Now the ANC is over – part one

August 13, 2008 at 10:22 pm 6 comments

The lowlight of this year’s ANC was surely the absence of the Northern Territory. One wonders upon whom this reflects badly. It is hard to believe that the ABF could not relevantly assist the NT to field teams. Does it too mean that the NT has simply not gotten out of the ANC what it should? That is, enjoyable bridge and the camaraderie of the friendly rivalry of the States? If so, then this reflects badly on one and all of us who should be bending over backwards to make our newest member most welcome.

The impact of the absence of the NT was severe. The event was already truncated by the number of boards being decreased to 20 from the usual 24 – why on earth was this done? – and was made shorter again by two byes for each team over the course of 5 days. In the case of the Victorian Open team, for example, we had two whole days with only one match and therefore two whole days where one pair did not play at all. It was completely unsatisfactory.

The ABF has to figure out some way of rectifying this situation, the simplest being a triple-round robin or a double-round robin of longer matches, if, that is, it is unable to bring the NT back to the fold. One can only speculate that this means the NT is no longer going to be hosting the Interstate – does anybody reading this know the answer to that one?

The Northern Territory first joined the Interstate in 1987 and over the years have improved from a team that couldn’t win a match to a team which was capable of beating anybody, though not yet good enough to challenge for a high finish. No doubt both its involvement in the Interstate as well as the possibilities opened up by Internet bridge have played their part in the improvement of the NT. One way or another they add a lot of interest to the ANC – PLEASE COME BACK TO US, NT!!


Entry filed under: 2008 ANC. Tags: , , , .

Bridge: Barclay’s Top Ten for 1932-33 Is this just a New Zealand thing? Doing it on your own.

6 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Peter Gill  |  August 18, 2008 at 4:24 pm

    Does the ABF make money out of the annual NT Gold event
    in late August? If so, could the money be used as airfare and accommodation aid for NT reps? And if there’s no ABF profit, could the ABF’s income from masterpoint levies from the NT Gold event be used to aid NT State reps?
    The ABF is making a good annual profit nowadays,
    so it seems to be that assisting NT should be one
    of the ABF’s priorities.

    If these are good ideas, then who should suggest them to the ABF? Not someone form NT (too self-serving) but perhaps
    seven people, one from each other State and Territory?

    Peter Gill.

  • 2. cathychua  |  August 18, 2008 at 6:39 am

    Yes, it is very important that the NT has improved so much over the years, and certainly I recall the impressive results of last year, being myself on the Victorian Open team which fell to you in at least one of the round robins!

    As for money….I know that Victorians get a subsidy to go to the ANC, but that has come out of a lot of entry fees. If I added up all the events I play at the VBA which add an entry fee charge towards the ANC, I think I’d find I’d be financially better off not playing in those events, than playing and receiving a subsidy.

    Would it help to use a low cost method: say an internet based competition?

    Perhaps it is relevant to know the NT attititude to hosting the ANC. I gather some States see it is important to make sure the players have the best possible tournament – and will use all the funds available to do so – while other States see it as a profit generator. Have the ANCs the NT has hosted been a net creator of income for the Association?

  • 3. Eric Nunn  |  August 18, 2008 at 5:28 am

    Cathy – as a former member of many Northern Territory ANC teams, I have to say that it was very disappointing for us to be unable to field a team this year – but I don’t believe that this reflects badly on anyone. We are very grateful for the support we have received from the ABF over many years, and continue to enjoy a good working relationship.

    Most of us have enjoyed participation in the past and even some good results – witness the very respectable results achieved by our Women’s and Open Teams in 2007 in Perth. I have played in more ANCs than I could possibly count, and have always enjoyed the challenge and comradeship.

    The root cause of the problem is the small pool of players that we have in the Territory – compounded by a brain-drain to the eastern States. (I could name almost 20 former ANC players who have moved interstate over the years.) You may not be aware that Territory players in ANCs pay their own significant travel and accommodation expenses, unlike players from other States.

    With less than 150 NT players in total, I believe that the NT has been pulling above its weight for some time, and I hope that we can continue to do so next year.

    Eric Nunn

  • 4. cathychua  |  August 14, 2008 at 10:41 pm

    Peter, I love the idea of State of Origin. I don’t know about messing with the Interstate, much as I can see the advantage for bolstering the NT and Tas teams, but why not a separate event???

    Of course we would have to add NZ as a category, so all those Kiwis who come over there to play for Australia would find themselves right back where they started!!

  • 5. Peter Gill  |  August 14, 2008 at 3:21 pm

    I think Cathy makes excellent points.

    My points are much less clearcut.

    Our NSW Open Team had a Bye on the 4-match Tuesday,
    then by coming 4th in the first Round Robin we managed to get a perfectly timed Bye in the last match ion Wednesday, allowing us to go out to a team dinner – Chill at Main Beach
    is a very good restaurant, but a tad pricy.

    I would blame our victory in the event on the quality of our team, with Darwin-born Tony Nunn and the like, rather than the timing of the Byes, but I will not argue with those who disagree.

    If there is a Bye, then the team that wins the first round robin should be able to choose their team number so that they have their Bye in the 2nd round robin at their preferred time.

    Di – does NT pay an entry fee per team to play in the ANC?
    If so, then either:
    – the entry fee should be permanently reduced to zero dollars, or
    – the higher of Tas and NT each year in both Open and Women’s events should win the entitlement of free entry in
    the same event in the following year

    I think NT and perhaps Tas should have the right to include State Of Origin players in their teams, should they so desire. That would mean that Tony Nunn would be entitled to play for NT. Perhaps this could be extended to allow past State reps such as Stephen Fischer also to be eligible for NT?
    This might be a bit controversial but the State of Origin concept is popular in at least one other sport. This would not affect the rights of such Tasmanians as Richard Hills, Mark Abraham and Hugh Grosvenor to play for their adopted State.

    If NT cannot get a whole team together, then perhaps a combined team from NT and North Queensland might be possible.

    Quiz Question: which Women’s team came 2nd in the 2nd round robin in 2006 and came 2nd in the first Round Robin
    in 2007? Clue: They did not take part in 2008.

    Peter Gill

  • 6. Di Marler  |  August 14, 2008 at 2:15 am

    Hi Cathy,

    A comment from the ABF Management Committee side of things with respect to getting the NT involved. When we found out the NT would not be represented, we tried everything possible, including offering monetary assistance, but met with no willingness to field even one team. The ABF MC are keen to make sure that the NT remain involved in the interstate teams competition and will be working actively with them to reach a win/win resolution for both parties. We have already talked about the issue of the ANC in Darwin in 2011 and it is on our radar to chase down.

    As to the length of the matches, timings, number of rounds and byes, this has all been referred to the ABF TC because it too was raised at the ABF MC held recently. I conveyed the disappointment of many players and administrators at the changes to the format and the 4 match situation on the Tuesday to the members of the MC and it was agreed that the TC needed to sharpen their pencils and reconsider the 2008 format for next year.

    If you would like to add these comments to your “blog”, please do so, I’d be happy for everyone to know what has transpired.

    Kind regards,


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