Master Point Treatise

All About Masterpoints

Since its inception, the ACBL has used a system of masterpoints to measure players’ achievements. In the early days, masterpoints were difficult to win and an accumulation of 300 points (Before 1940 women had to have 110 points and men had to have 260 points) put a player into the highest category: Life Master. The designation indicated that the player not only was recognized as an expert, but further, that he or she no longer had to pay annual dues for the remainder of his or her lifetime.

At that time all points were black. In 1944 all players had to have a total of 300 of which 30 must come from a National Championship or 50 must come from a Regional.  In 1950 the requirements were 300 of which 30 red points came from a National or 50 red points from a Regional.  In 1969 you had to have 300 points of which 50 were red.  In January 1969 the gold point requirement was added making the requirement 300 points of which 25 had to be gold and 25.00 had to be red or gold.  In 1988 the silver point requirement was added making the requirements 300 of which 25 had to be gold, 25 had to be red (or gold) and 50 had to be silver.  In 1999 they added the additional requirement that at least 50 points of the 300 points had to be black.  As of January 1, 2020 the gold, red silver and black point requirements will increase to 50 gold or platinum, plus 50 red, gold or platinum, plus 75 each of black and silver and the total points required will increase to 500. These new requirements do not apply to paid-up members as of December 31, 2009.

So, how are masterpoints awarded? At the club level, a game awards 0.10 (black) points for each table in a Mitchell game. A Mitchell game is one where the N-S pairs remain stationary and the E-W pairs move every round. This movement produces two winners. In a Howell movement, there is only one winner (and generally only one or two stationary pairs) so the masterpoint awards are based on the number of pairs, not the number of tables.

In a club game, masterpoints are award to 40% of the pairs. Thus, a 20 table game has 4 places in each direction. First plac4 pays 0.1mp per table; second place is 0.7mp, third place is 0.5mp and fourth place is 0.35mp. This is a .7 reduction for each level. When there are multiple sections, the overall awards are based on the total number of tables in play. This was the case when we had a novice section in November. In a Club Championship game the mp awards are increased to 65% of Sectional rating and the Overall awards are based on the total number of pairs in both directions.  You will note that some MP awards are listed SA, SB or SC; others are OA, OB AND OC. A pair will receive the higher of the awards earned, either Section or Overall.

The awards increase at the Sectional tournament level, and the points awarded are Silver. At the Regional level the awards are even higher and are Red for placing in a section and Gold for overalls and section tops. At the National level, Platinum awards are available in certain events and the award scale is even higher. Winning a major National team event can pay 250 Platinum points, and a major National Pairs event 190 points. Regional KO Teams pay a maximum of 65 Gold points.

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