Many thanks to our top national TDs, Diarmuid Reddan and Fearghal O’Boyle, for running an excellent Zoom session recently on how to organise and run tournaments on BBO. Thanks also to Martin Brady for managing the Zoom meeting so efficiently, which with well over a hundred participating was no mean feat, and to TDs Ellis Feigenbaum and John Crimmins (and indeed some of the audience members) for their very helpful interventions.

Here is a link to a full recording of the session for your reference; it also contains the chat from the session (on the right-hand side), but you can can safely ignore what purports to be a transcript, as the Artificial Intelligence responsible obviously had some major issues with Irish accents and Irish names! You’ll need the following password to access the recording – CBAIZoom2020!  The recording is long (just over an hour and forty minutes total), so we have put together this document that timestamps the various topics that were covered, to allow you to choose a section that may be of interest. The meeting made reference to the BBO Virtual Club Manager Manual, which Fearghal described as the vital starting point for every BBO tournament organiser, to the separate document with instructions on running a Howell movement, and to the Bridgewebs guide to uploading results.

The key messages that emerged from the discussion were as follows:

  • Keep it simple – in most events, players want to play a basic game of bridge, so don’t worry about adding esoteric features that hardly any of them will use;
  • Know the basics – practice your basic set-up routine so that you are very familiar and completely comfortable with it;
  • Be prepared and don’t rush (or as Ellis Feigenbaum put it, “speed kills”) – set up well in advance and ask the players to do the same; if something changes at the last minute, add a few minutes to your start time and take the time you need to make the required changes rather than rushing them;
  • Read the manual – see the links in the paragraph above;
  • Communicate – use the “Chat to Tournament” option to keep participants informed of the set up and any changes or delays, and to remind them of the time during each round, their alerting responsibilities etc.

If you have any outstanding questions that were not addressed during the session, feel free to send them to either or, and we will ensure they are answered as quickly as we can.

Finally, thanks to all who attended the session for their participation, and, more importantly, for the work they are doing to ensure that Irish bridge continues to function well during the current constrained circumstances, and that Irish bridge clubs can continue to offer well-run and pleasant competitions to their members, across all playing standards. We couldn’t do it without you!