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EBU SERVICES : Support for recruiting, teaching and the development of bridge players

This thread is for any thoughts on what this service comprises, what qualitative aspects of it are important, of how important this is across the whole spectrum of services. See the last item on the MISSION thread for context.


  • I would start with developing a pathway (or several pathways) - imagine a person new to bridge, where to they want to get to and what do they need to do to achieve that and how can their club, county and EBU support that process.

    so you may have something like:

    New player introduction / mini-bridge
    Basic ACOL teachings
    Easy club bridge
    More competitive bridge in a club
    County events / green points
    National / top level events

    Not every player would want (or be capable, myself included) to work through to the top level, but there should be a pathway.

    Your average pensioner taking up bridge for the first time after retirement, are most likely to want to play to perhaps competitive club events at most. From those that I have come across that fit into that demographic, this seems to be true. So their pathway may be to get to that point and perhaps a point about holidaying in the UK (really important in the next year or two I guess) and the option of visiting clubs, may help to get more people mixing more.

    Perhaps younger players, or players coming back to bridge, are the sort that may be most fitting to get to play for their county. Do all players coming to the game know that this is even a possibility and what they would need to do to get there?

    A link for students to register to the EBU, widely publicised by teachers/clubs would be good - gives contact details to the EBU so that pathways could be sent out etc. Maybe a forum where people can chat about their issues/questions which could be patrolled by teachers and/or an EBU rep?

    With the demographics of bridge players the way it is, gaining new players will be a key issue for many years. A lot of time and effort (and money?) should be focused here, or in 10 years time there will be a massive loss of clubs and table numbers.

  • edited September 2020

    The EBU had (imho) not done much in this space until it started the Recruitment Campaigns a few years back. It has generally thought of development as an issue for teachers/EBED and recruitment as an issue for clubs. Is that good enough?

    If that is not good enough, what would describe “good enough”? To what extent does EBU need to leading on this front, and/or filling the gaps which EBED and clubs cannot fill?

    EBED and teachers focus very much on newcomers to the game; is the development of “experienced” players (Martin’s roadmap) an important service? Is development about the standard of bidding and card-play, or is it about experience of more than just match-points games (particularly teams and IMP scoring)? If these matter, who should provide this development?

    Do we look down on the robot based games such as Funbridge provides, and if so is this right? Should we be actively encouraging people to engage on these, and treat it an activity of equal status to face-to-face games? Is that the way to engage the younger part of the population?

  • This topic seems to be conflating several things. A key service it seems to me is the promotion and marketing of member clubs. This naturally overlaps with recruitment. It is distinct though from teaching or promoting bridge as a game, in terms of what can be done centrally. It is also distinct from the teacher or club-level question of how best to teach and encourage novices.

    What is being done with the responses to these discussion points? Is EBED being considered separately from the EBU?


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