2016 President’s Awards

by Matthew Kidd

At the January 22, 2017 unit game, president Matthew Kidd presented the fourth annual President’s Awards. These awards are based on the unit game results for 2016 and emphasize partnership performance rather than individual performance.

The full set of awards given are listed below:

Award Result Partnership (or Players)
Best Game 71.63% Ron and Mary Huffaker
Best Partnership 56.96% average Kent Hartman and Maritha Pottenger
Best Slam Partnership 1.00 slams / session Bill Grant and Lynne O’Neill
Most Improved Partnership +5.19% average Kathleen Byrne and Tom Sauer
Most Consistent Partnership σ = 3.91% Barbara Norman and Chuck Wilson
Wildest Partnership σ = 8.81% Elaine Chan and Mike Mezin
Best Attendance 21 of 23 games (tie) Barbara Blake, Bob Brobst,
Sue Kane and Alice Lane
Best David Partnership +1.94% Stephen and Jill Seagren
Best Meanie Partnership +6.92% Dorinda Lindvall and Marcia Schulman
Best Pair-Pair Overperformance +14.51% Elaine Chan and Michael Mezin
against Sally Ishihara and Sue Kane

Best Game is straightforward. Ron and Mary Huffaker started strong at the first unit game of the year on January 10th and were never surpassed though Elaine Chan and Mike Mezin came close with their 71.15% game on July 24th.

Kent Hartman and Maritha Pottenger won best partnership for the third year in a row with a 56.96% average, returning to roughly their 2014 average of 56.40%, after a spike to 59.37% in 2015. Bill Grant and Lynne O’Neill put up a good fight with their 56.68%. Arguably, Judy Rimer and Lynne Feldman did better than Kent and Maritha with their 60.23% average, which though averaged over only four games, is consistent with their performance in previous years.

Bill Grant and Lynne O’Neill easily won Best Slam Partnership, bidding and making 13 slams in 13 sessions, including four of the more elusive minor suit slams.

The Most Improved Partnership compares 2016 performance against 2015 performance. Kathleen Byrne and Tom Sauer zoomed up 5.19%, comparable to the winning improvements seen in 2014 and 2015. Also improved were Kathie Angione and John Lagodimos, up 3.83% in 2016, Kathleen Hennessy and Tom Tatham (3.33%), and Paul Alesu and Robert Brobst (2.18%).

Barbara Norman and Chuck Wilson won the Most Consistent Partnership for the third year in a row with a standard deviation of 3.91% over 19 games, similar to their 4.03% in 2014. It appears their freakish 3.58% in 2015, which is below the theoretical long term minimum observed in Partnership Variability, was a downward fluctuation. The partnerships of Dan Dayani and Bette Cornelius and Andy and Patricia Loh were lower at 3.64% and 3.43% respectively but these results are based on a statistically poorer 9 games each and the Lohs won Wildest Partnership in the preceding year, a poor Bayesian prior.

Elaine Chan and Mike Mezin won Wildest Partnership with a shocking standard deviation of 8.81%, the topsy-turviest partnership since Kent Hartman and Maritha Pottenger’s 9.15% performance in 2013. Runner ups include the partnerships of Kathie Angione and John Lagodimos at 7.73% and Freda Anderson and Gail Dunham at 7.08%.

Best Attendance is straightforward. Freda Anderson, who won last year with a perfect attendance and shared the award for the two prior years, slacked off in 2016. This cleared the way for a four way tie among Alice Lane, Sue Kane, both previous winners, and Bob Brobst and Barbara Blake, current board members.

Three years ago, I introduced the Payoff Matrix and the examination of pair-pair interactions after factoring in differences in partnership skill so as to evaluate over- and under-performance. The Best David Partnership and the Meanie (formerly Best Bottom Feeding) Partnership awards are based on those results. The Best David Partnership, named for David and Goliath, goes to the partnership which overperforms the most against the stronger half of the field. Since this award is cast in terms of over- and underperformance, it simultaneously implies they are not beating up as much as they should against the weaker half of the field. The Meanie award goes to the partnership which overperforms the most against the weaker half of the field, and simultaneously underperforms against the stronger half of the field. This year it is statistically difficult to call this award. Dorinda Lindvall and Marcia Schulman win with a clobbering 6.92% overperformance but this is only based on 7 games. Dan Dayani and Bette Cornelius show a 3.75% overperformance but over 9 games. One could argue that Carolyn Casey and Marilyn Peters-Dunn’s 2.38% overperformance over 15 games is the most reliable result.

The Best Pair-Pair Overperformance award is often subject to a tradeoff between magnitude and statistical confidence. But this year the result is clear. Elaine Chan and Michael Mezin win for their 14.51% overperformance against Sue Kane and Sally Ishihara over a robust 21 boards. Elaine and Mike are also beating up on Lynne Anderson and Ursula Kantor with a 12.49% overperformance over a less statistically confident 10 boards, Barbara Norman and Chuck Wilson with a 9.80% overperformance over 21 boards, and also Kathleen Byrne and Tom Sauer with a 9.30% overperformance over 14 boards. Perhaps they deserve the Best Bully award for their singling out of certain partnerships. Also of note is the serious drubbing that Barbara Norman and Chuck Wilson have been handing Barbara Blake and Patricia Wilkey, a 14.24% overperformance over 20 boards but Barbara and Patricia are passing the punishment along to Stephen and Jill Seagren with a 10.10% overperformance over 15 boards.