ABF Management Committee Meeting November 6, 2016


ABF Management Committee Meeting November 6, 2016

The ABF Council met on Saturday 5th November. The ABF Management Committee (MC) met the following day to review decisions and actions from the Council meeting and progress other issues.

ABF Newsletter

As reported previously, Stephen Lester has retired as editor of the ABF Newsletter after 9 years. We owe Stephen a huge debt of thanks for the wonderful work he has done over this time. The MC will take this opportunity to consider the functions, format and contents of the ABF Newsletter as part of a wider review of our Communications strategy. Recruitment of a new editor is temporarily on hold while this review takes place. Thanks to Kim Frazer who has agreed to carry on as interim editor.

Support for Club Directors

The Council supported development of a national program to provide better advice and support for club directors, which might include seminars, online videos or other support arrangements. We will develop further plans.

Support for Clubs

The Council workshopped areas where the ABF might provide additional support to clubs. We have asked the National Marketing Officer to develop recommendations from the workshop.


The Council resolved to conduct a strategic review of the ANC.  We will soon publish terms of reference and a timeline for this study.

GNOT Changes from 2017

The MC discussed GNOT changes to apply from 2017 to address concerns about:

  • the current venue’s ability to accommodate 64 teams
  • the equity of travel subsidies for players from more distant regions, and
  • some GNOT regions struggling to provide the number of teams allocated to them.

The ABF wishes to slightly reduce the number of teams in the 2017 National Final to increase player comfort. The reduction will depend on consultation with affected regions.

Also we intend to change the travel subsidies for players who fly to the National Final to better reflect actual costs of travel across Australia. (Subsidies will be based on the assumption of four-person teams. Most teams, particularly from distant regions, currently have four members. Teams will of course be free to have five or six members, but there will be no extra travel subsidy for the extra members). Further details will be released to Regional Coordinators in due course.

Summer Festival of Bridge

The MC discussed appointment of a Summer Festival tournament organiser for 2018 onwards. We believe it is preferable to appoint someone based in or near Canberra, where the tournament is based. Roy Nixon has agreed to continue as interim TO for one more year, for 2018.

Tournament Organiser workshop

The Council agreed that we should invite all ABF Tournament Organisers to a workshop where they can discuss issues and share best practice. Laurie Kelso will organise this.

International Performance

The ABF MC is committed to supporting realistic and affordable initiatives to enable improvement in our international team performances. Spending on international team travel & playoffs is a substantial portion of the ABF budget. This is a substantial investment and our International Performance Taskforce is proposing initiatives to support our teams with their preparations, and to ensure the optimum environment at the target event.

Given the large number of recommendations, and the practicalities of funding and resources to implement these recommendations, the taskforce has been asked to prioritise its recommendations for funding and resource allocation in the year ahead.

Two initiatives are being undertaken immediately:

  1. We would like to provide wider recognition and acknowledgement for our international teams amongst the wider bridge community. As a first step, our 2017 international teams as selected from the upcoming playoffs will be introduced at the 2017 Summer Festival of Bridge at the commencement of the SWPT competition.
  1. The Players Charter will be refined, to include expectations regarding regular training and preparation in the lead-up to the target event, travel arrangements to enable players to arrive at the target event ready to play at their best, and other matters.

–  O –

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

The next meeting is on 10-11 December 2016, in Canberra.

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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