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A Tale of Two Bridge Clubs

On Monday's in VA Beach (Call it game A), players file in for the weekly club game.  The director is one of the best club directors you will find;  he works a lot of tournaments, is organized, knowledgeable of the rules applies them fairly and keeps the game moving and ALWAYS finishes in 3 hours 10 minutes.  The quality of the play is pretty good for a club game, and it runs like a tournament. Those of the "MUST Always follow the rules crowd" would love it.  The problem - this game is dying;  the Annual GNT Qualifier for the Christmas party had 8 tables (and only 2 matches had aboard taken away for slow play), but usually 5-7 tables is likely.  

 

On Wednesday - in the same Bridge Center (Let's call it game B), the game is disorganized, bridgemates show the % allowing people to discuss results after the hands), the game runs at its own pace and the director rulings boarder on incompetent at best and show favoritism toward the newer players.  A 15 minute lunch break is taken at 11:45 where players eat lunch at the table they just finished.  Frequently, this allows some of the slower players to catch up (almost), but the announcement is frequently not heard at the far end of the room due to the noise (laughing, discussing hands, visiting while waiting for the next table to open up).  Games run around 3 hours and 30 minutes, but sometimes longer sometimes shorter.  The "Must always follow the rules" crowd would be appalled that this game is even given a sanction.  The seeding is routinely unfair (better players almost always sit NS so the one or two that sit EW are sure to win).  But... This game is GROWING -- it is 2-3X the size of Game A (18 tables at the Christmas party - a very large game by VA Beach standards)-- People have started to bring lunch dishes to share with their new found friends while learning about the fasinating lives of those they share a common interest in (during the inevitable wait to move to the next table - even AFTER looking at the scores). 

 

Which game would you rather play in on a weekly basis?  

When people complain that "bridge is dying"  just look to Game A - if we continue to take the fun out of Club Level Bridge worrying about hesitations, hiding results to prevent "shooting in later rounds (as if most of the people know how to do that anyway), rules rather than allowing entertainment, we will all be playing in small games.  

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