Passion of The Game of Bridge

Is Bridge a Sport ?

Is Bridge a Sport ?

With the lack of significant and rigorous physical activity, together with Chess, Bridge will always be under this classic scrutiny: whether or not bridge is a sport. I can see where the confusion started: people relates sport with physical health  and people wrongly assume that sport and physical activity/exercise is synonym.

For example: a mother tell his fat kid, “Don’t just sitting around watching TV and eat, do some sport!” – Well, what the mother really want to say is “Do some physical activity”. If the kid then running around with friends outdoor in the park, swim around in the river or play Frisbee on the beach,etc will the mother be happy?Yes, I guess….

Sport Definition

“Sport” the word itself means “leisure” but not all leisure activity can be recognized as “sport” in official term.

In my opinion, if an activity wants to be categorized as “sport”, it should has certain criteria like: competitive, requires some skills (not luck), proper & consistent measurement/scoring, have complete set of rules and regulation,  good organization and structure, good number of participation and  good number of fan/spectator all over the world.

Because of that, bridge (and chess) is qualified to be named as one of the official “sport”. But poker (require mostly luck/game of chance) maybe will never be a sport.

Bridge : game of chance ?

But as we know, we shuffle the card in order to play bridge. Some will have good hand, others will have worse hand? It is a game of chance, then ?

Absolutely, not, why ?

  • Yes, the card is shuffled, but that shuffled card, the same exact distribution, is played / duplicated among all competitors.

So, if you have “bad” hand,  all other competitor sitting on your position will have the same exact hand (in pair events), in team events, your opponent on the other room will also play your exact hand. Therefore, the distribution does not really matter, but your skill does.

So, officially is bridge a sport ? Yes !

World Bridge FederationCheck out:

Well, it does not mean that automatically bridge will have a spot in the next Olympic Games. For practicality purposes, IOC will always limit the number of sport competes in each events.  The decision will be based on the commercial reason,  popularity of that sport for host country, growing popularity of the sport, successful lobbying, etc, etc. Not having a spot in Olympic Games does not mean that it is not a sport.

(For example: Softball/baseball will no longer be an event on next Olympic games, you cannot say it’s not a sport. Golf, one of the most popular sport in the world, was only 2 times:1900 and 1904 being an Olympic events)

However, a membership in IOC (International Olympic Committee) does indeed proof beyond reasonable doubt that  particular activity is recognized as “sport”, officially by authority. (Word Bridge Federation/WBF is the current member of IOC as display in above links)

So, there you have it. Next time if a friend, family member, your child or your spouse says that bridge is not a sport. Ask them to read this article.

But also remember, for your wellness as human being, you do need physical activity at least 30 minutes a day (or you can do it at once as 2.5 hours a week) – but having a round of duplicate bridge on your club will not qualify for this . You still need some exercises even though you have your sport….

Sorry, unfortunately, you can’t have it all…. 🙂

One comment

  1. משחקים /

    i rarely reply on blogs but due to your hard research i had to! keep it coming. משחקים

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