Club Management Focus: Summer 2021

Welcome to the Summer edition of Club Management Focus 2021.

The Summer Meeting in Eastbourne, starts later this week, as the EBU's return to face-to-face bridge.

The Summer Meeting will still incorporate Weekend Challenges and One Day Events and the Progressive Congress. All events are Level 4 except for the Progressive Tournament, which is Level 2. But, acting on feedback from the 2019 Summer Meeting Competition Meeting and the suggestions that were discussed on the Competitions Forum, we have made a few changes to the Summer Meeting 2021. Hopefully you will enjoy the new, simpler structure.

Special Offer - Have you ever played in the Summer Meeting at Eastbourne before*? If not, we have a special One-Off Limited Offer just for you! The 2021 Summer Meeting has a special one-off limited offer for any players who have not previously played in the Summer Meeting at Eastbourne £20 fee for each weekend and just £10 for all mid-week events! Book Early to avoid missing out - special offer, places are limited *You can take advantage of this great offer, even if you played at the Summer Meeting when it was held in Brighton.

Full details can be found here.

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 -


Update from the EBU Board:

  • Master Points Celebration
  • Update on Development / Teaching
  • Offer of Membership to Non-Affiliated Clubs (information for Counties, but may be of interest to clubs)
  • Update on Competitions and Master Points (information for Counties, but may be of interest to clubs)

Re-start Seminar

Club Member Information

Dimmie Fleming Nominations

Options for Cashless Payment


Director Training

New Bridge Club Map website

New EBU Online Magazine - Discovery!

Bridge Warehouse

Past Editions

EBU Club & County Logos


Update from the EBU Board

Master Points Celebration

From the start of September, clubs will be receiving notification of all Master Point promotions of their members. Celebrations of those achievements can create positive feelings of wellbeing and can be a significant boost to players. We would encourage you to publicise such promotions either on your website or in announcements at your club. Shortly, it will be possible to see a list of all players and their rank in each county on the EBU website.

Update on Development / Teaching

We recently instigated a survey of clubs’ access to teachers and, from the 190 replies, we discovered that about a third of clubs had nobody to whom to direct new candidates for learning the game.  We also learned that about half the clubs run supervised/assisted play sessions for learners, but half do not.  We are currently considering what needs to be done to allow any effort in promoting the game to lead into new players and new club members.

The following points include information for Counties, but may be of interest to clubs:

Offer of Membership to 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 proposes to make an offer to clubs that have been unaffiliated since 2010.

The offer is for clubs to receive a free trial membership of the EBU for its 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 will prepare and share presentation materials with which to market this offer and will hold ‘zoom’ sessions in late August and early September at which counties can discuss and refine this.

Thank you for your support.

Update on EBU Competitions and Master Points

The Competitions Strategy group (a sub-group of the EBU Board) is preparing recommendations for the EBU Board to endorse at their September meeting. The proposals will be fully advertised as they get confirmed, but we wanted to give the County Associations early sight of these in order to let them check (and feed back to us) any gotchas, or conflicts with current plans.

The recommendations fall into two groups - one about competition planning, and the other around Master Points regulations. 

  1. The competition planning has been made in the context of the significant change that the last 18 months has made to the way in which people play.  The changes we are recommending are seeking to provide competitions in various modes and to provide an opportunity for us all to understand, and then respond to, the ways in which players will wish to play the game once we can all play F2F and online at liberty.
  2. The Competitions sub-group believe a review of the Master Points regulations is needed and this we shall undertake over the next year; the recommended changes contained herein are those fixes that we believe are needed now due to very significant increase of online bridge.

Programme for 2021-2022

Overall Programme

In preparing the new programme, a key driver was the fact of an appetite amongst players for both online bridge and face-to-face bridge, and the fact that there are some competitions which work better in one mode than in the other. Leaving space for County Associations and Bridge Clubs to thrive was also important, as was financial considerations. The recommended split sees positive advantages in the following events being run online (primarily because of facilitating participation and the savings in board preparation).

  • Corwen, Pachabo and the qualifying round for the Tollemache Trophy.
  • The final of the Garden Cities Trophy
  • The Ranked Masters (and Masters) Pairs and the National Pairs
  • The Portland Pairs

We are dropping the Northern Year-End Congress for 2021, and leaving the Guernsey & Jersey Congresses to be run locally. We are considering some new competitions for introduction in 2022. We anticipate these arrangements will allow Competitions to generate a similar income stream for the EBU to that which it produced pre-Covid.

Knock-Out Matches

Teams are free to agree with their opponents whether to play matches online or face-to-face, subject to conforming to government regulations. If the teams cannot agree, the default will be to play live if the event started the season being live, and online if it started off online.

This is because some teams will have chosen their teams and made arrangements on the basis of the starting format of the event, and where that format was online they may have team members dispersed too far apart to play live, or have team members who are not willing to play live for health reasons. Others will have entered live events precisely because they want a change from playing online.

Limited NGS Events

Although the appetite for limited-NGS events has grown in the past few years, we feel these are better managed on a more regional (i.e. County) basis than nationally, particularly when they are face-to-face events, so we will be encouraging Counties to run these with our support, in preference to having them run by the EBU centrally. Please let us know whether your County will be able to take this forward.

Hybrid Sessions

We will run hybrid sessions (with some playing in a section online at the same time as others play the same boards live in the main venue, with all results combined at the end) whenever the event is structured as pairs playing in sections, such as the Open and Mixed Pairs at the Year End Congress. We hope this will enable people to join in to some extent even if they can’t participate in person at the venue.

This format does not work for Swiss events where it is a fundamental requirement that all pairs/teams can be drawn against any of the other contestants.

Prize Policy

  1. The level of prizes in EBU events will (mostly) drop to 10% of the entry fee (from 17.5%) as a cost saving venture, enabling us to avoid increasing the entry fees for the moment. (For County organised events, the prize level is a free choice for the organiser).

Master Points Rules Changes

The changes proposed are these (references are to the Master Points Handbook)

  • (change to 3.2) Any county that runs regular games more frequently than once a month shall have master points awarded at club level for all such regular games. 
  • (change to 1.2.2) The number of Blue Point events for which a club can obtain a license is limited to 2 per calendar year, plus another two for each 10,000 player sessions they have submitted beyond the first 10,000 in the previous calendar year. At most half of these Blue Point events can be online.
  • (change to 5.2.1) At most half of County organised Blue Points events can be online in any calendar year.
  • (change to 6.1.4) At most one of the County Green Point day events can be held online in any calendar year.

The rationale behind this approach is

  1. Currently County Associations can run the same event for the same audience as a club in their county and offer double the Master Points; this gives the CBA an unfair advantage. CBAs will retain double points for all their other events.
  2. Allowing county/club BP/GP days online creates a number of problems : with 40 counties and a national reach, two days per county would quickly swamp the calendar, the number of BPs/GPs issued would increase and their value would be deflated, and the distinction afforded to, and the attendance at, National events would be eroded, and because they are cheap and easy to run we might never see a return to face-to-face congresses. Despite all that, in recognition of the value that BP/GP Online events have to clubs and counties as fund-raising ventures, we are proposing an allowance of 50% of such events.


Re-start Seminars

The EBU held the first of two Restart Seminars on Friday 30th July.

You can view the recording of the meeting here.

We still have places available on the second Restart Seminar on Tuesday 17th August, from 9 - 11am, via ZoomIf you would like to attend this event, please email

Please let us know if you have any topics that you would like to see covered or if you feel you have valuable experience that may help other clubs and would like to give a short talk at the event, please let us know.



Club Member Information

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


Dimmie Fleming Nominations

In the next couple of weeks we will open nominations for Dimmie Fleming Awards.

The intent of the Dimmie Fleming award is to publicly recognise those people who do not hold an official (i.e. EBU) office, but have given long and distinguished service for bridge administration at County level.

The duration and value of the service given by those granted the Award should be significant and substantial, but will be viewed flexibly. They should be volunteers who have contributed to County administration, typically giving 10/15 years’ service to the county.

Board Directors, Vice Presidents, EBU employees are excluded from nomination, however after leaving office such people are eligible for an award, if they have also worked hard for bridge at County level.

All nominations can be made by any shareholder, county, or EBU member, but should be made via your County who will then submit the nomination to the EBU stating that approval of the County Committee has been obtained. There is a restriction of two nominations from any one county.

Nomination forms will be available shortly, here.

The closing date for nominations is 20th August 2021.

See the previous winners


Options for Cashless Payment

Details of Cashless Payment options for clubs can be found here.



Introducing Transition, a new short course created by EBED especially for EBU affiliated clubs and free of charge. The course will be available in early September and aims to introduce social and casual bridge players to the friendly world of their local duplicate club. When your club reopens its doors, why not take this opportunity for a membership drive? You may even find new members who have discovered or rediscovered bridge by playing online during lockdown.

For online players and social players alike, the duplicate club bridge may be unfamiliar. The Transition course aims to guide them through things like rules and movements, and get them used to using bridgemates and convention cards so that they feel comfortable and ready to join in. They will already know how to play bridge and some may have played for many years. Transition could be the first step to welcoming them into your club as new EBU and bridge club members.

Your Transition pack will include:

  • A new player guide
  • Presenter notes
  • Powerpoint slides (for optional use)
  • Document resource pack
  • Dealfiles (for optional use)

 The Transition course (digital download) will be available in early September. 


Director Training

EBED’s face to face director training programme resumes from August 2021. EBED aim to enable delegates from previously postponed courses to complete their training and to meet the directing requirements of clubs planning their future approach to online and face to face bridge. 

EBED's up to date calendar lists all available courses, Locations have been arranged to enable convenient access for as many clubs as possible. If your club would like to host or has demand for a course which is not listed in your local area, please email Jacks Morcombe ( and we will do our best to fulfil your training requirements. 

EBED currently offer the following courses:

Club Director Training

Club Director training is a four-day programme consisting of a one-day session ‘How to run a club duplicate’ and a three-day Club Director course. The one-day session is not a prerequisite for attending the Club Director course but is recommended unless attendees have experience of running a club session. Each day of the course has standardised content, so participants can choose whichever venue is most convenient for them.

‘How to run a club duplicate’ can also be taken as a stand-alone course and would be suitable for individuals wishing to assist their clubs as scorers or session managers. Participants successfully completing full club director training are awarded the EBU Club Directors' Certificate of Competence and are eligible to undertake further training.

Course fees are heavily subsidised and EBU members receive a further 10% discount. Bookings can be made via My EBU at the discounted rate of £62.50 per day. 

Online Club director training

For clubs requiring online directors, we are running a remote training day via video conferencing. The online judgement rulings session will equip attendees to deal with all online rulings and can be taken as a stand-alone course or count towards full club director training above. Discounts are available for EBU members and participants continuing to full assessment. To receive a discounted place please book through Jacks Morcombe ( or Lisa Miller (

Refresher Training 

Existing directors may require refresher training as we return to face to face bridge. Skills can be consolidated by watching the EBU’s set of six videos dealing the most commonly occurring table situations and by taking their online refresher course. Both are available on the EBU website 

Planned refresher courses for those requiring more comprehensive training and real life simulations are listed on our course calendar. Half day and full day courses can be arranged on request. Please contact Jacks Morcombe if you would like to host a refresher session. 


EBU score training sessions are organised on demand by contacting EBED. Help for clubs planning hybrid sessions and wishing to combine results from online and face to face games can found on the EBU website

Advanced and County Director Training

Advanced training days are provided for club directors wishing to undertake County TD training. They are also suitable as stand alone refresher courses. There are two one day sessions planned for 2022, in the spring and summer. 

County TD training is a residential weekend course and will take place in autumn 2022. Details will be posted on our course calendar when the training is available for booking.


New Bridge Club Map website

A bridge player and web designer from Belgium has created a website that aims to show all offline bridge clubs on a worldwide map ( It has useful filters, for example to find a club nearby that plays Monday night.

Anyone can add a bridge club, it only takes a minute:

This might be the perfect time to generate interest in your club, with more people having started playing online during Covid. This website is a great tool for new players to find a local club, or for existing players to find new clubs in the area or when travelling to a new city.


New EBU Online Magazine - Discovery!

In case you missed it: The EBU have a new new online magazine - Discovery - a publication designed to provide tips and tricks that will help you improve your club bridge scores quickly.

In this first issue we have great articles on dealing with auctions when the opposition interfere, how far to push the auction, and some invaluable tips on play – both as a defender and as declarer. We have tried to address the pitfalls which so many players fall into when participating in club bridge. This magazine is clearly not aimed at expert players, though we hope there will be something of value for all our less-experienced members, whether beginners, novices or intermediate.

Link to the July 2021 issue
(feel free to pass this link to anyone you feel may be interested)