Pro/Am/Ham Event Competition Guidelines


The purpose of the Pro/Am/Ham game is to provide a sanctioned game at all levels, (Club, Grade B, Grade A, Sectional and National) to give our new players an opportunity they would not otherwise have, to play with a more advanced player against other Pro/AM pairs and receive some important tips during and at the end of the game eventually increasing the skill level of ABA players and increasing tournament attendance over time. Additionally, this event is to encourage Pro Players to “give back” to the new players as someone did for them when they got started.

PRO/AM PAIRS: One member of each pair is a more experienced player "the PRO" (over 2000 master points), and the other is a new or relatively new player "the AM" 0 - 599 master points). The format enables the new player to meet and get to know some of the more experienced in the area. The new player also gets the benefit of good advice and tips from his or her PRO. The game itself is run along the lines of an Open Pairs session. A PRO/AM/HAM team game is being planned for later this year and will use the ACBL's "8 is enough" rules.

(PRO) Definition: Any current ABA member with greater than 2000 Master points.

A PRO does not have to be an expert, but should know the basics of bidding and play. The person will play basic standard with the protégé. The PRO, hopefully can form a relationship to commit to working with the protégé at least once a month for six months. The mentor will play with the protégé in at least one game a month and have the patience to work with new players without becoming abusive or insulting. The relationship requires mutual respect. The PRO should encourage the AM to participate in Tournament Competition and play together in PRO/AM/HAM tournament play.

(AM) Definition: Any current ABA member with 0-599 Master points

Any player in a beginner’s class or has just completed a beginner’s class and has been playing duplicate bridge for no more than five years. The AM should hopefully form a relationship where they commit to working with the PRO at least once a month for at least six months and be willing to play together once a month.

(HAM) Definition: Any current ABA member with 600-1999 Master points

Two HAMS can play together in a Pro/Am/Ham game. Any HAM can “play up” as a Pro in any game if the circumstances are appropriate. If you have an existing mentor-mentee relationship with a player of there are not enough Pros to go around, the Ham player can register as a Pro.


  • The PRO will play the AM's convention card. To increase your chance of having a good game, I recommend the PRO and AM review the convention card they will play and even get in a practice game (or 2) at a local Club game
  • The novice should bring a copy of their current convention card to the game.
  • Only 1 comment after a board is allowed. The time after a round is completed can be used to discuss play until the next round is called. (as long as other in play are not disturbed)
  • After play, the hand record should be reviewed with the AM. If another session follows the Pro/Am/Ham game, schedule time later to review the hand record and to offer tips.


  • Keeps you sharp
  • Forces you to set an example, thereby enhancingyour performance.
  • Enhances your value to the ABA.
  • Encourages creativity.
  • Provides an opportunity to give back to the game.


  • Give of your time unselfishly. Please allow sufficient time to make out a convention card prior to game time. It is recommended that you start with simple agreements and proceed toward more complex systems as the partnership matures.
  • Spend a reasonable amount of time discussing problems that came up during the game. Analyze some of the hands as a learning tool.
  • Be willing to share your knowledge.
  • Make a commitment to play at least once a month with your mentee. The purpose of the Bridge Mentor Program is to mentor aspiring new bridge players. It will help ease them into the expansive sophistication of bridge and improve their bridge skills.
  • Accept the responsibilities and possess the right attitude to make the program a success. This document focuses on the role of the mentee and mentor in this process and both the mentor and mentee alike have responsibilities.


  • Increases social interaction with experienced players.
  • Provides coaching and advice on setting goals.
  • Reduces your frustration levels.
  • Increases your success.
  • Increases your satisfaction.
  • Provides the opportunity to be a master, to study what the masters have done before you. Learn to do what they have done and have the guts to do it and you will be a master, too.


There are four basic traits that have been found to be present in most newcomers who are successful in a mentoring relationship. It is somewhat obvious why. Mentees who value and respect their mentor’s time and advice will be more appealing to a mentor.

  • A mentee should:
    1. Respect the mentor’s time. Your mentor will allot sufficient time before the game to fill out a convention card. After the game your mentor will discuss difficult hands and other problems that came up during the game. It is suggested that your play at least twice a month.
    2. Take action on the information provided by your mentor. Do not be overly sensitive to constructive criticism.
    3. Show respect for your mentor’s efforts. Your behavior and follow-through are how you express respect for your mentor. Since all human relationships involve some form of conflict, it is possible that you and your mentor may have basic personality differences. In this case, the New Player Chairman will be happy to assign you another mentor.
    4. Pass on the gift of mentoring by taking on a newcomer of your own when possible.