The home of Scottish Bridge

Dear Members

As we start to get back to some form of normality, it is pleasing to see that more members are now back playing live bridge, but equally importantly that online bridge is still meeting the needs of those members who are unable to access live bridge. The challenge for us all is to offer an appropriate balance between live and online bridge so that the wide, and often conflicting, needs of our members can be met, and clubs can remain in good health..

Review of SBU's international activities

Feedback from members has suggested that they would like Scotland to have a strong international presence. This is now part of SBU’s Strategic Plan and is in the context of poor results over many years, particularly in Open competitions. A Group was established by the Board to review all aspects of international activity and make recommendations for change. A summary of their findings and recommendations is attached as an Appendix to this Newsletter. We’re indebted to the Working Group, Stirling University and the contributions from players and administrators around the world.

Director of Selection

A key recommendation of the International Review Group is the appointment of a Director of Selection. The role is outlined in the Appendix and further details are available on request. If you may be interested in applying for this role, please get in touch with Neil Archibald (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) by the end of February.

Getting more youngsters playing bridge

We are very fortunate to have members who already introduce bridge to youngsters in their local community. However, we desperately need more volunteers to get involved. Please get in touch with Education (Marina Evans) if you think you could help, or you have contact with teachers and schools that may be interested.

Mempad Development

A significant amount of work will be undertaken over the next few months to undertake an essential upgrade to our current Mempad system. Although the system incorporates our membership database, it’s primary and more complex function is to administer our Masterpoint system. The Board considered alternative systems but concluded that upgrading the existing software is the most costeffective solution. Concurrently we will also consider how we can improve our emailing system to members, which is a known weakness of the current system.

Masterpoints Scheme

With the advent of online SBU competitions and a different bridge landscape post Covid, we need to reconsider the purpose of the Master Point Scheme and to what extent it meets the needs of the SBU and its members. Considerations will include the allocation of red and black points, and whether the current rankings and bronze/silver/gold designations are fit for purpose. A Working Group chaired by Anne Coles is addressing the many questions, and will produce a set of recommendations to the Board in due course.

Allegations of Cheating

It is very disappointing that allegations of cheating are still being reported. Although we are actively reviewing our disciplinary processes and sanctions, members should be aware that the Trustees will not tolerate behaviour that is spoiling enjoyment for the rest of our members. Further communication will be issued reminding members what constitutes cheating and what is expected from members.


Alan Goodman

February 2023

Appendix: Report from SBU International Review Group (IRG)