American Contract Bridge League

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American Contract Bridge League (emblem).jpg

The American Contract Bridge League (ACBL) is the governing body for contract bridge in the United States, Mexico, Bermuda and Canada and is a member of the World Bridge Federation;[1] it is the largest such organization in North America.[2] ACBL games and tournaments use the duplicate bridge method of scoring, which greatly reduces the element of luck in competition.

The ACBL, a not-for-profit organization, was founded in 1937[2] in New York City and later moved its company headquarters to Greenwich, Connecticut. ACBL moved from Greenwich, Connecticut to Memphis, Tennessee in 1971[3] and to Horn Lake, Mississippi in 2010.[4] It has a full-time staff of 75 employees in the headquarters, plus about 170 tournament directors throughout the country.[2] As of 2009 it had more than 160,000 members.[2] 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.[5]

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.

The administrative headquarters of the ACBL, located in Horn Lake, Mississippi, also houses its Hall of Fame, library and museum.[2][3]

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