Session 1A Recording

Session 1A  Mindsports in Academia and Society

Monday 28 June 2021

Summary Report – Session 1A
Go to Day 1 Session 1B


Professor Samantha Punch (Bridge: A MindSport for All)

Opening Address

Gianarrigo Rona (President of the World Bridge Federation)

Live Presentations

Bridge as a Mindsport in Research, in the Bridge World, in Society

Professor Samantha Punch, Dr Miriam Snellgrove and Zoe Russell (BAMSA)

Bridge: A MindSport for All (BAMSA) aims to bridge the worlds of academia and the bridge community. This presentation refers to BAMSA’s eight research projects and accessible resources that are being created to promote bridge in wider society.


Mind, Body and Confidence: Sociological Approaches to Emotion and the Physicality of Bridge 

Dr David Scott (Sport and Exercise Sciences, Abertay University, Scotland)

The emergence of categorisations such as ‘mind sports’ and ‘esports’ raises questions about the role of ‘physicality’ in defining sport. While this paper does not necessarily argue the case for bridge’s inclusion into the wider classification of ‘sport’ on a philosophical basis, it does present a sociologically-informed understanding of how the bridge world could argue that playing is more physical than first seems.



Professor David Scott (Recreation, Parks and Tourism Services, Texas A&M University, USA)

Kim Frazer (Author of Gaining the Mental Edge at Bridge, 2019, Australia)

Dr Liat Hen-Herbst (Health Sciences, University of Ariel, Israel)

Dr David Scott (Sport and Exercise Sciences, Abertay University, Scotland)

Zoe Russell (BAMSA)

Advance Recorded Presentations

(Click green arrows to view recordings)

Studying Bridge: Lessons Learnt   

Professor David Scott (Recreation, Parks and Tourism Services, Texas A&M University, USA)

Professor Scott reflects on the ways that researching bridge has shaped three decades of his work. He outlines his personal interest in the social worlds of sport and he describes the academics that influenced his work. He discusses the role of specialisation within leisure pastimes and the segmentation of the bridge world into social and serious players.


The Growth of Contract Bridge as a Mindsport in China   

Professor Shuxiang Zhao (School of Sport Science, Beijing Sport University, China)

Bridge is becoming hugely popular in China, and in 2018 it became an official event in the Asian Games. Academic and bridge player, Shuxiang Zhao has developed a programme to promote the sport of bridge. His course helps students understand the history and development of bridge as well as teaching them a natural bidding system, basic playing technique and logical thinking.

English translation

Characteristics of Bridge Players in Israel: The Role of Motivation and Use of Cognitive Strategies   

Liat Hen-Herbst, Yael Fogel and Sonya Meyer (Health Sciences, University of Ariel, Israel) and Liron Lamash (Welfare and Health Sciences, University of Haifa, Israel)  

The authors of the study made an online survey of 462 adult bridge players. Participants completed a demographic questionnaire, Bridge Motivational Factors Checklist and Bridge Cognitive Strategies Questionnaire. Among the participants, the most common factor (97.5%) was the feeling that playing bridge enhances their mood and 64% felt that bridge reduces stress in their daily lives. 


Kim Frazer, Author of Gaining the Mental Edge at Bridge   

Kim Frazer (Author and Bridge Player, Australia)

Kim Frazer is an elite sportswoman, having represented Australia in both sport shooting and contract bridge. In conversation with Prof. Punch, she discusses her book Gaining the Mental Edge at Bridge (2019) which describes how mental management techniques used in sport can also be used by bridge players. 

Playing with Emotions: Management and Complexity of Emotion in an Elite Mindsport   

Zoe Russell and Professor Samantha Punch (BAMSA)

This presentation contributes to a more nuanced understanding of the complexity of emotional experience. Zoe Russell explores how elite players display and manage their emotions in the highly charged tournament environment and in more private spaces away from the table 


The Professional Bridge Player and Devotee Work   

Dr Ian McIntosh (Sociology, University of Stirling) and Zoe Russell (BAMSA)

Playing bridge professionally is often a positive experience. At the same time, being paid to play blurs the distinctions between work and leisure and raises issues about moral evaluations of work. This paper considers the transition from playing bridge as a hobby to playing bridge for a living and the tensions and ambiguities that can be involved. 


(Per)forming Identity in the Mindsport Bridge: Self, Partnership and Community   

Professor Samantha Punch, Zoe Russell and Beth Cairns

By analysing the social dynamics of tournament bridge, this paper explores the ways in which world class players develop different roles and identities. In a timely contribution to the ongoing debate about definitions of sport, the paper examines how winning partnerships evolve and the factors that lead to success as an elite player. 


Playing your Life: Developing Strategies and Managing Impressions in the Game of Bridge   

Professor Samantha Punch and Dr Miriam Snellgrove

In a study of elite players, this paper discusses the ways in which skills such as strategic planning, flexibility in problem solving, concentration and focus can be developed at the bridge table. The paper also considers evidence that some elite players have applied these skills to other areas of their life.