Welcome to the Spring edition of Club Management Focus 2021.
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 – firstname.lastname@example.org - or Communications Officer, Sam Kelly - email@example.com.
- Hybrid Sessions
- Nora Penn’s 100th Birthday
- Harry, 97, goes online for the first time
- Collecting Table Money – The Bridge Clubs Burden
- EBED Sim Pairs
- TabScore and TabPlay
- It's an Ill Wind...
- EBU Lockdown League
Many clubs will be thinking about the return of face to face play and considering whether all players will return to the club, some players will want to continue online or indeed all players will want to continue online. For clubs where some players are keen to return to face to face but other players prefer to continue online a hybrid model may be worth considering. If a club has sufficient people in both categories then they can run a duplicate with a face to face section and an online section and the scores can be combined at the end. This would mean that one overall ranking list would be created and Master Points and NGS would be calculated based on this combined ranking. The combining of the two sections is straight forward using software such as BBO to XML and instructions on how to do this can be provided.
For clubs who have a smaller number of players who wish to continue playing online it may make sense to run a face to face session and then run an online session joint with another club. This would help to make the numbers more practical in terms of movements and also to share the costs of a director. There are a number of ways this could be done and one way is offered by Oliver Cowan and is explained below:
When face to face bridge starts, it is estimated that up to 40% of players will change their bridge playing habits from before the pandemic. As a club, you can either keep including these players or let them go elsewhere to play. When clubs reopen, I am going to be running daily hybrid games every afternoon and evening, allowing clubs to have players playing the same boards at the club as those online and will then merge the results list together at the end. Your club will then feature in a set of results along side many other clubs where players can compare their results and actions which makes it an excellent educational tool as novice players can compare play with more established players. This is not a tool designed to encourage players to stay at home and play rather than go to the club.
I will be running a zoom call at 10am on Thursday morning to present more about how the model works and costs, which work out significantly less than the current online TD costs. If you would like more information, please call 07946 393033 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and I am happy for up to 2 members of each club to join the zoom.
York Bridge Club celebrated the 100th birthday of one of its members on 4th April. Although a formal celebration will be held back until the Bridge Club reopens and social distancing measures can be relaxed, Nora Penn has received a significant number of birthday cards from her many friends.
Nora credits the game of bridge with keeping her alert and socially active in her later years. She was made an honorary member of York Bridge Club in 2011 in recognition of her dedicated work as TD for many years at the popular afternoon sessions. She was a TD at the Club for 37 years until giving up the role in 2016. With Nora directing the sessions they would inevitably run smoothly. Before bridgemates were introduced the role of the TD included manually calculating scores on travellers which were published the following day.
Although unable to play online during the pandemic, Nora has continued to play regularly at York Bridge Club up until March 2020. Her remarkable mental agility enables her to remain competitive as a regular Club player. She enjoys playing with different bridge partners. When most of us find mastering ACOL sufficiently challenging, depending on which partner she is playing with, she can play bridge using either the ACOL or Precision system.
In August 2018 York Bridge Club entertained a group of travelling American bridge players. Nora was part of the York team. The Club invited That’s York TV to report on the American evening and other activities within the Bridge Club. Nora is seen here being interviewed and a bulletin went out on local TV that same evening. As you would expect, another confident and assured performance by a remarkable lady.
Harry, originally from London, moved to Coventry in 1972. He was headhunted by Owen Owen the Department store, from where he was working in Selfridges in London.
He was a keen bridge player playing regularly at his local club in Kenilworth before the pandemic hit. Since then the Club has been unable to open for face to face sessions.
Kenilworth Bridge Club is holding regular sessions online but Harry had never owned a computer so was unable to join in.
Undeterred, he bought his first computer with the help of his friends and family and they helped him to set up online for the first time. He now plays bridge twice a week in some of the six sessions that the Club run each week.
Jane Mackenzie said, ‘ it is great to see Harry continuing to take part in our sessions. It is a very difficult time for some people and online bridge has been a lifeline for many.’
Kenilworth Bridge Club is based in the grounds of Kenilworth Cricket Club in Warwick Road. The Club has over 500 members and is one of the biggest Clubs in the country.
During lockdown, they have been unable to open for face to face bridge, so have been holding online bridge sessions. Currently, they run six sessions a week for all different levels of players, a four Division League and they offer lessons with qualified, experienced Bridge teachers.
The collection of table money can be an issue for many bridge clubs. Below Derek Marsh of Milton Keynes BC, talks about just one way of managing the issue. It is worth noting, the Bridgewebs solution can be used without having ScoreBridge. Further details on the Bridgewebs attendance module can be found here.
Once upon a time we played Face – To – Face Bridge. Then came the lockdown. Clubs shut, friends isolated, the pleasure of sharing news face to face gone.
Then RealBridge came along. Clubs reforming. Friends re-united over the game they enjoy so much. Then clubs uniting to form the Bridge Online Alliance to share directing, hosting and technical support resources. But how do we collect table money when we are playing at least three nights a week across multiple clubs?
One massive spreadsheet and a lot of midnight oil maybe?
BridgeWebs and ScoreBridge to the rescue. We take the results output from RealBridge and download to ScoreBridge where we clean up the names and add any missing Id numbers. Then we upload the data to the EBU and to BridgeWebs with billing configured and all the hard work is done for us.
Table money by session played is recorded and this forms a month in arrears bill which is sent by email with a few clicks. Everyone can see what they owe and have a detailed statement of events they have played. Payment by bank transfer is the norm for 97% of the members.
Those that need to pay by cheque send these payable to the billing secretary, who scans in the cheques to their account and raises a bank transfer in the member’s name.
The bank payment details are downloaded after two weeks and fed into BridgeWebs to provide both summary and full account information. Members can log on to BridgeWebs at any time to see their own balance. Thank you BridgeWebs and ScoreBridge.
Thank you to all the clubs and players who have taken part in the British Spring Simultaneous Pairs this month.
The next Sim Pairs event will be the EBED Spring Sims, taking place 10th - 13th May. Profits from all EBED Sim Pairs go to the charity English Bridge Education and Development, and help to support its work in promoting and developing bridge in England. Your participation, and contribution towards ensuring bridge has a bright future, is greatly appreciated.
We hope that your club will host a heat, and support its efforts, and that you will encourage your members to take part – if not at a heat at your club, then at one in your local area.
Other forthcoming Sim Pairs
There are four other sim pairs events taking place this year:
Surrey Charity Sim Pairs - 21st to 25th June
British Summer Sim Pairs – 26th to 29th July
EBED Autumn Sim Pairs - 6th to 10th September
British Autumn Sim Pairs – 11th to 14th October
For further information on the EBU simultaneous pairs events, including the other events which take place during the year and details of the results summary and hand commentaries, please visit http://www.ebu.co.uk/sim-pairs and https://www.ebu.co.uk/documents/official-documents/club-bulletin-sim-pairs.pdf
TabScore provides wireless scoring using any standard wifi devices such as tablets or phones. The latest version has been designed so that players can use their own personal mobile phones for scoring, as the devices can move with the players. TabScore should work with any bridge scoring program that can create a .bws database, but has been built with EBUScore in mind, and the most recent versions of EBUScore have a 'TabScore' table-top device option.
TabPlay is a development from TabScore that allows all the bidding, play and scoring for face-to-face bridge to take place on tablets or phones. It therefore removes the need for clubs to deal cards, and for players to handle boards, cards and bidding boxes. Although it was developed as a potential means of easing the transition from Covid-19 lockdown, it has wider applicability.
Both TabScore and TabPlay are available to bridge clubs free of charge. Full information and downloads are available from The Bedford Bridge Centre website: https://thebedfordbridgecentre.org.uk/tabscore
Fiona Rose has become the 200th member of Stansfield bridge club.
Prior to the pandemic, the club had about 130 members. The availability of online bridge twice a week since last April has attracted the new players and swelled table numbers. Most of the new players live in Suffolk or north-east Essex but a handful are from further afield, including Steve Johnson from Nova Scotia.
The Lockdown League is currently on Season 10. Season 11 will begin on Monday 24th May. Entries will be invited from 12th - 19th May.