2005 WBC Sportsmanship Award
Nov. 30, 2005

2005 Nominees | Past Winners

The third leg in the BPA Triple Crown is its Sportsmanship Award. Coupled with the Caesar Award for prowess on the gameboard and our GM of the Year Award which honors those who sacrifice their time to make WBC the memorable event that it is, the Sportsmanship winner completes our virtual Hall of Fame by reminding us that there is no fun to be had in these games without an affable and enjoyable opponent to cross vicarious swords with.

Doubtless there are many more good sports at WBC than those we can acknowledge here. But since we do not want to duplicate the cavalry charge of a California Gubernatorial recall election with a thousand candidates, we limit the nominees to those endorsed by WBC GMs for outstanding sportsmanship and further reduce their number by selecting only the most fervent endorsements. These are supplemented occasionally by the Board of Directors and/or Convention Director to recognize meritorious service.

Note: In the past, nominations have been accepted for individuals who conceded a victory to allow a beaten opponent to continue in an event in their place. This practice will no longer be accepted for a sportsmanship nomination. Furthermore, BPA highly discourages such sacrifices as being counter to the spirit of the competitions. While a player who allows another to play on in “his” place may well have good intentions, doing so is contrary to the purpose of a tournament. A player who concedes a won game is circumventing the rules of the event by dispensing byes in a non-random, unearned manner and is actually committing an unsportsmanlike act in the eyes of many. Such a kindness bestowed upon one player is actually grossly unfair to all the other participants of the event who had to win their right to advance and tarnishes the event as a true test of skill.


While lots of people get caught up in the quest for “wood,” the folks listed below subscribe to a higher standard. These are the sportsmen and women of the WBC…the shining example of sportsmanship that we should all aspire to. These folks are the ones that make it all bearable for our GMs and contribute most to the “club” atmosphere of the convention. Their shining example contributes to the remarkable esprit de corps and camaraderie for which the WBC has always been noted.

So without any further ado, let’s present the class of 2005—and a classy group it is, too. The following individuals were just some of the many nominated for the reasons indicated below and owe their appearance here to both their own demeanor and the fervancy of their sponsors in relating it to BPA. As is our practice, all 2005 BPA members are urged to vote for one of the following when submitting their 2006 membership form and voting for new Century games before Jan. 1, 2006. Reward a good sport with our biggest prize…free lodging at the next WBC.


2005 Nominees:

Anzio: Mark Bayliss has been out of the hobby for a decade waging a successful battle against cancer. His second visit to WBC left a lasting impression on his opponents who couldn’t help but notice his good cheer, outstanding sportsmanship, and high level of play. He took on anyone when opponents were needed (exceeding the number of games played needed to qualify for advancement) and displayed a keen enthusiasm for the game.

B-17: Evan Hitchings has been playing B17 for the past seven years. As one of our youngest participants seven years ago, he took to the game immediately and has been a regular member of the squadron ever since. Not only does he play every year, but he does something even more important to our hobby—he recruits fellow youngsters to join in the fun—bringing many new players with him and helping newcomers through the learning process.

Battle Cry: Matt Evinger went up to the vendor’s area and bought an extra copy of the game so that four players would not be turned away from the event.

Bitter Woods: Bruno Sinigaglio taught newcomers how to play. More interested in helping others than improving his own position in the event.

Britannia: Richard Jones comes from England every year and is a regular in every heat. He does not win often but he persists because he enjoys the game. Regardless of his setbacks, he is always at the tables first and eager to set up while other players gather.

Elchfest: Andy Maly brought several copies of the game to help with the event and sold them to youngsters for a price below his cost.

Formula Motor Racing: Katie McCorry helped this rookie GM out of a tight spot. I was using a random card draw system and failed to check that everybody had signed in before allowing the cards to be drawn for table and seat assignments. One player drew a card without signing in first. Games were already underway when it was discovered that Katie was the odd person out. With an exact multiple of six, she could not easily be fit into another game without moving a lot of people around. Katie graciously withdrew rather than require everyone to go through a restart.

Gangsters: Charles Stucker went out of his way to make sure he gained no edge from mistakes—even paying a $500 kibitzing penalty to keep another player from making a move that would erroneously have paid him a lot of money. He also corrected a banker’s error in his favor by returning $1600 in excess funds.

Goa: Roger Whitney lost tiebreakers in both heats but handled the disappointment with excellent humor.

Ivanhoe: John Poniske, cordial and friendly throughout, always assisted players by reminding them to draw cards, etc.

Medici: Trevor Bender had been admitted to the semifinals as an alternate when a higher-ranking alternate appeared. When the lowest ranking alternate refused to leave, Trevor voluntarily gave up his seat to the higher ranked player.

Medieval: Jim Jordan repeatedly showed less experienced players better strategies—losing a game in the process to such a suggestion.

Pirate’s Cove: Bob Jamelli was the victim of an opponent’s misplay in the semifinal. Another player mistakenly removed the legendary pirate card from under the ship to the side of the board, causing Bob to sail into battle with the legendary pirate. The resulting heavy damage took Bob out of the running but he accepted the oversight without complaint—showing remarkable good humor and honor for a pirate.

Pro Golf: Keith Hunsinger, aka the voice of Slapshot, stayed on in the wee morning hours after his own elimination to serve as color commentator on the PA system during the sudden death playoff to determine the final four and the resulting skins game.

Puerto Rico: Greg Berry was in the midst of a tight contest when he inadvertantly forgot to discards goods as required during the Shipping Phase. Greg reported the error and consequently was docked three VPs—turning a two-point win into a one-point loss and costing him automatic advancement to the next round.

Royal Turf: Phil Barcafer graciously provided extra shrink-wrapped copies of the game so that more people could particpate in the event. Naturally, he then lost a draw to advance on a three-way tie—all in good humor.

Sword of Rome: Stuart Tucker graciously gave up his seat in the semifinals to reduce the field to an even multiple of four.

Taj Mahal: Michael Kaltman donated his time as a non-advancing alternate when the semifinals came up short a player.

The Haunting House: Chris Bauch showed patience and gallantry above and beyond when dealing with new players by offering advice harmful to his own position.

Tigers in the Mist: Jim Winslow is always a pleasure to play and goes out of his way to help new players, offering advice which often comes back to haunt him. This year such advice cost him a game as the student turned the tables on the teacher.

Titan: Cliff Ackman, faced with a crucial roll which would either eliminate him or his opponent, congratulated his opponent on a good game prior to seeing the outcome - knowing it would mean more than it would if said congratulations were offered by the winner to a loser.

Waterloo: Bill Morse always exhibited patience and tolerance by being willing to accomodate other’s schedules. In this free form scheduling event, that meant he was frequently waiting for others—and at one point causing him to play till 2 AM.

We The People: Marvin Birnbaum is nominated not for any single act of merit, but for a sustained history of honorable play. While demonstratively emotional in competition, Marvin can be relied upon to act with a great sense of personal honor, to play by the rules even correcting mistakes made to his advantage, to help novices by pointing out potential blunders, and generally to act such that everyone can enjoy the gaming experience.


Past Sportsmanship Winners

Chuck Stapp
1992 - NJ

Tiger Von Pagel
1993 - FL

Rob Kilroy
1994 - PA

Ian Lange
1995 - AE

Jim Matt
1996 - MI

Ed Connery
1997 - NJ

Frank Sinigaglio
1999- NJ

Robert Sacks
2000- NY

Bret Hildebran
2001 - OH

Kaarin Engelmann
2002 - VA

     

James Jordan
2003 - MD

Steve Okonski
2004 - MD
     
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