Tracking ACBL reopenings updated weekly
Information on this page refers to ACBL/VACB club table counts;
if you are looking for ACBL/VACB tournament table data information, please click here.
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1) VACB tables listed above are ACBL online club games only and do not include daily ACBL or hourly Speedball tournaments, etc.
2) ACBL F2F data displayed here is best available; *some ACBL clubs (set to "private") do not allow their games + table counts to be
included in the raw data and therefore are not included here. In addition, weekly updates include all table data available, including
when clubs submit table counts that are from many many weeks ago (and that does occasionally happen).
3) The ACBL data week runs from each Monday to the following Sunday.
As many ACBL clubs have shuttered (albeit temporarily) during this omicron business, the gains online for virtual clubs are skyrocketing. Both VACB games and tables are now approaching levels that have not been seen since May 2021. The ACBL is taking advantage of this by it's 2X Silver Linings week this week (1/18). . .and it's a real jump-start to the online bridge business that had pretty much collapsed once clubs had reopened for in-person play.
Following the overtaking of F2F tables in November, and then an all-around lull during the holidays, online ACBL action has really perked up since the latest COVID variant is making a mess of in-person bridge. What was a clear downward trend for months has really reversed itself during the month of January, as more players are staying out of the club (for now) and playing online. Games, tables, even tables per game online are all up big this month, and the ACBL has added more online tournament events (including another online regional in March).
It took eight or nine months from reopening and was complicated by the Delta variant, but as of November 14th it is official. More F2F tables were in play the week ending November 14th than were in play at virtual clubs.
The unadjusted numbers (which don't include late F2F table reporting and will only drive the F2F number higher) show a race tighter than any political result on election night - with F2F tables edging out VACB tables for the week by 2 out of almost 29,000.
Looking at the past ten weeks, overall ACBL tables in play have been on the increase; if you discard the Silver Linings week double-point bump in the VACB tables, you'll see that the increase in F2F tables has been enough to more than overcome the decline in VACB tables play Clubs continue to open and weekly games continue to be added, and post-COVID record F2F table counts are still rising (now well past the point of the Delta variant business). Note that these table counts do not include any F2F tournaments, which have also opened up over the past ten weeks, but who's counting? (Ok, someone is, and that count is 4,566.)
F2F table counts that were on the rise this year hit the skids in late July as the Delta variant messed things up for bridge. Six weeks later, the bottom was hit, and between masking protocols and the realization that there's always going to be a variant around, players finally started coming back to the bridge table. Most days for the week ending 10/24 table counts across the country have returned to that level of the week ending 7/18 - here's each day of this past week compared to the pre-Delta peak week of 7/18. 99% for the week as a whole!
If you've ever run a bridge club, and were wondering if you should have a game on Labor Day, you've no doubt gotten many responses from players that "every day is a holiday for me!" and of course you should have a game. Despite that, not everyone does hold a game on holiday Mondays, and the four depressed days (for turnout) that are pretty obvious on Mondays just happen to be the four Monday holidays this year (Memorial Day, Labor Day, Columbus Day, and as it happens this year the 4th of July). With Mondays being the most-attended day of the week, the entire holiday week each time tends to be dragged down as well. Thanksgiving isn't on a Monday this year, is it?
Looking at the first eight months of post-COVID F2F play, it's probably no surprise that Monday is the most popular day of the week to be attending an in-person bridge game (at almost 24% of all F2F tables during the week). Wednesday is next; Sundays are least likely to be sanctioned or attended. This mirrors the pre-COVID experience although weekends had been slightly better represented before the big shutdown.