We have recently written to all club secretaries with details of the plans for season 2021/22, and felt it would be helpful to post a summary here too for the benefit of all our members.
Return to Live Bridge
First of all, it is great to see some clubs reopening for live bridge. We are aware of several that have reopened already for small numbers, and many others have plans to open this week, or at some stage between now and the middle of October. The CBAI held its first live event since March 2020 over the weekend – the Lady Milne trials in Templeogue – and Drogheda Congress will take place live in the ABCD Centre from 30 September to 3 October, with numbers limited. Of course, the experience will be a bit different from before, at least for the moment, in that either clubs will be using perspex table screens or players will be masked. If your club holds live bridge again, please let us know; we would welcome your feedback on how members are finding the new arrangements.
We are hoping to hold as many as possible of our CBAI and IBU competitions this season live and in-person, but obviously everything is a bit fluid for the moment, as we await news of when the various venues will open up. Please keep an eye on the calendar on the website for the up-to-date position.
At a recent meeting of your Governing Council, it was agreed that the Association should return in so far as possible to its normal procedures this season, given that it seems likely that all our clubs will have the opportunity to return to live bridge. The early bird discount for speedy affiliations was also approved again for this season. In summary therefore:
- Affiliations paid before 1 December will be charged €10; thereafter the price will revert to the standard €12.50;
- Members who play in multiple clubs should pay an affiliation fee in respect of each of those clubs;
- Unlike last year, any clubs that do not affiliate any members will be lapsed from our records, and will lose the benefits of membership until they re-affiliate;
- Similarly, any individual who does not affiliate will lapse their membership, and will be unable to play in CBAI competitions until they re-affiliate.
In relation to last year’s affiliations, we are aware that some clubs made bulk payments without reference to their actual playing numbers. We committed to setting off any overpayments that arose as a result against this season’s affiliations. We intend to honour that commitment, but would ask clubs to be reasonable in that regard. The Association itself suffered a serious reduction in revenue in 2020/21, and our expenditure, while reduced, did not fall by anything like as much. Many clubs playing online, on the other hand, found themselves with significant surpluses last season as income greatly exceeded outgo. If your club was inactive last season, and your members were not playing online elsewhere, we will certainly rebate overpayments on affiliations if requested to do so, but we would ask everyone to think for a moment before asking for such a rebate. The affiliation fee of €12.50 works out at just 24 cents per week, which seems a small price to pay to ensure that Irish bridge continues to be well run and can emerge from the pandemic in good shape.
Please calculate and keep your Masterpoint records in the normal fashion this season, using the CBAI model which you will find described here, and the record sheets supplied to you (or a digital equivalent). Do NOT use BBO Masterpoints, which operate according to a different scheme. Given that most clubs stayed open for the entire summer this year, we offered the option of awarding Masterpoints from 1 June 2021 rather than the normal 1 September. If you decided to award Masterpoints for the summer, please amalgamate them into your 2021/22 return at the end of this season. And please note that we will be imposing a firm final date for the submission of Masterpoints this year – 30 July, with no exceptions. This cut-off is needed to ensure that we have enough time to process the data and print the revised membership cards for the following season.
Membership cards for the new season will be distributed to Regional Secretaries, who will do their very best to make sure that they are passed on to clubs, and ultimately to members. But there will be logistical issues again this year with clubs that are not actually open for business as yet. We will also have to be pragmatic in relation to the Masterpoints recorded and awarded for 2020/21. We had people playing in all kinds of clubs and competitions, and not always identifying themselves by anything other than their BBO name. Also some clubs did not keep Masterpoints initially, and used a rough conversion from BBO points in some cases. So while everyone in the process did their best to ensure that everything was as accurate as possible, there will undoubtedly be some discrepancies. The good news is that these will involve the less valuable Local Points, so they are unlikely to be material. But if you do have a query on the Masterpoints you were awarded, give us a call on (01) 4929666 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will do our best to resolve it for you.Letter to Club Secretaries – Plans for 2021/22