Colorado West Unit 364
Board of Directors Meeting

July 12, 2021, 10:00 a.m., via Zoom Videoconference

President Randy Fields called the meeting order at 10:05 a.m.

Board members present were Tim Ellis, Randy Fields, Mitch Hayne, Keith Nichols, Karlene Spivak, Don Squires, Greg Westernick, and Leah Williams. Absent was Steve Huber.

ACBL Tournament Guidelines: Randy raised the guidelines issue. He first noted that the previous 11’ spacing of tables has been dropped to 9’, which is more manageable.

He then mentioned that we had requested a policy of vaccination only and no masks from the ACBL. The ACBL went the other way, saying in essence proof of vaccination is required but with medical or religious exemptions allowed. They also required masks.

Don noted that the guidelines appear to leave the final decision on these points up to the Unit hosting the event. Keith pointed out the use of the word “may”, which differs from shall or must, when they referred to the exemptions, which supports the idea that we can but don’t have to allow exemptions.

Both Keith & Don suggested that the language in item #3 of the guidelines, “These exceptions will be determined by the event sponsor or the ACBL on a case-by-case basis. Accommodations may be made in your discretion . . .”, leaves this up to the tournament organizers.

Karlene moved that the Vail sectional be restricted to those who provide proof of full vaccination; Keith seconded. The motion passed with one vote opposed by Greg out of concern for possible liability to the Unit.

Mitch noted that the Vail flyer states that our mask policy is to be determined. In light of the latest ACBL guidelines, Keith suggested using their reference to an opt in/opt out policy with respect to the use of masks, even though everyone will have be vaccinated.

The board supported these interpretations and Randy said he would clarify them with Debbie Vicknair at the ACBL.

Vail Valley Sectional:

  1. Tournament Chair: Tim Ellis has volunteered to serve as Tournament Chair and told the board that things were progressing well. He has had the assistance of Bert Soloman, the previous Tournament Chair.
  2. Dates: Vail was originally scheduled to start in July, so the ACBL canceled it. The board has shifted the dates to the first weekend in August, which has been accepted by both the ACBL and the school/venue.
  3. Food/amenities: Tim has purchased a large number of small bottles of hand sanitizer to pass out and agreed with Randy’s suggestion of placing larger bottles throughout the room.
    Tim plans to make small packages of snacks available and for lunch on Sunday, will be taking sandwich orders that will be provided by a local caterer. He’s not sure about the viability of a coffee/tea/water station. He may just provide sealed bottles of water.
  4. Local Pandemic Rules: Mitch noted that currently, Eagle County is doing quite well in regard to vaccination rates, positivity rate, and general pandemic constraints Mitch feels that folks attending the Vail sectional should not be too concerned, especially those fully vaccinated.
  5. Costs: Greg asked Tim if he could come up with a budget estimating costs that we might expect. The board agreed that using the 2019 tournament report but at 50% would be a reasonable approach.

Peach Sectional:

  1. Mesa County: Randy shared the pandemic numbers for Mesa County and they didn’t look good. Positivity rate, hospitalizations, and deaths are going up. Vaccination rate for the county is very low compared to the rest of Colorado. Randy doesn’t think the county will meet the ACBL’s requirement of less than 5% positivity by the time of the event.
    He noted that the Grand Junction clubs are not open and many players in the area have said they won’t be attending the Peach if it is held.
  2. Cancellation: the board considered waiting a couple of weeks to see whether Mesa County improved. But after listing the risks involved – county’s downward trend, 30 day no-penalty cancellation with the Courtyard, older players, some with underlying health conditions, the fact that the county could shut down at will, the fact that we may not meet the ACBL’s standards and that they could cancel us at any time, and the financial risk to the Unit – the board decided to cancel now. Greg moved that we cancel the Peach and Don seconded. The motion passed unanimously.
  3. Randy & Keith will draft a letter to Unit members outlining our decision and focusing on the Vail sectional.
  4. Leah will cancel the tournament with the ACBL.

Randy suggested an offer that he, Tim, & Keith discussed when they met to talk about the Vail & Peach tournaments. He thought it would provide good support for the reopening clubs to underwrite essentially a freeplay day at the club where the Unit would cover the player fees for a day. He suggested that the board think about it and we’ll discuss it at the next board meeting.

Keith plans to order a packet of current convention cards for Vail as the ones we have now are from 2002. When we have the new ones, he’ll offer the old ones to the Unit clubs.

Financials: Greg provided a financial report that indicated minimal expenses and revenues and showed a net total to date of $29,815.36.

With no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 11:00 a.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Keith Nichols