Bridging Minds: Dynamics and Interactions of Elite Players

Bridging Minds - Andrew Robson England


This project examines the views and behaviour of elite bridge players and the strategies they use at the table. Findings are drawn from in-depth interviews with 52 elite players from the USA, UK and Europe carried out between 2013 and 2019. The interviews covered a wide range of topics including the characteristics of the card game, partnership and team dynamics, challenges, motivations, barriers to participation, opportunities for skill development, professionalisation, gender and engagement across the lifecourse.

The majority of interviews were held between 2013 and 2017. From 2018 until 2020 the data was analysed for academic purposes. The research findings were published between 2020-2023. Research paper summaries, infographic posters and a SciPod video are used by bridge organisations, teachers and bridge clubs to promote bridge as a mindsport.


World Bridge Federation, John Matheson, Bernard Teltscher, English Bridge Education and Development, European Bridge League, American Contract Bridge League Educational Foundation, American Contract Bridge League, BAMSA


Bridging Minds

Punch, S. (2021) Bridge at the Top: Behind the Screens, Toronto: Master Point Press

Journal Articles

Bridging Minds

Punch, S. and Russell, Z. (2022) Playing with Emotions: Emotional Complexity in the Social World of Elite Tournament Bridge, Emotions and Society, 4(2): 238-256.

Russell, Z., Punch, S. and McIntosh, I. (2021) Blurring the Boundaries Between Leisure and Work: Professionals as Devotees in the Mind-Sport Bridge, International Journal of the Sociology of Leisure, 5: 13–32.

Punch, S., Russell, Z. and Cairns, B. (2020) (Per)forming Identity in the Mindsport Bridge: Self, Partnership and Community, International Review for the Sociology of Sport, 56(6): 804-822.

Punch, S. and Snellgrove, M.L. (2020) Playing your Life: Developing Strategies and Managing Impressions in the Game of Bridge, Sociological Research Online, 26(3): 601–619.

Punch, S. and Snellgrove, M.L. (Forthcoming 2023) ‘Bridging Time: Negotiating Serious Leisure in Intimate Couple Relationships’, Annals of Leisure Research.

Book Chapters

Bridging Minds

Punch, S. (2021) ‘Interview with Heather Dhondy’, Bridge at the Top: Behind the Screens, Toronto: Master Point Press

Conference Papers

Bridging Minds

BAMSA (2021) Mindsports in Academia and Society, 4th International Bridge Conference, Bridging Academia, Policy and Practice, 28 June 2021, University of Stirling.

Snellgrove, M.L., Graham, E. and Punch, S. (2019) ‘Playing your Life: Impression Management and Strategic Interaction in the Game of Bridge’, Leisure Studies Annual Conference, Abertay, 9-11 July 2019

Russell, Z. and Punch, S. (2019) ‘Temperament is Everything: Bridge Partnerships and Emotions’, Leisure Studies Annual Conference, Abertay, 9-11 July 2019

Punch, S. and Graham, E. (2018) ‘Elite Bridge Players’ Motivations to Participate in the Mindsport of Bridge’, 2nd academic conference on Recreational Activity and Bridge, Nicolaus Copernicus University, Torun, Poland, 5 December 2018

General Articles

Bridging Minds

Punch, S. (January 2019) ‘Interview with Roy Welland’, One of a Series of Bridge Encounters, ClaireBridge