EBU Board Update 6th October 2021

Sent 6th October 2021 via email

Update from the EBU Board

Dear Club and County Chairs and Secretaries,

Here is your monthly update from the EBU. Please note there are a number of important topics covered in the below.


The Annual General Meeting is to be held on Tuesday 30th November 2021 via Zoom. Elections for the Board and Committees will be completed electronically, by midday, the day before the AGM, on Monday 29th November. Any voting on bye-law changes will take place on the day of the AGM. Only shareholders are entitled to vote. Further details with links for joining the meeting and voting will be sent in due course.

Non-Affiliated Clubs

As part of our response to the high degree of support by our focus group and counties to encourage new members and clubs, the Board have created an offer for unaffiliated clubs providing they have not been affiliated since 2010.

The offer is for clubs to receive a free trial membership of the EBU for their members between October 2021 and August 2022.

If this is successful it will benefit us all in the long-run through increased membership, income and participation in competitions.

We invite counties to make the offer to their unaffiliated clubs as they know them best; the EBU has prepared presentation materials with which to market this offer. A Zoom session was held last Friday for counties wishing to use the materials for clubs in their area. There will be a second Zoom session this Friday (8th October) where counties can discuss the offer, if you would like to attend, please email jonathan@ebu.co.uk.


  1. The world of bridge has changed over the past two years, and the EBU must adapt the set of bridge competitions it organises in response to that. The EBU feels it should step back from some types of events:
    1. The appetite for face-to-face congresses has decreased in recent years, and for many congresses the clientele is regional rather than national, and the organisation of such events (liaison with the venue, advertising) is better done locally - so we shall compete less with County Associations and other providers for this type of game. We would also be happy to consider licensing some of our national events to counties.
    2. While there is an occasional case for a national NGS-limited game, few of the players who would be involved are likely to travel far, and for this reason live NGS-limited games need to be local or regional, and we ask that County Associations become more active in organising these games. As that community grows more into Congress Bridge, the need for national events will be re-considered.
  2. In adopting these changes, the EBU’s focus will be
    1. National Championships, including the Spring Fours
    2. Inter-County Championships
    3. A small set of (4 or 5) National Congresses
    4. A small set of (currently 3) Overseas Congresses
    5. Online competitions (Pairs, Lockdown League) running to a timetable and format that suits a number of players, but for which individual clubs lack the critical mass participation.

Master Point Changes

  1. The changes documented in the previous broadcast - click here for a reminder - will come into play on 1st January 2022.
  2. It is important to the bridge playing population that all forms of the game thrive, and in particular that, while online is clearly here to stay, face-to-face bridge continues to have adequate support. The EBU therefore wishes to support live bridge, but there are economic factors that disadvantage us in running these competitions ourselves, since we are at a VAT-disadvantage, are unable to use the volunteer labour that is the mainstay of most county organisations, and we also have to generate enough income to support our national organisation aside from covering the costs of the events. This has become even more marked over the last year in that counties have been able to run extremely cheap online Green-Pointed events, which are hard for live events and for the online events run by the EBU to compete against on price. We have also seen that online county events are much less restricted by geography than they were previously and that counties far apart from each other may now be competing directly when they hold events on the same day.

    We want there to be a financial incentive for counties to run their events live, helping them to fulfil their regional role. In order to do this and to reduce the imbalance in the prices of the various national and regional competitions, we propose that the cost of licence fees for online Green-Pointed events be twice that of the face-to-face equivalent. We expect this to be part of the financial plan to be put forward by the Treasurer at the AGM in November, but we are raising this with counties now so that you have time to consider this question, discuss it among yourselves, and get back to us with further questions and comments prior to the AGM.

Recruitment and Teaching

  1. In support of clubs who lack any teaching capability, EBED is developing a new, very short, online course to teach the basics of card play and the game of bridge to newcomers. The plan is that any club can do its own local marketing to find candidate learners, the teaching will be done online by EBED, and the learners will come together as a group and build their experience through Assisted Play sessions organised by the clubs. These can be online or live.
  2. The marketing team at the EBU has been working on advertising materials (such as leaflets) and advice which will be offered to any club which wants to participate. The materials are of a style which can be adapted to local circumstances and it builds on recent experiences in various parts of the country. Of course a club may use its own material if it chooses.
  3. The County Bridge Associations are asked to play a key role in facilitating the Assisted Play for those clubs which have never done this before. These clubs might lack the skills, the critical mass of newcomers, or sufficient helpers - and here the CBA can help clubs work together or even provide the Assisted Play for a group of clubs. The CBA has another key role in ensuring that all clubs understand what is on offer, and take the best advantage of it.
  4. The timetable is for a pilot of the course content (it is a radical approach to get players started quickly) to happen during the November-January period, and for a further pilot with selected counties in the first quarter of 2022.
  5. Please encourage your CBA to help support this - as the generation of new bridge players is vital to the health of the game.

Social Media

We have now launched the EBU Blog, you can find a link to this on the front page of the EBU website. New blog posts are also shared on the EBU social media accounts (TwitterFacebook and LinkedIn). We encourage you to share these posts on your own and your county social media accounts as well. The more engagement we can get the better.

If you would like to share some of your local news in the EBU blog, please email sam@ebu.co.uk. There are five categories of posts, CountiesCompetitionCharityChallenge and Celebration, you can see examples of each one on the blog.

If your county needs help setting up social media accounts, please contact sam@ebu.co.uk.


We are currently working on a new leaflet, poster, and social media designs to help you promote Bridge in your area. We hope to have these printed early in 2022.

The EBU existing Leaflet can be found here.

Club and County Records 

Please ensure your county records are up to date. If County Officials have changed, please email kay@ebu.co.uk to confirm let us know.

Please also encourage your members to add their email addresses to their EBU records by contacting the EBU via phone (01296 317200) or email karend@ebu.co.uk. This way they will be able to sign into My EBU and receive emails letting them know of upcoming events.

New Look EBU Calendar

The EBU will shortly be launching its new Calendar. Please feel free to view our Beta version.

All counties will be able to add, edit and delete their own events (You won’t be able to edit or delete anyone else’s). We would ask you to advertise EBU events on your County calendars online as the EBU calendar advertises county events.

To get your user name and password so you can start to promote your events please contact Charlie@ebu.co.uk.

General Help

If you know of anyone who can spare time working on these or other initiatives to promote the game, please inform Kay (kay.preddy@ntlworld.com).

Please feel free to share this email with your clubs.
Cath, Gayle, Patrick and Kay
(Cath Fox, Gayle Webb, Patrick Shields, Ron Millet and Kay Preddy)

EBU Board Members