In 2018, “first timers” will be in good company because the Summer Festival of Bridge is moving to a new home. We are saying goodbye to the QT Hotel and welcoming players to the Canberra Rex. So, don’t be surprised to see people wandering about with quizzical expressions and queuing at the Hospitality Desk seeking answers to their many questions about where to go, when etc. There is always a distinct “buzz” on Day Ones (ie the start of the Festival and the days when the big events start like the TBIB Swiss Pairs and the South West Pacific Teams).
We know it may feel a bit daunting coming to a big national event for the first time but you will be greeted with a smile.
Here are some tips to help you get the most out of your time at the Festival:
- Look out for signage: there are two Playing Areas at the Rex. The Great Room is to the left of the main hotel foyer and the Grand Ballroom which is on the opposite right-hand side. Both are on the same ground floor level so there is no need to access the lifts unless you are going to your room in the hotel or the bar/restaurant areas on the upper floors.
- Locate the Hospitality Desk – this will be in foyer located adjacent to the Great Room Playing Area. The information desk will be staffed throughout the tournament. You can get blank system cards, spare pens, lost property, collect prizes, enter events etc here.
- To keep up with what is happening check out the Daily Bulletin - this will be available in hard copy before play each morning and you can also view it on-line using the SFOB mobile phone/tablet app (free download from Apple Store or Google Play). This publication will show prior day's results and list all of the special events that are available for you to enjoy at the tournament (e.g. celebrity speaker workshops/ sponsor deals/meetings etc).
- Novice workshop - check out the education program tab to see when the ABF National Teaching Coordinator, Joan Butts, will be conducting a free workshop for newer players.
- Workshops - check out the education program tab to see when guest celebrity speakers are conducting workshops on a range of topics - FREE. All are welcome. Notes will be available electronically from the ABF Website (look under the Education Program tab).
- Specially trained Directors - novice games are run by directors who understand the needs of the newer duplicate player. Our goal is for everyone to have a good time. We want you to focus on having fun. It would be nice for all of you to be winners, but playing well and enjoying the experience is something everyone CAN do.
- Calling the Director - If an irregularity occurs at the table, the director is responsible for making a ruling (according to the official Laws of Duplicate Bridge) that is not only fair to both pairs involved, but that will also protect the other pairs who will play the board. SFOB directors will make the ruling in a manner that does not embarrass or upset anyone. Don't be afraid to call 'Director Please'!
- Being a good partner - One of the things that makes bridge unusual is the importance of good chemistry between partners. No purpose can ever be served by criticism. After play, each pair should carefully go over their results, good and bad, looking for areas that merit discussion. Work toward cultivating a mature, considerate attitude in your partnership.
- Convention (System) Card - both you and your partner need to have convention cards that are filled out identically. Blank convention cards are available at the SFOB Information Desk and advice on how to fill out a convention card is available on the ABF website at abf.com.au/member-services/system-cards/
- Bidding boxes - you will find bidding boxes on all of the card tables. To make a call, the player takes the appropriate card from a box, filled with cards designating all possible bids and calls, and places it on the table in front of the player. All bidding cards remain on the table until the auction is concluded. An information session on the use of bidding boxes will be held prior to the commencement of the Super Novice event.
- Kibitzing - a spectator in bridge is called a kibitzer. It is an interesting and fun way to learn from the experts. Enjoy a very exciting part of the game of bridge by following these simple rules:
- One hand only - a spectator should not look at the cards of more than one player, except by permission
- Personal reaction - a spectator must not display any reaction to the bidding or play while a hand is in progress
- Mannerisms or remarks - during the round, a spectator must refrain from mannerisms or remarks of any kind (including a conversation with a player)
- Consideration for players - a spectator must not in any way disturb a player.
- Unpleasant experience - The ABF is committed to ensuring that all players compete in a pleasant and respectful environment. To assist in this, we appoint recorders to facilitate the smooth running of bridge events. You are encouraged to report any unpleasant experience. Simply ask one of our Directors where to locate a recorder if you have an issue or check out the SFOB Daily Bulletin for more information.
- Appeals - an appeal is a request for a review of a director's ruling. If you wish to appeal a director's ruling, notify the director either at the time of the ruling or immediately following the round. The director will give you an Appeal form to fill out and will explain the appeals procedure to you.
- If you don't have play scheduled for a particular day, take advantage of our courtesy bus which will take people to and from the Australian War Memorial, new Parliament House and the National Gallery of Australia precinct after play commences. The courtesy bus will also provide a service between local hotels and the playing venue.
Take advantage of as much as you can while you enjoy bridge at its finest!