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Are You Feeling Lucky?

By Annabelle Hills

The Nature Coast BC of Spring Hill FL decided to hold a Pro Am Swiss Team game to introduce newcomers to the Swiss Team concept. We told our new players: “Come play with a pro.” As we watched the signatures grow on the sign-up sheet, it looked like we might not be able to deliver on our promise to them.

After much thought, we came up with the following format: All names were sorted according to masterpoints. The lowest 25% went into the South box. The next 25% went into a West box. Another 25% went to East, and the top 25% into a North box. This worked well as each Pro, the player in the North box, had more than 1000 masterpoints. Now for the luck of the draw: Names were drawn, one from each box, to form teams. The North player was the captain. The game was stratified according to the masterpoint average of team members.

We had enough players for 17 teams, and were lucky to find 17 players with 1000 or more masterpoints — there was a Pro at each table.

We emphasized the fun aspect and instructed the Pros that there was to be no teaching during play. I can’t begin to tell you how well this format went over for all participants. We plan to schedule more games like this in the future.