This time I am not writing you about bridge techniques or updating you on a tournament. I would rather share with you a different kind of experience. I went to Wroclaw for the World Bridge Games, not to take part in the tournament, but as a member of the WBF committee.
Let me take you back briefly: a few months ago I was elected by the High Level Players Commission (HLPC) as the representative athlete , but up to that point we had had no official meeting. The WBF schedule was spread throughout the first week, and, to be honest, I was feeling uncomfortable before starting. What am I doing here without playing – I thought? Was I really going to offer a helpful contribution to the Council? Was the Council going to listen to my suggestions, with an open mind, despite me being the last one in?
However, from the very start, I felt better and witnessed a true intention to cooperate and collaborate. In addition to the Council members, Philippe Cronier (member of the HLPC) joined our meetings. The Council asked the HLPC’s opinion on all matters and we endeavoured to talk to all commission members to make sure everyone agreed on the proposals. The most important agenda item was the HLPC function, its relationships with the players and the WBF.
I am providing you with a short summary of what was discussed and approved:
- The HLPC will always be consulted by the organisers about Championships’ playing format, timings and round composition.
- A player cannot compete in more than one category (e.g. a player participating in the open category cannot play in the senior when they are on a break). They can obviously take part in subsequent events.
- Special and dedicated masterpoints will be available in the mixed category.
- The unethical behaviour Express Line will be advertised more widely.
- Tournament Directors will have to report every TD call in a Championship or international festival, in order to build a database, where useful information could be found in case of future investigations.
- In the next Champions there will be cameras on all tables and not only on those broadcast on BBO.
The WBF Council has proven to be very accommodating, and I can say that the cooperation with the HLPC has been welcomed with enthusiasm. What is missing is the players’ participation: they have to understand that to obtain significant results we need more information. It is very important that everyone uses the Express Line: those who report a concern can ask not to have their name revealed in case of a trial. The HLPC has a duty to safeguard the privacy of those who raise a concern and those about whom concerns are raised. Remember that players make up the commission and that we are not judges or policeman: we are players and we will always be on the side of players and bridge. We do not want to instigate a witch hunt: we deeply care about bridge and we do all we can to avoid what happened recently.
I remind you that the link to the Express Line is available on the WBF website on the top left corner. If you want to write me your suggestions on the HLPC or any other topic to discuss with the WBF, please do so at firstname.lastname@example.org. I will answer all suggestions that do not aim to start an argument.
My next article will be more fun, I hope not to have bored you, but believe me we need you. Those who know me also know that when I commit to something I do my best: I did not join the HLPC and the WBF committee to add a line to my CV, but because I believe that all together we can improve the sport we love the most.
[English Edition by Laura Cecilia Porro for Neapolitan Club]
- Giorgino Duboin elected as a Member of the WBF Executive Council »
- WBF: High Level Players Commission Express Line »
- WBF: Unethical Behaviour Report Form »