The working group tasked with plotting the future relationship between online (“virtual”) and face-to-face bridge undertook a survey of CBAI members last August to assist them in their deliberations. They got more than 4,000 responses, which was an excellent rate, and demonstrates just how much bridge players care about their game. Our thanks to all who took the time and trouble to answer the survey; your answers formed an important element of the review, and of the recommendations the group made to the CBAI Governing Council. We’ll be publishing more on that shortly.

For the moment, we would like simply to present the results of the survey, with apologies for having taken a bit longer than originally anticipated to publish. (We had hoped to get out before the Junior Cert results, but didn’t quite manage it!) The PDF in the link below shows the survey results in full.

2022 CBAI Member Survey Results

Some of the key points to emerge from the analysis were:

  • More than 85% of respondents played online during the pandemic, nearly all of them on BBO.
  • This does not, of course, mean that 85% of all CBAI members played online, although data obtained separately from BBO suggests that around two-thirds of all CBAI members played on that platform, so the online cohort was very sizeable.
  • More than 70% of the respondents who played on BBO played in a virtual club, and around 19% played in national competitions or congresses.
  • In terms of future preferences, around 14% of respondents indicated that they would play only (3%) or mainly (11%) online in the future, with half this group stating that this decision was permanent. Another 20% said they expect to play 50/50 face-to-face and online, and a further 40% said they would play sometimes online, so the majority of our members expect to play at least occasionally online in future.
  • Just over a quarter of respondents do not see themselves playing online at all any more.
  • Combining those two points, around 90% of respondents expect to play at least some face-to-face bridge, and some 75% see themselves playing some online bridge. This makes it clear that for the membership as a whole, the future is one in which both variants of the game will play a part.
  • The reasons for preferring online were varied (people could choose more than one option here). Personal health concerns scored 55%, other health concerns 20%, cost 11%, dislike of going out at night 30%. The biggest single scorer was simple convenience (65%), which again demonstrates that organised online bridge should not be regarded simply as a Covid-related phenomenon.
  • The age profile of our respondents, while not a surprise, was a stark reminder of just how big a challenge it is to get younger people involved in bridge.

Our thanks again to all who responded to the survey. If any member would like more information on any aspect of this exercise, we’d be happy to provide it. And belated apologies to the citizens of Kilkenny for referring to it as a large town rather than a city in the survey – in our defence, we were working on the basis of population size rather than formal status.