American Contract Bridge League
The American Contract Bridge League (ACBL) is the largest contract bridge organization in North America. It promotes the game of bridge in the United States, Mexico, Bermuda, and Canada, and is a member of the World Bridge Federation. ACBL games and tournaments use the duplicate bridge method of scoring, where the luck of getting a series of good hands doesn't necessarily mean a better score.
The ACBL, a not-for-profit organization, was founded in 1937 in New York City and later moved its company headquarters to Greenwich, Connecticut. ACBL moved from Greenwich, Connecticut to Memphis, Tennessee in 1971 and to Horn Lake, Mississippi in 2010. It has a full-time staff of 75 employees in the headquarters, plus about 170 tournament directors throughout the country. As of 2009[update] it had more than 160,000 members. Members receive the Bridge Bulletin magazine, but for many of them, the most significant role of the ACBL is its sanctioning of club games and tournaments to award masterpoints. If an event has the ACBL sanction, then the highest-finishing players are awarded specified numbers of masterpoints, which can be recorded with the ACBL. Most players value the increase in their masterpoint total as a measure of their success at the game. Unlike the Elo rating system developed for chess, the masterpoint system is strictly one of accumulation. A player's masterpoint total can never decline.
Besides the Bridge Bulletin, other ACBL publications include the Laws of Duplicate Bridge (named Laws of Duplicate Contract Bridge until 2008), the ACBL Bridge Series of lessons for beginners, and free instructional software. The ACBL certifies bridge teachers and club directors.
Three times a year, in the spring, summer, and fall, the ACBL holds the North American Bridge Championships (NABC). The NABC extends over eleven days and includes many different events. The location of the NABC is rotated among major cities. Each is typically attended by thousands of players. The 2009 Summer Nationals in Washington, DC had 14,115 total tables played over the 11 days.
The ACBL has also published the ACBL Bridge Series, a series of books written by Audrey Grant and designed to teach the game to beginners, as well as to help more experienced players review and expand upon their knowledge of the game.
- Commercial Appeal: Largest bridge group in country moving from Memphis to Horn Lake
- "Zone 2- ACBL". World Bridge Federation. Retrieved 2009-07-29.
- DeSoto Times Tribune: Horn Lake gets $3 million project
- ACBL Bridge Bulletin, August 2010, page 9.
- "2009 Washington D.C. Report". Retrieved 2009-08-08.