Writing these year end blogs seem to be about five minutes apart, not twelve months. I am told this is something to do with my age....
The New Year will usher in the EBU's year of implementing change. The past two or three years have been full of consultation and discussion ABOUT change, now it happens. During the first three months of 2010 we will be collecting Universal Membership information from all of our affiliated clubs so that the new pay to play processes can begin on April 1st.
However, this is just the start. The volunteers working on the EBU's new National Rating System will produce a specification for that new service as soon as they are able and we will implement it as soon as practical, bearing in mind other priorities.
The Tournament Committee have recently approved an innovation for our clubs and our own events. We will be introducing the facility for clubs to stratify their club games.
Clubs will (optionally) be able to separate their games into three stratification levels, A, B and C.
Purely as an example, clubs could choose something like the following stratification levels -
C up to Master
B up to Regional Master
A above Regional Master.
The game will be played and scored in the usual manner, but the resulting master point awards will be made taking into account the stratification levels. For example, this means that if a "strat c" player has a good day they will, of course, win the master points at their highest level of achievement, but if they were not that successful but still able to finish in the top part of their own stratified level there will still be a master point award. When this possibility was considered by the interim Club Committee they were extremely enthusiastic. I would hope that we would be able to introduce this facility into our clubs (and some EBU events) during the 2010-2011 playing year, but it will be dependent upon various software authors being prepared to make the necessary changes to their software. We should be in a position to specify those requirements during the first quarter of 2010.
We will also be introducing new Club teacher training during 2010; keep your eyes open for more information in English Bridge.
May I take this opportunity on behalf of all at Aylesbury to wish everyone a great festive season and a Happy New Year. I look forward to receiving your patience in abundance during 2010!