The Australian Under 26 Bridge Youth Team has been awarded the International Bridge Press Association (IBPA) John E. Simon Sportsmanship of the Year during the World Championships in Wuhan, China on Monday, 23 September 2019.
The award was presented by IBPA President Barry Rigal to Renee Cooper who accepted the award on behalf of the Under 26 Australian Team. Renee is in China representing Australia in the Mixed Teams at the World Championships.
The Australian team beat Japan by 1 point to make the semi-finals at the World Youth Championships in Opatija Croatia in August. However, when scoring the match, the Australians found a 1 point scoring error that should have been IN JAPAN’S FAVOUR, hence drawing the match. The young Australians reported the scoring error to the Tournament Directors, however the Japanese team had left the venue. They were recalled and the ensuing play-off was won by Australia.
Nicholas Ranson has represented Australia in Korea, Amsterdam, Croatia and New Zealand and says “when our team noticed the scoring error, there wasn’t any discussion about what we would do. We only made sure that the score was incorrect, and then went to adjust it. It wasn’t in any political consideration but was what everyone in the team thought was the natural and obvious thing to do.”
John Carruthers, Bulletin Editor of the IPBA stated “I trust you all appreciate that your kids are representing you with honour”.
Allison Stralow, the President of the Australian Bridge Federation stated, “the ABF is indeed proud of our youth team’s terrific display of sportsmanship.”
Michael Doecke, the Non-Playing Captain said, “every team they played against displayed outstanding sportsmanship which augurs well for the future of bridge”.
The six members of the Youth team plus the Non-Playing Captain come from around Australia. Here is some brief information on each of the players and how they can be contacted in each state for