I had received an intriguing Google Alert in my email box about Prairie District Bridge Club, and so I wrote Gary Schuetz and asked if the club offered bridge instruction for sociable players. His answer? “Our bridge club is ONLY social bridge . . . we play very social bridge with lots of talking, assistance for beginning players, critiquing bids and hands and often food served while we play.”
When it comes to interaction between the two kinds of bridge players, serious and sociable, Gary’s experience in the Prairie District is eerily similar to that of Tony’s in Boston–you can’t successfully combine them at the bridge table: “I teach basic Introduction to Bridge on Friday mornings and then a different group plays in the afternoon. There the members range from ‘beginners’ to ‘bridge instructors.’
This has actually caused a slight prolem with the beginners being intimidated by
the pros and the pros no longer coming because they didn’t feel the level of play
was challenging enough for them.”
Now, here’s an example of a good bridge club solution–Park City Bridge Club in Utah, “comprised of casual and professional bridge players” according to the Park Record article, had some 200 members and were desperately looking for an affordable place to meet. Solution? Starting June 29th they’ve been invited to meet at the Park City Senior Citizens Center which (if it’s like any senior center here in Florida) has its own group of aging to old old bridge players as well younger players in their 60s and 70s.
The Club now accommodates both sociable and serious players–separately but equally.
Park City stands in stark contrast to an incident I read about a few years back of a Senior Center in Georgia that actually went to court and won a petition to bar a younger bridge club from sharing its facility! I wrote to get the story behind it, no response. My imaginary scenario? The younger bridge club may have shushed the senior bridge club once too often.