A “Math Made Fun” Event Sponsored By School Bridge League Will Be Hosted At Science Park High School (Gymnasium) In Newark, NJ On Monday, June 21st 9:00am – 1:00pm. Join hundreds of students from dozens of schools – elementary, middle and high school making math fun.
SBL Interviews Robert Wolff
School Bridge League had the opportunity for an exclusive interview with Robert (Bobby) Wolff, author of the autobiography, "The Lone Wolff", and past president of both the ACBL and the WBF. Mr. Wolff has won 11 World Bridge Championships and has been elected to both the ACBL Bridge "Hall of Fame" and the WBF "Committee of Honour" as well as having been the only player to win World Bridge Championships in at least five categories (Bermuda Bowl, World Team Olympiad, World Open Pairs, World Senior Team, and the World Mixed Team).
Recently, Bobby Wolff joined the School Bridge League Advisory Board and we are thrilled!
Read the exclusive SBL interview with Mr. Wolff
Students Win Trips to Bridge Championships in Washington D.C.
Four Kanata North Stephen Leacock P.S. students won trips to the U.S. capital in late July-early August to compete in the Youth North American Bridge Championships organized by the American Contract Bridge League (ACBL), the presiding bridge association that sanctions bridge events and accredits clubs and teachers across North America.
The Leacock students’ trip was sponsored by the School Bridge League (SBL), a not-for-profit group launched in 2006 with donations from avid bridge playing billionaires Bill Gates and Warren Buffet. The SBL promotes school-taught bridge for students in grades 4 through 8.
The game of bridge is said to help with logic, sequencing, probability, and memory.
Rhyanna Melanson, Derek Smith, and Alex Xiao (entering grade 7) and Rhys Melanson (entering grade 5) competed in events on each of the three tournament dates. Event participants ranged in age from 7 to 19 and represented 22 states and 6 provinces (B.C., Sask., Ontario, Quebec, N.B., and N.S.). The largest Canadian contingent was a group of 16 grade 7 and 8 students from Moncton-Dieppe-Riverview, New Brunswick.
Certain events, such as the four-person Swiss Team, were promoted to older, more experienced players and offered scholarship prize money to top finishers. With brother-sister pair Rhys and Rhyanna playing less than one year, and Derek and Alex with three years experience, the four challengers took on a Swiss Team event and managed to place a respectable sixth out of 24 teams; each Kanata competitor being awarded ACBL masterpoints in the process. In a pair session, Rhyanna and Rhys won a trophy for a top finish.
On the final day of the Youth Championships, two special speakers came to address the youth contingent. In the morning, space shuttle Endeavour pilot - and Life Master bridge player - Greg Johnson gave a presentation on his 2008 mission. At the lunch break, SBL sponsor Bill Gates came up from the co-organized Summer North American Bridge Championships where he was competing in Swiss Teams to address the aspiring players. Gates said “I love to see schools involved in these things ... we need a lot more young players in this game.”
The students qualified for the trip by consistently placing high in the school-year long tournaments coordinated by the School Bridge League. Participants in the SBL play duplicate bridge, a style of bridge where four bridge hands of 13 cards each are pre-dealt to every table and during a tournament session partners play the same hands of cards as the other duos by systematically rotating through tables. When tricks are won, the win is noted but each must player keep their own cards to maintain the integrity of the pre-dealt hands. These same hands are played at numerous schools coast-to-coast within given dates. With the aid of computers all scores are added and then ranked based upon how many points partners are able to make playing the same hands as the other competing teams.
While in Washington, the students were also able to find time to visit numerous Washington landmarks and see some of the Smithsonian museums.
Rhys said “I really liked trying the Swiss bridge event and seeing the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum.” Derek claimed that “the highlights were to see the attractions of Washington and play bridge at a higher level than at school.” Rhyanna commented that “it was wonderful to meet other young players from all over Canada and the U.S. and to hear Bill Gates speak about bridge.” Finally Alex said “I’m glad that we got the opportunity to go to Washington this year. It was a wonderful experience. I appreciate all the help we got from John Gillespie and Marie Traversy.” The Stephen Leacock students are taught by ACBL-accredited bridge teacher John Gillespie and Leacock’s bridge program coordinator, teacher Marie Traversy.
John Gillespie is an enthusiastic promoter of the game of bridge. Working with Carole Berry, they coordinate the Bridge Players Education Outreach Association, who since 2004 have taught thousands of Ottawa, Ontario’s elementary and middle school children. They also teach adults and have coordinated many bridge events. Numerous Ottawa-area schools participate in the School Bridge League and tie their bridge club programs into the tournament dates coordinated by the SBL. For more information on the SBL visit http://www.schoolbridgeleague.com/ or Ottawa’s Bridge Education Experts visit http://www.bridgexperts.com/
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