Fixing Stratification


††††††††† The stratifying or handicapping that is used by the ACBL is fundamentally flawed.Using total masterpoints to stratify players does not take into account things like age, gold/silver versus black points, and a way to measure a playerís current skill level.


††††††††† Iíll give you a couple examples in our local club.We have two players who used to be superb bridge players.They are now in their 90s and for obvious reasons, their skill levels have atrophied.However, they still must compete in the A category.In addition, if I happen to play with one of them, I have to compete in the A bracket even though I am a C player.On the other end of the spectrum, we have a couple who has played bridge for many years, but now that they are retired, they are starting to play duplicate bridge.They joined the ACBL only a year or two ago, but they play at a very high level and have garnered both silver and gold points at tournaments.However, because their total point count is relatively low, they compete as C players.Neither of these scenarios is equitable.


††††††††† I think the ACBL should be able to come up with a method that identifies the level of a playerís recent results, much like is done in golf.In addition, silver and gold points should be worth much more than black points in the calculation as to where the person is stratified, even at the club level.


††††††††† I suspect you have received letters on this subject in the past, but I have seen nothing that indicates the ACBL intends to do something about it.


††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† DAVID HANSON

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† St Cloud, Minnesota