Here’s the statement from ACBL:
August 17, 2021
Dear fellow ACBL Members,
Yesterday we notified the sponsors of four sectional tournaments scheduled to begin in September that we will assign tournament directors to staff their tournaments, and they can be held as scheduled. One of these sectionals has since made the decision to cancel. There are an additional six sectionals where decisions are pending per discussion with the tournament sponsors. We are currently discussing options with those sponsors and will update the schedule as soon decisions are made to go forward or cancel. Seaside, Oregon, is host to the one open regional scheduled to begin in September, and we are holding off on making a staffing decision for that tournament until August 20, which is approximately 30 days before the start of the event. You can see the list of scheduled tournaments here. I know the sponsors will do a great job of providing a safe playing area and will make sure the players have the best experience possible under the constantly changing circumstances in which we find ourselves.
Due to the pandemic, there has not been an open tournament held since March of 2020, and we are excited that it is now possible to staff some tournaments. We are making our decisions on staffing on a case-by-case basis, looking at multiple criteria to help ensure the safety of those attending, volunteering and directing. The criteria include local restrictions, virus positivity rates, vaccination rates and local bridge club activity.
We have also issued an updated ACBL’s Tournament Covid Precautions Policy, which you can find here. We are requiring all participants, players, volunteers and ACBL staff, to be fully vaccinated, and some tournaments may recommend or require face masks, depending on local conditions. Please comply with all safety precautions for your protection and the protection of everyone else present. Everyone’s safety is our top priority. We recognize the danger presented by the Delta variant and encourage everyone to wear a mask, even if they are not required, and to please stay home if you are not feeling well or if you are in a high-risk category.
Many of you have contacted me asking if we will hold the Fall NABC in Texas. As of today, it’s a go. We are very hopeful that the current spike in infections will decrease by November and that we will be able to have a safe event. We are continually monitoring the local conditions for the Fall NABC and all the other upcoming scheduled tournaments. We will provide periodic updates on staffing.
Thank you for continuing to support the ACBL through these trying times. Since the pandemic hit last year, my leadership team and the Board of Directors have worked tirelessly to make good decisions to benefit membership. We quickly expanded opportunities to play online, successfully negotiated out of five NABC contracts at minimal cost, and now are plotting course to return to in-person tournament play. A consistent path forward is difficult due to the many unknowns, so we appreciate your patience and understanding.