Please join PlayMates!
Playmates is our simple email-based system to help you find partners for games and tournaments.
Here is how PlayMates works
1. The person looking for a partner emails email@example.com with her request. The email includes her name, the date and location of the game, and any other pertinent information.
* Example: "Hi, this is Eleanor Roosevelt. I'm looking for a partner for Arlington on Thursday, April 1st. Thanks!"
* Example: "This is Nelson Mandela. Angela Merkel, Bill Gates and I are looking for a 4th to play Swiss in Sturbridge on Sunday 5/1, in the open game. We will carpool so no need on your part to drive. Anyone interested?
2. Members of PlayMates receive the email. If interested in playing, they reply directly to the person sending the query. If not, they just delete the note -- no need to respond.
3. The person looking for a partner selects someone to play with and makes a date. She emails the other PlayMates who responded that she has booked the game, so that they can go on to find another partner.
Simple, no? Here are some FAQs
When you are using PlayMates to find a partner
Q: How soon in advance do I need to ask for a partner?
A: The earlier you ask, the better your chances of finding a partner. We suggest trying to ask at least a few days in advance. But feel free to ask last minute too, if circumstances require it.
Q: Do I have to accept the first person who responds to my request to play?
A: No, you can play with anyone from among the PlayMates who respond to your invitation and offer to play with you.
Q: How long can I wait before deciding whom I'd like to play with?
A: We suggest you decide within 24 hours. Others are also looking for partners; please respect their time. And realize they may be making alternative playing plans while waiting to hear from you. The longer you wait, the more likely they'll have found another player for the game in question.
Q: I've made a date with one of the people who responded to my request. Do I need to let the other respondents know that I won't be playing with them?
A: Of course. Please email them and let them know that you won't be playing with them. A great practice would be to email them all together so that they can perhaps connect directly with each other to find partners for that particular game.
Q: I asked for a partner and made a date with a PlayMate and now my regular partner is suddenly available ... can I break my date with the PlayMate?
A: No, you can't break your playing date with your PlayMate and leave them in the lurch. You need to stick with your agreed date.
Q: Is it ok to ask questions of the people who respond to my invitation, in order to assess their skill level before I select them to play with?
A: It is fine for you to share things about yourself (points, or conventions played, or how long you've been playing, for example) in your request for a partner. Doing so might encourage respondents to share the same information back with you when they say they are available, and this might help you select a PlayMate. However, please do not ask PlayMates questions about their points, etc., once they've responded to your invitation. It feels lousy and off-putting to be asked -- after all they are responding to your invitation. And it would be wrong to then turn around and reject the person on that basis. Either select them and agree to play with them or not.
Q: I don't know any of the people who responded to my request. I don't want to play with someone I don't know. Can I just say no to them all and come to the game and get a partner there? OR: I don't particularly want to play with any of the PlayMates who responded to my request ... can I just say no to them all and then show up at the game and get matched there?
A: No, you should not reject all the people who offered to play with you at your request, and then come to the club and expect the Directors to find you a partner at the last minute. It would be very ungracious to do so. Since we are striving build our community as well as help you find partners, we encourage you to use PlayMates. The more you do so the more you will meet compatible people to play with and they'll become your "regular partners".
Q: I'd like to use PlayMates to find players who are a little better than me, so they can teach me and help me get points. Is this ok?
A: Since we are striving to build our community as well as help you find partners, this approach is not encouraged. We all had to start with a few points. So please, be prepared to play with "all-comers", and to meet some new people along the way, and to occasionally help others learn this wonderful game. The idea is that over time, you will likely find a few compatible people to play with and they'll become your "regular partners". Of course, you may have strong players respond to your invitation, and if so, feel free to play with them. But please do not snub newer or less skilled players.
Q: Can I use PlayMates to find partners for every single game? Or am I limited to using it only a certain number of times?
A: You can use it as much as you like, including for every single game. Over time, you will likely find a few compatible people to play with and they'll become your "regular partners". Having a few regular partners greatly simplifies bidding and playing, and is fun.
Q: Can I use PlayMates for tournaments or games that are not at FFBC such as Belmont, Woburn, etc.?
Q: I joined PlayMates but haven't seen any invitations to play ... what is up?
A: Check your junk mail folder and look for mail that says [ffbcplaymates] in the subject line. To get PlayMates mail, you need to be sure to add us to your contact list.
Q: Are there any other suggestions?
A: Since we are striving to build our community as well as help you find partners, please be sure to include your full name in the note if your email name doesn't include it. We also encourage you to use a friendly conversational "human" language in your notes. For example: "Hi all, this is Greta Garbo and I need a partner for Thursday, July 24th in Arlington. Is anyone interested? I usually play 2 over 1 but am happy to play Standard American. Thanks!"
When you are responding to a PlayMate request
Q: I've responded to a PlayMate request that I'm available and while waiting to hear back, my regular partner became available. Can I go ahead and play with him? Can I retract my offer to play with the person asking for a partner?
A: Yes, if you and the PlayMate haven't yet made an agreement to play, you can make other plans. We hope that the people asking for partners will decide within 24 hours.
Once you've made a date with a PlayMate
Q: If I've agreed to play with someone using PlayMates and my regular partner becomes available, can I break my PlayMates date?
A: No. You've made a commitment and you need to stick with it.
Q: How will I know what conventions we will play at our game?
A: You should talk by phone or meet prior to the game to review your bidding cards and agree on what you'll play with each other. Standard (and best) practice is to play only those conventions which you both know and are comfortable with. It is never a good feeling to be trying to learn new conventions when in an actual duplicate game, and especially not with a new partner.
Contact Muggsie Rocco with questions, or to join PlayMates.
You can join or drop out at any time.
Add ffbcPlayMates@googlegroups.com to your contact list to ensure emails don't go to your spam folder.
Thanks everyone, for your support of the club. See you at the tables soon, we hope!
The FFBC Player Committee