Tournament Game Times, What’s Your Opinion?

The use of morning and afternoon game times instead of the traditional afternoon and evening game times at the recent Philadelphia Nationals generated a heated debate on the Bridge Winners website at as well as many comments on Facebook and other social media.

Please contribute your opinion if you have ever played in a tournament to our online survey on our polls page. Warning, the survey does not work properly in Safari (on an Ipad or mac) where it will tell you that you have already done the survey.

14 thoughts on “Tournament Game Times, What’s Your Opinion?

  1. Bernie Yomtov

    I’m definitely of the 10AM – 3PM school.

    Part of the reason I go to tournaments is to see my friends, socialize, and so on. The 1PM – 7:30PM arrangement makes this tough.

    Further, I am in the much-derided “nice dinner with wine” group. Why not? I don’t want to run to a food court, grab something terrible, and then try to get a little rest before the evening session. I’d much rather play more or less straight through, with a break for a sandwich and a cup of coffee, and then be done.

    1. Bob Hockenberger

      Just wondering how things are going for you. Haven’t seen you or heard about you in nearly forty years.

  2. Allan Bloom

    10:a,m-3pm makes sense. However, my biggest complaint is the Swiss Team scheduling where it a play through for 7 matches. Rather have 8 matches with a regular break after 4 matches to eat rather than a short break to grab a sandwich and munch on it while playing a match. It is not civilized.

  3. Steve Moese

    Slightly prefer 1 and 7. Still work a full time job so can play lots of bridge with 1/2 day vacations. Playing in major NABC’s I would be very comfortable with 10&3, as long as lesser rated events were available at 9/1/7 (3-session days). Some of us still like to play lots of bridge. Midnight Swiss anyone? I do like Allan’ sidea about making Swiss 2×4 with a break, instead of 1×7.

  4. Richard Whitehead

    10:00am may be fine if you are at the site. If you are “commuting”, anything earlier than 11:00 (or maybe even noon) involves getting up at dawn – not part of my repertoire these days.

  5. Kitty Cooper Post author

    I love hearing all these opinions but I do hope you clicked the link “polls” and voted. I need a lot more input to get statistically significant data so tell all your friends.

    I have been surprised by the interest in horizontal events. Those are where you play a two session event over two days at the same time (so morning or afternoon or evening). New York City used to run these during the week to accommodate the working folk who played only at night and the out of town visitors who wanted one session then dinner and a show.

  6. Marty Deneroff

    I prefer 1 and 7 or 1 and 7:30. Two days in the evening is really good for sectionals / regionals during the week, so people can work and then play. For bracketed KOs, the “rolling” format where a new one starts evewry session is much preferable to having the “consolation” one session swiss events.

  7. Alan Frank

    At NABCs, I strongly prefer 1 & 7 so I can sightsee in the morning. Maybe New Orleans is an exception, but in Washington DC it is a necessity, as nothing is open in the evening. (I also voted in the poll.) Maybe on the first day of an east coast event it should be 10 & 3 so PST’ers have a chance to get acclimated.

  8. Kevin Wilson

    I’m not opposed to 10 am starting time but its the 3pm starting time for the second session that bothers me so much that I always vote for the 1pm starting time to continue. I like to have an actual break between sessions. With 3pm you have no time to break. Its horrible!

    I would vote for 10am and 4pm. Miss the early dinner crowd but still have a late dinner and a break between morning and afternoon sessions.

    My second choice would be 9am and 3pm but i understand the commuting difficulty these times incur.

  9. Jim Fox

    I have suggested before that regardless of which is the main starting times, that the qualifying day for multiple-day events have both starting times. You can still duplicate and cross-mp all the hands for each of the two groups of players (even thought there will be two different sets of hands). So roughly half the days, players can choose their own starting times.

  10. Katie Thorpe

    Definitely 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. for many reasons. Since my normal schedule is up early and to bed early, I find adjusting to the 1 and 7 times almost impossible. Also I love to try interesting restaurants in whatever city I am visiting, and what’s a good dinner without a good wine! The Europeans definitely have it right – bridge and then socialize. (Filled out poll but it skipped the starting time questions somehow).

  11. Alan Applebaum

    I prefer 1 and 7 for regionals, 1 and 7:30 for nationals.

    At nationals, first of all with 1-7:30 you can sightsee in the morning as was said above. If you want to get exercise, you can also do that. In theory you could do that either early in the morning, or in the evening, with the 10 and 3 schedule but I bet few would really do it, especially after the “dinner with wine”.

    In Philly, both at the nationals and the world championships, the reality was that 10 and 3 does not work well. You are done playing at 6:30. You gather your troops for an hour and maybe get to the restaurant at 7:30 or 8. The real key here is that you are hitting the restaurant at prime time, unlike with the 1 and 7 schedule where you are eating at 5, so you have to wait, sometimes a long time.

    In Philly, typically we would get back to the tournament hotel after dinner at 9:30 or 10. If you then want to socialize further, you have to pre-arrange it because there is no one at the bar, unlike after an evening session when the bar is packed.

    The way I generally put it is, it feels like there are about 2-3 hours less in the day with the 10 and 3 schedule. With the 1-7:30 schedule you have three hours for dinner which is plenty of time for a “real dinner” given there will be no wait as noted above, you still get to socialize after the game and you still get to do stuff in the morning.

    The only exception I would make is for the real grueling events like the Spingold where I would not want to be playing at midnight or later.

    I will do the survey.

  12. Adam Meyerson

    I much prefer the 1 and 7:30 schedule, especially for east coast nationals. As a west coaster, it’s very difficult to adjust to the early start times (basically means playing bridge at the equivalent of 7 AM for me) and since I am working full time with only a few vacation days to spend, arriving a few days early to adjust to the time zone is not a realistic option.

    I’ve never understood why, if the ACBL wants to experiment with early start times, they don’t do it on the west coast or (even better) Hawaii. Surely the east coast people have the same trouble with the late times out west that I have with the early times flying east!

    I agree with the comment about commuters having trouble making the early starts. It basically means you hit rush hour both ways on the weekdays. I suspect this is more of a concern for regionals though (with a higher proportion of locals commuting to out-of-town folks staying at hotels).

  13. Sheila Lesser

    The constant 9AM starting time at Tucson and sometimes at Phoenix tournaments makes it difficult to drive from one city to the other to attend. We don’t see large numbers of Phoenix area players at Tuscon regionals or sectionals – it involves rising at dawn. 🙂

    My preference would be to start events at 1 and 6:30/7. I don’t think that will happen in AZ – so perhaps 10 and 3 would make the 2 hour drive between cities more appealing for many.


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