The Harrisburg Bridge Club (HBC) is doing an extraordinarily fine job of developing and training newer bridge players. Their model should be copied and emulated at almost any bridge club in America that has enough players to do what they do.
Best of all, both HBC and the Camp Hill Bridge Club do not show hand results by each hand on the Bridge Mate, which not only serves to shorten the game, but also decreases the gloating and sniping factors that go on at many other bridge clubs.
The mentor games at HBC have been a pure joy and they are needed at every club. You look at the results at many of other clubs and the same pairs finish in the second division almost all of the time and this has been going on for a few years. In the mentor games, a novice player has a chance to be competitive; the player has a partner who is a mentor and an “equal” to the better players in the other pairings. I realize that we cannot tell people who their partners should be on a regular basis, but somewhat regular mentor games give a novice player a chance to be competitive, upgrade their playing ability, and enjoy the learning and social aspects of the great game of bridge.
After accruing my slivers of points for more than 2 years, really just playing for fun and social interaction, I promoted out of the 0-100 game, which was been a pure joy to play in. All of the credit goes to the HBC members that have run classes and taken an interest in the newer players. It will be nice when all of that returns, if we ever beat COVID-19.
After I got my 100th masterpoint, I was homeless, sort of. I became the mentor in the Junior Mentor game (despite being a bit under qualified to help the novice player) and the Mentee in the senior Mentor game. HBC does have some stratified games, so it is still fun for me to play. I am reluctant to do a lot of traveling, so acquiring the rainbow of colored points needed might not happen in this life time. In spite of myself, I acquired 5 gold points and am very proudly classified as an NABC Master. I really want to thank the A level players and B level players who worked with me, and developed me into a good mediocrity at bridge.
I really want to end this chapter with a HUGE kudo to Bob Priest who did his best to try to make many games at HBC work.