Chris Hasney

Stop the Madness? There’s Still Time

The ACBL has announced new requirements for the Life Master designation effective 1/1/10.  I am on record as opposing this change.  I would prefer keeping the current structure while going back to the old ways before all the strati-flighting nonsense.  That alone would fix the perceived problem of masterpoint inflation.

Clubs can vote with their sanctions.  All that is necessary is canceling one or two ACBL-sanctioned games a week in favor or an afternoon of rubber or party bridge with a director, some nice eats, and maybe supervised play or a supervised social duplicate.  That would hit the organization right in the wallet, and get some attention.  It might also attract new players who refuse to join us at sanctioned duplicate because it’s perceived as cut throat and not fun.

I’d be interested in comments.


Ray LeeMay 4th, 2009 at 9:19 pm

It’s not just stratiflighting — there really has been huge MP inflation, even in the last 20 years. In 1992, Linda and I came 2nd in the National Mixed Pairs, and got a whole 50 MPs. About 5 years ago, we won the fourth bracket or so of a Regional KO, in which we never played anyone who would have broken average in a club game: result, 46 MPs. Ridiculous. The ACBL introduced all kinds of pigmented points to try to make it a little harder to become a LM, then gradually nerfed every requirement. You can win gold points in a club game these days — yet a British international friend of mine will never be a LM because he’ll never play a Sectional and win the required Silver points. If you really want to turn the clock back to the 1960s, when I became an LM, you’d need to raise the bar not to 500 but to 1500 or 2000 points.

So in the end, the LM designation is now meaningless. Why bother changing it to 500. Who cares anyway?

LindaMay 7th, 2009 at 3:41 am

Chris I am not sure why you oppose the change to 500 master points. It is obviously much easier to get master points now than even 10 years ago, never mind 50 years ago or more when they set up the rules for life master. I would rather get rid of all the weird colored points which are completely meaningless (except for getting some people out to sectionals for a while). I don’t think it matters what the number is but 500 seems a fairly achievable goal anyway.

I suppose that the name should be changed at the same time since it used to relate to being a life member of the ACBL something that doesn’t really exist any more. Maybe you could keep 300 master points and call it “Bridge Player” and say 500 master points and at least 3 Blue Ribbon qualifications and call that “Better Bridge Player”. Someone can think up the names.

The goal should be to demonstrate ability at the game for the title to be meaningful and to do that it can’t be strictly cumulative whether its earned in large unflighted pairs games or flighted knockouts.

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