BridgePhone, the wireless bridge score program with your own smart phone.
BridgePhone is an app on your Android to minimalise the administration effort during a bridge drive: the results are available within seconds after the drive, movements don't need to be printed anymore, an overview of scores achieved by others are available for comparison as soon as you have entered your score, ........
At our club, this is the job of the tournament director (TD). That is not so much work, is it?
Maybe you don't mind waiting awhile for the end results of the bridge drive. You enjoy the company of other players at the bar with a lager in front of you. Some of the math wizards of the club are counting, cross counting, checking and checking again and possibly starting all over again. Then, with some luck after 20 to 30 minutes the end results are there. With a bridge score programm and a couple of smart phones though, the end results would be available within 20 to 30 seconds. Fat chance that those members opposing the use of computers never calculated a tournament result. If you feel nevertheless some compassion with your hard calculating club members, please read on.
Many hands make light work.
Bridge score programs are around for a long time. The TD's which had to calculate the results by hand, soon found out the benefits of spreadsheets, and later the benefits of dedicated bridge score programs. Since the TD was the only one who had to be convinced of the advantages, these bridge score programs were rapidly put to use, as other bridge club members were not involved and just got the results sooner.
The only thing the TD had to do with these bridge score programs, was to copy the score from the travelers and just enter them in the computter. Well, just enter them in the computer, that can really be a tedious chore: In a tournament of 16 tables, where each table has a set of 4 boards which are played by 6 teams, we are talking about 384 separate scores to be entered. And this just gives you the score value, of say 100 pts: whether that is 1NT= or 1 down on an unknown contract by the opponents: no idea. So if in every round on each table the score is entered by the competitors themselves with the help of an data entry device, it effectively means that each player enters a score on average 6 times per tournament. That is more than solidarity: it means the total work diminishes, errors are avoided, and it is much, much quicker......
That is an expensive dream
Oké, such a device is indeed an advantage but eh.... that costs you an arm and a leg. Establishing the price for such a device on 150$ , it means a 2400 $ hole in our bridge club budget.
You were right: it costed a small fortune , but if you use a device which you already own, such as a mobile phone, it is completely free and you save those 2400 $.
Are you already the proud owner of a smart phone? If so, then you can just simply download the BridgePhone app from GooglePlay, and download and install PCBridgePhone from www.bridgephones.com on your PC or laptop, and you are all set. If you do not own a smart phone yet, or a tablet, e-reader or Android navigator, my forecast is that within 5 years you will. You can put up an heroic fight against it, but if you reverse your feelings and buy one earlier instead, you can download BridgePhone for free, and of course use it for e-mail, google info, read e-books, throw your old navigator in the dust bin, and ... yes, before I forget, use it as a telephone.
Compare taking your mobile phone to the weekly Bridge drive( of course you will switch it off during the event) with a hockey player taking his stick to the match. Consider it general equipment needed to practise your sport and enter the scores. By the way, the price of a mobile phone can also be compared with the price of a hockey stick.
Big bang of step by step
Think big and act small: Instead of a big bang introduction, in which every player is forced to use a system which (s)he has not yet fully embraced, and which may have a large impact on the atmosphere in the club, consider to start with just those two BridgePhones on two tables. Only on these two tables you enter the scores with BridgePhone, on a 6 table drive you use the old paper and pencill travelers on the other 4 tables. One of the nice things of this approach is that the impact on the drive is small and in case you have to provide assistance as a TD, you can concentrate your attention on just two tables which may be close to each other. Yet, all players see how BridgePhone works, get experience with it and grow confident in BridgePhone. As every advantage has its disadvantage, your work to enter the scores as a TD is not yet over, but 2 tables with BridgePhone on a 6 table event still helps you with 1/3 of the data entry. In later events you may enlarge the BridgePhone part so that probably within one or two months you have completed the migration to BridgePhone in an easy way.
The next steps
Are you still not completely convinced, but do you feel the advantages luring? In that case, go to GooglePlay and download the BridgePhone demonstrator to see for yourself how BridgePhone looks like, as only seeing is believing. If you are still in the race after experiencing the demonstrator, go to the website www.bridgephone.eu, download PCBridgePhone.exe and then to GooglePlay again to download the BridgePhone client. Try to set up a complete system with one client. Don't hesitate to ask any questions which may come up during the installation, via e-mail, forum or wiki. It is not just you who benefits from the answer, probably a lot of users after you as well. We are ready for it.
If you came so far, and want to use a complete set of BridgePhones, buy the still missing phones as a club. Your members may still not impress their young niece too much with their newly acquired smart phone. Yet they will rise in her esteem when they come home with the smart phone without the help of other members of the family. Besides, they can exchange their experience with the new smart phone with other club members, share their discoveries with another club member, and maybe even answer some questions of their young niece on the topic.
Wishing you lots of success