Linda Lee — My personal bridge blog

Bridge on the Internet – lower the average age

I find that as I get older the average age of bridge players moves up right with me.  As a baby boomer I was in a large wave of bridge players.  It was before the era of the Internet.  Computers were generally behemoths housed in corporations or university backrooms.  Personal computers were primitive and not very useful except as toys.  But we had fun.  A lot of us congregated in the university common room and played bridge most of the time.  Perhaps I missed the odd class.  You get the idea.  Then it seemed like young people found different things to do.  Was the era of bridge over?

People realized that if the game is to live it needs new blood and  Junior Bridge was born.  So today I am going to look at sites that focus on junior bridge.   Let’s start at basics.  Many bridge organizations have sponsored Junior Bridge Programs.  They usually have a website although they may be fairly basic or not that well maintained.  The Junior programs provide instruction, competition, reduced prices and/or subsidies.

The Australian Bridge Federation has a youth page Australian Bridge Youth.  There is an infrequent Bulletin which seems to be very good.   (The last edition was January 2007).  Worth reading though.  Lots of fun stuff and this interesting tidbit.


Leigh Barnier is a 20 year old bridge player who swims competitively, against people

like Grant Hackett, and is a lifesaver on Sydney’s Northern Beaches.

At the Telstra Australian Swimming Championships and Selection Trials for the World

Championship Team in Brisbane in December, Leigh was about to swim a Final in Lane

7. As they are introduced to the crowd and the TV audience on Foxtel, most swimmers

acknowledge the crowd with a little wave, but Leigh walked up to the pool’s edge and

produced a sign which said LEARN BRIDGE!

The TV commentators were perplexed. Olympic Gold Medalist Duncan Armstrong

wondered if Leigh was sufficiently focused on his race. Leigh was – he swam a PB.

Leigh has video footage of the stunt, which he will bring down to Canberra for the Youth

Pairs weekend.

There are a number of interesting articles in the learn to play bridge section including  the rules of mini bridge, practice hands and a free teaching kit for young people.

There is also a youth page for New South Wales NSWBA Youth Page and as you might expect it has a link to articles about the beer card.


There is a calendar of youth events.  I find out that the first World Youth Championships will be held in Istanbul this year.  The UBW stands for University Bridge in the World.  IT looks like it hasn’t been updated in a long time except that there is a link to the first European Universities Bridge Championship in Croatia, this October.

The Canadian Bridge Federation has a section on Youth Bridge on its website.  Not much here at all but a calendar of events.

The English Bridge Association (EBU) has English Youth Bridge.  It has an extensive section on Minibridge.  There is also a link to Easy Bridge which seems to aim at teaching people of all ages a simple form of bridge and running specialized bridge tournaments.  The site contains a few articles on bridge bidding material, terminology etc.

The ACBL has a youth site with a focus on the Youth NABC which will take place at the end of the Washington NABC.  There is a lot of news on the home page including a new Junior Advocate, Bryan Delfs pictured below.


It doesn’t have articles or links that might wish for but it would be a starting place for young people who want to know what is happening in ACBL-land.

Several local districts and units of the ACBL have websites as well.  For example, Atlanta Junior Bridge.  Besides news and information about lessons the site has a learning library with some useful articles and quizzes.   There are a number of useful links and tournament results are listed online.

Bridge At Schools , the name says it all has an in-school and after-school program aimed at the 4-8th grade with a master program planned for high school.  This site would provide useful information to people who are interested in donating or who would to participate in a school program.  You do need to register to see the curriculum material

School Bridge League has much the same purpose.  There are a lot of teacher resources available here including detailed lesson plans aimed at the 6th-8th grade and 9th-12th grade.  The site has a lot of resources and is definitely for you if you would like to get involved in teaching students.  One “Strange”? article talks about how bridge improves your immune system. Immunity?

The Bridge Centre in Kingston Ontario runs a large school program.  Run by Ed O’Reilly this program has been very successful. Bridge at School Kingston.  The page has some material that can help you see the value of school bridge (not much else though).

Reno Youth Bridge has a link to a statistical study which shows that

Researcher have found a link between bridge and improved test scores in children.

The World Bridge Federation has a youth section on its website.

There are some individual teachers who are focusing on youth.   Simplicity Bridge is authored by blogger Chris Hasney.  Chris has been working hard to get young people excited about bridge.  The most interesting thing is the bridge videos.  There were links to four of them which you can play on you tube.   They show young people playing bridge on campus.  (Brings back some memories).

I know that there are a number of wonderful youth programs especially the school programs but I have to say that the material on the web aimed at this very Internet savvy group is disappointing.  There should be more sites that capture the spirit of the game and the excitement that only the young can bring.

Sites Reviewed: Australian Bridge Youth, NSWBA Youth Page, WBF Youth, CBF Youth, EBU Youth, Easybridge, Youth NABC, Atlanta Junior Bridge, Bridge At Schools, School Bridge League, Bridge At School Kingston, Reno Youth Page, Simplicity Bridge

By the way I forgot how much work it is to search the Internet and rate all these bridge sites.


Chris HasneyJuly 7th, 2009 at 12:37 am

Thanks for the plug, Linda! I’ll pay it forward by plugging what Maricopa County, AZ bridge teacher Rod Bias is doing. He teaches bridge in elementary (middle?) school in the greater Phoenix area. While doing this he came up with Bridge Boot Camp, which is remarkably similar to my Chapter 1 of Simplicity Bridge. (Great minds steal alike from the Europeans?) Here’s the link location:

NiraApril 21st, 2010 at 4:33 am

It seems that there is much being done on the supply side of bridge but not on the demand side… In order to encourage young people to play bridge, bridge should change it’s image. Bridge should become the new poker, like it used to be not so many years ago… I believe that what is missing is some commercialization of the game and modernization. If you look at the main online bridge platform nowadays, BBO, you feel like you are back in 1998… New innovations and technologies could save the game by making it more attractive.

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