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Cincinnati Bridge Association
also known as ACBL Unit 124
Revised 15 JULY 2021

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. Remember the ACBL, Districts, Units, Clubs and Teachers are all independent businesses. 

Responsibilities & 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 District 11 - click here Current 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.  11 other Districts do this in some way.  13 Districts run their own regional tournaments. 

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 perspective).  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 terms (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 boundaries 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 6 times a year - the schedule is posted on the Board Meetings and Minutes page.  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 all 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.  We run a unit wide game (if there are 3 clubs playing at the same time) 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 or May, we run a Medalion Game (and party) where we recognize the milestones and achievements of members throughout the unit. We run a Holiday party in December when we celebrate Unit Award Winners, we run a Membership Meeting and Game (in November), we offer Supervised Play and Come and Play for Novice players, we run special Mentor Games during summer months, and we have a beginer teaching program to attract new members. 

Locations for Bridge games

Ultimately the responsibility for a game falls to the ACBL sanction holder (Club Manager in ACBL-speak) but clubs 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 100 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.  Club managers lease space for their game and pay a fixed rent per table played.  This rental approach minimizes financial risk assumed by the club owner.  If the center closes the club owner owes no rent, but the Unit continues to pay its lease and expenses.  Financial statements are provided on the Unit Website. 

All games are run by club managers who have their own sanctions from ACBL. The Unit runs sanctioned games for special events.

According to ACBL regulations the sanction owner  has complete control over their games.  This includes:
The sanction holder is the final authority for all discipline at club games except for allegations of cheating. Disciplinary issues brought to the attention of the Unit are handled at the District level when the club manager does not have jurisdiction, and only then for cases that do not involve first degree cheating.  See the ACBL Code of Disciplinary Regulations for details.

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:
The Unit Board of Directors treat the Cincinnati Bridge Center as a separate cost center and reports financial information accordingly. The bridge center by itself does not breakeven from club games alone. Income from unit tournaments (primarily the regional) subsidize the cost of the bridge center.