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National Teams League

Not sure I should be the one to raise this - I don't run a Club that plays on Wednesdays.

The format of the new National Teams League will be Wednesday 19:30 for 2 hours.
This would seem to be in direct competition with probably 20% of Clubs.
This seems bonkers at a time when many Clubs are struggling to get players back to the table,
and when the EBU profess to want to encourage F2F bridge.


  • The EBU did survey members on this so presumably this was the most popular date and time.

    I think they are right to run an online league as the demand for it is clearly there. Some people only play online and I am sure they would welcome the opportunity to play in something like this. Plus the 80% of clubs that don't meet on Wednesday's will be unaffected.

    Ironically I am struggling to enter a team myself because a number of my regular circle play FTF in the London Super League on Wednesday's

  • I agree with MikeH. The National Teams League is in direct competition to our Wednesday evening session. If EBU aims to get people playing F2F in clubs, this is not going to help. Yes we are still not back to our pre Covid table numbers. So we fit into the category of clubs that may be affected.

    Is the EBU strategy now to run events in competition with clubs?

  • You will have seen from the email that went out today that teams are allowed to play their games at any time they wish, if they don't want to join the Wednesday ones.

  • Even if players have a choice of playing on BBO at a different time, EBU has introduced competition. (Note BBO games don't contribute to NGS). Players now have a choice … club or National Teams League. Maybe there is a demand for it, but it is still a change with a potential impact on clubs.
    Has the EBU assessed the impact on clubs and what was the result? Will there come a time when EBU runs online sessions every weekday night or is it committing to only running only one competing session a week?

  • The EBU has run three (short) sessions every evening for the last couple of years. Having a choice doesn’t seem like a bad thing for members.
  • Yes EBU ran online sessions when there was no/little f2f club play. Now that clubs are back playing f2f, is it EBU strategy to expand the sessions they run online, even if these compete with club f2f sessions?

  • The strategy is to continue running them for as long as there is demand. Since this was planned before Covid, it would seem strange to stop running them when they clearly fulfil a need for many of our members. We do however only run games that are shorter than most club games and so we expect that most players will choose to play in them in addition to their regular club games rather than instead of them.. Those who want to play online will do so, and if EBU games were not available they could always play in other EBU clubs' online games or ACBL games if they wished.

  • Does EBU aim to provide online play on RealBridge/BBO/FunBridge for all types of player? Including elite and average club player? Or is it aiming at a particular section of the market?
    RealBridge provides the extra functionality to talk to players and the director, which, as well as NGS, can seem to be more attractive than BBO. And RealBridge wasn’t available until Autumn 2020, so was probably not part of EBU’s pre-Covid strategy. But it is a game changer.
    Will EBU restrict their online games, such as the National Teams League, to one evening a week, or is it open to running games every evening of the week?

  • Some players like RealBridge, others prefer BBO. We try to offer a range of games for all sections of our membership, which included the daily social games we offer on RealBridge. We have no plans to add any others at the moment, but are always willing to respond to demand from our members.

  • What do you think the impact on clubs would be if EBU runs regular online sessions every weekday, targeted at all players?

  • I don't think our online games are targetted at anyone in particular and a wide range of players (not only EBU members) take advantage of them. I think that if we didn't run them, those who play in them would find other online games to play in. I feel that I am repeating myself here, so perhaps this discussion is coming towards the end of its usefulness.

  • Before Covid there were no online games to complete with in-club games. Now there are more opportunities to play online. EBU is increasing these with a new regular online competition being held at the same time as in-club games. If players opt to play in this rather than go to the club, this has an impact on the club … less income and fewer tables, which could dissuade others from joining the session.
    Your answers only state that EBU wishes to provide a range of options for players without looking at the impact on clubs. It appears EBU are thinking about players and EBU income, but not clubs.
    If you want to finish the conversation,, you are doing so without answering the point that the original post raised and which I have tried to engage with you throughout.

  • Your original point was that the League conflicts with clubs that run games on Wednesdays. My answer was that people are free to play their league games on any other day they wish. You also seemed to suggest early on that players having a choice was a bad thing, which I don't think it is.

  • I do not suggest that players having a choice is a bad thing. However, when an additional choice is introduced, it is right to consider the impact on the other organisations delivering playing opportunities to players … that is the clubs. I have asked if EBU has considered the impact on clubs of EBU increasing their online games. You haven’t answered. I do not like making assumptions, but your failure to answer makes me wonder whether you have considered clubs.

  • edited September 2022

    I will be happy to listen to any feedback from clubs that indicates this has had an effect on them in practice. I imagine most players in clubs with regular Wednesday games would prefer to play in them rather than in an online teams league, so they will either not join the league or will choose to play their matches on different days.

  • With a few results on the LMS, is it deliberate that team line ups aren't public?

  • No, it wasn't, so we've made them visible now.

  • Looks like it has been popular - hope it goes well.

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