BAMSA research investigates the ways in which the mindsport of bridge addresses societal challenges such as wellbeing, healthy ageing, equality and social connection.

Communicating across generations

Father and daughter, David and Jasmine Bakhshi discuss how they started to play bridge, when they started to take the game seriously and who their favourite teammates would be. Bridge – making a difference to family relationships.


BAMSA research investigates the ways in which the mindsport of bridge addresses societal challenges such as wellbeing, healthy ageing, equality and social connection. Bridge as a partnership game of incomplete information is ideal for developing analytical thinking and strategic planning as well as fostering personal qualities such as empathy and cooperation. Recent research on bridge has found a link between bridge and enhanced wellbeing and the possibility of learning transferable life skills at the bridge table.

According to a recent survey, a fifth of the UK population (around 9 million people) suffer from social isolation and loneliness. These conditions affect people of all ages, not just older people. As an antidote to loneliness and stress, bridge fosters community, solidarity and a sense of belonging.

Bridge unites friends, families and people of different generations. Wider research suggests that social connection is more important than diet or exercise in terms of living a longer, healthier life. Bridge improves people’s lives. BAMSA’s role is to gather evidence, share findings and create a positive impact across society by promoting the benefits of the game.

Pathways to impact

There are many stepping stones on the road from research to impact. The process starts with research, although even that statement is not entirely true! The design of a research project is grounded in consultation. Thus, there is a stage before research, namely dialogue and project development.

Carrying out a research study can take several years or more, but once the study is complete, the next step is to translate and disseminate the findings. To enable this process, accessible and evidence-based resources are essential. At this stage, stakeholder engagement is crucial and members of the BAMSA network can help realise shared ambitions for the mindsport bridge by publicising findings, giving feedback and contributing to ideas for useful resources.

In theory, impact follows on from this, although measuring the impact of research is not always straightforward. Recording an increase in the number of club members, or the number of schools teaching bridge, is relatively simple. Measuring changes in behaviour (a reduction in sexist attitudes, for example) is more complex. Once again, the BAMSA network has a key role to play in monitoring, recording and sharing with researchers the evidence for changes in attitudes and behaviour as well as changes in policy and practice.

The way to impact is not linear, nor is it a single-track road. There are many lanes and many possibilities but, by working collaboratively with network members, over time BAMSA researchers will be able to create a range of case studies to show the positive impact of their work.

Players and practitioners

BAMSA researchers are developing an understanding of the barriers and motivators that influence players. Surveys and fieldwork are providing evidence of what drives individuals to learn bridge and what prevents them continuing to develop as players.

BAMSA research is also identifying how bridge organisations can help to ensure that those who play derive as much positive benefit from the game as possible, thereby enhancing their quality of life.

By understanding the processes of participation in bridge at different life stages, the BAMSA team are co-producing resources, programmes and interventions with colleagues from across the BAMSA network.

Are you using BAMSA research?

You can help create BAMSA impact case studies. Please email [email protected] to let us know if you have used (or are using) BAMSA research and what impact you have seen or envisage.

Do you have research needs?

If you need resources or evidence, or if you have ideas for research projects, please contact BAMSA on [email protected]

Research Research

Translation & Dissemination

Bamsa Diamonds


Co-Production & Use

Network Network

Stakeholder Engagement

Bridge King of Hearts


Behaviour & Policy Change


  • Bamsa Bridge
  • bob Bridge Player
  • Hand of cards and bidding box
  • Bob Hamman laughing

Bob Hamman

By |December 3rd, 2020|

Bob Hamman (Multiple World Champion) The (Per)forming Identity paper is very strong on the point of mindsports and I liked what I read. The next step is to see what we can do with it. You identified the important issues in relation to mindsports. The notion that sport has to be a strictly physical activity is nonsense. For it to be a sport, you should be able to play defence (so golf, gymnastics, track and field, diving, swimming are not sports in that [...]

  • Hand with cards
  • World Champion, US Player
  • Hand with cards
  • Zia playing Bridge

Zia Mahmood

By |February 20th, 2020|

Zia Mahmood (World Champion) Bridge is difficult to resist - it’s a pleasure and it’s a passion and it’s something that if you enjoy it, you don’t put it down. Professor Punch’s research at the University of Stirling on the benefits of bridge is just what the bridge world needs to attract new players to our amazing card game. Zia Mahmood: In Interview Why do I play bridge? Because it’s an addiction that is difficult to resist. It’s [...]