Online Training Program (OTP)
The OTP matches a group of young players with an experienced mentor. The juniors play weekly in a group of 4-8 on a variety of platforms (such as BBO, Swan Games, RealBridge, or Shark Bridge), followed by a discussion of the deals, either over a live call or via email. The OTP currently has ~130 active players and ~40 volunteer mentors.
Any junior eligible to represent the US at the WYBTC can sign up for the program using the link above. The program is free for young players to join; all organization and mentorship work is volunteer-driven. While the program is open to all juniors, participation in the program ~6 months in advance is a requirement for juniors entered to participate in both the Junior US Bridge Championships (JUSBC) and World Youth Teams Championships (WYBTC) every two years who receive USBF support.
The training program couldn’t happen without the hard work and persistent dedication of our mentors. We are very grateful for their help with the juniors.
2023 Online Training Program mentors and partnership coaches include:
Bohan (Bruce) Zhu
We are also very thankful to USBF Members who have helped mentor juniors as former Online Training Program regular mentors, partnership coaches, or have generally made themselves available to help answer questions from Juniors and play with or against them online or in-person. They have provided wonderful feedback to our developing players and are essential to the growth of the US Junior Program.
Migry zur Campanile
Rich Pavlicek Jr.
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Efforts
The "Anti-Harrassment Guidelines" for juniors and mentors were first written in 2020 by juniors in the program (Amber Lin, Cynthia Huang, & Emma Kolesnik) and updated in 2023. They cover sexual harassment, bullying, and diversity, equity, and inclusion. All juniors and mentors must read the guidelines before joining the program.
Efforts to Support Junior Women
The Online Training Program is actively recruiting more female juniors and mentors. In the Fall 2023 Cycle, there are a record number of female juniors (~25%) and female mentors (~15%). One-third of the new juniors who signed up in 2023 are female.
In Fall 2023, four junior female pairs are participating in an inaugural "U26 Women's Intensive Program" within the Online Training Program which involves a combination of lessons, group training, partnership coaching, and live play. This program was created by mentors Amber Lin and Kevin Rosenberg in an effort to close the gender gap among competitive junior bridge players, and they plan to expand the program to more junior players in future years. This program is sponsored by Shark Bridge and supported by materials from Wolpert Bridge and Debbie Rosenberg.
Thank you all for your time, effort & enthusiasm with this project! And of course, as always, a HUGE thank you to BBO for providing an environment where players from around the country can play together and help aspiring players improve. And also a major THANK YOU to USBF Junior Coordinator, Joe Stokes, without whose energy and enthusiasm this project would never have gotten off the ground.