Join Bridge Winners
A New Type Of Venue

I like to play good bridge.  (Whether a bridge game can be "good" with me in it is another matter, but let's pretend for a moment.)  I don't care about masterpoints, "Regional" wins, or really much else.  Until recently, I haven't really known of any good venues for that, but the virus has changed things.

 

I'd like to open a discussion about a largely unorganized "bridge organization" that would work something like this.  There is a place to register as a team, and a way to facilitate challenging other teams to play.  The interface would have some way to faciliate challenges, acceptances, and communication between team captains.

 

What would also exist would be ratings.  Not for individuals or pairs, but for teams.  Teams would be defined as whoever is on the team.  The only rule would be that all the players be listed, and ratings would be solely dependent on wins and losses and the rating of the opposing team.  Players could play on multiple teams, and teams should probably have fictitious names unless the team captain plays almost exclusively with a particular group of players.  The ratings are meant to be whatever they are.  Say the base/average rating is 1500, and Groucho, Chico, Harpso and Zeppo play for a while and aren't that great and go down to 1300.  They then add Jeff and Eric and Geoff and Eric and shoot up to 1800.  All it means is that those 8 players as a team have a rating of 1800.  Nothing more, nothing less.

 

There is a site (I think it still exists) called FIBS - First Internet Backgammon Server - which operates almost exactly this way, except that competitors are individuals and challenges are spontaneous, and a backgammon match can take as little as 5 minutes if you play a one-point match.  But the players get ratings, and the rating means - what it means.

 

There is one obvious way to cheat in this rating system, and that is to register a new name if your rating falls far enough below the starting rating.  If people want to do that, fine.  They will likely fall down to their natural level anyway, and then they'll just have two, three, four team names in the lower reaches of the list.

 

To me, the main objective is a place to register and challenge other teams.  Maybe some teams will be strong (but probably below pro-class because those teams may have other venues - but then again, maybe the sponsors will want to challenge other high-rated teams), some decent, some weak.  Ratings will be a guidepost so that teams have an idea of the skill level they are committing their time to play.

 

The good news is that I'm pretty confident the infastructure exists to support this.  I don't want to mention the person's name because I don't want to commit her to the extra work involved (although we've discussed it and she's told me it's not that much) but there is a backgammon site that has the tools needed.  By "backgammon site" I don't mean a site on which you can play backgammon, but a site that administers and tabulates the results of backgammon matches.  It supports single-elimination and round-robin tournaments, calculates ratings, and facilitates communication and scheduling between opponents.  Right now it doesn't support random challenges but I think it could.  The woman who operates it happens to also be a bridge player and I know that she can "clone" the pages for a bridge site.

 

There are two things I don't want to do.  I don't want to create a venue and have only 5 teams play, and I don't want to infringe on the work other people are doing to create tournaments.  So that's why I'd like to start a discussion about whether this is something that would appeal to players.  For me personally, this would be the ideal way to play bridge - a long match or two a week against other decent players who want to play bridge and likewise don't care about masterpoints or tournamen titles.  I'd play more often than that if I knew I could get my team all together.

 

Comments?

 

P.S. I do not anticipate any fees to participants.

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