Your committee has reviewed the situation regarding numbers and grades of players in the different sections and plans to introduce a new organisation of the sections on January 9th 2020. This follows requests from some members and considerations of the problems in the size and make-up of sections. We would like to thank those members for sharing their concerns.
We hope the proposed change, set out below, will help and that members will support us in this effort.
The current situation
Our membership numbers have decreased and it is difficult sometimes to run a satisfactory competition in one section, especially in the summer months. There are often just two prizes, sometimes only one, and while winning is not the be-all, people still love to get a prize. We also have players classified by CBAI as A players in all sections of the club.
We have consulted with the CBAI and the rules are quite clear - players may play up a grade but not down a grade. A lot of us probably feel that we no longer play to the grade we have had historically. However the CBAI is quite clear on this also - players should play to the grade given by the CBAI.
What we are doing
Following a review of grading, we find that the membership is divided almost equally between Master/A players and B players/Novice players so a division into two sections is suitable.
The committee therefore propose to split our club into two sections, starting on 9th January 2020.
Section 1 - For masters and A players (inclduing partnerships where one partner is an A Player)
Section 2 - For all B players and Novice players
You will find your grade on your CBAI membership card.
We also propose to introduce a handicap system based on advice from CBAI and our Tournament Director. The new sections would play without any handicap for 4 weeks in January and handicaps would then be calculated and used for the following months. Handicaps will be re-calculated at given intervals which will be decided by the TD and committee.
Why are we doing this
For equity and fairness
To give each of our members a game against players of a similar level
For a sense of collegiality among members
In the case of members playing with those of higher ability, it will help them to develop their skills as players, In the case of newer or lower graded players, it will give them a fair shot at doing well.
What will it mean for me
As an individual members, you will still be able to play with your partner, you will play with many of your friends and make some new ones. You may even have a better chance of winning a prize on occasion.
Please note that the handicap system does not affect your gross points sent in to the CBAI
What does it mean for the club
The committee feel that this is absolutely essential if the club is to be sustainable long term. We cannot continue as we are. Our aim is to make people feel part of St Laurences Bridge Club, Kilmacud and not just part of a sub-section. As it happens, the Current A section is too small and moving people willy-nilly into it on the night is unfair and does not work.
We are appealing for your help in addressing the issues in the club and to your sense of fairness. We feel that this proposal is the fairest system we could make work but we need your support to make this a great club again.