High Court judge rules in favour of Sport England and says that playing the card game bridge is not a sport

Madeline Ratcliffe
Follow Madeline
A sporting bridge tournament from 1931 (Source: Getty)

The English Bridge Union (EBU) has lost its High Court challenge against Sport England, who said the card game was not a sport because it does not involved physical activity.

Mr Justice Dove dismissed the request for a judicial review and upheld Sport England's decision.

Sport England has previously said that bridge is no more sporting than “sitting at home, reading a book,” and that sports must involve 'physical activity' to be recognised.

The EBU said it was unlawful to require physical activity in defining what is a sport.

It pointed out that if model aeroplane flying and darts constituted sports, bridge should too and said Sport England was being "old fashioned" in its definition.

But Justice Dove found in favour of Sport England, and said there was no need to reclassify what a sport was. He said he had focused on the legal arguments and avoided the "broad, somewhat philosophical question" as to whether or not bridge "is a sport."

EBU chairman Jeremy Dhondy said he was "disappointed" with the decision, which had "little sense behind [it]."

The favoured game of Bill Gates and Warren Buffet, bridge is a card game that involves four players playing in two partnerships betting on the number of tricks each side will win.

Related articles