Interview with the umpire
Okay, he says he isn’t the umpire, he’s the commissioner, but that doesn’t make a cute title.
I’m talking about Big Don Mamula, president of the ACBL this year and an old friend of mine.
The questions today centered on the incredibly slow start to the Mixed Pairs. In our room, the players at the seeded tables didn’t get there until 1:30, for a game that was to start at 1 pm. Gail talked about them coming in like it was a wedding and they were the wedding party.
Don pointed to a big problem: the seeding just takes too long. As more and more players get high numbers on points and think they are entitled to prestigious seeded tables, the process takes longer. The solution, he thinks, is to stop selling seeded entries 15 minutes prior to game time. If you can’t get there early, you can sit with the hoi polloi. He says the directors he has talked to like this idea, as do most of the better players. It makes sense to me, and I hope he can get it through the board and working.
The second issue is more complex. Apparently, there was severe weather in Atlanta this morning, and some other airline hubs, and a number of players didn’t make it to Saint Louis–but their partners didn’t know it, and bought entries. This left sudden holes in the movements, and players had to be moved around.
Then, there is a new directive that the directors should sell only 13 table sections in National events, and the one remaining section will be worked out with a web movement. But when there are holes, the sections can’t just be compressed because they were only 13 tables to begin with. It’s a structural impossibility, and very difficult to deal with. This led to the catastrophe this afternoon, and there is no easy fix, you just have to deal with problems when they arise.
Okay, you’re bored, this subject is arcane and I’m the only one who really cares. Thanks for reading this far, I’ll get back to restaurants in the next post.