In the last post we discussed creating an environment that is welcoming to non-duplicate bridge players. And you’re already putting it into practice! This week the North Orlando Bridge Center submitted an advertisement for partial reimbursement through our Cooperative Advertising Program, and we were excited to see them implementing a new weekly social bridge game.
This week Tricks of the Trade will shift its focus to describe the bones of an ideal bridge education program. While being inclusive to social players is one way to grow, the importance of a complete education experience cannot be denied. Here are five things you can do to establish a quality learning environment and grow the bridge-playing community.
- Trained teachers are the backbone to any successful education program. If you need help locating one, use the ACBL’s Find a Teacher database to locate a teacher near you.
- Offer at least two regular beginner bridge classes – one daytime and the other evening/weekend. Make sure you start and finish at the same time each day. Consistency is one of the keys to getting your students to return week after week.
- Include practice sessions or supervised play as a part of the education program to help build players’ confidence. You can also contact the ACBL’s Club and Membership Department to sanction a Pupil Game and let your students start earning masterpoints!
- Clubs, support your teachers by holding regular limited games each week where new players can feel comfortable. Preferably one daytime and one evening/weekend game. Students need a very limited game to transition into once classes have commenced. You can also go the extra step by helping new players find partners or encouraging them to use the ACBL’s Partnership Desk.
- Hold a monthly or quarterly mentor game. From Pro-Am games to Eight is Enough, this gives players of all levels a chance to help out the education program and develop new bridge players.