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Just the facts, mam!

Posted By: Joe Russell
Date: Wednesday, 17 July 2013, at 11:59 a.m.

In Response To: USBGF rate increase (Rod)

The cost of the USBGF magazine is exorbitant. It is a very high quality publication with some of the best written articles on our game. There is so much work involved in publishing it, a few people must be paid to guarantee its quality and timeliness. We realized that the magazine was a major source of our expenses and decide we needed to charge more for it. We, also, realized that some people would not want to pay $60 a year for a PREMIUM membership, so we LOWERED membership from $40 to $35 for people that could not afford or did not care about the magazine. The difference between a BASIC MEMBERSHIP and the PREMIUM MEMBERSHIP is the inclusion of the magazine in the latter.

For a person that wants a BASIC MEMBERSHIP for $35 a year, they get a whole heck of a lot more now than they did for $40 three years ago. We now have: a live National Championship each year, with East and West tournaments; an Online National Championship that is quite possibly the best test of backgammon skill of any event in the world; we now own and run the Nation's Cup, which pits teams for over 30 nations in the Olympics of backgammon; we co-sponsor the IBT, which is another international competition that pits some of the world best players; we have an online Director's Cup; we host the online Team Event for any five members that wish to form a team; we host the Local Club Championship, which pits the various local clubs against each other to determine a national champion; we have monthly events that are very popular and give novices and intermediates a chance to play against world champions; we give instructional videos on Facebook and on the USBGF site; we host seminars and quizzes at ABT events; we teach backgammon at universities and have hosted three national collegiate championships; we keep live and online ELO ratings in the various divisions; we have designed, approved, and will soon be instituting a USBGF MASTER POINT SYSTEM, which the backgammon community has needed for a long time.

All in all, I think a prospective member gets lot more for $35 today than he would have for $40 three years ago. Gouging our members? No way.

I do respect your intelligence and creativity and would love to hear your ideas on how to make the organization grow. Please feel free to contact me anytime you would like.

I think if you really want to see the USBGF succeed, you would be better served in sharing your positive thoughts on how we can increase membership than in taking a negative approach.

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