Judy Kay-Wolff


When I learned that Russ Arnold and Eric Kokish were elected to the ACBL HALL OF FAME Blackwood and von Zedtwitz categories respectively, I did a double-take that that no one received enough votes in the Primary Hall of Fame Category. 

I scoured my computer’s ACBL Site to see if this had ever happened since its reincarnation in 1995 (after a hiatus of almost 30 years) when they listed three categories:   The elite Hall of Fame Award honored its top heroes primarily for exceptional expertise, adequate sportsmanship and extremely honorable ethics.   The von Zedtwitz Award  (for living or dead candidates) was for those who did not get voted in earlier, although in the opinion of some, having the necessary playing credentials, but for the fact that the current group of conscientious electors did not have enough information on them.  A third award for basically a different reason (although the recipient may have been a successful player) was for outstanding contributions outside of being a world class player.

Nowhere to be found was a breakdown of the three Awards.   They were all garbled together so no one could distinguish a Hall of Famer elected on the world class player ballot from the others … either players overlooked earlier or merely hardworking contributors to the game in so many other important areas.   What is the reason?   Politics?  Carelessness?   Indifference?   Not wanting to hurt anyone’s feelings?   After all, the public is entitled to know who received which awards and not set it up as a free for all when they look over the recipients.   I believe the ACBL site should revert back to the three distinguished categories rather than place them altogether, making them like a pig in a poke.


MitchMarch 24th, 2011 at 8:33 pm

Yes, I remember when they were broken down into three categories. Why on earth should they make a conglomerate of the winners rather than break them down into their earned divisions. STRANGE!

Judy Kay-WolffMarch 24th, 2011 at 8:45 pm

I can think of no legitimate reason for the about face. Can anyone? There is a vast difference among the three categories so why are they bunching them together?

Doesn’t make sense to me. Am I missing something other than the obvious????

John Howard GibsonMarch 25th, 2011 at 2:50 am

HBJ : What you are quite rightly suspicious of ( and not missing at all ) is that where boundaries are blurred or possible non-existant, selection committees have much greater scope and flexibility to do basically what they want. It’s the perfect scenario to get up to all sorts of shenanigans. Why even Bigot-Johnson now stands a good chance of getting in.

Judy Kay-WolffMarch 25th, 2011 at 4:31 am


If there was a category for humor, you would win it hands down.

However, it is disconcerting that the ACBL administrators or HOF Committee turned it into a potpourri, not being able to tell a player without a scorecard. Pray tell — should Abner Doubleday (the inventory of baseball) be in the same category as possibly the greatest player of all time (without steroids) TY COBB? Heavens no!

Dumping these winners into a melting pot defeats the purpose of the specific magnificent honors — especially to the greatest heroes our game has ever witnessed.

What could possibly make the ACBL administrators or HOF Committee do such an asinine thing whereas before the categories were listed separately and the winners rightfully recognized. Does anyone have a fair, rational answer or explanation? It is pure unadulterated poppycock to me!

If I’m not mistaken, in this game we used to call a spade a spade!

Georgiana GatesMarch 25th, 2011 at 5:02 am

Judy, do you think that Gail Greenberg was hurt by her political views (the Shanghai incident)?

Judy Kay-WolffMarch 25th, 2011 at 6:01 am

Dear Georgiana,

An interesting question and hard to tell, but life’s experiences tell all of us there are many patriotic Americans who usually remain silent, but like elephants, never forget.

TraceyMarch 25th, 2011 at 6:56 am

The Hall of Fame members are listed by category on the Foundation for the Preservation and Advancement of Bridge website – http://www.fpabridge.org

Judy Kay-WolffMarch 25th, 2011 at 10:58 am

Thanks heaps Tracey. Had it not been for you, no one would have had a clue where to look for it. Perhaps there should be some reference to it on the ACBL Hall of Fame site.

And, why on earth would they name the highest honor in our game THE OPEN AWARD? Really misleading and stupid. What a misnomer!!!!

But I do appreciate your unraveling the secret site for us. Now the readers can distinguish and understand the three categories.



PaulMarch 30th, 2011 at 9:20 am


I just wanted to mention that Abner Doubleday did not invent baseball. It’s a myth that was debunked years ago.


Judy Kay-WolffMarch 30th, 2011 at 2:34 pm

Dear Paul:

Thanks for the interesting tidbit.

Yes, I was aware that others were credited with inventing BB. I didn’t care if it was Alexander Cartwright, Abner Doubleday or Lil Abner but Doubleday struck a chord with most, so I used his name. My purpose was only to distinguish the supreme players from all others who have contributed to the game in other capacities.