Unit 441 Minutes
October 7, 2018
Attendees: Demeter Manning
Demeter called the meeting to order at 9:30 a.m. at the Tumwater Bridge Club.
Minutes: The board approved the minutes of the July 1, 2018, board meeting.
Treasurer’s Report: Bill Julius reported that the Unit 441 bank account currently contains $5,841 and that the unit also has $90 in cash. Bill said the unit started the year with $5,705. The expenses for the 2018 Pow Wow totaled $7,243.19, and the income totaled $6,878.00, for a net loss of $365.19.
Communications Report: Vicki said she is continuing to send emails to keep unit members informed about what is happening. She said she is also trying to direct people to our website, which she is continually updating with information and photos.
“Psych” Bids: Demeter reported that the unit has received two complaints of psych bidding. She explained that psychs are deliberate and gross misstatements of strength and/or length. For example, if North opens 1 club, East doubles, and then South bids 1 spade with just three points and two spades, South’s bid would be considered a psych.
A psych bid should be just as misleading to the partner as to the opponents. Usually, that happens once. The second time a player psychs, the partner is often is aware of the possibility of a psych due to prior partnership experience, and that has created an implied agreement. It’s that concealed understanding that’s illegal. In the example above, when an awareness of the possibility of a psych exists because of prior partnership experience, the opener should alert the bid and explain to the opponents that his/her partner has been known to psych. If the opener doesn’t alert the bid and “catches” the psych, i.e., modifies his/her bidding to accommodate the possibility of a psych, not only is there an ACBL Law 40 violation for concealed partnership understanding, but also both partners are now complicit in the deliberate violation of the law.
In addition, and especially in the more social atmosphere of club games, when Flight A players psych against Flight C players, it leaves such a negative impression with the Flight C players that they might not return to the game or might play substantially less. The complaints received by the unit board were from Flight C players about Flight A players. Yes, the ACBL laws allow players to psych, but that doesn’t mean that good players have to or should take advantage of that law in order to intimidate and win against Flight C players.
She recommended that the unit make an announcement (via email) to the membership that psych bidding is considered “non-collegial,” that the board has received two complaints, that the board will be watching for violations, and that the board will undertake conduct and ethics investigations when necessary. Vicki volunteered to compose the email but to have Demeter approve it before she sends it to unit members.
Getting to Know You: Demeter complimented Nan and Vicki for the “Player Profiles” they have been writing for the unit website. Board members agreed that the articles promote fellowship. Nan and Vicki said they enjoy writing the interviews and will continue to do so.
E-Voting for Board Members in December: Demeter showed the board an E-voting ballot she created (through electionrunner.com) that the unit can use for the December election of three board members. It rotates and randomizes the order of the candidates’ names. Unit members would be directed to these online ballots to vote during the first three weeks in December. The unit can solicit candidates, and candidates can also nominate themselves. Candidate statements and photos can be attached to the E-ballot. David, Steve, and Gary are up for re-election in December. David said he does not plan to run for re-election, but Steve and Gary said they would both like to run again. Shortly after the election is over, the board will send out an email to let everyone know the names of the three winners. The newly elected members will join the rest of the unit board of directors at its January 2019 board meeting. Demeter said she would donate the $29 cost of setting up the unit’s E-Voting account.
Lessons: The board learned that Maureen Greeley is going to offer beginning bridge classes at the clubhouse on Saturday afternoons starting in January 2019. She has Brad’s blessing. Board members noted that ads in the Olympia newspaper do not seem to boost attendance at such classes but that spreading the word through flyers distributed around town, notices on on websites and in community calendars, etc., might be effective. The unit plans to help as the plans progress and can seek reimbursement funds from the ACBL. The board will discuss the lessons again at its December meeting.
Demeter said she would be willing to offer a series of “How to Think Like an Expert” classes.
Alderbrook Events: David said he would like to host at least two games at Alderbrook in 2019. Although the country club in Union requires a 45+ minute drive for some players and the playing room is small, David said that the Alderbrook events draw people from other clubs and offer a tasty restaurant-style lunch and glass of wine. He suggested limiting each event to 10 tables and noted that perhaps Bremerton could be responsible for guaranteeing three of those tables. The board suggested that having a standby would be helpful. The board discussed raising the player fee from $30 to $35 and requiring payment in advance. With the increase in funds, the directors would not have to work for free. David said he would check on possible dates and report back to the board.
The board suggested that it might be fun to have a one or two-day bridge event at a local casino. Demeter pointed out that a casino might find the notion of having a group of senior citizens deposited on its doorstep to be a desirable one. Helen Banner is going to investigate the idea with the help of Alex Rajala, a former board member.
Status of Brad’s Club: It was noted that Brad operates on a month-to-month basis and that his club is a private business. The presumption is that Brad would give advance notice if he decided not to continue with his enterprise. The board suggested that Vicki send an email to the unit members seeking their help in keeping Brad’s club on good terms financially with a healthy attendance for the enjoyment of everyone. She will first send the email to the board members for their suggestions.
POW WOW Debriefing and Suggestions:
Finances – Bill noted that the 2017 Pow Wow lost more than $1,000, while the 2018 loss was just $365. With 10 more tables in 2019, the sectional would break even. A profit would help overcome the shortfalls at the monthly unit games.
Name – The board discussed the “tinge of racism” in the use of “Pow Wow” for the title and decided to call the 2019 tournament the “Olympia Labor Day Weekend Sectional.”
Flyers – The board discussed the fact that flyers with glossy paper are pricey, and that the flyers don’t need to be two-sided. It was decided that the map and the motel information should be left out. It was also decided that the canoe graphics should be eliminated in favor of a picture of the Falls or the Capitol. Steve said he will look for a new design. Demeter volunteered to print the flyers on colored paper at her home.
Making Boards – The board members agreed to continue to pay David Taylor to make the boards because doing so themselves would be labor intensive and would require volunteers. David conveniently brings everything the unit needs to the tournament.
Wine – The board decided to discontinue the practice of giving a bottle of wine to each winner in favor of giving a wine glass instead. (Note: The board has since found a website that sells wine glasses with simple logos. For a three-year supply, the unit would spend less than the cost of one-year’s worth of wine.)
Door Prizes – Nan volunteered to look into soliciting door prizes from local merchants.
Location – The board agreed to continue having the sectional at the Washington Land Yacht Harbor, where there’s plenty of parking slots, a spacious room, a kitchen, good lighting, etc.
Food – With Chef Paul (Sekulich) “retiring” after years of service, Vicki volunteered to be the organizational person, and Helen said she would help with the more physical parts that Vicki isn’t capable of doing. Also, the board will talk to Ralph and Debra Wilhelmi’s granddaughters to see if one of them will work as a paid kitchen helper each day to monitor the beverages and keep the tables clean and stocked during the games. (Note: Chef Paul has agreed to keep the supplies at his house and to order and deliver them to and from the 2019 sectional.) When Vicki solicits sectional snacks from unit members, she will emphasize the fact that donations need to arrive ready to put on the table as opposed to requiring assembling by the kitchen volunteers.
Card Fees – The board voted to raise the card fees from $10 to $12.
Friday Game Times – The board voted to change the times of the Friday sessions to noon and 5:30 p.m. instead of 1 and 7 p.m.
Greeters – Vicki volunteered to devise some kind of “thing” for board members and greeter volunteers to wear to make them stand out during the tournament.
Lunches on Swiss Teams Day – The board discussed the idea of selling box lunches to serve during the break on the Swiss Teams day. Interested people would be able to order the lunches ahead of time. Henrietta volunteered to contact the Fircrest tournament organizers to find out how they handle box lunches.
Strats – The board decided to change the strats on the Friday and Saturday of the tournament to 3,000 – 1,000 instead of 2,000 – 750. The pair games on Sunday will be A/X and B/C/D (1,500 – 750 – 300). The Swiss strats will be 2,500 – 750. The idea is to provide more variety in what the unit offers at the sectional.
Next Board Meeting: The next board meeting will take place at 11 a.m. Sunday, December 2nd, at the Tumwater clubhouse prior to the 1 p.m. unit game.