Cincinnati Bridge Association Organization

I spent 9 years on the board of CBA including 2 years as President and 3 years as Vice-President and it seems like it took half of that time to figure out how things work.  I am going to attempt to shorten that process for anyone who might be interested. Potter Orr

Glossary (jargon decoder)
I hope that a picture is really worth 1,000 words. This is a pictorial view of the ACBL from the top all the way down to individual bridge games in Cincinnati. 

If you follow this down the center, District 11 is a delegate of ACBL, Unit 124 is a delegate of District 11, CBC (Cinti Bridge Center), No KY, Oxford, Anderson and Middletown are locations in Unit 124 where sanction holders run games

Responsibilites & Governance

District 11 

All Units within the boundaries set by ACBL of District 11 are members of the District.  Each member Unit in the District appoints 2 representatives to be members of the District board.  The District board elects a President and Vice-President.  The President then appoints a secretary and treasurer.  Other District officers (Recorder, Youth Chair, Educational Chair, etc. are selected/appointed by the board.  To see the complete by-laws of the District board - click hereCurrent District Board

The primary responsibility of the District is to promote bridge within the District and run tournaments within the District.  Technically the District is in charge of all Regional Tournaments but District 11 has historically allocated Regional tournaments to member Units. 

Unit 124

All active members of the ACBL who live in the area defined by ACBL as Unit 124 are automatically members of the Cincinnati Bridge Association (which is Unit 124 from ACBL's prespective).  The members elect a board of directors in elections held each year at the time of the Fall Sectional tournament.  There are 9 board members with 3 positions up for election each year.  Board members are limited to 3 consecutive tersm (3 years each - total 9 years)  before they must take at least 1 year off.  The board elects a President, Vice-president, secretary and treasurer each year at their first meeting.  To see the complete Unit 124 / CBA constitution - click here.

A Unit's job is to promote bridge within it's boudaries and run tournaments but the ACBL disclaims any responsibility for the actions - financial or otherwise - of its Units.  This is 1 paragraph from the ACBL Unit Agreement:  "The relationship of the ACBL to each of its chartered units is that of an independent organization. This relationship shall not create any association, joint venture, partnership or agency relationship of any kind between a unit and the ACBL. Unless expressly agreed to in writing, neither party is authorized to incur any liability, obligation or expense on behalf of the other, to use the other's monetary credit conducting its activities or to represent to any 3rd party that either is an agent of the other."

The board of CBA normally meets once each month - usually on the 3rd Tuesday of the month from 5:00 PM to 6:45 PM.  Most meetings are open to visitors and minutes of the meetings are posted on the website after they have been approved at the next meeting subject to corrections.  In some cases, minutes may be posted prior to approval with a "Draft" notation.  The board meetings cover many topics during the year, but certain responsibilities are on the agenda of most meetings:
Tournaments run in Unit 124 (CBA):
In addition to tournaments, there are other unit wide events for which the unit board is responsible.  The 2nd Tuesday of each month we run a unit wide game where the CBC, northern Kentucky and Anderson all play the same hands and the winners receive significantly larger master point awards due to the overall scoring of the event. Once each year, typically in April, we run an  awards party (and bridge game) where we recognize the milestones and achievements of members throughout the unit. We publish a monthly planner of all major activities int he unit.

Locations for Bridge games

Ultimately the responsibility for a game falls to the ACBL sanction holder (Club Manager in ACBLspeak) but Units across the ACBL take a number of different approaches to locations for duplicate games.  Some of the most common arrangements are: Cincinnati Bridge Center

Our Unit 124 (and only about 25 other units out of 300 in the ACBL) own and operate a bridge center.  Years ago Unit 124 leased space for a bridge center, bought tables, cards, computers and the other things needed for a bridge center and then rents out the center to individual directors to run their own games.  Of all the games at CBC in a normal week, ONLY Tuesday evening is run using a sanction that belongs to the Unit.  All of the other games are run by directors who have their own sanctions from ACBL.

According to ACBL regulations the sanction owner  has complete control over their games.  This includes:
Even though the Unit has a "Recorder" to handle disciplinary matters as part of it's ACBL responsibilities, the Recorder for CBA has authority only over the Tuesday evening game and Unit tournaments (Regional, Sectional and STACs).  The sanction holder is the final authority for all discipline except fopr allegations of cheating.

The sanction holders pay a rental fee to the Unit based solely on the number of tables they have at their games.  The rental fee is defined in the sublease contract with each club owner and is managed fairly across all games by the Board of Directors. Under the existing arrangement, the Unit is responsible for paying:
In the past we have made attempts from time to time to prepare financial statements for the Unit that show the bridge center income and expenses separately from the Unit as a whole. Our  current treasurer  has done a much more comprehensive job. This has demonstrated what most of the members of the Board of Directors instinctively "knew" -  that the bridge center by itself was not breaking even from club games alone. This condition has gone on for a number of years and was possible only because income from unit tournaments (primarily the regional) was available to subsidize the losses of the bridge center.  When we include fair rent for Unit and District events held at the CBC, the CBC has made a modest profit in the past three years since the last table fee increase.