Sara Stobbe wrote this in response to a letter saying that masterpoints were meaningless.

My husband and I have been teaching his brother and sister-in-law how to play bridge for about a year now. Every saturday night we go over their house and do a 'teaching' session, then play for a couple hours. We recently bought boards and bidding boxes so we could teach them the way it's played in club/tournament settings. We also duplicate OKBridge tourney hands so we can compare how we did to how the OKBridge field did. We have a lot of fun.

This past weekend we asked them to play at a sectional with us. Although they were very nervous about it, they agreed to try it, and so saturday afternoon we sat down to play "for real". There were only 3 tables in the 199'ers, so the directors offered/decided to move us over to the open pairs group. Scary stuff for a beginner! They handled themselves well, the guys playing together in one section, we girls in another. Both teams managed to earn a fraction of a silver point -- and what an accomplishment that was for these newbies! They were so excited they both had to sign up for ACBL membership then and there, so they would get to keep their "points".

You think that's a meaningless experience? I think 2 newcomers to bridge just had a very pleasant and meaningful experience that will make them eager to attend their next formal bridge event! They felt that they performed well enough to "earn" an award for their efforts! (and not just for "attendance" -- not everyone gets points for playing, so you have to play "well" in order to be rewarded!) Isn't that how we get folks to keep playing? And now they are even talking about looking into finding a club in their area to play at.... amazing how a few "meaningless" master points can boost your confidence level and inspire you to try to do better.