BAMSA and the Academic Exploration of Bridge

BAMSA and the Academic Exploration of Bridge

© Alex J. Coyne For Great Bridge Links 31 August, 2020

Samantha Punch - Keep Bridge AliveBridge: A MindSport for All (BAMSA) is a collaborative research project launched by the University of Stirling (UK) and Professor Samantha Punch (at left) to investigate the research potential of bridge, bridge players and the sociology surrounding them.

Great Bridge Links checked in with the professor to find out where BAMSA is headed (and how bridge researchers can take advantage).

First, an important note. Bridge: A MindSport for All (BAMSA) is a new project name for the bridge research. Keep Bridge Alive will remain as their fundraising name.

What is BAMSA – Bridge: A MindSport for ALL?

“The key aims of Bridge: A MindSport for All are to use academic research in collaboration with bridge organizations to transform the image of bridge, increase participation and enhance the sustainability of the mindsport.” says Professor Punch.

The introductory YouTube-video What Makes Bridge Brilliant is one part of the BAMSA project.

“It includes some of Europe’s top players (including young players) talking about why bridge has kept them captivated for years. They reveal why bridge is a source of endless fascination and the ways it has enriched their lives.”

Like other BAMSA resources, the video is freely available for anyone who would like to use it to promote bridge.

BAMSA: Taking Bridge Seriously

“BAMSA is currently facing the task of convincing academia of the value of taking bridge seriously and seeing beyond stereotypical assumptions of the game,” says Professor Punch.

We’ve all heard bridge stereotypes; these are falling one after the other, in part thanks to serious academic contributions.

“After much back-and-forth, we are delighted to announce that our first paper has been accepted for publication.”

It’s a big thing for the researchers, and it’s a huge deal for bridge.

Coming soon: Punch, S. and Russell, Z. “(Per)forming Identity in the Mind-Sport Bridge: Self, Partnership and Community”, International Review for the Sociology of Sport

Studying Bridge Under Lockdown

  • BAMSA is also studying the effects of Covid-19 on the global bridge community. “We are still collecting data, and would love to hear from anyone about their bridge experience during (and coming out of) lockdown.”

See the link Bridge in the Time of COVID-19 (BridgeCloud) for more information on contributing a story, or contact the official BAMSA e-mail address.

Coming Soon (from Master Point Press)

Professor Punch says that she has also taken advantage of bridge during lockdown to complete a book related to her first bridge research study. “This is a bridge book with no bridge hands, based on in-depth interviews with elite players – Bridge at the Top: Behind the Screens – to be published soon by Master Point Press.”

What Else is New?

Great news for academics and bridge players both: “We have plans for several further studies and a new BAMSA website,”

Here’s what to keep an eye on:

  • The 4th International Bridge ConferenceTopic:Bridging Academia, Policy and Practice
    Wednesday 30th June & Thursday 1st July, 2021

Venue: The University of Stirling (UK) and/or virtually

  • The Scottish National Bridge Congress

    2nd to 4th July, 2021
    The Stirling Court Hotel (UK) and/or virtually
  • Call for Presentations (by Researchers & Practitioners)

“We are open to accept offers of presentations by researchers and practitioners on themes such as participation and decline in bridge; barriers and opportunities to learning; bridge in schools and universities; gender and bridge; bridge, time and interactions.”

Brief: Abstracts of up to 300 words can be sent to bthe official BAMSA e-mail address.


Keep Bridge Alive website here: