Organization, Policy & Procedures Manual

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Table of Contents


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  1. To promote Cribbage for the purpose of entertainment and education through organized play at the hometown level of the American Cribbage Congress worldwide.
  2. To nurture the volunteer spirit so essential to the growth and development of the American Cribbage Congress.
  3. To provide an opportunity for individuals to be worldly recognized for their accomplishments in organized play at the local level.
  4. To provide an opportunity for groups of any size in any area to be worldly recognized for their accomplishments in organized play at the local level.
  5. To provide training and utilize the talents of Grass Roots members willing to assist in accomplishing the many tasks involved in conducting tournaments.
  6. To develop uniform Grass Roots guidelines for the local and regional play that will allow autonomy as well as restrictive enough to insure the integrity of the program.
  7. To encourage Grass Roots members to utilize Grass Roots organizational channels to submit their collective views and concerns to the leaders of the Congress, and to exercise their voting rights in American Cribbage Congress elections.
  8. To encourage regular submission of local items of interest to the contact as listed on the GR website for publication in the Grass Roots Corner Column of the next issue of the Editor of the Cribbage World and to the American Cribbage Congress webpage.


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  1. The Grass Roots Program consists of a worldwide network of chartered local cribbage clubs under the overall direction of a Grass Roots Commissioner, appointed by the American Cribbage Congress Board of Directors for an indefinite period. Operational control of the Program is delegated to four or more Regional Commissioners appointed by the Grass Roots Commissioner.
  2. The Grass Roots Commissioners and the Grass Roots Statisticians constitute the Grass Roots Committee, as provided for in the ACC Constitution and Bylaws. They make major decisions regarding policy, administration, finance, ethics and other important issues presented by the local clubs subject to BoD approval. Anyone wishing to be a volunteer on this board may advise the Grass Roots Commissioner of their intent by writing a letter to that affect. After consultation with appropriate members of the Region, a qualified applicant will be selected when an incumbent wishes to be replaced.
  3. The Grass Roots statistical system is under the overall direction of the Grass Roots Statistician, who is appointed by the Grass Roots Commissioner for an indefinite term. Four or more Regional Statisticians are appointed by the Grass Roots Commissioner in consultation with the Grass Roots Statistician and the Regional Commissioners.
  4. The Grass Roots Commissioner charters the Grass Roots clubs, but the organizational structure of a local club is not prescribed. Some clubs operate democratically, under the direction of club officials with various titles, elected by the club members. Others operate under a Club Director, who appoints additional club officials needed to manage the affairs of the club. Each club has a designated Contact Person (not necessarily the Club Director), whose primary function is to keep club officials and members fully informed regarding the status of the Grass Roots Program from a worldwide standpoint, based upon information disseminated from the Grass Roots and Regional offices. The Contact Person also insures that tournament reporting is both accurate and timely.
  5. The Grass Roots Program is geographically divided into 4 Regions (East, Central, Northwest, Southwest), primarily for statistical workload distribution. Management of Grass Roots Rating Point computation begins at the Regional level, through which tournament results are channeled to the Grass Roots level for inclusion in the Worldwide Standings.
  6. Worldwide Standings. For Rating Point competition, clubs are assigned to one of 4 Divisions, without regard to geography, based on the number of tournaments or games per event that they schedule.


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  1. Because the Grass Roots Clubs are the hometown component of the ACC a person must be a member of the ACC before joining the Grass Roots. Numerous volunteer hours have been devoted to the betterment of the American Cribbage Congress as a whole. Playing rules and guidelines laboriously developed for the American Cribbage Congress sanctioned tournament play are likewise used by the Grass Roots play at the clubs. Any individual determined ineligible for ACC membership is automatically ineligible for Grass Roots participation.
  2. Individuals who have been allowed to play four (4) times and have stated that they do not intend to become members of the ACC, will not be allowed to continue to participate. Individuals who are allowed to play, as "Guests", are not to be included in tournament reports or be included for the purpose of determining Grass Roots points awarded, but can be entered for the purpose of the club keeping track.
  3. Clubs will be allowed to play a maximum of one sanctioned event each week for a total of 36 weeks per year. Exception will be the Traveling Club or if a club had to make up a night of play because of cancellation of a regular scheduled event due to unforeseen circumstances (such as weather). A separate Charter will be required for each night of the week for those clubs who are fortunate enough to schedule play more than once a week or for two different divisions.
  4. Special dispensation: A club director and/or member may request a waiver from certain policies and procedures, providing the waiver does not materially affect the general intent of the policy or procedure. The Grass Roots Commissioner must approve all waivers.
  5. Members may play as a visitor in another club and have the points they earn count toward their "year to date" and "lifetime" points in chronological order up to the maximum times the club plays effective September 1, 2017. This will include all the times played whether they earn points or not. However the points will not count toward the Club championship.

    Example: Your club is in division 1 and plays 36 events in a year. You play 30 times at your home club and 12 times at different club as a visitor. You would get credit for the first 6 events that you played as a visitor just like a traveler. They will be added to your "year to date" and "lifetime" points to qualify for the TOC in Reno and lifetime awards.


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  1. The ACC Grass Roots program shall be governed by the cribbage rules of play, and the Code of Ethics, as contained in the official Rule Book of the ACC. Procedures for further processing may be obtained from a member of the BoD.
  2. As is allowed with the ACC main tournaments, clubs have the authority to deny any player the right to play with them. They must always follow the guidelines below. They may not advise other clubs as the player might fit in there.
  3. Violations of the Code of Ethics fall within two general categories:
    • Behavior/Conduct
    • Cheating

Each category is dealt with differently as defined below. The appropriate Grass Roots Regional Commissioner and the Grass Roots Commissioner are available for guidance on these matters.

A. Behavior/Conduct:The Grass Roots Club Director has historically been the person to resolve this problem. Though the Club Director(s)(1) will be permitted great latitude and autonomy in the resolution of this type of problem (by allowing said director(1) to temporarily suspend a member for one meeting/tournament) the Club Director(s)(1) must provide the accused member the opportunity to present his/her case to the club before any formal action is taken. A decision regarding barring a member, from that club only, (for more than one meeting/tournament) may then be made (using a secret written ballot and indicating the length of the proposed suspension.)(2) Any action taken involving barring a member from that club only (for an extended period) shall be documented and submitted in writing, to the Chairman of the ACC Ethics Committee. The Ethics Committee may proceed further if deemed necessary.

B. Cheating: All complaints of cheating must be sent to the Chairman of the ACC Ethics Committee. Notarized complaint letters from at least two members along with a letter of recommendation from the Director(s)(1) of the Grass Roots Club must be received before expulsion can be pursued. This information shall then be forwarded to the ACC Ethics Committee. If sufficient evidence of cheating is available (and presented), the accused member shall be immediately suspended from participation in sanctioned play until the matter is resolved.

C. Offenses requiring legal system intervention such as battery or theft. These offenses may require immediate suspension by the Ethics Committee.

Members expelled from the ACC will lose all privileges, honors, and rankings earned.

(1) - In the event the problem concerns the director, portions of this may need to be excluded or dealt with by members of the club after discussion with the ACC Grass Roots Commissioner or Regional Statistician or Commissioner.
(2) - Form is available from Grass Roots Commissioner.

How to Obtain a Grass Roots Charter

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If you do not have an Application for a Charter Form, you may apply by letter or email to:

Joan Rein
Grass Roots Commissioner
725 Fredrick Ct Apt 8
Green Bay WI 54313
(952) 448-2459

If applying by letter, include:

  • The planned name of your club
  • Playing site, if known
  • Name, phone number and email of Club Director
  • Name, phone number and email of Contact Person, if other than Club Director
  • Anticipated number of tournaments to be scheduled between September 1st and May 31st of the next year (Maximum: 36 Regular 9-Game Tournaments or 6-Game Tournaments. Division 1, 2, & 3 will play one 18-Game Grass Roots National Tournament (GRNT), and one 18-Game Grass Roots Regional Tournament (GRRT) in addition to the regular events. Any member can play
  • One-time $15 Charter Fee, payable to "ACC Grass Roots".

Materials needed to begin playing will be forwarded upon receipt of the Charter Application

Read tips on how to organize a Grass Roots club.

Note: New Clubs may be chartered and begin playing at any time during the season, in competition with other clubs scheduling approximately the same number of tournaments during the playing season.



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Membership in both the ACC and the ACC GR program is required.

ACC Membership forms can be found at Forms and dues (make checks payable to "ACC") should be mailed to:

ACC Membership Secretary
Larry Hassett
P. O. Box 2444
Roseburg, OR 97470-0510
(888) 734-4464 / (888) PEGGING

Grass Roots Membership forms and dues should be mailed to your Regional Statistician. (Make checks payable to "ACC Grass Roots").

Membership Categories

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Members are players that join the local GR club and have a current ACC membership. Members of the ACC Grass Roots are eligible for GR awards earned during "official" play. A player must be a member to earn GR rating Points.

Members of a Club for Snow Birds or whose jobs take them to different States on a regular basis, etc. They must be a member of the ACC and Grass Roots. They earn points for 36 events and thereafter they will not earn points but can still play. They must sign up for the Travelers club immediately and pay their dues at the first club they play.

Visitors are GR members in good standing from other GR clubs. Visitors will also be recognized for 28, 29 hands and Grand Slam awards in official play. They will also be able to earn points up to their club division of tournaments in chronical order after their home club points for YTD and lifetime points like a traveler. They will not be added to the club points for club champion.

This category was created to accommodate those few individuals who are new to the ACC and not yet sure if they want to participate. One or two sessions are usually sufficient for a player to make a decision but they will be allowed up to four (4) times before joining. At that point players must either join or quit playing. This category also includes any ACC member who is not a GR member.


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Players are permitted to transfer from one club to another once during the playing season. Current-year rating points earned in the club from which they transfer are maintained for lifetime totals but not transferred to the new club for current year standings (with the exception of the Travelers). Travelers' points will continue to accumulate during the year until they have played in any of 36 local events. A Transfer Form must be completed or emailed to the Regional Statistician.and copy submitted to the Director of the losing club, the Director of the gaining club, and the Regional Statistician. Transfers must be completed by Jan 31st of the season. Travelers are permitted to change back to a local club only at the beginning of the season (first time they play).


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Member and Traveler Grass Roots dues are to be collected when the player plays his/her first official tournament of the season (between September 1st and May 31st). The dues for a player joining in the last month of the GR season, also covers the dues for the following season providing the member has not played in any Grass Roots Tournaments prior April 15th of the season. Dues are sent to the Regional Statistician along with membership forms.

Grass Roots Tournament Procedures


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The current, official, ACC Rule Book governs all GR tournament play.


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The GR Season begins on September 1st and ends May 31st. GR clubs may play all year but no points will be earned during summer. "Official" tournaments are those tournaments played during the season and do not exceed the maximum number of local tournaments allowed for their respective division. The final results, registrations, and award forms must be completed and received by the regional statistician by the 7th of June. This includes online reporting.

Local Tournaments (Regular)

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Division 1, 2 & 3
These tournaments are played with a 9-game format during the club's regular schedule for the current season. Clubs may elect to play at times other than their regular schedule to complete the full number of tournaments allowed for their division per GR season.

Division 4 (Lite)
Are played with a 6-game format up to 36 weeks per GR season

Important: A player may not play against any opponent more than twice. Playing two consecutive games against the same opponent is not an acceptable format for GR play. Therefore a minimum of 6 GR members (or visitors or travelers) are needed for a 9 game event and 4 GR members (or visitors or travelers) for a 6 game event. An automatic win may not be awarded when playing the 'dummy' or sit out if there is an odd number of players or in the event of early departure of a player (such as illness). Grass Roots Rating Points are awarded while playing in their home club or another sanctioned club, but only the ones at home will apply to Club Champion.

Local Awards

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Active Grass Roots members of any club or division may earn awards for 28 hands, 29 hands and Grand Slams (for division 1, 2 or 3) during official Grass Roots local tournaments. Division 4 not eligible for Grand Slam.

Youth Participation

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The participation of members under 21 years of age is permitted at the discretion of individual Clubs subject to individual State, county & local regulations.

Individual clubs may not turn down Grass Roots membership for junior members based solely on age. It is recommended that acceptance be based on the youth's ability to play at the speed and skill level of the slowest members of the club.

Regional and National Tournaments

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These tournaments consist of an 18-game format. Members may 'officially' enter the regional and/or national tournament only once. More than one club may get together to conduct one of these tournaments. Members are not bound to play with their local club, but may play with any other club. They will need to designate and pay their entry fee before play if this is to be their Official Regional or National Play whether they are a member or visitor. Players must declare prior to the start of the tournament if they wish to play 'officially' or 'unofficially'. Players will need to pay their entry fee before the beginning of that tournament. If the player chooses to play 'officially' the fee is $15. If the player chooses to play 'unofficially' the fee is $6. Any scores earned during 'unofficial' play will not count toward the tournament nor earn Grass Roots points. However, 'unofficial' players will be eligible for 28 hand, 29 hand and Grand Slam prizes. These tournaments are used to raise funds for the Grass Roots Awards Program, and participation is encouraged. This allows the program to operate at a minimal cost, and gives players an additional opportunity to earn Rating Points and other awards. GUESTS are NOT PERMITTED to play in the Regional or National Tournaments. However they may join before tournament starts and play.

  • The Grass Roots Regional Tournament (GRRT) is conducted anytime during the first four months of the Grass Roots season (September 1st to December 31st). All scorecards (including visitors) and the tournament report (including game points, games won, spread points and total plus points) must be sent to the Regional Commissioner by January 7th.
  • The Grass Roots National Tournament (GRNT) is conducted anytime during the second four months of the Grass Roots season (January 1st to April 30th). The scorecards and tournament reports (including game points, games won, spread point, and total plus points) must be sent to the National Tournament Director by May 7th.
  • Important. A Player may play any one opponent up to three (3) times but not consecutive games during the 18-game format. Therefore you must have a minimum of eight (8) players
  • Portions of the 18 game tournaments may not be reported as local tournaments.
  • Youthful participants in the Regional and the National Tournaments must be identified on the tournament report, and their play is allowed for Grass Roots Rating Points only.
  • No cash prizes will be awarded to youthful participants. However, awards, pins and certificates will be given for 29 hands, pins and certificates for grand slams and certificates for 28 hands (when applicable).
  • Grand Slam awards are earned for winning the entire first or last 9 games.
  • Scorecards with 23 or more game points will be validated and cross checked. Therefore a normal seat numbering and proper rotation MUST BE USED.

Grass Roots Divisions

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For GR Rating Point competition, clubs are assigned to one of four (4) Divisions. These Divisions are based upon the number of tournaments played in the season, without regard to geography. These do not include the 18 game tournaments.

Division 125 to 36 scheduled tournaments
Division 214 to 24 scheduled tournaments
Division 3Less than 14 scheduled tournaments
Division 4Playing 6 games per event up to 36 scheduled tournaments

Local Prizes

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The Local Clubs are free to determine the amount of the local entry fees, how much is to be retained for club expenses, and how much will become the prize fund. The suggested ratio of winners to all entries is 1:4.

Seat Numbering and Rotation

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A "Blind" Draw Must be Used to Determine Player Seating. An exception is allowed at director's discretion for players requiring an anchor position, relatives & location of judges. This may be accomplished by numbering the scorecards. The scorecards are mixed, turned face down, and the players draw for seat numbers and write their names on the cards. Another way is to write the players names on the scorecards. The cards are thoroughly mixed and "blindly" placed on the table. The players write their seat number on the cards. This follows the ACC guidelines found on on the left side of home page under "about the ACC."

Seat Numbering
Exhibits #1 and #2 show the normal methods of seat numbering. If there are more than twenty players, two tables may be used (minimum of 10 per table). If the room is not long enough to accommodate enough individual tables to make one "table", care must be exercised to insure proper seat numbering and rotation are maintained.

Note: Seat numbers and proper rotation are required for all GR Regional and National tournaments.

Players will rotate to the right after each match. Though they should complete a game in 15 minutes, slow play may cause players to wait for a full game. Care must be taken to maintain proper rotation. Note: There are several other acceptable methods for the seating and rotation of players. Current Club Directors are the best source for this information

Anchors/Pivots - Even number of Players
The terms anchor and pivot are used synonymously. An anchor (stationary player) prevents players from playing each other until every player has been played once (with less than 10 players). When a sitout is not used, Seat number one is considered the anchor. Opponents of the anchor will move around the table and sit to the right of the anchor for the next match.

If additional anchors are required, the total number of anchors must be odd and sit together on the same side of the table, or proper rotation is lost. See Exhibits #2 on this page and #4 on Page 12 for rotation with additional anchors.

Exhibit #1 - Normal method seat assignments - Rotation is for 1 anchor

An alternate method of assigning seat numbers is shown in Exhibit #2. Additional seats can be added to the table without disrupting other players.

Exhibit #2 - Alternative method of seat assignments - Rotation is for 3 anchors

Anchors/Pivots - Odd number of players:
A problem develops if there are an odd number of players. Some players will have finished their 9th game, but others will have only eight. There are several ways to solve this problem; the most acceptable is to have all players remain in rotation. Some players will play a tenth game. GR awards CAN NOT be earned during this extra (10th) game. Any method used must have all players playing nine games. When playing the "dummy", awarding a win (2 game points Plus 10 spread points) is not allowed.

Note: When playing a GR Regional or National tournament with an odd number of players, be careful at the break. To make sure everyone has played at least 9 games, stay in rotation for a tenth game. For those playing the tenth game, it is considered as the first game of the afternoon and therefore must be recorded on their score sheets.

To set up the table for the number of players (including the dummy) is to have the last seat number sit out the first game. Everyone rotates to the right (see Exhibit #3). Players rotating "off" of the table will sit out one game. If anchors are necessary, see Exhibit #4. Normal rotation continues until all players have played 9 (18 in the 18 game events) games.

Exhibit #3 - Sit outs - Rotation with only a sit out

Exhibit #4 - Sit outs - Rotation for 2 anchors + the sit out


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All scores will be recorded in black or blue ink. After the 9th game has been played, all players will tally their scorecards (game points, games won and net spread points).

All scorecards must be turned into the club director or statistician for verification. Suggestion: Count games won by adding up the number of entries in the plus column. Use this number (times 2) plus the number of skunks to verify the games points. This usually finds the mistake of entering the spread points in the wrong column.

Game points awarded for the following:

2 points for a win
3 points for a skunk (or double skunk)
0 points for a loss

Scorecards are ranked by the number of game points, number of games won, and by net spread points. Total plus points may be used as an additional tie breaker.

GR Rating Points

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Eligibility: To be eligible for GR rating points, a player must be a member in good standing of the Grass Roots and the ACC and play in an "official" tournament.

"Official" tournament: In addition to all other requirements, 9-game tournaments must consist of 6 or more members, travelers and visitors. Lite division 6-Game tournaments must consist of 4 or more members, traveler and visitors. Guests do not count towards the qualifying number of players. An 18 game tournament must consist of 8 or more members, travelers or visitors. (Guests are not allowed in 18 game events.)

Effective September 1, 2014
GR rating points (equivalent to the number of game points) are awarded to anyone with 12 points or more for any 'club member', 'traveler' or 'visitor' playing in a division 1, 2 or 3 official tournament. Only Game Points are used to rank the players. In the Lite division (#4), points are awarded to anyone with 8 points or greater.

Note: GR Rating Points for the Regional/National tournaments are awarded by the Regional/National Tournament Director. The GR Rating points are awarded to any official player with 24 or more game points Guests are not allowed to play in either the GRRT or GRNT. However they may join the ACC and GR before play if they wish to play.

Reporting Local Tournaments (Manually)

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The Club director or statistician will fill out the local tournament report for all "official" tournaments. The report will include the club number and name, the date played, the tournament number, and the number of club members, travelers and visitors. For individual players, include the player's name, ACC number, club number (especially for visitors and travelers), and game points. The number of games won and net spread points are optional. Guests should not be included on the report, although you may want to list them on the club copy of the report. The club should keep a copy of the report.

Reports will be sent at least monthly to the Regional Statistician. Reports received by the 20th of the month will be included in the report to the Grass Roots Statistician for inclusion in the main database and Cribbage World. Please, do not hold report for several months! This creates a tremendous workload on the Regional Statistician and is a violation of duties and ethically wrong.

Reporting Local Tournaments (Online)

A computer software program is available through the Internet to automate the reporting process. You will be given a password for access with your charter, or if existing, before you start using it the first time

All final tournament reports must be sent to the Regional Statistician or completed online by June 7th or the tournament will not be included in the "official" Grass Roots results. The Regional Statisticians are required to have the final reports and posting completed by June 15th.

Reporting Regional and National Tournaments

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See Regional and National Tournaments. Especially read the section on rotation and the note about an odd number of players. Information on 18 game tournaments can be found online on this site. Please print it out and follow the guidelines.

Important Addresses

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Grass Roots Commissioner
Joan Rein
725 Fredrick Ct Apt 8
Green Bay WI 54313
(952) 448-2459

ACC Membership Secretary
Larry Hassett
P. O. Box 2444
Roseburg, OR 97470-0510
(888) 734-4464 (888) Pegging

Grass Roots Awards Program

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Under the Grass Roots Rating Point System, players are worldly recognized for both current Year and Cumulative Lifetime Achievement. Grass roots club members, travelers and visitors are eligible to earn 28-Hand, 29-Hand and Grand Slam Awards, while playing during "official" tournament play. Guests are not eligible.

Current Year Awards

28-Hand Held Certificate
29-Hand Held Plaque/Pinette
Grand Slam Scored (except Div 4) Certificate/Pinette
Champions and Runner-ups in each of the 4 Divisions Awards
Top 10% of each of the rated players in each of the 4 Divisions 2 yr. Invitation - Tournament of Champions
Grass Roots National & Regional Tournament Champions 2 yr. Invitation - Tournament of Champions
Club Champions 2 yr. Invitation - Tournament of Champions and 3 yr invite to GR Tournament of Champions
Rookie of the Year each Division One year Invite to GRTOC (3 year window), Plaque and Badge

Grass Roots National & Regional Tournaments Only

29-Hand Held $100 plus plaque & pin
28-Hand Held $25 plus certificate
Grand Slam (winning first or last 9 games) $25 plus certificate & pin

Lifetime Achievement Awards

Bronze Award 1,000 Rating Points Choice of Gifts (See list)
Silver Award 2,500 Rating Points Choice of Gifts (See list)
Gold Award 4,000 Rating Points Choice of Gifts (See list)
Platinum Award 6,000 Rating Points Choice of Gifts (See list)
Diamond Award 10,000 Rating Points Choice of Gifts

Note: Anyone who has reached 1,000 Rating Points or higher is also awarded a permanent, yearly invitation to the Tournament of Champions.

How To Organize A Grass Roots Club

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When you think you have 10-12 players or 6-8 for Lite Division who are interested in competing worldwide while playing at the local level...

Find a suitable place to play. Do not offer to pay rent. Many clubs have little difficulty convincing operators of restaurants and bars, fraternal organizations, etc., that it would be to their advantage to let you play - without charge - in their facility. Banquet style tables seating 6 - 8 are preferred. Good lighting and ventilation are also important.

Develop a mailing list and an advertising plan. Utilize the local Shopping Guide or weekly newspaper, which usually have reasonable rates. Radio/TV stations may give you a few lines as a "public service". Place posters and leaflets in places where people congregate. Even more important - urge your members to invite their friends to come with them and play as a "Guest" (up to four times).

At the earliest practical date, publish and distribute to your members, as well as your prospects, a tentative playing schedule to stimulate recruitment and retention. Also include online at the Grass Roots site This includes the 18 game events.

Publication of a club newsletter and scheduling of a year-end get together does much to increase club sociability, and makes it easier to set the stage for the following season.

You might want to consider having an organizational meeting, at which new players would be offered the opportunity to play without paying into or sharing the prize fund. It would also make it possible for the Club Director to explain the Grass Roots Rating Point System and the Grass Roots Awards Program, as well as the local payoff schedule, to new players.

Summer time is a good time to organize and give players a chance to get used to the format. September 1st is the start of the ACC Grass Roots Season and ends May 31st when points are earned. However a club can start at anytime during the year.

Download the Grass Roots Manual (PDF)

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