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NCBA Committee Meeting

The next County Committee Meeting will be held,
Wednesday 5th February 2019 at 7 pm in Nottingham Bridge Club.

Match Results

Team Captains are invited to email match results to the appropriate League Secretary Jane Hall  for Team of 8 results and Shirley Ashtari
for Team of 4 results

28 November 2018

Minutes Nottingham Contract Bridge Association

Date of meeting 28th November 2018

7pm at Nottingham bridge club

Apologies for absence.

Apologies were received from Jane Hall, Ankush Khandelwal and Ian Dovey

Approval of the minutes of last meeting.

These were approved as read Matters arising. There were no matters arising from the last meeting.

Chairs’ report

Toni Smith welcome 3 new members to the committee these were Sue Mackintosh (Retford bridge club and Doncaster (Yorkshire CBA)), Chris Frost (Phoenix bridge club) and Maciej Lejman (Nottingham, East Bridgford and Newark bridge club)  Toni commented that we now had a representative from nearly all our bridge clubs making the committee more representative of the county. For the purposes of clarity for all members especially the newcomers Toni read out the Objectives of the NCBA, which in summary were to promote Bridge, put on competitions and County matches. All agreed with these wide ranging Objectives covering all types and levels of Bridge, not just County match standard.

Strategic Issues:

Elite bridge:

There was a long discussion on this topic.  Some members felt that Monday night game at Nottingham bridge club was a club problem although it was pointed out that it was a symptom of the issues around elite games, and the lack of a forum for ‘elite’ or ‘improving’ players was a serious issue.  It was also possible with Monday night not running regularly that the county could ask the club if they could use this night for a county night. Shirley read a note from Ian summarising his views on this topic.  The point was raised at how we can get players with a low NGS to improve so that they could progress up the ranks.  There was a discussion that the use of the terms “No fear” “Elite” etc. was off putting to people new to the game.  Sue M said that she was a relatively new player to the game and was not put off by these terms but had found it beneficial to play at “elite” games, as the best way to improve was to play against better players.  New players should aspire to higher standards and that this started at the teaching where far too often they were encouraged not to look beyond the social aspects of the game.  Some revamping of the current masterclasses, refocusing more on ‘play’ may help.  Clare stated that she was working with volunteers with the masterclass program and had to work within the parameters of 
what players were prepared to offer.  Clare also pointed out that these classes had to be open to everyone and she was only too aware that they were not always suitable for all players.  It was suggested that we could ask some one to run coaching sessions where max of 18 boards were played and then a discussion was lead by an experienced player rather than concentrate on learning new topics.  Mark suggested that some of the better players would be open to mentoring, as Ankush had so benefited. 
The discussion then moved on to why people were not coming on a Wed night.  Mark Goddard showed us the results of a poll he had done amongst some of the county players.  These points raised were: 

  • Over saturation of events 
  • Wednesday was not a good day 
  • People take too long to play hands 
  • Standard of bridge is too good and this puts people off. 
  • Self fulfilling people think there will not be enough tables despite the new gatekeeping process 
  • Existing competitions not fully understood

It was agreed to have a Christmas event on a Wed and also try a play with the experts event in January.  Mark is to arrange the hands for this together with a commentary on how the experts played, possibly obtaining and rehashing some old material. It was agreed that all committee members would try to attend these events themselves and bring a few pairs. If a real push was made in December and January some momentum might be achieved.

Green Point Events

Toni and Clare were meeting on Thursday 29th November with representatives of Leicester and Derbyshire over how to organise the events in the future. Generally the feel was that the existing county agreement should continue if possible, but comments about pricing and location were made in respect of noting the minimal number of Nottinghamshire pairs who attend.

Blue Point Events

On 21st February it was proposed to have a blue point event at Nottingham bridge club.  This has to be an open event . But we can cap the numbers which will be limited to 20 tables.  Keith Spencer will direct and we need to start planning for this. We have to play 48 boards so it will be 2 sessions of 24 boards with a buffet lunch in between. The success of this can be used to gauge future responses to the Counties’ GP agreements

Liaison with Nottingham Bridge club Toni Smith/Clare Batten

Another daytime duplicate session will be held in December 13th and before the start Toni and Clare will meet with David Treherne and Mel Sheppard to discuss ways forward.  We need to decide whether to continue the Thursday sessions with the food and how regular the sessions are to held. Other issues around trophy cabinets, key, elite bridge and dates are also on the agenda.

Clubs conference- teaching theme?

It was decided to have another clubs conference next year.  People were happy with venue chosen last time so Clare will go ahead and get quotes inc the possibility of weekends.  It was hoped to get all the club teachers together to discuss cooperation and also get Tim Anderson (Formally of Nottingham) to talk to club representatives about the EBU membership campaign. So the Theme would be Teaching which supports membership increase, plus other aspects. It was noted the Club Rep idea did not work out as planned so each Club could be offered 2 spaces to chose who attends themselves. This was likely to be a summer/Autumn event.

Competitions Schedule & Organisation  Graham Brindley

Forthcoming events Knockout teams 27th Jan

  Mark Goddard asked if the format of this could change.  Graham agreed to look at the EBU rules as this event was used as the Palchabo qualifier.  It may be possible to have less teams in the knockout stage.  It was decided to offer a “Plate” event to the teams that did not qualify for the knockout stage of the main event. It was decided to have another committee meeting before the blue pointed event in February at which time we could concentrate on the organising of this event and the Journal cup.

Teams leagues

Teams of 8 Jane Hall was absent but had sent a report to all committee members regarding the competition which was noted. Teams of 4 organisation for next year.  It was agreed that last year was a bit of an organisational disaster with several complaints and needed overhauling. Jane had mentioned previously she may support this  as she was excellent at the To8 review but as she was absent Shirley and Sue M would jointly look into the first stage which was canvassing opinion of folk to gauge possible number of Teams. This needed doing early in January so the planning of the various models could be effective and timely. i.e. with enough numbers a purely social league might be viable IF organised 
concurrently, but it needed deciding by the end of January so it could be advertised properly for April start.  Shirley and Sue to discuss with Jane, to decide who takes it forward, or a subcommittee of these three, in due course.

County Captains report Mark said the teams had had mixed fortunes in the league and the lack in the Tollermache was due to being drawn in a very tough field. He said that he had consulted with first team players as requested by the EBU over the selection of the method of seeding for the Tollermarche.  Clare asked if Mark could contact the Staffs and Shropshire captain to ask if there was anyone coming down for the next match who could show Keith Spencer how to score electronically.  There was a debate about the utility of this but as it had been agreed at previous committee meetings this was agreed to go ahead. The information once secured could be used or stored. Shirley agreed to get this organised.  One of the Staffs and Shropshire team had been liaising with the EBU to get EBU teams scorer to have a template for this type of scoring.

Youth Bridge Paul Sweet had with the help of Clare had sent a template club policy to all clubs on safeguarding.  The county policy was different and this documents was adapted from the one used by Worcestershire (with Worcestershire's permission) and had been sent to all committee members.  Mark Goddard asked what the county responsibilities were for Juniors.  For home games there was no issue on transport as any Junior would make their own way to the club and the team would have a member playing who was DBS checked.  For away games a permission slip would need to be signed by the Juniors Guardian if the Junior needed to travel with a member of the team they should have DBS clearance and they should have someone else travelling in the car as well the Junior should sit in the back of the car. No photos of Juniors should be taken without the permission of their Guardian.  Toilets were noted but to be handled with discretion. Anyone who has DBS certification needs to show that to the county safeguarding officer for it to be checked.  Clare does have some more DBS form if people need them. it needed to be clarified if a DBS for a different purpose was sufficient for Bridge.

Other Committee roles

Trophies and equipment Sue Wright

Toni will arrange to give the trophies to Sue W and Sue W will liaise with Nottingham bridge club. The plan was for a  County Cabinet and Honours Boards.  The promotional material in the form of printed sheets and 4 big roll up posters had been obtained and Keith was to note these as being available to borrow around County EBU training and events.

Communications and Promotions

Paul Sweet asked if he could have some support with getting the newsletter together and Toni will liaise with him. Chris Frost agreed to offer support on the Communications/Promotions aspects.


Graham has found a tool provided by EBUTA useful to make up set hands. Paul Sweet would like to arrange for some training for volunteers to go into schools and act as bridge buddies.  The EBU had appointed Myra Scott from Warwickshire to coordinate their schools initiative in the Midlands.  Paul had been to see the work being done by 2 county members at a school in Keyworth and he would like to expand this to other schools in the county,


Ian had sent a statement of the amount in the current account as of 5th November 2018 the account stood at £3323 but there had been several payments out these were:

1 Promotional Materials £135
2 County Match versus Warwickshire £96
3 Tollermache Entry £433

It was asked if we could have a statement of the savings account as well.  Clare to ask Ian to provide this.


Clare had received a complaint from Tony Brooks regarding the advertising of the Nottingham Cafe bridge.  It has been explained to Tony that he needs to a send copy and ask for this to be included in the Newsletter not expect  it as the Cafe bridge is a separate organisation.  It was noted that prior to the complaint the issue had been discussed already face to face. There has been a request from Derbyshire for a joint Improver's competition be held simultaneously between the 2 counties.  A request for suitable venues for training events from EBED had been passed over to Nottingham bridge club. EBU have decided to stop having a second shareholders meeting in May this will be replaced by a county Chairs meeting.  EBU had asked for the counties views on having a mechanism for refusing membership currently clubs can do this but people can be direct members.
Clare had attended the Midlands working group meeting earlier in the Month and also had just come back from the EBU AGM.  There were further details of the finances of the EBU.  There are to be small increases in the universal membership and licensing of events. There had also been a mention that in future years they would look at trying to stop the “leakage” of monies.  Clare explained that leakage was when they failed to collect monies because events had not been uploaded to them from clubs.  In order to stop this they would be looking a club websites and gently reminding them.  Clare will write piece for the newsletter on this to remind clubs of the rules.

There was no further business and it was agreed to have another meeting on 6th February.