48. Sociable Bridge: Is as brain-beneficial as serious bridge . . .

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. . . when it comes to aging well. The Journal of Gerontology study mentioned in 48-1, said so.

“It is experience rather than skill that is related to superior performance on [tests of ] related cognitive skills.”

It is the total experience of playing bridge, rather than the skill level that seemed,  from their study, to result in superior performance by bridge players on their tests. And we all are aware that the sociable bridge experience is a combination of friends, downright fun, along with the mental processes involved in playing bridge. Granted those mental processes may be at a less focused level than tournament or duplicate bridge–but perhaps the reason the benefits are equal is that the bridge player involved herself is less focused?

That the benefits of playing bridge seems true for both serious and sociable players, combined with the ACBL Longest Day fundraiser, offers opportunities for marketing bridge beyond that annual event. That is, if the ACBL can be convinced it’s in their interest to grow the sheer number of bridge players in America. Once hooked on the game, THEN going after the newcomers to try playing duplicate bridge, makes sense.

Just the willingness of the Alzheimer’s Foundation to link with ACBL in a bridge fundraising tournament is enough to target the health-obsessed young, and not-so-young, in America who want to live forever–preferably dementia free.

With that 90s study embedded in its consciousness the ACBL’s Longest Day annual fundraiser could broaden to include reach out by each ACBL club to the informal sociable bridge clubs in their area. Invite them in!

Come up with a competition amongst sociables to parallel that amongst the serious ACBL players.

Bring in some of the school-age serious young bridge players to compete with their elders that day.

Set aside space for people who have always wanted to learn to play bridge but reluctant to approach an ACBL club.

Let the kind-of festive atmosphere of a fund-raising event, perhaps with a promise of some TV coverage, be the icebreaker to recruit more newcomers to learning bridge.

Reach out to the White House! It’s known from various biographies that both of  Barack Obama’s grandparents played bridge regularly — find out!  Did Barack, by any chance pick up the game living with his grandparents as he did, in the way so many young people used to do?

The connection with raising funds for the vitally important Alzheimer’s Foundation might be enough for the White House to give the Longest Day bridge event its blessing.




2 Responses to 48. Sociable Bridge: Is as brain-beneficial as serious bridge . . .

  1. Well, Kacie, I love you, your efforts in Port St.Lucie, and that you comment on my blogs BUT I have to disagree that bridge writer’s descriptions of bridge hand progress are off-putting! I find it enviable they can come up with various verbs and adjectives to describe what is a routine thing. And each step happens 13 times per hand! I agree, sometimes the language keeps you from knowing what the devil went on and I have to lay out the hand physically on the sofa to figure out the bridge writer’s explanation but, that’s part of the culture/tradition of bridge.

    Kind of like opera. You either love opera or find it kind of preposterous–singing their head off when plot indicates the heroine is actually dying and such. Stopping to take bows for the singing sometimes! You have to accept the tradition as it is to enjoy it. Not be too literal.

    Ditto with bridge hands. I play quite a bit of bridge–rarely read bridge hand columns. I had a landlord in New Hampshire who hadn’t played bridge for 30 years when I knew him who read the newspaper bridge column every day in the week! For those who love reading bridge hands I guess they love the flowery inventive language that goes with it.

    Would you really read a daily bridge hand if every single one followed a purely literate format like — after a King of Hearts opening lead, North took the first trick with the Ace and led the 2 of Clubs. South took the 2d trick with the Queen of Clubs and led the King of Clubs. etcetera etcetera etcetera. #1 — anybody could write a bridge column like that #2 — there’d be no “personality” to become a fan of. #3 — take away some of the mystique

    As to opera — addicts like me don’t want to analyze it literally at all! I don’t even want to hear it in English–sub-titles are o.k., can close my eyes if I wish–just want to enjoy the glorious voices.
    Maggy recently posted…48-3. Ladies Bridge Lunch: A Collectors Item–as cookbook & bridge memorabiliaMy Profile

  2. I have, in fact, from the start-up of my gathering, been planning for the time we’d have a big enough following to hold our social(able) version of ACBL tournaments and/or fund-raisers. We may make it this fall, once the snowbirds land.

    I’ve got the materials for table rotations that I now understand how to use (didn’t when I first got them!) … and we’ve figured out the best way to handle our Monday teaching/coaching/playing sessions vs. our newer, Friday “intermediate-level” playing. So, we’re ready for the ‘birds!

    I’m also going to do some workshops either late in the fall or right after the first of the year … special topics for the beyond-beginner players, as well as “fill-in-the-gaps” for those who first learned to play this past March when we got started (or at some point since then — I do “basic training” on Mondays when newbies show up).

    On a final note … every time I read the newspaper’s bridge column, as well as some of the more advanced or older “learn to play” books, I think: bridge writers are the most creative writers I’ve ever encountered … to the detriment of the game, IMO. The flowery descriptions, the use of uncommon verbs and adjectives …

    For example: “Declarer simply exited with a diamond and East had to broach the spade suit.” Or, “South played off the remaining hearts, fetching another spade discard from East.” And, “So&So” won in hand perforce …” HUH??? Really, you don’t say? I, for one, wish you would NOT say it quite in this manner.

    It’s just showboating to me, and makes bridge seem all that more intimidating to newcomers. It’s like it’s a secret club, with its own language and secret handshake!

    OK, that’s my rant against the ACBL establishment ways!

    Thanks for another good read, Maggy.

    Kacie recently posted…INTERMEDIATE “Senior Social Drop-In” BridgeMy Profile

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