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.

As mentioned in the presentation, we intend to make a recording of the session and some additional notes available here as soon as we can. We are still working on this, so please bear with us. 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 – BBO has comprehensive guides for tournament organisers that will answer most questions (the BBO Virtual Club Manager Manual, and the separate section on Howell events), as does Bridgewebs in relation to uploading results;
  • 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!