Bridge Mojo: Any ACBL Club could copycat Mojo

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August 24, 2014

Bridge Mojo is Morris “Mojo” Jones’ website. He’s an accredited ACBL bridge teacher in Pasadena, California. It intrigued me because he provides a social bridge email contact list for his former and current students who opt to play social bridge instead of duplicate. He believes “it does serve as an alternative to get together and play bridge, if they choose to take advantage of it.”

I wrote to Mojo to ask how it all worked. He responded–

He has 130 students on his email list for general announcements on future bridge lessons and such, 20 on the social bridge list. 25% of beginning students, says Mojo, “go on to play organized bridge of some form. I love it when they discover a mix of social and sanctioned games. A few have discovered a whole new world of like-minded souls and welcoming friends in distant places.”

Mojo considers his email lists a “mixed success”— but they seem to me to be definitely worth a try by any ACBL club.

A few points . . .

1.“Friends in distant places” implies bridge on the internet. Has the ACBL ever done any statistical study of those who sign up for duplicate bridge lessons but then opt to play only internet bridge?

2. Could it be that the average age of bridge players—duplicate or otherwise—is younger than statistics say it is because of those who go from bridge lessons to the internet and never play in-person bridge?

3. Those 20 on Mojo’s social bridge list if they’re women, from my experience with social bridge, will typically begin forming a chain of bridge players and loosely-organized “clubs” the members of which overlap. One such bridge contact leads to another.

4. The key for women’s social bridge is simply getting them into the word-of-mouth bridge loop. Mojo’s social email list starts that for 20 ex-students.Once in that loop, the historic tendency of women social players is to transmute bridge into (as one critic way back in the 30s scornfully put it) “a new excuse for entertaining”— creating lastingness, often friendships. Socializing, luncheons get added and it does become a way of entertaining beyond just a card game.

5. The 25% Mojo estimates who get into organized bridge leaves 75% who either sign up for his email lists, or just fade away?  But he notes—“I’m using an email list, and many in my market of players aren’t entirely comfortable with how that works, being of a previous generation” i.e. older. True!

6. Older perhaps, but they are the “lost generation” of social bridge players between people like me who are, say, in their late 70s, 80s, 90s who learned to play in the 1950s and 60s–needed as a generational “bridge” between us and the 40 year-olds if social bridge is to survive.

Are there other ACBL accredited bridge teachers out there who keep in touch with former students to see where they end up? Perhaps provide them with a place to re-connect with classmates? Do you include in that process those who opt to play social bridge?

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