American Contract Bridge League

American Contract Bridge League

Overview

The American Contract Bridge League (ACBL) is the largest contract bridge
Contract bridge
Contract bridge, usually known simply as bridge, is a trick-taking card game using a standard deck of 52 playing cards played by four players in two competing partnerships with partners sitting opposite each other around a small table...

 organization in North America
North America
North America is a continent wholly within the Northern Hemisphere and almost wholly within the Western Hemisphere. It is also considered a northern subcontinent of the Americas...

. It promotes the game of bridge in the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

, Mexico
Mexico
The United Mexican States , commonly known as Mexico , is a federal constitutional republic in North America. It is bordered on the north by the United States; on the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; on the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and on the east by the Gulf of...

, Bermuda
Bermuda
Bermuda is a British overseas territory in the North Atlantic Ocean. Located off the east coast of the United States, its nearest landmass is Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, about to the west-northwest. It is about south of Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, and northeast of Miami, Florida...

, and Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

, and is a member of the World Bridge Federation
World Bridge Federation
The World Bridge Federation is the world governing body of contract bridge. The WBF is responsible for world championship competition, most of which is conducted at a few multi-event meets on a four-year cycle...

. ACBL games and tournaments use the duplicate bridge
Duplicate bridge
Duplicate bridge is the most widely used variation of contract bridge in club and tournament play. It is called duplicate because the same bridge deal is played at each table and scoring is based on relative performance...

 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
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

 and later moved its company headquarters to Greenwich, Connecticut
Greenwich, Connecticut
Greenwich is a town in Fairfield County, Connecticut, United States. As of the 2010 census, the town had a total population of 61,171. It is home to many hedge funds and other financial service companies. Greenwich is the southernmost and westernmost municipality in Connecticut and is 38+ minutes ...

.
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Encyclopedia

The American Contract Bridge League (ACBL) is the largest contract bridge
Contract bridge
Contract bridge, usually known simply as bridge, is a trick-taking card game using a standard deck of 52 playing cards played by four players in two competing partnerships with partners sitting opposite each other around a small table...

 organization in North America
North America
North America is a continent wholly within the Northern Hemisphere and almost wholly within the Western Hemisphere. It is also considered a northern subcontinent of the Americas...

. It promotes the game of bridge in the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

, Mexico
Mexico
The United Mexican States , commonly known as Mexico , is a federal constitutional republic in North America. It is bordered on the north by the United States; on the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; on the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and on the east by the Gulf of...

, Bermuda
Bermuda
Bermuda is a British overseas territory in the North Atlantic Ocean. Located off the east coast of the United States, its nearest landmass is Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, about to the west-northwest. It is about south of Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, and northeast of Miami, Florida...

, and Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

, and is a member of the World Bridge Federation
World Bridge Federation
The World Bridge Federation is the world governing body of contract bridge. The WBF is responsible for world championship competition, most of which is conducted at a few multi-event meets on a four-year cycle...

. ACBL games and tournaments use the duplicate bridge
Duplicate bridge
Duplicate bridge is the most widely used variation of contract bridge in club and tournament play. It is called duplicate because the same bridge deal is played at each table and scoring is based on relative performance...

 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
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

 and later moved its company headquarters to Greenwich, Connecticut
Greenwich, Connecticut
Greenwich is a town in Fairfield County, Connecticut, United States. As of the 2010 census, the town had a total population of 61,171. It is home to many hedge funds and other financial service companies. Greenwich is the southernmost and westernmost municipality in Connecticut and is 38+ minutes ...

. ACBL moved from Greenwich, Connecticut to Memphis, Tennessee
Memphis, Tennessee
Memphis is a city in the southwestern corner of the U.S. state of Tennessee, and the county seat of Shelby County. The city is located on the 4th Chickasaw Bluff, south of the confluence of the Wolf and Mississippi rivers....

 in 1971 and to Horn Lake, Mississippi
Horn Lake, Mississippi
Horn Lake is a city in DeSoto County, Mississippi, United States. Horn Lake is a suburb of Memphis, Tennessee, which is located just a few miles to the north. As of the 2000 U.S...

 in 2010. It has a full-time staff of 75 employees in the headquarters, plus about 170 tournament directors throughout the country. 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
Masterpoints
Masterpoints or master points are points awarded by national and other bridge organisations for success in bridge tournaments run under their auspices. Organisations which issue these points include the American Contract Bridge League , the American Bridge Association, the English Bridge Union ,...

. 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
Elo rating system
The Elo rating system is a method for calculating the relative skill levels of players in two-player games such as chess. It is named after its creator Arpad Elo, a Hungarian-born American physics professor....

 developed for chess
Chess
Chess is a two-player board game played on a chessboard, a square-checkered board with 64 squares arranged in an eight-by-eight grid. It is one of the world's most popular games, played by millions of people worldwide at home, in clubs, online, by correspondence, and in tournaments.Each player...

, 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 Contract Bridge
Laws of Duplicate Contract Bridge
The Laws of Duplicate Bridge, formerly known as the Laws of Duplicate Contract Bridge, is the official rule book of duplicate bridge promulgated by the World Bridge Federation. The first Laws of Duplicate Contract Bridge were published in 1928. They were successively revised in 1933, 1935, 1943,...

", 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
North American Bridge Championships
North American Bridge Championships are three annual bridge conventions sponsored by the American Contract Bridge League . The "Spring", "Summer", and "Fall" NABCs are usually scheduled in March, July, and November for about eleven days. They comprise both championship and side contests of...

 (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
Audrey Grant
Audrey Grant is a Canadian professional educator and contract bridge expert, known for her "simple and humorous" approach to teaching bridge....

 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.

See also

  • ACBL Hall of Fame