Club Management Focus: Autumn 2020

Welcome to the Autumn edition of Club Management Focus 2020.

During these very difficult times it is fantastic to see so many people continuing to play bridge, albeit online. The EBU games on Bridge Base Online (BBO), the Lockdown League and club games on BBO and BCL are all thriving.

It is increasingly likely that clubs will be unable to re-open until next year. We have now made the decision to host our End of Year congress online. We fully appreciate that clubs are keen to re-open and the EBU continues to review the latest government guidance and to advise clubs accordingly, you can keep up with all the latest information here.

We now have over 250 Virtual Clubs up and running on BBO and in addition nearly 50 clubs are now up and running using the new BCL offering for clubs. If you would like to play bridge online but need help to get going or you know of others at your club who need help getting started, then please contact me either by email ( or on 01296 317206.

We hope you will find the information below useful. Please let us know if there are topics you would like us to cover in future editions.

If you have any queries about any of the content in this newsletter then the best points of contact are likely to be myself Club Liaison Officer, Jonathan Lillycrop – - or Communications Officer, Sam Kelly -



Feedback Requested for Proposed Changes to UMS Charging



We are asking Counties and Clubs for comment on proposed changes to UMS. We do need to recognise that any changes which introduce fractions of 1p into calculations would require investment in our systems. Any proposal for change will be considered by our Board on 4 November, and then our AGM on 25 November. If the Board then decide to go ahead would be introduced from 1 April next year, providing any required system work could be completed reliably in time. An email has been sent to all club and county officials, with further details. Please take the time to read the full details and respond with your comments to

Online Bridge Discussion



We, the EBU, are contacting you as a club who (to the best of our knowledge) have not played a club duplicate since Covid stopped face to face play back in March. With the return of much face to face bridge looking like it is still some distance off, we are keen to try and help more clubs to start playing online. With this in mind the EBU are organising a meeting for clubs and counties on Tuesday 20th October at 11:00 on Zoom to discuss online bridge.

We would like to encourage clubs to attend this meeting to learn more about online bridge and hopefully find an option which would suit your club. Although we have a large number of clubs playing on BBO’s Virtual Clubs, we also have clubs running club games on BCL, Stepbridge and RealBridge.

During the meeting information will be shared about different options for playing online bridge and club representatives will have the opportunity to ask any questions they may have. We will also have some clubs who are already playing online bridge share their experiences.

We are encouraging counties who already have trained BBO directors to help with training of more directors to assist clubs in setting up Virtual Clubs. Smaller clubs might also want to consider joining together for the purposes of forming a Virtual Club, a number of clubs have already done this successfully.

For any questions either before or after the meeting please contact Club Liaison Officer Jonathan Lillycrop or 01296 317206.




The EBU AGM will now take place online via Zoom. Further details about how to vote and how to join the meeting will be sent our shortly.

Year End Congresses



The Year End Congresses in London and Blackpool will not be taking place face-to-face this year. We will be running an online Year End Congress; further details will be announced in due course.

County Chair Meeting



The minutes from the County Chair meeting are now available to view: here


2020/2021 Members Diary



Eligible members should have now received their EBU member’s diary included with the September issue of English Bridge.
If you did not amend your preferences to ask to receive this diary, or if you were not eligible, you can still purchase one from the Bridge Warehouse.

Halifax Bridge Club Develops International Ties



Online play may initially be daunting, but one Yorkshire Bridge Club has exploited the global opportunity it offers.

After testing the water with a Scottish Club friendly in Spring, the enterprising Halifax BC executive decided to go reach out further and arranged two friendly matches on BBO; one with their namesake club, in Halifax Nova Scotia, Canada and one with their twinned town of Aachen in Germany.

Both events attracted over ten tables and were thoroughly enjoyed by all participants.

So much so that both are repeating as “Autumn Internationals” in the coming weeks. For details see Halifax website.



The EBU logo, along with variants for use by clubs and counties, are available to download from the EBU website. Thank you to all clubs and counties who have added a logo to their websites.

We invite all affiliated clubs and counties to have the EBU logo displayed on their websites, and to use it in documents (newsletters, competition information etc) which they produce. It would be good if all our Counties and Clubs chose to make use of these logos to represent our collective bodies and present an easily recognisable identity.

The EBED logo is also available for any clubs which wish to support their work by providing a link from their website to that of the charity.

The logos can be downloaded here

Bridge Warehouse



We are pleased to confirm that the Bridge Warehouse will now be fulfilling orders weekly. Throughout October, any orders placed up to midnight on Thursday will be despatched on Friday. Orders will need to be placed online as we are still unable to take phone orders just yet. You can find our full range of our products on our website.

Bridge Club Live F2F Virtual Club Sessions



Bridge Club Live have released the following details:

BridgeClubLive (BCL) initiated their public release of F2F Virtual Club Sessions on September 1st and already have 64 sessions up and running for 49 different clubs around the UK.

The system provides each Club, a dedicated server giving a choice of start time and the number of boards for their session tournament. Based on their own very successful automated tournament movement that uses a proprietary pseudo Howell-Flowers style with arrow switching, it can cater for small clubs from as little as 3 tables upwards to 400 tables. BridgeClubLive uses its own private dedicated cloud infrastructure and thus has a fully scalable system with no limits to the club session numbers it can handle.

Other than an initial setup fee for the club, there are no other ongoing fees as long as players are full members of BCL. Subscriptions are fully inclusive and provide unlimited use of a full range of facilities, from social bridge at a private table for just your friends, to a wide variety of tournaments in the main club, a separate Teaching Server for registered teachers and their students and now F2F Virtual Sessions for clubs. BCL does not use robot players.

The results from these new F2F Sessions are in the USEBIO XML format for BridgeWebs, Pianola or other results-oriented club system and many clubs get their results automatically uploaded at the end of each session. BCL has its own BridgeWebs Site showing all the results in a familiar way (including auction and play records). It is also fully compatible with the EBU UMS System and thus enables the financial support of the EBU in this way. Audio/video options have just been trialed this week and a fully integrated BCL Client will be released shortly to further enhance the playing experience.

BCL is consistently proving it is the one stop shop for online bridge and has been supporting its loyal members, as well as helping new ones onboard, during these difficult times. BCL is a UK-based EBU affiliated online bridge club and has been running continuously for over 25 years.

You can register as a club to be listed in BCL at no charge and this provides a dedicated club page from which the extra F2F Sessions can be activated within 48 hours following application.

For more information on this new facility, contact the Managing Director Nick Justice via email or in a one to one audio/visual call (similar to the new audio/video online system being integrated) directly off your webpage by clicking here.

Past Editions



You can read all the past editions of Club Management Focus here