Why Masterpoints Deserve Care

Principles of Masterpoint Administration

Teams Versus Pairs
Changing the massive discrepancy between team and pair events

Building a Better Formula
Criteria for a good formula, problems with the current formulas, and a better formula.

What You Can Do

Other Information

Messageboard, email

Inflation Versus Complaints

It is relatively easy to construct formulas that equate masterpoints for field size and type of event. The tough decision is deciding the level of the new awards. For example, should the awards for pairs events be raised to meet the existing awards in team games, or should team awards also be reduced so that the two meet in the middle?

The No-Reduction Policy

The "no-reduction" policy would be that no masterpoint awards are reduced. To follow this policy, the team awards would be left the same and the pair awards would be doubled.

The problem with the "no-reduction" policy is that it will create massive inflation. There has been inflation in masterpoints since they began, but it has always been small and slow. Massive inflation tends to undermine the integrity of masterpoints.

The No-Inflation Policy

A second choice is the "no-inflation" policy. In this policy, the level of the awards is set to keep overall inflation to a minimum. The no-inflation policy is the "right thing" to do.

The difficulty with the no-inflation policy is that it would require cutting awards for some events. For example, the team game would not award as many points as it used to.

The problem with cutting is that some ACBL members will be unhappy -- their masterpoints were taken away from them. This is not a wise or knowledgeable response on their part. Therefore, their unhappiness could be reduced by educating these members. This response also will not last long. But it is still a problem. The Board of Directors quite appropriately does not want unhappy members.


Some cutting is inevitable. And if massive inflation is chosen, I think members need to be educated about that too. So in any case, education is appropriate.

While I feel a need for immediate change, one possibility is for the ACBL to spread the more obvious reductions out over 2 years. For example, to achieve a 25% reduction in the awards for team games, there could be a 14% reduction one year and a 13% reduction the next. Then members would not notice the reductions.

Triple Points at the Clubs

All club games can now be upgraded to charity events, charging an extra dollar per person and awarding points at a section rating. In our area, this is called Triple Points. This website was constructed before that policy became active, and it is only now becoming widespread in my area. Obviously, this completely distorts the masterpoint structure and creates massive inflation. I suspect that the awards for tournaments will also have to be increased, in which case their would be massive inflation there too. However, it would allow pairs events to be equated to team events without much trouble.