This week during the North American Bridge Championships in Reno, 30 club managers and teachers met for a roundtable discussion.
Led by ABTA President and 2016 ACBL Honorary Member of the Year Patty Tucker, the goal was to share ideas, problems, opportunities and best practices. The group ranged from experienced teachers and club managers to those who were just beginning.
Here are a few of the topics/questions:
Which teaching curriculum has seen the most success? Each experienced teacher had unique approaches, but the most popular curriculum choices for introducing players to the game were Easybridge!, Audrey Grant’s Better Bridge and Learn Bridge in A Day?.
How can I improve game attendance? The time it takes to play was named as a big obstacle for potential players. Many suggested running shorter, 12 board games. Despite offering fewer masterpoints for winners, the consensus was that shorter games give players with careers and younger families the opportunity to stay in the competition.
What are the best ways to reach out to social players? Tucker herself has seen success by holding a duplicate game specifically for social players. The ACBL Educational Foundation has a guide for running this type of game, along with a variety of advertisement templates and resources to make your event a success.
The next roundtable will take place on Monday, July 25, at the summer NABC in Washington, D.C. For those who may not be able to attend the next roundtable, Tucker says you can submit questions in the new ACBL Forum to be posed to the group, and answers will be shared in the Forum as well.
“(The roundtable) was exactly how I hoped it would be,” said Patty Tucker. “Lots of people came. Information flowed freely back and forth between participants. Everyone had something to contribute, and that the way it’s supposed to be.”