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  • Ben Thompson Elected to WBF Management Committee

    Congratulations to Ben Thompson, President of the VBA and a management consultant from Melbourne, Australia, who has been elected as a member of the WBF Management Committee in 2019.

    Ben was elected President of the South Pacific Bridge Federation (Zone 7) and a member of the WBF Executive Council in 2018. He has previously been a member of the Australian Bridge Federation Council and Management Committee.

    A WBF World International Master, he first represented Australia in 1989 at the World Juniors and has since played on numerous Australian teams, (but no longer in any of the youth categories!)

    The WBF Management Committee is much like the ABF Management Committee in concept. The Executive Council meets once a year (at the world championship) to discuss and decide on the big issues. It’s a bit like the AGM of a company. There are 20 voting members of the Executive Council; my place is as president of the South Pacific Bridge Federation – the zonal body that includes Australia and New Zealand. There are EC members from several other sources – eg 2 from the High-Level Players Committee

    The Management Committee is selected by the Executive Council from amongst its members, with some restrictions to ensure a spread of representation. The MC is the body that is responsible for decision-making between meetings of the EC; in practice the President, the Treasurer and our small staff are in practice the operations team. The MC meets a few times a year outside the world championships, and also via email/skype/etc.

    As an example of how the decision-making flows, the host city for the 2020 world championship has not yet been finalised. There is a leading candidate (and a couple of alternates), which was discussed by EC in Wuhan. We anticipate the Ts&Cs will be settled by mid-November and so MC will consider (and hopefully approve) them & the contract at our meeting in early December.

    It’s important for our geographically isolated zone to have a voice at the highest levels of governance in world bridge. It ensures that the WBF considers issues that are important to us (for example reasonable access to WBF tournaments, training, and development support in our geographically vast zone). Our zone’s input has traditionally been valued at world level for our fair-minded independence, as well as our technical and organisational excellence as evidenced in our putting on several of the world’s largest and best-run tournaments (eg the Gold Coast Congress).

    Ben had this to say about his predceesor “The South Pacific was represented extremely well by my predecessor, John Wignall of New Zealand, for over 30 years. I do not expect to match John’s tenure or track record but I shall do my best.”



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