Release 2.19n
Understanding Movements

There are two basic movements, Howell and Mitchell.


In a Howell movement one or more pairs remains stationary and the other pairs move round them in what might appear to be an haphazard fashion. In fact it is anything but haphazard. The highest pair number is stationary and every other pair follows the pair with the number immediately below them. Boards move down one table, often on and off relay tables. In a full Howell each pair plays every other pair and every board and there is only one winner. In a three quarter Howell each pair will normally play every board but all every other pair. When you sit down at a table in a Howell you will find a movement card from which you take your pair number and which tells you where to go at the end of the round. It sometimes helps if at the start you see from where you go next who you will be following all evening. It is North’s responsibility at each table to check he has the right opponents and the right boards for that round and to move the boards on at the end of the round.


Mitchell movements are quicker and simpler but are normally only used for 7 tables or more. All North - South pairs remain stationary and East-West move every round to the next highest numbered table, boards moving in the opposite direction. With an even number of tables boards are shared between the highest and lowest numbered tables and there is a relay in the middle. e.g. with 8 tables, tables 1 and 8 share and the relay is between tables 4 and 5. Sharing and relays are not necessary with an odd number of tables. A standard Mitchell movement produces a North-South winner and an East-West winner. To obtain a single winner you will often be asked to ‘arrow switch’ the last set of boards in a Mitchell, where North-South and East-West change orientation just for that round. By tradition East becomes North for that round. In a Mitchell only table numbers are required, North-South take their number from the table where they start play and East-West add to that number the number of tables in play. So if East-West start at table 3 in an 8 table Mitchell their pair number will be 11.

You will also encounter Hesitation Mitchells, where several but not all North-South pairs are stationary and there are tables (usually two) where players hesitate by playing in both directions at that table on consecutive rounds.