ABF Management Committee Meeting February 24-25, 2018


ABF Management Committee Meeting February 24-25, 2018

AGM Preparation

A significant part of the meeting was devoted to preparation for the ABF AGM which will be held at the Vibe Hotel, Canberra Airport on 28 and 29 April 2018, commencing at 9.30am on Saturday and 9.00am on Sunday. The MC looks forward to seeing all Councillors there!

The AGM will follow the format successfully introduced in 2017 with the formal AGM agenda, followed by presentations and workshops.

Peter Cox made a presentation to the MC meeting on the results of his recent survey and an early draft of the Marketing Strategy. Peter will be invited to attend the workshop part of the AGM so that he can make a similar presentation to Council.

Asia Cup

Congratulation to the following players who will represent Australia at the Asia Cup:

 Men’s Team: Phil Markey, Joe Haffer, Max Henbest, David Wiltshire, Andy Hung, Sartaj Hans.

 Women’s Team: Karen Creet, Sheila Bird, Viv Wood, Jane Reynolds, Jenny Thompson, Eva Caplan.

Seniors Team: Bruce Neill, Avi Kanetkar, Martin Bloom, Nigel Rosendorff, Warren Lazer, Pauline Gumby.

Nominations have also been sought for a Mixed team, Super-mixed team and 2nd self-funded teams for the three major categories above.

The process for determining teams was difficult and great care was taken to avoid potential conflicts of interest. The President, Bruce Neill, recused himself from all discussions of how the teams should be formed in light of his third placing in the Seniors’ Playoff. Management Committee Member Kim Frazer also recused herself in light of her third placing in the Women’s Playoff, until after she had declined a place in the Women’s team.

The process was complicated by the late and unforeseen decision of the Asia Cup organisers to follow the Asia Games “Olympic format” include only Men’s, Women’s, Mixed and “SuperMixed” event categories. At a very late stage, a Seniors’ category was added, and later again we received information that we have the option of sending extra teams.

Since the ABF does not conduct Men’s playoffs the ABF Management Committee (excluding the recused members), with advice from the Tournament Committee, decided to refer to the results of the ABF Open, Women’s and Senior Playoffs as a guide.

This was clearly not a perfect fit, in particular for the pair placed fifth in the Open Playoffs, which as a mixed partnership were not eligible for a Men’s team but were eligible to join a Senior Team. Recognising this, the ABF Management Committee (still without any input from recused members), made a decision to recognise them as an eligible Senior pair. So, when only two positive responses were received after inviting place getters 1-5 in the Seniors’ Playoffs to participate in the Asia Cup, the committee made a decision to offer them a place in the Seniors’ team. In this unprecedented situation, this seemed to be a reasonable and pragmatic decision, taking all of the circumstances into account. However a protest about the outcome has been received and is being considered by General Counsel.

The MC will be reviewing the ABF policy for non-target events to try for more resilience in case of the need for selection for “Olympic style” events and also to define a clearer policy on Captains for non-target events.

Running a WBF Event in 2021

Bruce Neill met with WBF President Rona at the GCC. There was no change in negotiation positions and a final recommendation will be made to Council at the AGM.

WBF On-line Youth Championship

In addition to the WBF World Wide Bridge Contest and the WBF Women’s On-line Spring Festival, the WBF has advised that it will be running its first On-line Youth Championship from March to July 2018. There will be 2 categories, Under 26s and Under 16s.

We have only recently received notification of this new initiative and teams must be advised by 7th March.

The current Under 26 team has been invited to play. The MC believes that this is an ideal opportunity for our Under16 to gain some exposure to international competition and so we are contacting some of our promising young players directly to see if Australia can field a suitable team.  In subsequent years we may be able to use this event to bring forward our young players as part of a more structured development process.

Ben Thompson new WBF Zone 7 President

The ABF congratulates Ben Thompson who was elected as Zone 7 President and Member of the WBF Executive Council at the recent Meeting of WBF Zone 7, South Pacific which took place during the GCC.  Ben’s role will start from October 2018, after the end of the Orlando World Bridge Series.

Ben will replace John Wignall, WBF First Vice President and Member of the WBF Committee of Honour, who will retire at the Orlando Meeting after 32 years of outstanding services to the WBF.

Directors Code of Conduct

As part of Directing initiatives John Brockwell is developing a Code of Conduct for Directors. The MC reviewed a draft of this document which John hopes to finalise during 2018.

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The Management Committee welcomes feedback and suggestions on these or other subjects. The next MC meeting is immediately following the AGM on 29th April.


ABF Management Committee:
Bruce Neill (President), Allison Stralow (Secretary), Roy Nixon (Treasurer), Dallas Cooper (MC Member), Kim Frazer (MC Member).
Russel Harms (General Counsel), Jane Rasmussen (Executive Secretary

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