American Contract Bridge League

ACBL logo.png

The American Contract Bridge League (ACBL) is a governing body for contract bridge in the United States, Canada, Mexico, and Bermuda.[1] It is the largest such organization in North America having the stated mission "to promote, grow and sustain the game of bridge and serve the bridge-related interests of our Members." Its major activities are:

  • sanctioning games at local bridge clubs and regional events
  • certifying bridge teachers and club directors
  • conducting the North American Bridge Championships (NABC)
  • providing education materials and services
  • administering the ACBL masterpoints system for tracking player performance
  • providing oversight for ethical behavior and play
  • Besides representing the interests of its members with the World Bridge Federation,

As of 2018, it had more than 165,000 members.[2]


The ACBL was created in 1937 by the merger of the American Bridge League and the United States Bridge Association in 1937. At that time, its bridge tournaments were open only to white people, with the American Bridge Association running tournaments in which black people were allowed to play. In 1967, the American Contract Bridge League (ACBL) removed the final obstacle to ACBL membership for African-Americans when it included in its by-laws a rule that no person could be denied membership because of race, color, or creed[3]


A not-for-profit organization, the ACBL was founded on December 23, 1937 in New York City and later moved its company headquarters to Greenwich, Connecticut, then to Memphis, Tennessee in 1971[4] and to Horn Lake, Mississippi in 2010.[5] It has a full-time staff of about 60 employees in Horn Lake, plus about 160 tournament directors throughout the country. The headquarters also houses the League's Museum, Library and League's Hall of Fame.[4]

North American Bridge Championships (NABC)Edit

Three times a year, in the spring, summer, and fall, the ACBL holds the North American Bridge Championships (NABC) using the duplicate bridge method of scoring, which greatly reduces the element of luck in competition. The NABC typically extends over eleven days and includes many different events. The location of the NABC is rotated among major cities, attended by thousands of players. The 2009 Summer Nationals in Washington, DC had 14,115 total tables played over the 11 days.[6]


For many, 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 except as part of a penalty imposed for ethics violations.

Education and supportEdit

Members receive the monthly Bridge Bulletin magazine.

In addition to the Laws of Duplicate Bridge (named Laws of Duplicate Contract Bridge until 2008), the ACBL offers many other training and information resources at its official website including software supporting education and play of the game,

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.

Total Club Table CountEdit

Year Total Online Club
2013 3,129,056 942,040 2,157,016
2014 3,154,565 1,007,856 2,146,709
2015 3,190,839 1,058,149 2,132,690
2016 3,164,156 1,041,604 2,122,552
2017 3,154,684 1,081,206 2,073,478


The ACBL consists of 25 Districts. Each District elects a District Director (DD) who serves a three-year term on the ACBL Board of Directors. Clicking on the district number brings up the web site for that District. Clicking on the Report brings up the District Director report.

District Area Director DD Report
1 Eastern Canada Leo Weniger Reports
2 Ontario, Manitoba, Bermuda Paul Janicki Reports
3 Eastern New York (not New York City), Northern New Jersey Carlos Munoz Reports
4 Central New York, Eastern Pennsylvania, Delaware, Southern New Jersey Joann Glasson Report
5 Western PA, Eastern OH, Western NY, Western MD, Northern West VA Sharon Fairchild
6 Washington, DC, Virginia & Maryland Margot Hennings Report
7 North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia & Eastern Tennessee Bob Heller Report
8 St. Louis, Northern Indiana, Central and Southern Illinois & Paducah Georgia Heth Reports
9 Florida and Puerto Rico Jay Whipple III Reports
10 Mid-South Bridge Conference Russ Jones Report
11 Kentucky, Western Ohio, Central Indiana & West Virginia AJ Stephani Report
12 Most of Michigan, Northwestern Ohio Dennis Carman Reports
13 Chicago, Wisconsin & Upper Michigan Suzi Subeck
14 Iowa, Minnesota, North & South Dakota and Nebraska Sharon Anderson
15 Southwest Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Western Arkansas & Northern Texas Phyllis Harlan
16 Most of Texas, All of Mexico Paul Cuneo
17 Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, Southern NV, Eastern Utah, West Texas, Wyoming Bonnie Bagley Report
18 Western Canada, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Utah Claire Jones Reports
19 Alaska, Washington State, British Columbia Marv Norden
20 Washington, Oregon, Northern California, Nevada & Hawaii Merlin Vilhauer
21 Northern California and part of Northern Nevada Jacqueline Zayac Reports
22 Southern California David Lodge Reports
23 California: Los Angeles County Kevin Lane
24 New York City and Long Island Alvin Levy
25 New England Bob Bertoni Reports

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "American Contract Bridge League". Retrieved 2022-10-31.
  2. ^ District 1 Director's Report by Leo Weniger, Summer 2016.
  3. ^ Bridge Guys website on ABA history
  4. ^ a b DeSoto Times Tribune: Horn Lake gets $3 million project
  5. ^ ACBL Bridge Bulletin, August 2010, page 9.
  6. ^ "2009 Washington D.C. Report". Archived from the original on 2010-09-20. Retrieved 2009-08-08.

External linksEdit