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All comments by Jeff Bayone
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Richard,
You may be right. 15 years ago may have been a better time. But they didn't have a plan then, and I'm not sure they have one now that can be effective enough. That's why we hav to help.

Ian,
My “vision” is that they will play for “rubber bridge points” just as the y chase master points now, we'll have them vying for rubber bridge points. We'll have lists , leader boards, handicaps, prizes, rubber bridge tournaments. A who;e second League.
Jan. 31, 2018
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Rubber bridge in the UK is unplayable? Tell that to Andrew Robson. He's built his club on a combination of duplicate and social bridge. Is chess for no stakes dead? Bridge for no stakes is still fun. Personally I love sitting down for an hour or so (that's about all the free time I have) and just seeing what comes up. EHAA-every hands an adventure. I'll never lose the excitement of wondering what's in store for us on the very next hand.
Money - bah humbug.
Jan. 31, 2018
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Interesting.

1. 70 is the new 50. I love recruiting 70 year olds almost as much as I do empty nesters. These groups are my main source of new players. At least in NYC they are the ones with the time, money, and curiosity to want to devote the effort it takes to play this game well.

2. Because so many older rubber bridge players have stopped playing, those remaining may need to find a place to come together to play. I'll take fifty healthy 80 and 90 year olds any day. Hopefully, since I'll be 70 soon, there's a lot of life left in them.

3. Say you are right on all three assumptions, and the only way to rebuild bridge is with young players. How do bridge clubs and tournaments survive the twenty/thirty years in between the time the kids learn to play and when they become old enough to have the time, energy and money to actually get a chance to play? What with family and careers most adults take a huge time off between when they learned to play and when they return to play.

4.To try to build and sustain growth, I think we need to look to creating a fun place for the not-so-serious player. I just am not so sure that kind of business model yet exists, but I'm trying to develop one. Having people play rubber bridge, tracking their results, rewarding their achievements, just like we do with duplicate players, is the plan I'm currently pursuing.
Jan. 31, 2018
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This is not about relaxed rules. It's about duplicate and rubber existing in the same space. Duplicate for people who enjoy mind sports, rubber for everyone else. 32,000,000 played bridge at its height, 200,000 played duplicate bridge at its height. Clubs need to tap in to that larger community if only to provide them with a financial base. This is especially true of the smaller clubs that are dying in droves.
Jan. 31, 2018
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The bridge community needs to figure out if there is a way of presenting bridge that would draw the average rubber bridge player out of their comfortable homes and into our clubs. Not so much to try to convert them to duplicate players, but simply to add to the number of people playing in the clubs. People draw people. The organization needs to build a business model that works. We can't continue to depend on volunteers. Honors has volunteers, and they are a huge help in filling in the gaps and making programs affordable. They have their place within the organization. They are just not the organization.

We are trying this new idea because we think creating a fun atmosphere, where advice can be given, scores kept, prizes awarded, refreshments served, where 4th's are available, and everyone feels that they have found a home-away-from-home, that they belong, will be the package that will work. We'll tinker with it over the next few months and see if it works in practice. It will be replacing our “social supervised play” sessions which were doing quite well already.
Jan. 31, 2018
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Steve,
Maybe. But if we only have a handful of clubs doing the heavy lifting in each state, no matter how well meaning those club managers are, they're not going to be able to make significant inroads when it comes to bringing thousands of new players into the game. We must find a way to incentivize the process.
Jan. 30, 2018
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Teaching and how it should be done is certainly a sore point. As a matter of fact, TAP is redoing its teaching program top to bottom. All I'm after here is the idea of trying to capture rubber bridge players out there by offering fun bridge at the clubs.
Jan. 29, 2018
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Agreed. The article you sent me to explained enough about what Bridge America was for me to not have to look any deeper.
Jan. 29, 2018
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Wow. I just followed your link. Did you look at the “program”? $30 to join exactly what? Get lessons and a deck of cards, yeah that's just what the typical rubber bridge player has been pining for all these years.
Thanks, I don't think I need to follow this any further. The name's not bad.
Jan. 29, 2018
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Data later…Do you know who was actually involved in it?
Jan. 29, 2018
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As Allan Graves has pointed out to me that duplicate bridge is a form of mind sport. Not everyone takes to it. Not everyone wants that as a hobby.

Duplicate clubs, mine is trying to lead the way, need to include rubber bridge, not the gambling kind, as a way into the hearts of people who just want a fun, relaxing, very social hobby. Last year we had over 2,500 tables of not duplicate games. Looking to improve to 3,500 this year.
Jan. 29, 2018
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Ira how did you obtain this data? Last year the three NYC clubs and our two District Regionals all suffered similar 5% losses. Honors 5% loss was really telling because we add many duplicate players each year through our extensive teaching program, so it could have been much worse. We lost a few to warmer climes, but we just lost a ton of players to age. Lost another last week. Our total table count from all areas last year actually increased slightly. That was mostly due to the 1,200 tables we added from our social bridge program (soon to be called “rubber bridge”- thank you Allan Graves). District 16 includes Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, Austin. I suspect that's where much of your growth comes from. Do you have Unit statistics that would include the rest of the District? I'm guessing growth from those rural and small town areas followed the pattern of the rest of the country. Losses, big time.
Jan. 29, 2018
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Marty, I'm sure what you're doing has been tried before, but if it has, I haven't heard of it. You are out there on the front lines. GL. Whenever we start a new program we try to create as good a first impression as possible. Looks like you've covered much of that with the price, the refreshments and the coaching. I assume that includes having a house player or two to make up tables. Don't forget the really big part, the fun. I think that's where I fell short all these years, thinking learning for its own sake, because that's what most of us duplicate players find so fascinating, resonates with everyone out there. Apparently it doesn't. We have switched from “social supervised bridge sessions”, to rubber bridge sessions with supervision if they want it. Most do. We have them keep a back score, just as they might do at home. We will be offering Honors' Rubber Bridge Points based on their tables' outcome. 5 for first, 3 for second, then 2 and 1 (just for showing up). When they get to, say, 25 we'll have some award available. A free play, a chance to play with an expert player. Something. We also created a club within a club and made up membership cards for them. It's daunting, starting from scratch. How and to whom did you advertise? We've built and continue to feed our social sessions from our classes. What you are attempting is exactly what needs to be done throughout the country. However it goes, we need your feedback. Again, GL.
Jan. 29, 2018
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My bad. We use a hybrid. Each pair [lays exactly four hands. Vulnerability is Chicago scoring. But we do not carry part-scores. We award part-scores the same 50 point bonus as they do in duplicate. (A lot of our rubber players are fairly new and we want them to learn t bid their games.)
Jan. 28, 2018
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Don't stop the lessons. From experience, there are many people who like the structure, the safety, the regularity of it. I'd think of slowly introducing shuffle and play rubber bridge into the sessions.
Jan. 28, 2018
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Sorry, Honors Bridge Club in NYC
Jan. 28, 2018
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Could not agree more. Allan Graves told me that duplicate players came out of the pool of 32,000,000 rubber bridge players. But only 200,000 did. We need to recreate this pool so that duplicate players will once again emerge “by osmosis” because there is no way we can teach ourselves out of the predicament we are in. Please see my post on"Where bridge is dying and a possible solution.
Jan. 28, 2018
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Honors teaches 150 beginners a year. Good, but no where near what we'd have to do to create a whole new generation of players. Please see my latest posting about rubber bridge. It speaks to your comment about where our current BW readers learned.
TY
Jan. 28, 2018
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Can you tell me more about the teaching programs in the larger units?
Jan. 28, 2018
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Agreed. Volunteering is the farthest thing from my mind. If bridge is to grow, we must rely on solid business models.
Jan. 28, 2018
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