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Prepared by the Cornwall Contract Bridge Association - January 2009

 

STRATEGEY FOR THE FUTURE OF THE EBU AND
DUPLICATE BRIDGE IN ENGLAND

An easy-to-understand explanation of the main features of the new proposals which are
scheduled for implementation in April 2010.

INTRODUCTION

All duplicate bridge players will have heard something about the new EBU proposals which have
already been discussed with the length and breadth of the country for a couple of years.   In a nutshell, its
main purpose is to introduce a new electronic membership structure which will simplify both
membership administration, master point registration and universal membership of the National Association
as enjoyed in most brdige-playing countries.

PAY TO PLAY [P2P]

The cornerstone of the new proposal is the Pay to Play Scheme.  Gone will be a member's annual
subscription of 20.50 for 2009/10 - made up of 18.00 to the EBU plus 2.50p to the Cornwall CBA.
To replace it will be a small fee most times a player takes part in a game of duplicate bridge.  This fee
in Cornwall is expected to be 32 pence in the first year - 29 pence to the EBU (subject to final confirmation) and 3 pence to the County.

MAIN FEATURES OF PROPOSAL

- Annual EBU membership subcription is abolished, being replaced by a per person Pay to Play fee.

- Members of an affiliated club will automatically become members of the EBU.

- Lifetime membership cards will be isued.

- There will be no charges whatsoever for Master Points, which can only be registered electronically
i.e. paper slips are discontinued.

- The annual EBU club affiliation fee is 30.00 irrespective of membership size or number of
sessions played at the club.

- An EBU diary and 6 copies of English Bridge magazine are sent to all members each year.

- A regular electronic newsletter, scoring software free of charge, and discounted equipment will be
available to all affiliated clubs.

HOW THE SCHEME WILL AFFECT INDIVIDUALS

- Every club member will decide which is their club of primary affiliation - although they can still
represent another club of which they are a member.

- Members will be allocated a unique membership number - existing members will retain their current membership number - which will be quoted by them whenever they play in an EBU club/county/national event.

- Anonymity is available for those players who do not wish to receive any mailings from the EBU - a pseudonym rather than real personal details will be assigned on the EBU database.

- The P2P fee of 32 pence will be collected via normal table money.  Total table money will, of course, continue to be set by each club itself.

- A rebate will be made at the end of each year to players who play more that 150 sessions per year.

- There will also be a P2P fee for all league matches, knockouts, county and national events but not for teachings, charity or party events.

- By logging onto the EBU website, members can check at any time that master points have been attributed to them.

- Members under the age of 25 are exempt from the P2P fee.

HOW THE SCHEME WILL AFFECT CLUBS

- The P2P scheme is dependent on clubs having access to the a computer with Internet capabilities.  Details of every duplicate session subject to P2P must be transmitted to the EBU via the Internet using electronic scoring software programs.  These programs may be adaptions of clubs' existing software or may be new software provided free by the EBU.

- Clubs will be billed two-monthly in arrears or monthly by direct debit which option attracts a 2.00 per month discount.

- These bills will itemise every session played in the period, number of players, and each Club's costs liability, with a total for the full period.  The P2P on the invoice will include both the EBU element and the County element (the EBU then pays the county element straight to the county association0. 

- Each affiliated club will be offered a free online club session in its own online club room each week for every member of that club.

DIRECT MEMBERSHIP

Direct membership with the EBU will still be available for players who are not members of an affiliated club, or are members of a bridge club which decides not to continue EBU affiliation.  The annual subscription for direct membership has not yet been published.

DIARY OF CRITICAL DATES

April 2009
Clubs make their decision whether to continue EBU affiliation; feedback this decision to their County Secretary who will collate the decision for all the clubs in Cornwall and pass on to the EBU.
July 2009
The EBU will send directly to each club a final contract between the EBU and each club. There is still time for a club to change its mind if it doesn't like the look of the contract.  Signed contracts to be back with the EBU by September 2009.
December 2009
Systems and software will be finalised by the EBU.
Early 2010
Software will be sent to clubs for familiarisation.   Assistance from EBU will be available with regards to all aspects of training and implementation.
April 2010
Full electronic membership and Pay to Play scheme goes live.

THE AFFILIATION DECISION .......

Your Chairman, Geoff Warren, and his Committee, hopes that all 16 clubs in Cornwall will continue affiliation to the EBU, and hence, continue to remain affiliated to the CCBA.  The strength of the game of duplicate bridge in the county is a function of the number of people playing, both at club and county level, and hthe hope is that EBU membership will increase and more people will realise and benefit from what the EBU has promised to offer.  Few would argue that the EBU has covered itself in glory over recent years, but we believe these proposals mark a significant change in attitude and that they should be allowed to be tried and tested and only dismissed if found wanting.

The most difficult decision is to be made by those clubs with few EBU members at the moment.  Whilst the cost will actually go down for current EBU members playing session of duplicate a week, the cost for current non-members of the EBU would go up if the club they play at elects for continued EBU affiliation.   This weekly increase will depend by what the club puts up its weekly table money.   On the other hand, current non-members will benefit from the receipt of the magazines and dairy and might be encouraged to participate in EBU sponsored events with the county.

The real cost per person to a club will be something less than the anticipated 32p because there will be no cost of pay for master points in the future (about 7 pence per player).  So if the net increase is 25 pence per player, this should be the average increase in table money.  Some clubs may absorb the increase in the short term and not put the table money up at all.  Others may have been close to increasing table money before P2P came along, so they may add say, 50 pence to the table money.

However you look at it, we are not talking about a vast increase in the cost of playing bridge.  Whatever the increased cost to the duplicate bridge players of Cornwall, everyone will agree that in this day and age bridge is still a remarkably inexpensive pastime to play and enjoy.

 

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