Professor Martin Seligman is the keynote speaker at BAMSA’s virtual conference in June. All aspects of bridge (the good, the bad, and the ground-breaking) will be discussed during the four-day event.
Organised by Bridge: A MindSport for All (BAMSA), the conference will showcase research and innovation. A key aim of the conference is to inspire the bridge community to promote bridge more widely in society. The conference opens on Monday 28 June.
The conference title is Bridging Academia, Policy and Practice. More than 60 presenters and panelists from 20 countries are contributing to the programme.
The conference is an international forum for academics, bridge players, organisers and policymakers. Local, national and international bridge organisations will all be represented.
The event will provide a relaxed online environment in which to share ideas, review good practice and focus on solutions.
Professor Martin Seligman (pictured, top) will deliver the keynote address. He is the founder of positive psychology and author of more than 30 books on learning and motivation.
Professor Seligman is also a life-long bridge player. He has won more than 50 regional championships and is an ACBL Platinum Life Master. He says of himself: ‘I’m a serious, but mediocre player, and I love the game.’
Sessions will consider the challenges facing the bridge sector: the collapse of face-to-face bridge in 2020 and the hybrid future of the game after covid-19. The bridge world is in a state of flux. However, the huge take-up of online bridge and pioneering approaches to teaching, recruitment and marketing give cause for optimism.
European champion bridge player, Boye Brogeland (pictured) is a panelist for the session on cheating in online bridge on Tuesday 29 June.
In 2015 Boye led a campaign to expose cheating at the top level of tournament bridge. Many in the bridge community refer to Boye as ‘the sheriff’ for his commitment to rooting out malpractice.
The story of Boye’s anti-cheating campaign is told in a special BAMSA screening of the documentary film ACES & KNAVES from 20-30 May.
Theoretical sessions will illustrate academic thinking and conceptual frameworks used to understand and analyse bridge. Up for discussion are definitions of sport, mindsport and serious leisure.
For non-academics, the theoretical sessions will shed light on the way in which bridge is treated sociologically by academics. The programme also covers gender, ageing, and interaction between people of different generations in the context of bridge.
The majority of the conference presentations have been pre-recorded especially for the conference. By releasing the video presentations in May, the conference organisers have allowed participants plenty of time to watch them in advance.
Debates during the live sessions will assume participants are already familiar with the presentations. There is great range and diversity among the videos, and they all make excellent viewing.
The conference has eight sessions, two per day, and each day has its own theme. Participants can book any number of sessions from just one to all eight.
The themes are: Day 1 Bridge as a Mindsport; Day 2 Digital Bridge: Opportunities and Challenges; Day 3 Healthy Ageing, Intergenerationality and Gender; Day 4 Education, Development and Marketing.
Each session has its own webpage with all the details of speakers and panelists, and links to pre-recorded presentations.
There are two hands-on-line bridge sessions during the conference. There is a pairs tournament and a bridge taster for first-timers. Both practical sessions will be held on RealBridge, the online bridge platform with integrated audio and video.
The bridge taster is the perfect introduction for anyone looking to try out the game. he playing sessions – attendance at other sessions is not a condition of registering for either of the practical sessions.
ACES & KNAVES
On Sunday 23 May at 7.30pm (UK BST) BAMSA is hosting an online conversation to discuss the themes of the documentary. Special guests will be bridge legend Zia Mahmood, filmmaker Jackie Paré and BAMSA founder Professor Samantha Punch.
Proceeds from ticket sales will support the conference and BAMSA’s ongoing research.