ABF Management Committee Meeting May 11, 2020


ABF Management Committee Meeting May 11, 2020

Major Items and Decisions

The 2020-2022 ABF Management Committee held its first virtual meeting.

Framework and guidelines for rebooting Club Bridge

The Federal Government has released a three-stage plan to ease current restrictions. States and Territories are beginning to lift some restrictions and will do so at different rates and sometime in the future players will be able to return to the bridge table at club, state and national events. Dr Andrew Slutzkin, a member of Moonee Valley Bridge Club, has agreed to develop the minimum hygiene standards for all tournaments. This would include all sessions of bridge conducted by affiliated clubs, state and territory organisations and of course the ABF itself.

Capitation Fees

Clubs that have not already collected the ABF capitation fees from their members will not have to pay recently received invoices for those fees until 90 days following the resumption club bridge. We hope that this will ease the current burden of those clubs struggling with no income during the current Covid-19 crisis. The ABF has also deferred increases in capitation fees until 2022.

Plans for ABF Licensed Events

Coffs Coast (August 11 – 16)

Swan River (August 22 – 23)

Territory Gold (August 26 – 30)

The Tournament Organisers, in consultation with their State and Territory organisation, will determine the viability of holding each tournament. The ABF will support their decision in determining the continuation or cancellation of the events providing the decision in accordance with government guidelines for indoor events. The events will still be Gold Point events but if interstate travel excludes players from interstate PQP’s will not be allocated.

NZB and ABF Meetings

The ABF President, Secretary and Treasurer have had Zoom meetings with the Chairman, Secretary and Treasurer of New Zealand Bridge to discuss various issues facing National Bridge Organisations during the Covid-19 lockdown. We also discussed the lack of consultation and communication from the WBF. A joint letter was sent to the WBF.

In summary the points raised with the WBF are:

  1. We need greater transparency and communication from the WBF. Decisions are being taken without consultation with NBO’s. To improve communications, we recommend that the WBF issues a note following each meeting outlining what is happening and/or being worked on or alternatively the Zonal presidents issue a note.
  2. We are concerned about the congested 2021 WBF calendar.
  3. We are concerned that the WBF calendar may conflict with national events (e.g.: The Gold Coast Congress) that significantly contribute to our financial position.
  4. Our finances are taking a battering. Sending teams twice to Italy in 2021, plus zonal championships and playoffs may not be possible for New Zealand and Australia. We do not know what is going to happen with the price of overseas flights but there is good reason to think fares will increase.
  5. We are offering financial assistance to clubs. Does the WBF have a plan to support NBO’s that will struggle to survive COVID-19. Whilst we are undertaking a health check at a local level maybe the WBF should be doing the same at a national level.
  6. We are concerned if we do not participate, we will lose our position and right to play in subsequent events. There needs to be a waiver if an NBO cannot afford to send a team in 2021.We recommend that if teams have participated in either 2016 or 2019 then they are granted a waiver.
  7. A requirement exists that there is a zonal playoff. If travel is curtailed why can this not be played electronically. With appropriate controls and oversight, we see no reason why a zonal playoff cannot be held online. In this regard we plan to work on a technical solution in conjunction with Laurie Kelso.

The President of the WBF has replied that these issues will be raised at the WBF Management Committee meeting at the end of May.

In his Editorial of the May addition of the International Bridge Press Association Bulletin, John Carruthers showed support for the issues we raised in the letter.

See Appendix 1

On-line Youth Event

The MC agreed to hold an online youth bridge teams event in July. The Youth Coordinators will circulate the details to States and Territories by the end of May.

Feedback and Future Meetings

The Management Committee welcomes feedback and suggestions on the above matters or other subjects.

The next ABFMC Meetings will be 13th June and 11th July

2020- 2022 ABF Management Committee

Allison Stralow (President), Kim Frazer (Secretary), Ian Thomson, (Treasurer), Adel Abdelhamid, Rob Ward

Geoff Chettle (Legal Counsel), Jane Rasmussen (Executive Secretary)


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