament chairman. Thanks again to you and Bobby for bringing all of this to our attention and your support of our local clubs and their owners. Inquiring minds do want to know. Nice also for everyone interested to be able to share ideas and concerns.

Ray MischOctober 28th, 2012 at 12:22 pm

To me, this is not a clear-cut issue. I don’t know if it can be done in time for this year’s election, but it seems to me there should be a definition in the by-laws as to what constitutes “financial interest.”

My gut reaction is that the spouse of a club owner does have a financial interest in the club, but the spouse of a director does not. If this view is correct, per the by-laws, the Board has correctly disqualified Bruce, and incorrectly disqualified Tom.

But should it be that way? Perhaps a referendum could be put on the ballot as to what does constitute financial interest, and more fundamentally, a referendum on whether that interest should preclude a potential candidate from running for election.

I know Bruce Rubin very well, and know him to be a man of high integrity. I would be very confident that he would not use a Unit Board position to benefit his club’s well-being without proportional benefit to every other club.

I don’t really know Tom Grue, but I don’t at this point have any reason to doubt his ability or sincerity.

That being said, I think anyone dedicated enough (or stupid enough) to want to serve on the Board should be given the opportunity to run, and I have great respect for the current Board members who are willing to do mostly thankless jobs I’m unwilling to do myself.

bobby wolffOctober 28th, 2012 at 4:21 pm

Hi Ray,

Your well written discussion of the current so-called “bridge laws” problem is right-on.

However, although I am somewhat distant to the dilemma facing the BOD at this time, our unit needs some experience (obvious to me because of the discussion clearly leaving out the ultra important reasons for acting a certain way) in order to bring in the crucial factors which should lead in a slam dunk way to the obvious, and not to be disputed correct answer.

Yes, in some ways an old, not so wise, judge might say, “What’s the hurry, yes we will probably rectify the electing problem, but let’s wait till next year to do it”. Well, on this problem we need the correct answer and for the right reasons immediately before we decide on this very important, bothersome decision and unless we interpret those vague (though well-meaning words of caution about financial interests in the way necessary to get business and bridge experienced people on the BOD post haste) our unit may be making a serious mistake.

Your letter says it all about describing both of the candidates available, but time is of the essence and sometimes just a gut reaction to what is best for LV bridge should rule supreme, not just technicalities which easily could be interpreted so that it will be a win-win for bridge in general and Las Vegas in particular.

Judy Kay-WolffOctober 28th, 2012 at 5:34 pm

Ray:

Thanks for writing — and I like your idea about a referendum.

Let’s do something practical IMMEDIATELY with the bylaws so that we don’t have to wait until next year and allow the goings on of the Board to continue using personal financial interests to bar two terrific candidates from running for the Board. I guarantee you their “take” doesn’t amount to a row of beans.

I’d like to discuss the main issue (or excuse) of financial interest (via Sue Grue and Jane Rubin). Here is the background: Loretta Brown (who died in 2008) was the owner of the Las Vegas Bridge World held at The Charleston Heights Art Center on Brush Street. After her death, Dixie Perkinson inherited Loretta’s interest and was joined by Joanne Euler and later Jane Rubin and now this triumvirate are equal partners. The fabulous Art Center needed the space for their own use and the girls had to find another facility (but hard to equal in terms of size, cost, convenience of travel and most importantly — parking spaces for at least 70 cars). Finally (which appeared to be forever), Bruce Rubin succeded in helping the owners to find and negotiate a tolerable lease at the new site of The Las Vegas Bridge World on Flamingo Road which could hold as many as 35 tables if necessary. (Incidentally, though there are at least four other clubs I know of in LV and adjoining areas, most out of towners choose to play at LVBW). They serve snacks and desserts daily, charge $8.00 for regular games but on Mondays to encourage new players (0-999) it is only four bucks and six dollars to those over 999. Also their Sunday game is only $6.00. They give free plays to those who achieve 68% or more for ‘A’ players and lesser percentages for ‘B’ and ‘C’ players. This is a club that gives its all to the patrons — a far monetary strain from Honors in New York in the heart of Manhattan which charged $16.00 for the lunch/bridge experence (plus the availabilty of parking in the basement of the building for a reduced rate of something like $15). I can’t remember exactly as it was ten years ago and I am sure it is still comparable, if not more as everything is on the rise.

And, how about the Florida Clubs (in either Boca Raton, Palm Aire or Bal Harbor if I am not mistaken). One of them runs three sections on a regular basis almost every day with hoards of retirees in attendance. That is REAL MONEY.

How can the bylaws earmark the accruing “financial interests” of Sue Grue and even Jane Rubin (whose respective husbands — Tom and Bruce –were turned down by the Board because of some ludicrous Board policy which incidentally makes no mention of spouses) in the name of conflict of interests or any such
implication? Rubbish!

Something should be done pronto to correct this horrendous situation.

AlanOctober 28th, 2012 at 8:36 pm

Judy:

Good for you for pursuing this matter and calling the attention to the Unit and the entire bridge world to the fact that it is time 373 reviewed their bylaws and brought them up to date — allowing what is best for their group with fresh blood. It sounds like they like the status quo!

CPOctober 29th, 2012 at 4:08 am

I was curious if Robin ever got a reply to her letter to Barbara Dunkley, Unit President?

Judy Kay-WolffOctober 29th, 2012 at 2:47 pm

No, CP — not from Barbara but from Tom Shulman (Treasurer, Tournament Chair & District 17 Representative). Apparently, he wears three hats, runs the show and makes most of the decisions. I was shocked that Barbara did not answer as she is the President and it was addressed to her. However, Tom took over the situation.

It was a very polite letter and thanked Robin for her input and for being non-confrontational and said he would look into the issue of the bylaws which had not been changed in a long time.

However, it will not be soon enough as the issue was not addressed in years and the rejection of the two worthy candidates brought the ridiculousness of the clause to the forefront (and was not really clear or specific as far as most were concerned)!

Thank you for your interest.

Steven GaynorOctober 29th, 2012 at 7:49 pm

Hi

I have comments regarding handicapping pair games. We tried it a while ago and everyone HATED it. It ended up with people not attending the handicapped games and finding other games in which to play. Stratification or flighting makes much more sense. At least that way the winners win.

For team games, handicapping appears in KO’s where the masterpoint spread is significant. Everyone hates that, too, even the teams receiving IMPS. If you have to handicap your KO’s, do not hold the event, you are not attracting enough teams.

Ray MischOctober 29th, 2012 at 10:18 pm

It is fascinating to me to observe the emotions involved in this Unit Board controversy. I prefer to remain neutral, as several of my closest friends are in the middle of it, but where I am not neutral is in regard to the direction in which this discussion seems to be headed.

I am concerned that what I consider to be a minor disagreement over policy could turn into personal vitriol directed at good people on both sides of the issue.

I have no problem with anyone expressing his or her opinion (and standing up for it) — I’m simply making a plea for civility.

Robb GordonOctober 29th, 2012 at 11:32 pm

I didn’t read through this whole thread but I had to comment anyway. I did read Robin’s post (hi Robin!) and totally agree with her. I am actually shocked (and I thought nothing in the bridge world would shock me) that someone thought it wise to add such a rule. Clubs are the backbone of the ACBL. Even in these days of BBO etc, most players learn to play, learn about duplicate, and learn about the ACBL from local clubs. To exclude them from the governing body would be like excluding doctors from a hospital! There is NO conflict of interest with the possible exception of policies about holding games during local tournaments. 95% of the time what benefits one entity benefits the other.

As for the SPOUSE of a club owner, I find such a policy repugnant, outrageous, and if not codified likely illegal.

I have never owned a bridge club (although my parents had some weekly games 40-50 years ago) so I have no horse in this race except the betterment of bridge.

Judy Kay-WolffOctober 29th, 2012 at 11:34 pm

Steven:

I concur with your way of thinking about handicapped pair games as opposed to team games with the same format. It accomplishes nothing and drives people away from the event. However, when you have a czar at the helm, no one can convince him it is not good for bridge.

Judy Kay-WolffOctober 29th, 2012 at 11:56 pm

Ray:

This is not about civility.

It is about what is best for bridge and after consultation by the all-powerful decision maker, he disregarded what he was told (trying to dissuade him from scheduling the handicapped pair event) — but rumor has it, he has his mind made up regardless of what the local bridge public think or say.

I have spoken to former members of the Board who have quit as they don’t like to be “controlled” or manipulated when decisions should not be made based on the beliefs of ONE MAN (even though he holds two positions in the Unit). People have also expressed displeasure as they feel it could be a conflict of interest down the road.

At the duplicate today, I asked each East-West who came to my table about the handicap issue and before I could even finish the sentence, they spouted out vehement objections for that event to be scheduled on the agenda.

Also bear in mind that the Las Vegas Bridge World tried this person’s recommended “new” method of computer scoring on a trial basis and told him if they did not like it, they would go back to their original methods. When he was advised of this, he told them any person who plays at a club not using the “new” scoring method would not be allowed to play in this upcoming handicapped pair event.

IS THIS COERCION OR NOT? AND WHO WANTS A HANDICAPPED PAIR EVENT ANYWAY?

Judy Kay-WolffOctober 30th, 2012 at 12:07 am

Dear Robb:

You portrayed your thoughts elegantly and knowing you, it is sincere and comes from the heart and your passion for the game. Robin is still aghast at the position taken by the Unit to disallow any club affiliated person from serving on the board since she witnessed how vital club participation was for a couple decades in New York.

It makes me feel good that a person with your bridge experience and knowledge took such a strong position as did Bobby and I!

JSOctober 30th, 2012 at 5:02 am

I have a simple question. Why would good players participate in a Handicapped Pair event and have to spot the field? I don’t understand what the advantage is.
It sounds like an awful idea to me.

Judy Kay-WolffOctober 30th, 2012 at 5:14 am

I and a host of others agree with you 100%. It is such a flawed event. I can’t fathom the BOD would go for it — unless it is being done without their support.

JaneOctober 30th, 2012 at 3:39 pm

It seems we have two separate and very important issues on the table. The first one is the need to review and revise the antiquated by laws that are in effect. The second issue is the potential introduction of handicapped games at our local clubs and tournaments. The first issue needs to be addressed asap in MHO, especially for folks who want to run for the board but may have a supposed conflict of interest. The second issue may never happen if the voice of reason can be heard. From what I have been reading and from what I heard discussed yesterday at the club, no one wants handicapped events. If no one wants them, then no one will play in them, and then the event does not draw any attendance. And then this event makes no money. Bingo!

The Bridegresults program is tied into the handicapped game issue as well. One of our local clubs never signed up to use Bridgeresults, and it appears that one of our other clubs will soon be dropping Bridgeresults, as is their choice. If the other clubs in our area follow along, then will the handicapped game concept go away? I don’t mean to over simplify this, and I realize I could be missing something since I am not a club owner, a director, or a board member.

The individuals involved with the Bridgeresults program were bullish in their dealings with the clubs, but the clubs can opt out of using the program. This won’t excuse the behavior, but it is a solution.

I still wonder if the ACBL has suggested that handicapped games be added to tournaments, or if this idea was mostly coming from our local tournament chairman, and if so, why? If the ACBL has requested, or suggested, that handicapped games be considered, is there something in writing that we can see from them to explain their thinking? Even if there is, I don’t think it will succeed after hearing the reaction from our local players. I can’t imagine that other parts of the country would be any more supportive either.

Onward and upward. I agree with Ray and hope we all will be civilized and try to work through these issues with calm and reason.

Judy Kay-WolffOctober 30th, 2012 at 5:27 pm

Jane:

I couldn’t agree with you more about the preposterous methods the Unit uses of going about its alleged business. However, when an individual makes unilateral decisions (despite protests), it is a losing proposition for the Unit.

I would imagine the ones who SHOULD BE responsible for the decisions are the Board Members listed below on our website unless the newer, less confident members have been brainwashed. They are ALL accountable for the actions of the Board and here they are in living color for you to peruse. (I happen to know a couple who were vehemently against the issue of “spouses” exclusion discussed earlier but were outvoted):

Barbara Dunkley – President
Mike McClain – Vice President & Supplies
Gary McGough – Secretary
Tom Shulman -Treasurer, Tournament Chair
& District 17 Representative
Justine Hancock -Webmaster

Open Position

Jill Stokke – Unit Games

Jay Hardy – Member at Large

Edythe Goldberg (0-299) Representative

JeffOctober 30th, 2012 at 9:14 pm

Ms. Kay-Wolff,

I appreciate the opportunity to express my viewpoint on this discussion forum you have provided. I should probably point out that I am retired from bridge, so I also have no horse in this race, to use Mr. Gordon’s phrase. That being said, the preceding lines may be the only civil thing I say in this letter, but since as you say in your reply to Mr. Misch “this is not about civility,” you obviously will have no problem with any uncivil comments I may make about you.

Point by point:

1. I agree that Mr. Grue and Mr. Rubin should be allowed to run for the board. However, there is no guarantee that they would win. My guess is that your divisive commentary (understandable as it may be, given that this is not about civility) would have the effect of lowering their vote totals.

2. Keeping in mind that this is not about civility, you apparently are saying that you are one of the few people aware enough to recognize that the only possible reasons the board has for blocking your preferred candidates are a.) that allowing these candidates to run would “jeopardize their own continuance on the board,” and b.) so that “they may contain [sic] the controlling interest.” And you apparently know for a fact that those at the helm are “hell-bent” on having individuals “not invade their little castle.” So you are a psychotherapist, or perhaps a mind-reader?

3. I would be extremely insulted/offended if I were a board member with your characterization of the board as “brainwashed,” and nothing more than mindless “yes-men” who are only there to rubber-stamp Mr. Shulman’s or Ms. Dunkley’s agenda. But then again, because this is not about civility, you’re saying no one should take offense even when you’re impugning the character of fellow bridge players, correct?

4. As we are agreed this is not about civility; rather, as you say, “what is best for bridge,” I guess we should consider ourselves fortunate to have someone such as yourself to be the arbiter of what is in fact best for bridge, thoughtfully saving us the trouble of deciding this for ourselves. Ironically, this seems to be the same thing you’re accusing the board leadership of doing. Your opinion is certainly as valid as mine or anyone else’s, as long as it is expressed as opinion and not dictum.

Anyway, thanks again for letting me speak. Don’t forget to include me on your Christmas card list.

Jeff

Judy Kay-WolffOctober 30th, 2012 at 11:30 pm

TO JEFF:

YOU SEEM TO HAVE SO MUCH TO SAY, WHY DON’T YOU INCLUDE YOUR LAST NAME SO EVERYONE WILL KNOW JUST WHO YOU ARE AND ARE SUCH AN AUTHORITY WITHOUT BEING HERE TO SEE THE ACTION IN LIVING COLOR???

P.S. YOU NEEDN’T WORRY ABOUT CHRISTMAS GREETINGS. I WAS THINKING MORE ALONG THE LINES OF A CONDOLENCE CARD.

bobby wolffOctober 31st, 2012 at 12:16 am

Hi Jeff,

Since there is probably more than one Jeff in the bridge world, would it be too uncivil to ask you to give your full name so that, when we begin this discussion we will be more or less on like terms.

All of us should practice what you call civility, which is usually defined as polite behavior, however, in case you didn’t notice it, your sarcasm could be considered uncivil, but as far as I am concerned I will ignore it and discuss the main issues.

To begin with, Judy and I have played with Tom Shulman and partner, usually John Scibelli, in several different team games and found him to be very pleasant, quiet and good teammates, so his bridge personality as a player is not in question.

However, when he starts suggesting new events, particularly ones which, to my knowledge, have certainly not been run before (or, if so, have been kept hidden) such as handicapped pair games, he needs to come forward and discuss such things with knowledgeable, experienced, administrators who have walked the walk.

Instead to basically say (I was told), it makes no difference what anyone else says, “my decision is to have these games and all I am getting ready to do is decide when”.

You may think that these words are civil, but, if so, I disagree with you. He apparently followed that up by demanding that all the bridge clubs in town must use a bridge service provider, Bridge Results, which according to at least one bridge club and likely two, LV Bridge World and the Henderson club, prefer to use what they consider a service provider which does a better job. Tom then demanded that if everyone does not use Bridge Results then their players would not be allowed to participate in this new event, acting as if alone and, of course, calling all the shots.

Since then, and you can read the comments for yourself, almost everyone who was asked, and all the experienced players who replied had no reason not to be objective, and all denounced what was being recommended by Tom as nothing short of awful.

To me, his statement as to his intent was as uncivil as it can be, and, in addition was both demeaning to all those who offered their opinions as well as, of course, his judgment is as off base as remarks can ever get.

Although I have no idea of why Tom feels like he does, his opinion, at least to me, wreaks of having a different agenda and one which has not been disclosed.

When one, as you have done, discusses political strategy, I must admit that you are probably right, and when one (like Tom, who is well-liked) is impugned, others, like you, will usually come to his aid, but that does not alter the facts that he is off-the-wall in the direction he has chosen.

Nothing more is left for me to say. Obviously this whole conundrum is totally meaningless to me, but my life-long love of bridge causes me to at least attempt to fight its foes and come to the aid of what undoubtedly is terrible and off-the-charts wrong, for the game itself.

CHUCKOctober 31st, 2012 at 5:05 pm

Judy:

If I am understanding correctly, with this new Bridge Results and its ramifications, all you have to do is highlight a person’s name and their past scores appear. What if it is a weak player and they don’t want their results advertised? Don’t you think that is an invasion of privacy? I do!

All that glitters is not gold, so they say.

Judy Kay-WolffOctober 31st, 2012 at 11:38 pm

Chuck:

I certainly agree with you.

The individual’s picture and scores appear when their name is highlighted. Who gave anyone permission to do that. Yet our Unit is pressing (or at least the head honcho) for all clubs to use Bridge Results. I surveyed the people at the club and NOT ONE PERSON (including a couple of directors) thought it was proper — let alone legal. They have expressed strong feelings about getting “pushed around” by the powers that be. It was a unanimous aura that prevailed but I understand the Las Vegas Bridge World will stand up to the mandate and on or around December 1st will return to their original method of computer scoring.

Yes, Chuck, it is definitely an invasion of privacy!

CharlynNovember 1st, 2012 at 4:30 am

Regarding the bylaws, I just googled “bridge unit bylaws” and found eleven of them online. I reviewed these and found that only one excludes “club owners and directors” and say nothing about spouses. The other ten specify only that a board member must be a “member in good standing.”

The ACBL also has boilerplate bylaws, which establish a starting set of rules for each unit. These also specify that a board member must be “in good standing.”

Time for Unit 373 a bylaw makeover?

Judy Kay-WolffNovember 1st, 2012 at 5:23 am

Charlyn:

Thanks for doing all the research and confirming our suspicions that this is not the normal way a Unit conducts business. It is even more meaningful coming from a former Board Member who resigned of her own free will and continues to serve the game in several capacities.

My daughter Robin pointed out the following in her letter to the President (Barbara Dunkley) but which was answered by Tom Shulman who is wearing three hats: Tournament Chairman, Treasurer of the Unit and Representative to the District Board (plus chief letter answerer): When she was both New York Unit President and later District President she witnessed strong Board representation by most club owners, directors, etc. as they have their fingers on the pulse of the players and it was imperative they be included on the BOD.

Incidentally, I thought it was weird that the person to whom the letter was addressed did not respond — but I am getting accustomed to the unorthodox happenings here.

Thanks again for doing your homework and making it public and yes it is Time for Unit 373 to institute a bylaw makeover!

Judy

MarthaNovember 1st, 2012 at 5:49 pm

I will give my opinion on the BOD issue.

I feel that Tom Grue has every right to run for the board. His wife does NOT have a financial interest in the club. She is a paid employee. She does not make decisions concerning the financial running of the the club or profit from the financial income of the club. She works, gets paid and goes home. That is simple.

On the other hand, Bruce Rubin, does have a financial interest in the club. His wife derives income from the success of the club, or creates tax losses from the lack of success of the club. Nevada is a community property state and what belongs to one belongs to the oher. Filing joint inome tax returns allows both to benefit from profits or losses. This is a financial interest and according to the bylaws he is not eligible to run. I don’t understand the board voting on overruling a bylaw. The board needs to change the law, if that is what they want, not make exceptions based on individual cases. This should be presented to the general membership for a vote. Now, why would a club owner want to change that law? We can see that it has created quite a lot of contoversy. But, if you elect Bruce Rubin you have one member who shouldn’t vote on that issue.

Not to be allowed to vote on club issues gives the board one less voice. Many, if not all, of the issues voted on ultimately will affect the clubs. Having been on the board for many years I know this is true. Many if not all of our discussions involved how an issue would affect a club, that was first and foremost in our thinking as board members. The tournaments affect the clubs, the unit games affect the clubs. The bottom line is everything ultimately affects the clubs. The club owners are operating private businesses and should not be involved in the politics of running the unit.

Jeff HNovember 1st, 2012 at 5:52 pm

I am curious about the objection to handicapped pairs. One of the local clubs has what was originally billed as a mentor/mentee paiirs game. It uses a handicap (based on master points) to even things out. There are mp awards for finishing well with or without a handicap. Seems as popular as any of the other evening club games.

Judy Kay-WolffNovember 1st, 2012 at 7:09 pm

Jeff H.

Let me begin by saying that it is very nice that the mentor plays with the mentee.

However, to consider master points as a gage of handicapping a bridge event is nothing short of laughable. In most cases, the only useful measure of master points is in determining who has played the most often and to not understand that is a sign of inexperience. The concensus at our club is close to 100% that they would not play in a handicapped PAIR event.

Before signing off, since master points only represent attendance prizes, particularly so since the ACBL saw fit to install inflationary value to the issuance of them in the last few years, it would be even more ridiculous to have qualifying events (this thought having been offered) in order to determine handicap, which would then, no doubt, cause intentional dumping by players who seek greater handicap when those events begin, the exact opposite of what should be the intention of a conscientious bridge administrator.

Judy

pimoNovember 1st, 2012 at 7:51 pm

I am sure that if the unit asked Babara Dunkley and/or Tom Shulman to step down that they would. They have worked for years as a team for the betterment of bridge in Las Vegas. Thank you

Judy Kay-WolffNovember 1st, 2012 at 9:08 pm

Martha:

Why is this Unit (373) different than all other units that we have checked into all over the country where I know active, longstanding members? Most units think it is IMPERATIVE that club owners be voting board members (of course recusing themselves on issues involving individual clubs) — but that is just human decency.

I don’t think it is a question of voting on the by-laws but rather a question of interpretting them. The word ‘spouse’ is nowhere to be seen and the Board took it upon themselves to reject Tom and Bruce whom, I am sure are more knowledgeable and better equipped to make bridge related decisions than some now serving.

Just because this Unit is pigheaded about deciphering its bylaws — it doesn’t make it right.

Judy

Judy Kay-WolffNovember 1st, 2012 at 9:28 pm

Pimo:

No one has raised the issue of the pair “stepping down” although when I spoke to Barbara before Robin wrote her the letter, in frustration she confessed “she has had it” and was thinking of stepping down. It appears she is also fed up with some of the shenanigans but was not specific.

As far as people on the BOD working hard, I am accustomed to that as they were top notch in my home town of Philadelphia where I witnessed their efforts for over forty years. If they don’t, they should not be on the slate or elected!!!

Judy

MarthaNovember 2nd, 2012 at 5:58 am

Now, after studying all the responses above, I see this is a double edged issue.

First, we have the election which I have already commented upon.

Second, we have the potential Handicapped Pair Game and all that ensues from it’s tendrils. Reading the comments, it appears that the clubs must use the prescribed Bridge Results scoring program. This program not only gives the duplicate scores but much more. With the flick of a button you can have my picture, point total, average results and perhaps where I played last, when and with whom.

Do we really want this displayed for all to see? I don’t think so — especially the part about where and when. Since this isn’t free, I am reading about strong arm tactics to “encourage” the use of said program. I also read that unless you play at clubs using this “app” you will not be eligible for the new proposed Handicapped Pair Game. This sounds like an event that should be tabled before it gets off the ground.

After reading Bobby Wolff’s comments, why in God’s green earth would you consider it? There is more to it than meets the eye. Why? Obviously the initial provider may have much to gain and it would be an unnecessary cost to the clubs.

The financial dealings of Unit 373 and District 17 are in the hands of one person — and the man with the power to write checks is also the Las Vegas Tournament Chairman, District 17 Board Member, Unit 373 Board Member and Unit 373 Treasurer. A good many hats for one person. Further — we find mandates to clubs concerning scoring “apps.”

There is more going on here than arguing over whether or not Tom Grue can run for the Board.

Judy Kay-WolffNovember 2nd, 2012 at 6:15 am

Martha:

I am learning new things every day. I did not play this afternoon but happened to check to see the site to see how many tables were in play. Much to my shock, I observed a new format. Instead of listing the partnerships as they usually do (by pair numbers in order for NS and EW, they listed the names of the pairs in numerical order (1 through 30 as there were fifteen tables in play) and they presented the results by scores (starting with the winning pair and going down to the bottom of the heap). How would you like it if you finished No. 30 and had it published that you brought up the rear?

Also, if you hit the word ‘New’ you can see an actual graph of anyone’s recent performances (like it’s really your business).

So much for this wonderful new concept of “Bridge Results!”

MarthaNovember 2nd, 2012 at 2:52 pm

I remember years ago, in a tournament after the results were hung, a player taking a small pair of scissors and cutting her score from the sheet. So, no, people do not like their less than stellar results published for all to see. Yes, there also was the time when Pimo was looking on the floor for the (1) that had fallen off his score sheet. The 99 certainly must have been 199.

bobby wolffNovember 2nd, 2012 at 4:33 pm

Hi Martha,

Or possibly 299 which would have only left 13 match points for the opponents, just like sellers of houses who prefer as little left on the table as possible. Nothing personal, just business!

In the tried and unlikely true way BridgeResults does it, Neon Lights couldn’t emphasize it more. Oh well, Obama wearing ear prompts connected to his debate specialist and information gatherer in his debate ears aren’t that big an advantage probably compared to the unethical things Bain Capital did in the past.

Some country, America! It has come a long way since I was a pup, but unfortunately the direction is straight down.

Judy Kay-WolffNovember 3rd, 2012 at 2:44 pm

The overwhelming consensus of opinion of the attendees at The Las Vegas Bridge World is that the new fangled way of presenting the field’s result on their web site via “Bridge Results” influence (in numerical order from the winners down to the last pair) was offensive to the lowest score which also listed their embarrassing percentage (in one case about 27%) and have reverted back to their original humane way of posting the scores of the day (by normal pair order). Congratulations to LVBW for listening to their loyal patrons and sparing the bottom pairs the humiliation of being singled out in living color!

Jane ANovember 4th, 2012 at 1:51 am

Hi everyone,

Just wanted to clarify that the posts under my name, Jane, are not those of Jane Rubin. Jane Rubin is a very good friend, but I not the one who is part owner of one of our local clubs. I am “the other Jane”. Apparently, some of the folks thought my posts were coming from Jane Rubin. She may decide to join the fun at some point, but so far, it has just been me.

Thanks, and sorry for any confusion. I will add the letter A after my name from now on.

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