[personal profile] dmaze
The ACBL's latest Web page redesign includes a page that gives your rank (inverse matchpoints) and percentile in a wide range of masterpoint categories, for instance where you are relative to all players that got any gold points this year. If you just copy-and-paste that page into a spreadsheet and do some basic math, you can find out the size of each category, which makes some interesting statements.

Gender balance: Almost twice as many women as men (assuming binary classification). (I may have commented on this before somewhere, given this it feels like men are overrepresented at the wins-national-events level.)

Married couples: The bickering married bridge couple was once a mainstay of popular bridge culture. ACBL claims about 6% as many households as members today (in two cases I can think of locally this is parent-child, not married couple). A household membership is slightly cheaper (and bridge players are kind of stingy) but not strictly required.

EMBA: There are about 500 players in Massachusetts (out of 3500 total) in the Central and Western Massachusetts Bridge Associations, combined. There are about 3000 players in the Eastern Massachusetts Bridge Association (Cape and Islands west to about 495). Should EMBA merge with CMBA, but spin off the Cape? The CMBA Auburn sectional is closer to Boston than the EMBA Hyannis sectional (when it happens).

Black points: About 1.3% of players with some points have no black points. 4.2% of players who earned any points this year didn't earn any black. (Black points come from club games, which are most frequently a weekday thing. If you have a job, black points are hard.)

Silver and red: 85% and 81% of ACBL members have silver and red points, respectively (from sectional and regional tournaments, usually weekend things, but regionals usually run 5 days in total). 64% and 58% of ACBL members have silver and red points this year (up through October 6). So there must be a significant fraction of ACBL membership that just doesn't play tournaments unless they're dropped in their lap. (29,000 members have no points this year; but 52,000 have no silver this year and 54,000 no gold.)

Gold: Many places, and many players, make a big deal out of gold points: you need to do well, at a regional, in a 2-session event, that's not an advertised newcomer game. Gold points seem to be the major impediment to reaching Life Master, and the one marketing success the ACBL has had is running "Gold Rush" events that meet the exact minimum requirements to pay gold points. I'm of a mixed mind on them (they encourage people to play, but also cheapen the LM requirements, and they're universally newcomer-quality games) but the stats suggest their popularity: 40% of players have no gold points at all, and of those that do, 30% got no additional gold this year (through October).



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