What’s the Deal with the NABF?
Alex J Coyne © 2019 Great Bridge Links
The North American Bridge Federation is the newest of the World Bridge Federation’s Zonal Authorities and comprises the Federacion Mexicana de Bridge, the USBF and the Canadian Bridge Federation.
Players from North America have a lot of questions about this, not the least of which is “Why?” We got in touch with Sue Munday from the American Contract Bridge League (and Managing Editor of the Bridge Bulletin) for an interview.
GBL: How new is the NABF compared to other federations?
ACBL: The North American Bridge Federation is the newest of the World Bridge Federation’s Zonal Authorities. It has just been incorporated by officers of the U.S. Bridge Federation, and a first meeting is planned following the ACBL’s Spring North American Bridge Championships.
The NABF is made up of the three National Bridge Organizations (NBO) in North America: the Canadian Bridge Federation, the Federacion Mexicana de Bridge and the USBF. The NBOs are the mechanisms for participating in WBF world championships and other international competitions.
Formerly, the ACBL was the Zonal Authority for Zone 2 of the WBF. The new federation was formed when the WBF and ACBL agreed that the ACBL could no longer act as the Zonal Authority for Zone 2 of the WBF.
GBL: Why can’t the ACBL act as Zonal Authority for Zone 2?
Complicated answer. The WBF is committed to Olympic Games participation, meaning that all subsets of the WBF (Zones) must be also. Because the ACBL will not submit to the authority of the Court for Arbitration of Sport or the World Anti-Doping Association, the ACBL could not function as the Zone 2 rep, and the WBF told the ACBL of its decision about two years ago. This means that a new zonal organization for North America had to be created, thus the NABF was formed.
So we have the WBF (world), the NABF (Zone 2: North America) and three NBOs (USBF, CBF and FMB for the three member countries of North America, USA, Canada and Mexico).
The ACBL is to the WBF sort of like the NBA is to world/Olympic basketball … not really part of the hierarchy.
GBL: Do the 3 involved NBO’s pay any fee to the NABF? Do members?
No and no.
GBL: Do Canada, Mexico and the U.S. still share membership in the ACBL?
ACBL: Players in Canada, Mexico, the U.S. and also Bermuda are members of the ACBL. The Canadian, Mexican and U.S. NBOs, however, are not members of the ACBL, just of the WBF.
GBL: What’s involved in serving on the board?
ACBL: The Board will consist of nine directors: two directors appointed by the ACBL, two director sappointed by the CBF, one director appointed by the FMB and four directors appointed by the USBF.
A director’s duties include attending conference call Board meetings to elect representatives to the WBF Executive Committee and dealing with any other issues that may arise involving the three NBOs.
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GBL: How does this affect things for the larger bridge world?
ACBL: The formation of this new federation consolidates issues relative to international competition and puts them in the hands of the North American NBOs, who have been doing the work all along. The transition should be invisible as far as the larger bridge world goes.
GBL: Any essential information that you’d like to pass along?
ACBL: The ACBL Board of Directors is seeking qualified applicants to represent its membership on the board of the NABF. The two ACBL positions will be filled at the 2019 Spring NABC meetings in Memphis. The ACBL Board of Directors is also seeking applicants to represent its membership on the Executive Council of the World Bridge Federation. The ACBL will nominate one person to serve on the council at the NABC in Memphis.
The term for all of these positions will begin immediately and ends on Dec. 31, 2021.
Members of the ACBL in good standing and at least 18 years of age who desire to be a candidate for these positions must file a written declaration of candidacy. All supporting materials detailing qualifications for this position should be included. The deadline is March 15.
ACBL Contact Details
ACBL Director of Elections,
P.O. Box 289, Horn Lake MS
6575 Windchase Blvd.
Horn Lake MS 38637-1523
Source: World Bridge Federation –
On Monday 29 April, the members of the board of the NABF (formed bythe Canadian Bridge Federation -CBF-, the Federation of Mexican Bridge -FMB– and the United States Bridge Federation -USBF-) met to elect its Officers and the five members of the WBF Executive Council for the legislature 2019 – 2022.
All the nine members of the Board (John Carruthers, Alberto Cohen, Nader Hanna, Georgia Heth, Alvin Levy , Jan Martel, Brad Moss, Beth Palmer, Suzi Subeck) attended the meeting.
The elected officers of the NABF are:
President : Jan Martel, from USA
Secretary: Nader Hanna, from Canada
As representatives to the WBF Executive Council the NABF re-elected Alvin Levy from USA (WBF 1st Vice President and member of the E.C. since his first election in 2004) and elected for their first term Alberto “Beto” Cohen, from Mexico, Nader Hanna from Canada, Suzi Subeck, from USA and Adam Wildavsky, from USA.