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WBF - Let the Change Begin!

WBF - Let the Change Begin!

Bridgewinners provides a valuable platform for all bridge enthusiasts to openly discuss thoughts and ideas regarding the game, to express joy and excitement about events and developments, as well as disappointment and criticism. The players do not always agree with the organizations on the best way of administering the game of bridge. The WBF (World Bridge Federation) especially has come into the limelight meeting a lot of criticism, when it was felt by many that the organization had not made enough effort to fight, prevent or even investigate cheating in top level competition. Until about one year ago the subject of cheating in bridge was totally taboo. Had it not been for the efforts of a group of brave and persistent players led by Boye Brogeland that defied the authorities and started a public discussion of the cheating problem, we almost certainly would still be plagued by it.

Boye et al’s approach was totally unconventional. Many applauded it, yet not everyone approved of it. Why did it have to come so far? Why does it seem like player interests don’t matter much and players don’t have a say? Take a look at Article 2 of the WBF Constitution that describes the purpose of the WBF


The purpose of the organization shall be to promote, foster, promulgate and develop the sport of Duplicate Bridge throughout the world; to be in the Olympic Movement, remaining affiliated with International Olympic Committee (IOC) as a recognized International Federation (IF) in conformity with the requirements of the Olympic Charter and to contribute to the achievement of the goals set out in the Olympic Charter, in particular by way of spread of Olympism and Olympic education; to federate national bridge associations in all countries; to devise methods and conduct competitions to award international or world championship titles; to establish standard laws for its contests adopting the International Code and supplementing it as may be required, but not inconsistent with it; to support and encourage the promotion of sports ethics; to dedicate its efforts to ensuring that in bridge contests the spirit of fair play prevails; to fight against doping in sport and to take measures, the goal of which is to prevent endangering the health of bridge players.

Is that what you or most players would expect or hope WBF’s purpose to be? Just as an example I imagine that most players would prefer the WBF fight against cheating in bridge instead of doping in sport.

What can players do to achieve change? Studying the WBF Constitution a bit more you will discover that individual players are not members of the WBF. Only NBOs (National Bridge Organizations) are members of the WBF. Thus players have no way of directly filing any requests with the WBF. We have to go through our NBO. On September 8th this year, during the World Championships in Wroclaw, Poland, there will be a WBF Meeting of Congress. Every NBO is invited to send an official delegate to this meeting. If you agree that the WBF is focusing too much on other pursuits instead of the best interests of its players, please ask your NBO to insure a delegate shows up at that meeting and demands answers to YOUR questions. 

Let the change begin!

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