Brief Bridge Encounters in the New Forest

Submitted by English Bridge Union on

Photo showing winners of bridge games being presented with a bottle of champagne

Pat Maycock-Elliot, Chair of the Bridge Committee at Lymington Bridge Club, thought long and hard how to encourage people back to Face-to-Face bridge post-Covid. Some clubs have returned to strong numbers, others still struggle. But Pat has excelled herself in working out a brilliant and enjoyable formula, a.k.a. Brief Bridge Encounters, that we think could benefit your club and its members, bringing some welcome enjoyment into the proceedings.

A word of warning….anyone who implements her idea needs to have the following :-

  • Excellent organisational skills
  • Broad shoulders
  • A sense of humour

Pat reasoned that her idea would appeal to newish members, those without regular partners and those who “wanted a bit of fun”. She starts the session off with a glass of Bucks Fizz. Count me in!

So what is this brilliant idea? It is speed dating (by any other name) loosely attached to an individual bridge movement, which all of you will have access to on your EBU Score/Scorebridge. To make this work, you need to ensure full tables, and for Pat’s idea – hers is based on 18 boards total played at 6 tables - you also need to have a long tea break in the middle to get the highlight of the afternoon for some - the speed dating - up and running. But even before that, you will all, in the spirit of the event, have introduced yourselves to and played with, lots of people, using a standard systems card.

So first you play 9 rounds on 3 tables (1 board per partner) then everyone is handed an individual envelope containing the name of their 3 dates during the next half hour. To avoid bored silences emanating from listening to endless boasts about grandkids etc., Pat also suggests some interesting or risque topics that they might want to introduce about themselves, but, rather akin to “would I lie to you?” there is no reason that people can’t add their own tales of “you’ll never guess what” intrigue. After tea and dates, back to the frivolities of the individual movement, with at least 1 prize at the end for play and maybe another for the most entertaining story?

This brainchild of Pat’s is successful. They’ve run it twice now, with a waiting list to play, and Lymington Club are happy to share their successful formula with others. Thank you!

Ros Wolfarth 
EBU Marketing Committee member

Blog tags