On Saturday, March 22, 2008, at 05:20 pm, Mike Rogerson wrote:
Hello Both, (David & Rosemary Spencer – Southampton-Sutherland BC)
I would like to know whether John Carter and for that matter most of the other high
ranking members of SS ever play duplicate pairs with you. The reason for asking is
that the MDAG is made up of such players and under the new proposals they would
not be contributing P2P for club sessions. That burden will fall on the players who are
not currently EBU members and the others who play frequently like Anne Chill, Ivy
Parkhurst and the like.
Regards – Mike M-R
TEAMS PLAY AND LEAGUES
From: Rosemary Spencer
Dear Mike (M-R)
Re your last para - I have been trying to say this ever since the proposals came out. You may
be interested in the following correspondence I have had with John Carter, with my original
comments at the end (and you are right - the high ranking members of SSBS NEVER play at
From Rosemary Spencer (Secretary of Southampton Sutherland Bridge Club)
I would like to raise the question (again, because I don't think it has been taken any
notice of before) about people who play ONLY in league matches (usually in people's
homes) and NEVER at the club duplicate sessions.
The proposal is to charge each team of 4 a mere £5 per year. Thus, such a person who
now pays our sub of £13 plus the EBU sub of £20.50 will in future pay our sub plus
£1.25 (their share of the league entry charge) and be full EBU members. What is
more, it is the 'expert' players who are guilty of this; the ordinary club players who do
not aspire to anything more than club bridge once or twice a week, will be subsidising
them, at our club level.
Is our club so unusual? A significant proportion of our members never play at the club.
We get 2-4 tables, once a week. We do not think of ourselves as a 'Social' Club -
those of us who play club duplicate take our bridge seriously but are not bothered about
Master Points. We occasionally score on computer, but using a home-made system on
our Mac. When we only have 2 tables we play an invention of ours involving three mini-
matches, so we get a pairs results, but how could we possibly score that on computer?
On reading your document, it seems we are obliged to have a PC computer scoring
program. How will you deal with club sessions like ours which may only have 2 tables?
I should add that we are obliged to continue to be affiliated to the EBU because the
'experts' mentioned above want to enter the National Competitions like the NICKO
I would appreciate a reply to these points I have raised
Thank you in anticipation
ANSWER From John Carter MDAG and HIWCBA Chairman
Your questions (in your December email) were passed to me for answer.
1 League matches: Your concern is recognised and it is arguable that leagues do reduce
the numbers playing at clubs. But the question of attendance at clubs is very complicated and
cannot simply be attributed to the "distraction" caused by participation in leagues and other
competitions. In today's model a league player contributes to the EBU about 0.38p only as a
consequence of his or her participation in one league (i.e. the cost of one Master Point
certificate issued at the end of the league season). So, a team contributes between £1.52 and
£2.28. based on 4 or 6 players. Accordingly, the new levy of £5 per team is more than double
the old charge. In some Counties (but not in HIW) this amounts to a very large increase, so
some balance had to be found. Many of the league players (I'll come back to the "experts"
that you mention) do play in clubs too and quite regularly, so they will also contribute the
"Pay to Play" fee every time they play at a club. Statistically speaking, I would expect this
type of player to be contributing to the EBU in similar financial vein in today's arrangement as
in the proposed new "Pay to Play" scheme - which after all is what the new proposal is trying
to achieve (since it isn't a revenue generating exercise). The "experts" also contribute to the
EBU by way of the national events. These events contribute a significant amount of income (in
the surplus column - the summary accounts show this at about £30,000; income over
expenditure). Also I am advised that many "experts" also play regularly in clubs, but I also
know that the local "experts" to which you refer at not seen regularly at Southampton. Overall
then, I do not think that the club players will really be subsidising the "experts"; although in
the proposed "Pay to Play" scheme there is a re-distribution of the (same) amount collected
over the larger membership base, so there must be some "winners" and some "losers" (those
who play in affiliated clubs which do not issue Master Points being the obvious category).
2 Club attendance: I feel that underlying your concern is attendance (particularly at
Southampton), although, I don't believe that this email is the place in which to discuss specific
cases - but I would be happy to talk to you about specifics of a particular club on another
occasion. One of the purposes of the "Pay to Play" proposal is to assist with clubs in the re-
invigoration of the club scene. Probably the biggest benefit for your club would be the
production of players that would become your membership. This is described in the Strategy
Proposal document which will be distributed in a few days time. To counter your point about
the "guilt of experts" in their lack of participation at club level (you probably think of me
personally as one, and I accept that I probably should play at the club more - maybe when
this "Pay to Play" project is over I will have time to do so), I observe that all club players
contribute to a club, usually by way of their annual membership subscription. So surely it isn't
entirely fair to say that the "experts" will expect your club to remain affiliated so that they can
compete in EBU club-based competitions, such as the NICKO and Garden Cities, becuase their
membership subscription should more than offset the cost to a club of affiliating to the EBU.
3 Computer Support: You are absolutely right that the "Pay to Play" proposal hinges on the
electronic reporting of results to Aylesbury. Aylesbury will assist clubs with this as necessary -
I suspect that your specialised movement for small numbers may well be new and will need to
be considered for inclusion in the software support (I note that this new movement may assist
other clubs which have evening with a very small number of tables).
4 Closing Remarks: The final Strategy Proposal will be distributed within the next few days.
Every club that replied to the recent Club Survey will receive a copy as well as the County
Chairmen, Treasurers, Secretaries and Shareholders. Also, it will be available on the EBU
website (a few days later) for download and can be obtained from Aylesbury in a hardcopy
form on request. Please remain open-minded and give the Strategic Proposal your full
consideration. If you have questions or want clarifications, please do not hesitate to contact
me. Note though this document is the definitive proposal on which the Shareholders will be
asked to vote at an EGM in June, so it has not been published as part of a further consultation
exercise. Speaking now as Chairman of Hampshire and Isle of Wight, I will be asking the HIW
Executive Committee to convene a meeting of clubs to enable them to contribute their views
to the debate, thereby covering to some extent the club members who may be affected if
these proposals are accepted.
I hope that this email helps you. I would be only too pleased to discuss this more with you.
P.S. I think Keith Palmer made an interesting point when he said a lot of clubs will
disaffiliate, and anyone who wants to remain a member of the EBU will simply join an
affiliated club and not play there. How will the EBU deal with that?