All About ABTA: the American Bridge Teachers’ Association

All About ABTA: the American Bridge Teachers’ Association

The ABTA is the one of the main North American organizations for bridge teachers. They handle all things related to teaching bridge and present the annual ABTA Awards which honour the best in bridge software, books and teachers for each year.

The American Bridge Teachers’ Association (ABTA) was founded in New York City in 1957 when a group of teachers came together and realized there was a need for an umbrella organization. Their mission: to help those who teach bridge to do it better, more effectively, more knowledgeably, and more professionally, while “promoting and protecting the standards of bridge teaching and its practitioners”.

Need a Teacher?

If you’re looking for a bridge teacher, then ABTA is your best bet. Their site is home to many leading professionals so you’re sure to find the right one.

You can search for a teacher by area on the ABTA website. They also have a Master Teacher available to answer any puzzling bridge questions you might have.

The ABTA Books & Software Awards

The ABTA Book Awards (held together with Master Point Press) choose two titles as the best ones for the year – one as advanced, and one as novice.

The award was first introduced in the year 1982, and the first bridge book to claim the title was Bridge Made Easy (How to Win More Tricks) by Caroline Syndor.

The second category for the awards aimed at novice teaching books was introduced in 1990, with the first winning book here being How to Play a Bridge Hand by Bill Root.

The ABTA Book Award Archive can be viewed at this link (as a PDF document) if you’d like to bulk up your book collection with some of the best.

A Best Bridge Software Award is also presented annually although there’s no mention of a winner fro 2019.

The ABTA Teacher of the Year Award

The American Bridge Teachers’ Association also presents an annual Teacher of the Year Award.

This is a great resource for discovering some of the best bridge teachers – and if you know an exceptional or inspiring teacher that hasn’t won the award yet, ABTA allows for nominations.

  • More information about the official criteria for Teacher of the Year Award selection can be found here.
  • Nomination forms for Teacher of the Year Award are here.

Past winners and finalists are available on the ABTA website at this link.

Oh, and if you were wondering, this year’s Teacher of the Year Award goes to Jim Ricker from Knoxville, TN. He’s also a bridge author, and you can view some of his work on Amazon (Beyond Beginning Bridge Using 2 Over 1).

The ABTA Convention and Membership

Each year, the ABTA hosts a Teachers’ Convention. In 2020 this is slated for Montreal PQ Canada.

If you’re looking for more information on how to join, membership info is available at this link. Joining gives you access to their membership area, exclusive resources for teaching bridge and their quarterly magazine mailing list, either via traditional mail or e-mail.

The ABTA has a newly launched website which can be found here – or you can visit their Facebook page.

By Alex J. Coyne