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Surviving in the time of COVID-19 and moving forward afterwards

edited June 2020 in Club Forum

This forum has not been much used for a while, but it seems to me that clubs might welcome talking to each other and to EBU staff and committee members about how they are managing at the moment, as well as how they might plan for the future. I'll mention a few possible starting points and then hope that club reps will continue the conversations, both with us and each other.

  • How are you keeping in touch with your members?
  • Are they playing online, and if so how easy have they found it and which games are they playing?
  • What could the EBU do to help them adjust?
  • What can clubs do at the moment to plan for the future when people are able to start coming back to face-to-face bridge?
  • Would it be a good idea for clubs to think of promotions for when they first re-open, such as a free game to those in their area who have been playing regularly online?

My view is that people will be very keen to get back to their clubs when they can, but a lot of them will also have discovered a new world in online bridge. There is no reason why they shouldn't co-exist, with clubs providing the social interaction that is so important, but online possibly allowing additional play for those occasions when a shorter game is wanted or it's difficult to get out of the house to go to a club.

That's enough of my thoughts - I hope they stimulate others to discuss them here and perhaps introduce new topics of their own.


  • In Cheltenham, we have had positive uptake of the EBU matchpoint games since they started but that is only a limited minority of our players. When we announced a Cheltenham BC-only event and advertised that, we got masses more coming forward, and we are planning to run one or two games a week for these people. In the same way as the EBU events are, this is forcing a mix of the best and the least experienced players in the same event, and it will take a while for comfort with that to be established. Getting the news of events, and getting the encouragement to join in, spread across all our players is the real challenge we face. As a help, we have introduced a set of BUDDIES to help newcomers to on-line bridge - people they know from the club who can help them get started - but even "masses more" is still a minority of our members.

    It is in the players' interest and in our clubs future interest to keep bridge players active. More ideas welcome.

  • Sovereign harbour bridge club, Eastbourne, East Sussex
    We are a small club, just under a hundred members, most of them are retired.
    We have created a WhatsApp group which is used for daily quizzes and general banter. We operate an organised phone around. At least 50% of the members play together on BBO. The website has been reengineered for the duration of lock down and the members all receive an update email every few days. Many of the members are watching Bernard Magee on YouTube. A twitter account is active. One of our younger members goes shopping several times a week and delivers to those who need it. So no-one at our bridge club has been forgotten about!

  • Very encouraging indeed, and lots of ideas for others to copy.

  • At Chippenham Bridge Club we have been keeping in contact with all of our members via email and Zoom. We set up bridge online for 30 members on Bridge Club Live, run our own TEAMs league with 6 teams of 4 on BBO and have recently been trained by the EBU to start our own virtual club on BBO with 60 members ready to play. A great big thank you to Jonathan Lilycrop and Nicole Barclay (nee Cook) for helping us through Lockdown. We also keep our website active for our members by regularly updating it with news, conventions, hands of the week, results from BBO, results from team matches etc. The main thing we are all missing is the social contact and face-to-face bridge with our members.

  • Congratulations on your achievements, I wish you all the best. I followed the website links to your membership application form and found that I would be expected to "play in club" three times. Although I lived in (Brinkworth) Wiltshire for twenty years, I'm in Devon now and Government policy would not approve of my driving over to sit in the home of one of your current members for three online sessions. Is there any provision for Chippenham Bridge Club to consider applications from afar during the lockdown? I'm really missing the regularity and structure of proper bridge sessions.

  • Hi TawVale, there are several clubs in Devon who are running Virtual Club sessions who you might want to approach. Ottery St Mary are running sessions and I believe are happy to have visitors from other clubs and North Devon are also running sessions. The full list of EBU Virtual Clubs can be found here. Jonathan

  • Hi griffenmac, thanks for your suggestion in the absence of feedback from Chippenham.
    I fear I would have nothing in common with Ottery St Mary, I had to look on Google Maps to see where it is :-).
    And North Devon's experiment is twelve boards of match-pointed pairs which will not satisfy the lack of face-to-face bridge each Monday to Thursday.
    Nevertheless, thanks for the link, I'll try Harrogate next (I was a member there for 17 years).

  • Exeter bridge club offers a regular duplicate on Monday , plus we run a teams league and a pairs league.. visit our website for details.

  • Hi here at Plymouth Bridge Club we run 4 sessions a week. Two in the afternoons Monday and Thursday at 1pm for club members only and two in the evenings at 7.15 for anyone who has registered at admin@plymouthbridge.co.uk with their BBO name, real name, EBU No and a contact telephone number. We would welcome anyone who is interested in joining the club or just playing in the evening sessions. More information can be found on our website

  • We have started gardenbridge pre delt quarantined card on an enlarged table players 1 meter min apart wearing masks or Visors
    What do you think?
  • Hi all, we play as a club with guests on a Monday @ 6.30, guests are very welcome, the cost is 3 BBO dollars, We are Kingsbridge Regal Bridge club, see our website so you can register and play. Ann, stay safe all.

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