Tournament Committee Update
by Andrew Petrie
First I thought I would give you an update of where we are on two ongoing issues connected with the introduction of Universal Membership in April 2010.
Master Point Scheme
We consulted widely on whether we should use the introduction of Universal Membership as an opportunity to introduce some radical changes to the Master Points Scheme. The feedback was clear and consistent -- the majority of those asked thought it unnecessary and such changes would not be welcomed. We will therefore limit changes to those necessary for Universal Membership through pay-to-play and those necessary to correct some errors and clarify some issues. We are therefore working hard on:
- Producing revised Master Point and Licensing Regulations
- Encompassing these revisions in a new online Master Point & Licensing Handbook
- Producing simple fact sheets to simplify what is by necessity a complex and detailed system
New Events for Club Players
It has been recognised by the Tournament Committee that we do not currently have many EBU events for club players. We are determined to correct this situation and over the next two or three years you should see some or all of the following introduced:
- A National Club Stratified Simultaneous Pairs
- Improver Weekend Bridge events
- Stratified club duplicates with enhanced Master Points
- More Really Easy Congresses
- Learn Bridge with the EBU Holidays
- Learn Better Bridge with the EBU Holidays
- EBU Club Holidays
In fact the details of item a) above have been agreed already, with valuable input from the Club Committee and we now start detailed planning for its introduction in season 2010/11.
The second issue I wanted to touch briefly upon is that of the rates for accommodation at EBU events in both England and Overseas. Our staff at Aylesbury and our travel agent partners do a great job of securing, often up to 2 years in advance, an agreed number of rooms at a very competitive rate -- usually well below the prevailing hotel rack rate. This means the following:
- At a fixed date (usually a few weeks before the event) we have to give back to the hotel any rooms they are still holding of the original allocation, so they have enough time to try and let them.
- Once our allocated rooms have gone, any EBU competitor trying to book accommodation may have to pay an increased price (if there are any rooms still available) -- as happened I understand at the Autumn Congress at Birmingham.
- Equally, if the hotel is far from full, competitors may find that the price asked is less than the EBU rate agreed 2 years in advance. Indeed if you are able to book the day before you may well find the rate is much less than the EBU rate.
- However, the later you leave booking, the more chance there is of not getting a room.
In effect it’s very like the price of airline seats -- it depends on when you book them and how full it is at the time.
If you need any information or advice on our overseas congresses please contact Peter Jordan/Dawn Mertens on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Finally, I would like to thank all our TDs and volunteers at our events, and our EBU Competitions Department for all their hard work this year.