American Go E-Journal

AGA Board Discusses Reactions to “Tap” Proposal

Monday January 30, 2012

The American Go Association’s Board of Directors held a special meeting on January 21st to discuss reactions to the proposal to “tap” or tax players representing the AGA in certain international tournaments. The Board had previously authorized President Allan Abramson to implement a tap not greater than 30%, with the understanding that Abramson would solicit input before forming the final details, leaving the amount and whether to even assess a tap at all up to the President’s discretion.

Arguments were given both for and against the “tap.”

The arguments against the “tap” included that it creates the impression that the AGA is “nickle and diming” players, or that the organization is “anti-strong players and pros”; tournament sponsor money effectively gets taxed three times (by the foreign country, the AGA, and the US government); strong players are still effectively losing money when they attend international tournaments, as they have to take time off from work, etc; and the board’s understanding that other national go organizations imposed similar player taxes was based on inaccurate information.

Arguments in favor of the “tap” included that the AGA extends effort to secure invitations to these international tournaments, and it is reasonable to ask something in return from those who benefit most from this effort; a “tap” is superior to, for example, qualifier entry fees, as it lowers the barriers to entry (it is only paid by those who win); a minimum threshold could be set high enough that players would only be paying a tap on events that they had actually made money at; the Board misunderstood International VP Thomas Hsiang’s report in only one significant area: the particular EGF tap mentioned was one-time only, not recurring.

President Abramson reported that the comments he has received thus far have been roughly evenly balanced, with slightly more in favor of the tap than against it. If this balance does not change, he may choose not to implement a tap at this time. As this was a special meeting, no actions were taken. The Board’s next regularly scheduled meeting is February 12th.

Categories: Members Only