President's Message


May 12, 2016

The state of the American Bridge Association is HIGH, but only because of the enthusiasm and active participation from you our members.  Your executive board and the board of directors are diligently working to meet your vigor and to stabilize our finances and tournament operations.  In an effort to meet these challenges, your executive committee met at ABA Headquarters for two days to streamline our activities.

Finances remain the highest priority and much is being done to curb spending.  Our review of the 2015 audit report indicates an overspending for the year and this report will be made available for your review.  We are aggressively adjusting the 2016 budget and this will be made available for your review once it is approved.  The majority of revenue for the remainder of the year will come from the Summer National and sanction fees.  We encourage you to have your sanctioned games so that revenue is available to us.  We continue to evaluate the allowance chart and will be making adjustments.  We had a moratorium on per diem for our national tournaments and released these funds for the Spring Tournament.  A review of our current spending indicates that we may have released these funds prematurely.  So we will continue to hold those funds for the Summer National until we are certain we can afford to release them.  I ask you all to bear with us as it isn’t easy to make changes to our policies and operations and keep everyone happy.  Stabilizing the financial course of the ABA has to be our primary concern. 

Recruitment has to be the next item on our list of priorities.; Remember our initiative for this year is “EVERYONE BRING ONE” and we ask you to please support this program. Are we asking too much of you to support a member for 2016?  Encourage new members, reclaim former members and offer to pay or share in the payment of their dues for the year.  You the ABA members are the life’s blood of this initiative, please support this effort. 

“ABA PRIDE”, our name badge initiative is having some success, but again you are the mainstay to this project.  Encourage your club members to order and wear their name badge as proud members of the American Bridge Association and their club.  As a club with support from your members, you can order them in bulk and let the member repay you when they arrive for pickup.  It would certainly be a proud moment to attend a Sectional or National and see everyone there proudly displaying ABA PRIDE.

You all did an outstanding job assisting the directing staff during the Spring National and they applaud your efforts and ask for your assistance at all tournaments.  If you register early and are in your seats early, they can start the games on time and we can even finish early.  We have made some changes to the cell phone policy, but you are still penalized if the phone rings and more if you answer and are talking on the phone during play.  Please CELL PHONES OFF in the playing area.  ZERO TOLERANCE is always in effect and if you encounter or witness a policy violation, contact a director immediately as they are all prepared to assist you. 

We have not change our benefit support game and are still supporting the Alzheimer’s Foundation.The foundation is running the LONGEST DAY GAME on June 20, 2016.  We supported this in the past and have been request to support it again. 

As we continue our OUTREACH efforts, we are receiving invitations to participate with our ACBL partners.  As we move forward, it is hoped that we will be able to play in each other’s game and receive the appropriate points.  More to follow as policies develop, meanwhile for those of you in the North Carolina/South Carolina area, see the attached link to an ACBL Unit schedule as they desire to fellowship with us.  Let us all reach out by inviting our ACBL counterparts to join us in play and to encounter the hospitality and comradery of the ABA community.  Together we can make this work and bring about a new level of unity to bridge is America.