Clear Lake Bridge Club By-Laws

Clear Lake Bridge Club Bylaws Approved February 16, 2019

The Clear Lake Bridge Club is a Federal Not-for-Profit Corporation, incorporated in the State of Texas. The mission of the Clear Lake Bridge Club is to provide American Contract Bridge League (ACBL) sanctioned duplicate bridge playing opportunities for members and guests as well as promote bridge educational opportunities.

Article 1. Club Objectives

  1. To provide a suitable location and environment for playing duplicate or rubber contract bridge.

  2. To cooperate with ACBL in the promotion of bridge tournaments.

  3. To encourage and enforce the highest standards of sportsmanship and ethics.

  4. To cooperate with ACBL in charity programs.

  5. To conduct such other bridge-related activities as may be deemed proper by the officers

    of the Club, hereafter known as the Board, or a majority vote at an Annual or Special Membership Meeting, hereafter as defined in Article 3.

The Clear Lake Bridge Club, above and hereafter known as the Club, will comply with the rules and regulations of the ACBL and ACBL Unit 174.

Article 2. Membership

  1. No geographical restriction on eligibility for membership exits.

  2. Membership is open to any individual who desires to play bridge, and no person will be

    denied membership because of race, creed, color, or gender.

  3. Membership in the ACBL is not required to be a member of the Club, but it is required to

    accrue master points or otherwise receive any of the benefits of the ACBL.

  4. A member in good standing, hereafter known as a Member, is defined as a person whose dues are current, who qualifies for membership in the ACBL, and who is not under suspension by the Board or the ACBL. Annual dues and playing fees will be determined

    by the board.

Article 3. Membership Meetings

1. The Board will fix the time and place of an annual membership meeting in the first quarter of each year, hereafter known as the Annual Membership Meeting.

  1. Notice of the Annual Membership Meeting will be given at least thirty days prior to the meeting.

  2. The Annual Membership Meeting agenda will include the election of Club officers and other business as the Board or Members will deem appropriate.


c. Notification of the Annual Membership Meeting agenda will be emailed to all members and posted on the Bulletin Board thirty days prior to the Annual Membership Meeting. The Nominating Committee Slate must be emailed and posted to the Bulletin Board fifteen days prior to the Annual Membership Meeting.

d. Agenda items from the floor must be delivered in writing to the President fifteen days prior to the meeting. The board must email the floor agenda items to members and posted to the Bulletin Board ten days prior to the meeting. Nominations for the Club Officers may be made from the floor without prior notice.

2. Additional meetings of the membership, hereafter known as Special Meetings, may be called by the Board or by petition of ten percent of the Members.

a. Notice will be emailed and posted at the Club at least thirty days prior to the meeting.

b. The Special Meeting notice will include an agenda and specific information of matters to be discussed and voted upon.

c. No other business will be acted upon at the Special Meeting.

  1. At all Membership Meetings, each Member may vote in person or by proxy. All proxies

    will be in writing and filed with the Second Vice President.

  2. The presence at any Membership Meeting, in person or by proxy, of twenty percent of

    the Members will constitute a quorum for any action.

  3. Notification of all Membership Meetings, agendas, and specific information on items to

    be voted on at the meeting will be deemed sufficient if made by emailing to members

    and posting on the bulletin board within the required time limit.

  4. If more than two candidates run for an office, the person with the most votes will be

    declared the winner. In case of a tie for first place, a runoff between the tied candidates

    will be held.

  5. The President will appoint a Parliamentarian to assist in conducting all Membership


Article 4. Club Officers

  1. Any Member is eligible to be an officer of the Club. The officers of the Club are:

    1. President

    2. First Vice President

    3. Second Vice President

    4. Secretary

    5. Treasurer

    6. Past President for one year after serving as President

  2. No term limits for board membership exist, but the Board member will be elected annually.

  3. The Club membership will elect all officers, other than the Past President, at the Annual Membership Meeting, and the persons elected will hold office for one year or until their successors have been duly elected.

  4. Any vacancy that arises among the Club’s officers will be filled by appointment by the remaining members of the Board. The person so appointed will hold office for the balance of the unexpired term.

  5. The general powers and duties of the Board are to conduct, manage and supervise the business of the Club.

  1. Removal of any officer will be accomplished by a majority vote at a Special Meeting so called for this purpose.

  2. A Member may hold only one Board office at a time.

  3. Other than the regular fee for directing a game, no member of the Board will receive

    compensation for any other service rendered to the Club, except for reimbursement of

    actual expenses incurred for the Club.

  4. The Board will meet as necessary to conduct the business of the Club.

    1. Board Meetings may be face-to-face or electronic meetings by email, phone and voice-mail or other methods as the Board may find appropriate.

    2. All board meetings will be announced to all officers by mail or email with as much notice as possible and feasible.

    3. Issues can be voted on by email by a positive vote of 3 officers after notice to all

10. Duties

of officers:

  1. President

    1. Assume the role of Club Manager as outlined in the ACBL Club Manager


    2. Preside over all Club meetings and meetings of the Board of Officers.

    3. Establish meeting agendas.

  2. First Vice President

    i. Perform the duties of the President in the President’s absence.
    ii. Perform other assignments as designated by the President or the Board.

  3. Second Vice President

    1. Prepare proxy forms for use at Annual Membership and Special Meetings

      and make these available at the Club.

    2. Determine presence of a quorum, collect and record proxies, and cast all

      proxy votes as instructed by the proxy voters.

    3. Perform other assignments as designated by the President or the Board.

  4. Secretary
    i. Attend all sessions of the Board and Membership Meetings and record the

    minutes of all meetings. If unable to attend the board meeting, the Secretary should notify the President, so another board member can be assigned to take the minutes of the meeting.

    ii. Perform other assignments as designated by the President or the Board.

  5. Treasurer

    1. Ensure all needed Club-accounting functions are performed.
      1. Some-or-all-accounting functions may be performed by other Board members or an accounting service, if requested by the

      Treasurer and approved by a majority of the Board.

      1. Ensure all-necessary-government reports and payments are made correctly and on time. A federal 990 form must be filed annually to maintain the Clubs not-for-profit standing and avoid significant

        federal fines.

      2. Ensure that all-collected funds are deposited in Club Banking


    2. Ensure that all-Club-financial records and reports comply with local, state,

      and federal laws and regulations.

    3. Perform other assignments as designated by the President or the Board.

f. Past President

  1. The outgoing President will become a member of the board for one year,

    whenever a new President is elected.

    1. If the outgoing President is not available, or does not wish to serve,

      the new Board has an option of asking an earlier past President to


    2. If the outgoing President is elected to another Board position, the

      Past President’s office will not be filled.

  2. The position has full Board voting rights.

  3. The Past President position will be vacant whenever the President has served for more than one year.

  4. The position has no specific duty other than helping to maintain continuity moving forward with the new Board.

Article 5. Committees and Volunteer Positions 1. Nominating Committee

  1. A nominating committee of at least three members will be formed two months prior to the Annual Membership Meeting. The Board will appoint a chair who will recruit the balance of the committee. Board members are not eligible to serve on the Nominating Committee.

    a. Any change to the committee membership during the year, requires Board approval.

  2. At least thirty-five days prior to the Annual Membership Meeting the committee will prepare a slate of officers of no less than one nominee per office.

  3. The nominating committee will also assist the Board in recruiting members for other committees and volunteer positions as needed.

2. Financial Review Committee

The Board may appoint a Financial Review Committee consisting of at least two Club members to conduct a review of the Club’s financial records. Board members during the period being reviewed are not eligible to serve on this committee.

3. Other Committees and Volunteer Coordinators

The Board may appoint other committees or positions as needed.

Article 6. Disbursement of Funds

The Club Treasurer will pay usual and normal operating expenses

  1. Capital expenditures of over $1,500 must be approved by a majority of the Board.

  2. Capital expenditures on new non-replacement equipment or facilities of over $3,000 must

    be approved by Members.

  3. Maintenance items over $2,000 must be approved by the Board.

  4. Two signatures are required on each check.

  5. Only Board Officers will have signature authority for checks

  6. No funds may be distributed to Members as dividends.

  7. No Member will commit Club funds without prior Board approval, unless it is within

    the normal scope of their role in a Club committee or Coordinator position.

Article 7. Miscellaneous

  1. Parliamentary Authority Roberts Rules of Order, current edition, will be the parliamentary authority of the Club.

    1. Amending these Bylaws

    2. These bylaws may be amended at a Membership Meeting by sixty percent of the

      votes cast by current Members.

    3. The proposed amendments will be included in the notice of the meeting, per the

      provisions stated in Article 3 of this document.

  2. Dissolution of Club

    1. The Club may be dissolved at a Membership Meeting by sixty percent of the votes cast by Members.

    2. The Club assets will be given to Unit 174 of the ACBL or to one or more charitable organizations as decided by majority vote at the meeting dissolving the Club.

Slow Play Policy

We want to draw special attention to the problem of SLOW PLAY.  Below is our Club Policy:

                                                   Clear Lake Bridge Club 

                                    Slow and Late Play Policy  ( rev .  10/9/23)

Bridge is a timed event.  Slow play is discourteous and unfair to the others, as it creates undue time pressure on opponents and other players who must wait on boards or pairs to move. Players who fall behind are under an obligation to catch up.

The goal of this policy is to discourage slow play for the increased pleasure in the game, not to penalize. However, to discourage slow play, Directors may penalize pairs who repeatedly play too slowly.  If needed, penalties will be assessed starting at ¼ of a maximum board score taken from the offending pairs overall score. No change will be made to their opponent’s score.  Tables which do not start a new board, because they finish a board too late to start another during the round, will not be warned or penalized.

Specific policies:

1. Late plays should not be allowed under normal circumstances.  However, they are not forbidden, should the Director consider the circumstances unusual enough to warrant it. 

2. Typically, a buzzer rings 3 minutes before the end of a round.  The Director may or may not announce to not start any new boards at this buzzer, however, players are responsible to observe the time and not start any new boards when less than 3 minutes is left in a round.  A board is not started until the dealer bids.  Any board not started in time should be scored as a No Play.  

3. Directors should monitor the progression of the game and address slow play as soon as it is noticed.  When a table falls behind the Director should assess why the table is behind and use their discretion on whether to simply warn and ask the players to catch up, or to take more direct action.

4. If a table is behind for more than 3 minutes or if a pair has been repeatedly late, the Director should notify the table or pair they are playing too slowly, tell them how they are going to get caught up (by giving a no play and/or adding time to the game), and warn them if they fall significantly behind again, a ¼ board penalty will be assessed. 

  • A. If a board has been started on time, it usually should be played to completion.  However, if the Director feels completing the board will delay the game too much, they may issue a No Play.  
  • B. If the Director determines a pair is intentionally playing slowly to gain a No Play to avoid a poor score, the pair will be penalized ½ of a maximum board score in addition to any warning or penalty which would otherwise occur.

5. All rounds, including the final round, are timed.  Slow play warning and/or penalties will be given for slow play during the final round.

6. The experience of the players should be taken into consideration by the Director.

  • A. Players should be encouraged to learn how to play within the time limits in Novice games, but slow play penalties should be used sparingly.
  • B. Directors should not give penalties to novice players who infrequently play in Open Games, to avoid discouraging them from continuing to progress in the game.  However, novice players, who routinely play in open games, should be treated as experienced players. 

7. Tables which fall behind due to something other than slow play, will not be warned or penalized.  But the Director may direct them to take a no play or otherwise take action to get them back on time.

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CLBC Policies

Below is the CLBC policy on Zero Tolerance.  Most other policies apply to face-2-face bridge and will be reviewed and published when the club reopens as we anticipate some changes.  

Clear Lake Bridge Club’s Zero Tolerance Policy (ZT) (Effective 03/03/2018)

The Clear Lake Board of Directors is committed to requiring acceptable player behavior at all times. In accordance with the ACBL Laws of Duplicate Bridge the following policy outlines what is expected of all players during Clear Lake Bridge Club sponsored events or while on Clear Lake Bridge Club Property.


The ultimate purpose of the ZT policy is to create and maintain a pleasant atmosphere in our bridge games. We are attempting to eradicate unacceptable behavior in order to make the game of bridge more enjoyable for all. Below are some examples of commendable behavior, which, while not required, will significantly contribute to an improved playing atmosphere:

Being a good 'host' or 'guest' at the table. Greeting others in a friendly manner.

Praising the bidding and/or play of the opponents.


The ACBL requires players to have two clearly completed convention cards readily available for the opponents to review.


The following list contains examples of ZT behavior which will not be tolerated at the Club:

  • Badgering, rudeness, insinuations, intimidation, profanity, threats, violence of any kind or any other inappropriate or retaliatory behavior.
  • Negative comments concerning opponents or partners play or bidding. Constant and gratuitous lessons and analysis at the table.
  • Loud, disrespectful or disruptive behavior involving a Director’s ruling.
  • Frivolous ZT accusations.
  • Falsely accusing a player of cheating or being a cheat. Any accusation of cheating or ethics issues should be discussed with the Director away from the table or brought to the attention of the Club Board.
  • Annoying behavior, embarrassing remarks, or any other conduct which might interfere with the enjoyment of the game is specifically prohibited. The Board gives the Director the authority to assess disciplinary penalties.



If a player at the table behaves in an unacceptable manner, the Director should be called


The following ZT procedures have been given to the Directors for implementation.

  1. It is requested that the Director be called whenever behavior is not consistent with the guidelines outlined above.
  2. The Director, when called, shall make an assessment of the situation. If it is established that there was unacceptable behavior the Director should impose an immediate disciplinary penalty and report the incident to the Club Board for final disposition
  3. If it is determined that the same offender is responsible for a second ZT offense in the same game, then the Director should consider ejecting the offender from the game and report the incident to the Club Board for final disposition.
  4. Director warnings for ZT violations are strongly discouraged and will be given only when there is no clear violation or in cases where the facts cannot be determined. Offenders should receive immediate penalties. Regardless of who may have initiated unacceptable behavior, all offenses by all violators are punishable.
  5. It should be noted that the Board may feel that the penalty assessed by the Director was not severe enough and the Board may impose a more severe penalty.
  6. The game Director is required to report all incidents of ZT to the Club President who will forward the report to the Clear Lake Board. The Board may choose to investigate any ZT offense they wish. All serious offenses, multiple offenses or offenses by repeat offenders will be investigated by the Board. The Board will make a reasonable attempt to talk with the parties involved in the ZT incident. The Board may also choose to talk with other players who may have information about the incident. The Club President/Board has complete disciplinary authority over ZT violations. The Board may take any disciplinary action they choose including taking no action, verbal warning, written warnings, probation, suspensions or permanently barring a ZT offender from playing at the Clear Lake Club. Under the ACBL rules the Club Manager/President has complete and final jurisdiction on behavior issues occurring in a club game and no appeal is permitted. Additional sanctions from the ACBL may also apply.



CLBC Financial Reports

CLBC is a NonProfit civic organization.  Information regarding the Financial Standings are available upon request from the Club President.

CLBC Annual Meeting Minutes




FEBRUARY 12, 2022


President Katie Gardner called the meeting to order at noon.

Katie presented and reviewed the financials.

Katie presented the Minutes of the of the 2020 Annual Meeting  A motion was made and passed to waive the reading of said meeting  

The nomination committee for the new board members consisted od Nelson Brown, Laura Chandler, and Doug Lilly.  Katie presented the following nominations for 2022.


President:  Doug Lilly

1st Vice President:  Ronnie Martin

2nd Vice President:  Sandy Mills

Secretary:  Darlyn Dusek

Treasurer:  Barbara Courtright

IN coordinator:  Marsha Chambliss

A motion was made and passed that all nominations be approved and so elected.


 The following topics were discussed:

  1. Cleaning of the carpet
  2. Traffic in the parking lot
  3. Installing two more security cameras inside building
  4. Directors locking doors
  5. How directors were paid for online games

Ronnie Martin presented outgoing President Katie Gardner with a plaque and the Club’s gratitude for her service over the past two years.

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned.

Darlyn Dusek, Board Secretary



Dated: February 22, 2020

President Jim Ochsner called the meeting to order at Noon.

Jim presented and reviewed the financial highlights for the past year. He also projected the 2020 financial outlook.

Secretary Marsha Doyle presented the Minutes of the 2019 Annual Meeting. A motion was made and passed to waive the reading of said Minutes.

The nomination committee for the new board members consisted of Nelson Brown, Bob Dowlen and Edith Reid. Bob presented the following nominations for 2020:

President: Katherine Gardner

1st Vice President: Ronnie Martin

2nd Vice President: Sandy Mills

Secretary: Nancy Guthrie

Treasurer: Barbara Courtright

A motion was made and passed that all nominations be approved and so elected.


The following topics were presented prior to the Annual Meeting or were brought up from the floor for discussion:

1. Cleaning of carpet more often. Referred to the Board.
2. Installing larger Monitors for viewing the results were discussed. No
vote was taken.

3. Number of special games was discussed. Determined that the ACBL controls the number of games and the Club pays the cost determined by the ACBL.

4.Discussed selection of charities for charity games. No action was taken to change current charities due to the fact most charities are selected by the ACBL or Houston Unit 174.

5. Growth of the Club discussed. Determined that Club has grown an average of 3% a year. Clear Lake is one of the few Houston Clubs growing.

6. Discussed installing Security Cameras and an Alarm System. Vote was taken and the majority present voted yes on installing Security Cameras and no on installing Alarm System.

7. Discussed Director’s locking the doors once the game has started. A vote was taken on requiring the Directors to lock the doors or the Director arrange for someone else to lock the doors and this issue passed unanimously. This would also apply to bridge Instructors locking the door.

8. Discussed purchasing new bridge pads along with related hardware. Cost estimated to be about $6,000.

9. Enforcement of Club’s Zero Tolerance Rule was discussed.

10. Discussed leaving trash on table, eating food while playing and handling the cards. Be more cognizant to other players when eatingand coughing.

11..Discussed players showing up late or at the time the game is starting. 12.Voted to prohibit players without a partner from playing with the Directorif it creates 1/2 a table. Players showing up without a partner will be sent home if it creates 1/2 a table.

Ronnie Martin presented outgoing President Jim Ochsner with a plaque and the Club’s gratitude for his service over the past three years and Nelson Brown conveyed the gratitude that Jim had helped to set up our Club with the City of Houston and the work he had put in.

Dave Glandorf acknowledged that Carolyn LaBouliere had won the most points at the recent Houston Regional from our Club.

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned.


Marsha Doyle, Secretary Page 2 of Annual Minutes 2020

For new Members, CLBC can be joined anytime and we are thrilled to have you!  Our Dues are $20 per year.

For existing Members, CLBC has its annual Membership drive beginning in December for the upcoming year.


Member must be paid by January 31st each year to be included in the  printed CLBC Directory that is freely distributed to our Membership.


Be a Member of CLBC!

It's a Great Deal 🎉


In-person and Online!   

♦️Special Events 



♦️Classes & Practice 

♦️All in our own, mortgage-free building! 


Great Game Directors  

Modern Bridge Technology 


Your Annual Dues of $20 help us sustain our Club and keep our Game Fees low.  In return, Members have these privileges:

  • A Club Directory including your contact information
  • Game Fee of $6  ($7 for NonMembers)
  • Listing in our email system so you receive regular updates about events at the Club
  • A Vote at our Annual Meeting



  • Mail a check to Clear Lake Bridge Club at 16614 Sea Lark Road, Houston, Tx 77062 
  • Pay a game Director before/after games through January.


CLBC ~ at $20 we are a Great Deal!


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