Summer fun with bridge

May 15, 2013 

The game of bridge is alive and well in Warner Robins and even has its own meeting building on Maple Street, courtesy of the Warner Robins Recreation Department.

“I want the kids this summer to learn a fun activity and have a nice place to be when learning and practicing their bridge skills,” said Ruth Suggs, Robins Duplicate Bridge Club member and game advocate.

“As parents, we sometimes ask ourselves and others what can my kids do that can be fun, educational and beneficial to them now and in the future,” Suggs said. “Bridge will fill the bill for learning a great activity.”

Bridge is a competitive card game played by four people who are referred to as north, south, east and west. North and south play as partners, while east and west are partners. Two kinds of bridge are very popular: duplicate and rubber bridge.

Duplicate bridge involves more than one table with each table playing identical hands. Rubber bridge is also called social bridge, and can be only one table, mostly played in homes.

Bridge is organized into a national association called the American Contract Bridge League (ACBL) and has more than 186,000 members in the United States, Canada, Bermuda and Mexico. Most members began playing at a very early age and have enjoyed playing into adulthood. It is a highly competitive, intellectual and fun game that consists of more than 8 million potential card deals.

Because the game is known to help develop math, logic and communication skills, it is often taught in schools and colleges.

“In fact, Rice University has an amazing summer bridge program,” Suggs said.

In a recent announcement directed toward rising ninth-graders, the school said “the summer bridge program offers a two-week program in Algebra Readiness and Communications (writing, critical reading, public speaking). Students will gain a greater level of preparedness for Algebra I in the next school year. Other skills to be developed include preparation of students for increasing academic persistence, and critical thinking and problem-solving skills.”

“That sums up bridge,” Suggs said.

Bridge is a game that can be developed into a career. It can be played professionally, which includes teaching, directing games on cruises and sponsoring seminars.

Professional players frequently attend tournaments and consult with attendees on techniques that help master the game.

The Robins Duplicate Bridge Club will host Session 1 of Youth Bridge Camp at the Warner Robins Bridge Center, 151 Maple Street, Warner Robins (across from Perkins Field and the Senior Activity Center) on June 17-20 from 4-6 p.m.

The camp is open to those ages 10-18 and is free.

Session 2 of the Youth Bridge Camp will be June 21 from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. at the Macon Bridge Center, 1070 Southshore Place, Macon. Lunch is included in this free event.

For registration and directions to bridge centers, call Suggs at (478) 923-4574.

Other Youth Bridge Camps will continue throughout the summer and will be announced later.

Additional information about the Robins Duplicate Bridge Club is available by contacting Andre Asbury at (229) 834-1186 or aasbury@gmail.com; Ruth Suggs at (478) 923-4574 or ruthsuggs@cox.net; or by visiting the Bridge Center website at wrbridge.blogspot.com.

Marsha Priest Buzzell is the executive director of the Warner Robins Convention & Visitors Bureau and can be contacted at (478) 922-5100 or cvb@wrga.gov.

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