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Host System
Using the Host System

Oxford Bridge Club operates a host system for many of its bridge sessions. This means that a player can arrive at the club without a partner and will be paired up with another player who has come without a partner, or with the host.  See this page for a list of hosted sessions. 

The host system has three main aims:

  1. to be welcoming to visitors and new members and enable them to play a number of times in club sessions before they have managed to meet potential partners
  2. to help learners and improvers make the transition from supervised to relaxed duplicate sessions, and from relaxed to more competitive duplicate sessions
  3. to enable established members to find a partner if their regular partner is not available

Please note that the host system is not intended to be used by members on a continuing basis or as a substitute for finding a partner for themselves. 

Other ways of finding a partner

Pianola's partner-finding service may be used to help you find partners; if you have problems using this please contact the Membership Secretary for help. The Partnership Secretary may also be able to help you find a partner. Alternatively, you can contact individual players directly using their contact details as listed in Pianola, or on the printed telephone list (available in the hallway of the club). 

Partners for teams events

It isn't possible to use Pianola to help make up teams for teams events. If you wish to play in a team but don't have a partner, or have a partner and would like to make up a team please email via this link and we will do our best to match you up with a team.   

Restrictions on use of the host system

Wednesday and Friday evenings

To use the host system on Wednesday or Friday evenings, players must have a declared NGS grade of 41% or more (i.e. NGS 4 or higher).  

Gentle Duplicate sessions (Wednesday afternoons and Thursday evenings)

To use the host system at Gentle Duplicate sessions, players must have fewer than 5000 master points. 

Tuesday mornings

Players with more than 5000 masterpoints may use the host system on Tuesday mornings, provided that they can find a partner with fewer than 5000 master points. 



Information for Hosts

Hosts are asked to enter the date of their hosting duty in their diary as soon as the hosting list is published. You MAY be sent a reminder before the day, but should not rely on it. If you can't manage your given date, please arrange a swap with another member, and inform the host co-ordinator for that session. If you are indisposed at the last-minute, please contact the host co-ordinator immediately.  Contact details for host co-ordinators may be found here

Please arrive at the club 40 minutes before the start of the session, and before the players have arrived. As the host you are asked to hand out the tokens that indicate where each pair should sit. The tokens are kept in a small black bag on the director's cabinet. Tokens A-Q are in use - for smaller sessions you may need to remove some pairs of tokens. You will also need to remove the tokens for the director's and scorer's places (N/S A and C). Please greet members and visitors in the hall (with a smile!) as they arrive.  Ask if they have come without a partner, and if so, see later. Ask one member of the partnership to take a token from the bag and sit at the table indicated. IF they have a very good reason to sit N/S you may give them a red token. Use your hosting skills to match players needing partners. Make a special point of looking after visitors and if it is the first time that they've played at the club ask them to make themselves known to the Scorer. Hosts may wear a host badge (kept in the Director's cabinet) to make themselves more visible, but this is optional. If there is an odd number of customers, the host plays with one of them. If there are none, or an even number, the host is free to go home when play starts.  Please be sure to collect up the tokens and check that they are all there, and put the bag back in its place. 

When you're needed to play

Where at all possible play the system card of your partner (this is essential for Oxford Bridge School sessions). Enjoy the session, be nice to your partner, and keep smiling. Thank your partner at the end. 

Free games

As thanks for hosting, hosts are given two vouchers for free games at any club session. Make sure that you collect these from the Director. 

NGS exemption

As host, you may request that the session in which you act as host be excluded from the EBU's NGS grading scheme (This does not apply to OBS Learn and Play sessions as these do not count towards NGS). This is particularly useful if you are concerned about the effect on your NGS ranking of playing with an unfamiliar partner.  Your partner may also elect to be exempted from the NGS system. If you ask for NGS exemption, you must notify the Scorer and/or Director before play starts, and you must also notify the EBU, via your EBU member's online account (MyEBU), that you wish to have NGS exemption within 30 minutes of the start of the session. A printed set of instructions on claiming NGS exemption is available at the club, and may be found in the Director's drawer. Note that if you play with an inexperienced player who has played fewer than 150 NGS-graded boards, the session won't count towards your NGS grade.