Guest Blog — By Invitation

Giving Back to Bridge: Sally Rewbotham on Volunteering at Tournaments

Don’t you just love the bridge tournament trail? One weekend you play in this city and next weekend you’re somewhere else. You have a chance to play against your peers whether they be flight “A” players or “Newcomers”. When the event finishes there is a chance to mingle with all of the other players as you enjoy the hospitality provided. It’s lots of fun! But it doesn’t just materialize out of thin air.

Tournaments are fun at and around the bridge tables, but are a lot of hard work behind the scenes. Volunteers, often invisible and unrecognized, are responsible for taking an idea and giving it life.

The Tournament Chair’s list of tasks looks something like this:

  • Apply for the sanction
  • Negotiate a contract with the hotel and arrange for playing space
  • Get a Partnership Chair, Caddies, Hospitality Chair, volunteers to handle registration and work the prize desk (don’t forget to order the gifts and prizes)
  • Finalize a schedule of events
  • Submit ads to the ACBL and the Kibitzer and have one posted on the website
  • Correspond with the ACBL re: Directors and book their hotel rooms
  • Book rooms for other officials as needed
  • Arrange for an education program if desired
  • Print and arrange for distribution of the schedule
  • Arrange signage, and restaurant discounts
  • Arrange for tables if necessary (luckily most places have chairs!)
  • And FINALLY determine the setup and arrangement of tables, events, sales tables, partnership area etc.

It looks like an impressive and daunting task, but as any leader knows, the best thing you can do is surround yourself with good people. All of the other volunteers involved help to make the task manageable.

Interested in volunteering? Offer to help with the registration desk, partnerships, hospitality, or work on the prize desk. You may not be thanked by many, but you’ll deserve the thanks of all. And you’ll know that the success of the tournament is partly due to your efforts.

If you’re interested in helping with the upcoming NABC in Toronto, e-mail Louise McNeely. If you’d like to start with a smaller event, check the Kibitzer or website and contact one of the Board members for your unit. We’d love to have you join us.

If I forget to say it later ….. Thanks!

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