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30 Dec 16 13:51
Date Joined: 18 Jul 02
| Topic/replies: 24,312 | Blogger: Angoose's blog
A Bridge too far?

The England Bridge Union's fight for sporting recognition continues.

In 2015, the English Bridge Union (EBU) challenged a decision by Sport England not to recognise the card game bridge as a sport because it does not involve physical activity. They lost their High Court battle. The EBU wanted Sport England to reclassify the game, which would have made it eligible for government and lottery funding. It had claimed the ordinary and natural meaning of 'sport' in the 1996 Royal Charter, which established Sport England, was sufficiently broad that it did not necessarily require physical activity.

The judge said Sport England's current policy defined sport as involving "physical activity" and its move to reject reclassification of bridge was correct. During the case, Sport England argued that bridge was no more a sporting activity than "sitting at home, reading a book". Speaking after the decision, Sport England's director of sport, Phil Smith, said: "Our job is to help the nation to be more physically active. We recognise that many people enjoy playing bridge, but that's not going to play a part in the fight against inactivity."

"Physical activity is a very uncertain yardstick", lawyer Richard Clayton (representing the EBU) told the High Court, drawing a comparison between bridge and darts. He said the amount of physical activity involved in playing darts was arguably not much greater than that involved in shuffling and dealing cards to play bridge. Clayton conceded that darts did involve a level of physical skill not required in bridge, but argued that was not what the definition required. The EBU are currently appealing the decision.

Each of us brings our own opinion and bias to the question of whether or not a particular activity is a sport. For many, a certain level of physical fitness is required, yet the rather genteel activity of angling has received official sporting recognition by Sport England. So it would seem that ambiguity continues to reign in the argument over 'what is a sport', although some progress has been made in a debate which has been raging for centuries.
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Report DartsnBooze December 31, 2016 2:42 PM GMT
Once upon a time this forum would had page upon page of replies - Most witty.

This really sums up the out of touch with reality lawyers and particularly their bs speil???
physical activity in playing darts was arguably (is he a three year old???) not much greater than shuffling a pack of cards? Crazy

That line alone kind of sums up what this once great forum has become.
Report Angoose December 31, 2016 2:57 PM GMT
As a returnee to the forum after a voluntary long absence, it does appear to be significantly less lively than I previously recall.

A lot more alternatives where you can go and get involved in mindless drivel via hyperspace I guess Surprised
Report tobermory January 1, 2017 4:35 PM GMT
The forum is dead because they don't let people join it

Scan through a long thread and check the join dates , you will find hardly any - maybe none -  later than 2012

That was when they stopped customers being able to register for the forum . Later they supposedly allowed people to join but it is apparently only after 6 months from the 1st bet and even then you have to send repeated emails to request posting rights.

Most people can't be arsed to do that.

Of course in 4 years a lot of people will have left but probably the same number left 2008-2012 , it's just those leavers were replaced by newbees.
Report wisewords January 1, 2017 5:12 PM GMT
Fully agree, tobes. this reasoning is spot on.
Report n88uk January 1, 2017 6:06 PM GMT
I am only aware of 1 poster with a join date later than 2012, there will be a few more probably, but that of course is why the forum is declining. Posters gradually leave over time, and there's no-one coming in to replace them.

Why Betfair want to kill the forum, which can drive betting and therefore revenue for them is beyond me.
Report tobermory January 1, 2017 6:29 PM GMT
Yeah , having a very busy forum was an asset to Betfair i always thought.

If you get into it , then , even if you cut down betting for a while  ,you will still be looking in on here , and so naturally tend to resume betting here rather than elsewhere.

Back in 2006-2008 i used about a dozen different companies for bets at least once a month . Some of those i've not had a bet with for 5 years+ now . Once I got out of the habit of phoning them/logging in then i forget the passwords and just kind of forget i even have an account with them .

Also there must have plenty of things i've bet on over the years where a forum post sparked my interest.

On the other hand i can see reasons why a betting company might want to scrap the forum altogether , mostly not wanting to host bad publicity on their own site in the event of outages etc

But what makes no sense is the way they have managed the forum since 2012.
Report Angoose January 1, 2017 7:19 PM GMT
I attended a couple of Betfair sponsored events back in the day and discussed the value of the forum with one of their senior employees at the event (Hamilton races), can't remember his name.

He was very diplomatic and stated that it was important but I wasn't convinced.

Also at the event were some early adopters of the exchange concept who had been invited to meetings with the company founders to discuss how it should operate.

These guys absolutely helped Betfair improve their product as did the early days of the forum.

The law of diminishing returns and the arrival of the numpties has ensured that very little helpful content to Betafair appears on the forum.
Report n88uk January 1, 2017 7:58 PM GMT
Having discussion on betting can only be healthy for Betfair's business. Especially as people will be convinced to do bets they wouldn't otherwise do by reading the forum.

Yes they will get bad publicity around outages, but they will be getting hammered on Twitter and the likes during such times anyway, which anything is far more influential given it's in the public domain and not hidden away on their own forum (which you would only really be on if you were a Betfair customer in the first place).

How they've managed it since 2012 has been a shambles really, and is likely down to the spamming that went on at the time. But would it really be hard to have stopped that. A pretty simple stop to stop spam sign up accounts would be "must have an active balance to become a forum member", not even have to have a an active balance to post (as once members people might be encouraged to deposit by the forum down the line), just when you first sign up you must have a balance, it seems that would stopped the spamming instantly, and surely isn't that hard to implement.
Report Angoose January 1, 2017 8:52 PM GMT
Didn't know about the barriers to joining the forum, I guess that explains the separate website or I am just unable to locate the forum link on the main website ?
Report n88uk January 1, 2017 10:46 PM GMT
It is sometimes on the main website, depends on what else is on at the time to take up tabs.
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