New rules for 2020

Players should be aware of some recent decisions by the ACBL Board of Directors which will take effect in 2020.

The ACBL will begin incrementally increasing the age requirement for Senior events to 65. So on Jan. 1, the age for ACBL Senior events increases to 62. In 2021, the Senior age will be 63; in 2022, it will be 64; and in 2023, the Senior definition will be 65. This change was made in part to make the ACBL definition of Senior match the one used by the World Bridge Federation.

Note, however, that the Board added a slight change to this definition at its meetings this week in San Francisco: Anyone who was previously eligible to play in a Senior event will be “grandfathered in,” i.e., they will continue to be eligible under the new guidelines. Therefore, anyone born prior to Jan. 1, 1959, may continue to play in Senior contests.

This new definition applies to Senior events throughout the ACBL, not just the NABCs.

In a related move, the age restriction for the Super Senior Pairs held each year at the Fall NABC has been increased to 75 (from 70) effective Jan. 1. (The Super Senior Pairs in San Francisco is not affected by this new rule: 70-year-olds can still play here.)

Another change approved by the Board requires any player who has won an open NABC contest or equivalent event (such as a world championship title or the U.S./Canadian team trials) to be treated as if they possess at least 10,000 masterpoints (if they haven’t already acquired that total) for the purposes of flighting, stratification and KO bracketing. Essentially, anyone who has won an open NABC title can’t play in a masterpoint-restricted event, including the so-called “10K” events at NABCs, where participation is limited to players with less than 10,000 points.