MAPS AND DECISIONS, III:
Sandra L. Arlinghaus and William C.
Tournament level duplicate bridge is a card
game that is a sport. As is the case with sports, generally,
there is an overseeing body: in basketball it is the National
Basketball Association (NBA); in bridge it is the American Contract
Bridge League for North America (ACBL) and the World Bridge Federation
(WBF) for all nations in the world. The ACBL is a non-profit
organization based in Memphis, Tennessee. The ACBL has about
150,000 members in the U.S.A., Canada, and Mexico. The WBF has
more than 10 million members. The ACBL owns two buildings in
Memphis where they house a large staff to maintain records, databases,
publications, and a host of other operations associated with this
business in the entertainment/sports sector of the business
world. The second author of this work is currently a member of
the Board of Directors of the ACBL. This Board, as do equivalent
boards of other corporations, sets policy for the organization, makes
decisions that affect the entire population of ACBL members, and
oversees the work of the Chief Executive Officer. There are 25
Board members, each representing one geographical "district" of the
ACBL. Thus, the members of the Board of Directors are also
referred to, even though their charge is to represent the interests of
the entire ACBL, "District Directors."
The second author was also a member
of the "Redistricting Committee," an ACBL Board committee, during the
year 2005. A quick glance at the numbers in Figure
suggests that perhaps the system might work better if the size, shape,
or number of districts were altered. ACBL staff
and management has been interested, for a number of years, in having a
organization. One way to consider such a process is to reduce the
districts and shrink the size of the Board of Directors.
Naturally, Directors from different regions have various viewpoints on
this matter. During 2005, a "redistricting" committee was
convened to consider the possibility of redistricting the ACBL.
Maps offered some useful information for decisions; because the maps
were created in a GIS with database and map interaction, it was
relatively straightforward to create various scenarios for the
Redistricting Committee to consider.
1. ACBL membership mapped by District, based on March 2005 data.
Two of the more plausible
possibilities are presented below in Figure 2a, with 17 districts, and
in Figure 2b, with 25 districts. In each the goal was to balance,
insofar as possible, the number of members in each district (viewing
Florida as an outlier). The map in Figure 2a has 17 districts
responding to management's desire to have a smaller Board of
Directors. The map in Figure 2b has 25 districts; no district
director loses a position. In this case, the maps used in
conjunction with other information, led the Redistricting Committee to
keep the status quo--changing district boundaries creates a great deal
of work in the conversion process so that a realignment of the sort
proposed in Figure 2b seemed not worth the effort. After careful
analysis of the evidence, including the evidence of maps, the decision
was reached to retain the current pattern shown here in the map in
Many thanks to Al Levy, Chair,
ACBL Redistricting Committee and to members of that committee.
to Jay Baum, ACBL CEO, Rick
Beye, Carol Robertson, Richard Oshlag, and Ed Evers, ACBL, for
the materials directly to Sandra Arlinghaus, who then created the map
using GIS software (ESRI, ArcView 3.2) that forges a dynamic link
and outline base map. Graphic adjusments of various kinds were
made in Adobe PhotoShop or Adobe Illustrator.
Solstice: An Electronic Journal
of Geography and
Institute of Mathematical Geography, Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Volume XVII, Number 1.