You are at the web site of the Southern Michigan Bridge Association (SOMBA), Unit 203 of the American Contract Bridge League.  SOMBA along with MBA supervises and works to promote bridge in southeastern Michigan.  SOMBA hosts several tournaments each year, including the Valentine Sectional in February, the Springtacular 0-299 Sectional in April, the Wolverine Regional in May, the Apple Cider Sectional in November and the Spooktakular 0-299er Sectional in October.  Please visit this site often to keep you informed of current events and milestones in the area along with articles on bridge bidding and play.  SOMBA, in conjunction with The Michigan Bridge Association (Unit 137) also produces a Bridge Directory (see tab above) listing the members of each unit and the active bridge clubs in the area.

SOMBA Valentine Sectional
February 8th to 11th
Bridge Connection
  Southfield, MI

Click here for results
SOMBA Springtacular Sectional
April 13th to 14th
Birmingham Unitarian Church
  Bloomfield Hills, MI

Click here for results
SOMBA Wolverine Regional
May 14th to 20th
William Costick Center
Farmington Hills, MI

Click here for flyer
Joint MBA/SOMBA Sectional
June 21st to 24th
Bridge Connection
Southfield, MI

Click here for flyer

Keeping You Informed

Welcome to the New SOMBA Members

February March
An Sachiko Ellen Ehrlich
Karen Sanders Andrena Neeley
Beverly Neumann
John Patry
Wendy Patry
David Satwicz
Beulaka Woodfin

Masterpoint Achievements

February Achievements March Achievements
Junior Master Chie Kawata Junior Master Jacqueline Blake
Junior Master Grace Rashid Club Master Mark Merritt
Junior Master Frank Uller Regional Master Beverly Marco
Junior Master Nancy Uller Regional Master Ronald Zurilla
Junior Master Robert Walsh Life Master Melinda Muirhead
Club Master Jeanne Korsh Bronze Life MasterDavid Dursum
Club Master Mike Roeder
Club Master Richard Verhelle
Sectional Master Maureen Sillman
Regional Master John Berry
Bronze Life MasterMargie Ried
Bronze Life MasterEva Rival
Bronze Life MasterJane Roeser
Bronze Life MasterWilma Swayze
Silver Life Master Linda Mittelstaedt
Ruby Life Master Charles Schiff

SOMBA Winners @ Gatlinburg (4/18)

Fred Batten Jonathan Fleishman
Vishwas Gadgil Larry Lewis
Owen Lien Curtis Mann
Karen Mann Naresh Kapila
Dick Peacock Lucy Peacock
Lynn Root Lakshmi Vora

Bridge the Gap

State of the Unit (203 SOMBA)
July thru November 2017 (12/17)

by Dave Fletcher

It is hard to believe that it's now December and I'm scrambling to get ready for the Holiday events.   With 10 grand children, that’s a lot of shopping.

Somba had a busy second half of the year.   There was a board meeting in September (minutes can be accessed via the Minutes link above) and of course the October Spooktacular and November Apple Cider Sectionals.   I wish to thank all those that attended and of course the board members and volunteers who put all the effort into making them happen.

Please welcome our new board members becoming active in January- Dave Dursum and Diane Kosuda.   Congratulate them next time you see them. Next month will be the election of a new slate of officers and the appointment of new committee chairpersons.   Please consider offering your help.   We especially need new ideas in the area of membership and education.   We always appreciate fresh ideas.

Please be aware that Susan Woodrow is spearheading a youth bridge camp next July for kids 10-15.   Look for a flyer at your local clubs.   This is a terrific opportunity for young people to experience our great game as well as the usual camp fun of activities and campfires.

The January election of a new SOMBA president will mark the end of my service as your President.   I would like to thank all the membership that supported me but especially the board members (past and present) and club owners who have been such a dedicated team for the advancement of bridge.   Thank you all!

With that note, I wish you all very Happy Holidays and a great New Year.   Hope you all reach that new master point milestone!!!

Dave Fletcher 586-206-6556 hdfletch@aol.com


Congrats to the 2017 Ace of Clubs & Mini-McKenney Winners

       Ace of Clubs    Mini-McKenney
0 - 5            Alan Hassoun    Alan Hassoun
5 - 20          Maurine Sillman    Maurine Sillman
20 - 50        Sandra Wolfe    Sandra Wolfe
50 - 100      Song Lin   Mary Jo Campbell
100 - 200    John Grant            Tony Willemsen
200 - 300    Norman Wechsler Lisa Karam
300 - 500    Anita Green           Lori Strager
500 - 1000  Larry Cohen          Kenneth Geisler
1000 - 1500Charles Schiff       Charles Schiff
1500 - 2500Robert MandelsonRobert Mandelson
2500 - 3500Robert RafRobert Raf
3500 - 5000Georgene Cronin  Georgene Cronin
5000 - 7500           Debra Evaes         Jerry Grossman
7500 - 10,000        Jack Shartsis        Jack Shartsis
Over 10,000          Michael Crane     Michael Crane

SOMBA Membership Meeting

At the Regional Saturday May 19th following the day’s play(approximately 5:45), there will be a brief SOMBA membership meeting. The primary agenda item will be to vote on several changes to our by-laws being made for clarification of appointee terms of office and to assist the board conduct business. Those changes are shown below. There will also be an opportunity to share any member ideas or concerns.

Hope to see you there!!

By-Law Change Proposals

Article IV

2. The Unit Board of Directors shall fix the time and place of the annual meeting and shall give appropriate notice by mail of such meeting.

Article VII

6. Any vacancy on the Board of Directors that occurs between elections shall be filled by the next highest vote getter in the last election and the person so appointed shall be deemed a full voting member of the board and shall hold office for the remainder of the unexpired term. If such a candidate is not available, the Board of Directors shall appoint a director to fill the remainder of the term

Article VIII

3-h (NEW) All votes including officer elections require directors to be present. However, it is permissible for directors to participate in board meetings via phone conference call.   They will be allowed to verbally vote given they have been online for the entire discussion of the topic being voted on.   No proxy votes are permitted.   Any member may request a closed ballot rather than a show of hands.

(NEW) The president may call for an email vote on topics needing decisions between formal meetings.   All directors must be contacted and all input shared.   If any member prefers that the vote be conducted at a formal meeting, the president is allowed to make the decision to call a special meeting (because he/she believes there may be merit to face to face discussion) or to accept the majority board (8) email vote result.

New Club Opening (2/18)

The Fun Duplicate Bridge Club is open to all novice bridge players (0-99 MPs).   Some sessions will be a Barometer style duplicate game where all tables will have 10 minutes to play the same hand.   This is followed by 5 minutes of discussion on the bidding and the play of the hand.   This type of game is a cross between a lesson and duplicate bridge.   The intent is to improve bridge skills and to help newer players get accustomed to duplicate bridge (movements and scoring) in a friendly environment.   Other sessions will start with a mini-lesson or question and answer period before the start of a regular duplicate game.

The game will be held on the second Wednesday of the month at 21800 Marter Rd., St. Clair Shores starting at noon.

If you have any questions, please call Jane Hall at (586)201-0045.

Suggestions Turned in at Wolverine Regional (2/18)

In an effort to improve the tournament experience for our members, the SOMBA board solicited opinions from players at the Wolverine Regional.  The following suggestions were received.  The SOMBA board has considered them and offered their responses (in blue italics). 
  • The tables are too small and rickety.  SOMBA will have different tables next year. 
  • The cards are sticky.  The directors will replace any decks you feel have seen their day.  Just ask. 
  • Check bidding boxes for missing bids.  SOMBA cleaned all the bidding boxes the week before the tournament.  Bidding cards were replaced when worn and many one-club and pass cards were also replaced.  At the same time, we checked for any missing bids.  We are sorry we missed a few. 
  • Have a 50/50 raffle.  The SOMBA board will review for logistics and purpose. 
  • The director warned a player when I called for a zero tolerance issue.  Shouldn’t there be penalties?  The directors were advised that it would be preferred if they used their strictest approach.  Board match points were taken away for several incidents.  Although every call involves the director’s discretion, we will continue to remind them we want actions that prevent future zero tolerance issues. 
  • Please call each round so as to keep the game moving, even if it results in late plays.  We will request this of the directors for future tournaments.
  • Two session events should occur with a sufficient break, such as 1 pm and 6:30 pm.  Tournament committees constantly struggle with the times and kinds of events to have for each tournament.  Efforts are made to provide the best variety of events and to consider traffic and opportunities to eat.  We have not yet found the perfect combination. 
  • Why does the Costick Activities Center close and clean restrooms during play time?  We will ask if the cleaning staff could do this during our major breaks.

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