From the President

ACBL Board tackles governance changes, cheating issues

By Russ Jones, ACBL President

The Board of Director (BOD) meetings from the Memphis NABC are now in the history books. The Board met for two long, productive days to discuss various motions, approve the 2019 budget, and discuss the development of a strategic plan to be put in place for 2020. In addition, the governance committee of the BOD arrived in Memphis a day earlier than usual to work on the first draft of a new governance plan, which was discussed at the Board of Governors (BOG) meeting in Memphis.

While still very much in the development stages, the initial draft includes two governing bodies – the Executive Board (now the BOD) and the Senate (now the BOG). The Executive Board would consist of approximately nine members and would be charged with the general overall guidance of the League with focus on strategic planning, accounting, and Executive Director review. The Senate would be charged with the oversight of all bridge-related business. This would include tournaments, masterpoints, Hall of Fame, NABC scheduling, etc.

There is a lot of work to be done on this plan and a lot of questions to be answered. We currently have a task force composed of BOD/BOG members who will be meeting electronically over the next couple of months and face-to-face at the Las Vegas NABC. We welcome your thoughts and ideas.

One of the motions passed in Memphis was a BOG proposal to permanently expel players convicted of collusive cheating without the possibility of readmission. The final versions of the motion that passed would apply to “premeditated collusive cheating at an NABC or similar event.” Also, anyone that has been suspended in the past for cheating will now have a mandatory five-year probation, *if* readmitted. The BOD and BOG wish to send a message to those who spoil our great game by cheating that it will not be tolerated.

Another motion that passed was a directive from the Board to ACBL management to develop a policy to allow for the voluntary relinquishment of NABC titles (for cases in which teammates have been convicted of collusive cheating). The details of this policy will be announced soon.

Finally, remember that I am available on social media at ACBL Pres on Facebook and @ACBL_Pres on Twitter.