Search

Is bridge a sport? Havering clubs disappointed with government ruling

PUBLISHED: 10:57 05 March 2014 | UPDATED: 12:33 05 March 2014

Paul Graham with member Joan Sykes playing bridge. Picture: Paul and Linda Graham

Paul Graham with member Joan Sykes playing bridge. Picture: Paul and Linda Graham

Archant

Havering’s bridge clubs have been left disappointed after the government rejected an application to recognise the game as a sport.

The English Bridge Union (EBU) made the application to HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) as it would mean VAT would not be payable on entry fees, as with other sports.

However the first tier of the tribunal tax chamber rejected their petition last week on the basis that the card game did not require a significant amount of “physical activity”.

Paul Graham, who co-runs Upminster Bridge Club and regularly competes at the larger, EBU-affiliated Collier Row Club, said: “Bridge is a sport of the mind. HMRC’s decision is a real shame, the game is a sport and a pastime much like darts and others. As well as that it has a range of health and social benefits for our members.”

The EBU pointed out that gliding, billiards, darts and croquet were all considered sports by HMRC despite “physical skill or activity playing second fiddle to mental skill”.

Bridge is recognised as a sport by the International Olympic Committee as well as the Charity Commission and in a number of European countries.

Peter Stockton, communications manager for the EBU, feels the VAT change would have had huge benefits for players.

He said: “If the ruling had gone the other way, we would have been able to refund a fair amount of competition entry fees which would really help towards the development of the game in our clubs up and down the country.

“It would also mean a 20 per cent reduction in the cost of taking part which would have made a big difference to players.”

The EBU are taking legal advice on whether or not to appeal the decision.”

Do you think bridge should be considered a sport? Add your vote via our poll, online.

Comments have been disabled on this article.

Latest Romford Sports News

Clacton trip proves a great success

12:30

Essex have lost four of first five games, like they did last year before improving to make knockout stages

Chaplin’s no charlie as Romford cling on for victory over great rivals

11:00

Club had fun day with Gunnersarus Rex and replica FA Cup present with over 300 attending

10:30

Maddie Hinch makes several fine saves, but it isn’t enough to send them through to final

10:00

Harold Wood stand-in captain Shahbaz Khan is ‘extremely confident’ ahead of their Essex League Division One tie against Belhus this weekend.

09:30

St Martin’s School were celebrating representing the East of England in the inaugural under-12s mixed National Schools Basketball Finals.

09:00

London Raiders have added two netminders to the roster with the re-signing of Euan King and the addition of Zachary Grandy-Smith for the 2017/18 season, writes Jacob Ranson.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read sport

Show Job Lists

News from your area

Competitions

Having a brand new kitchen is something that lots of people want but can only dream of. Sadly keeping up to date and making our living spaces as nice as they can be is a costly and incredibly stressful business. Even a fresh coat of paint makes all the difference but isn’t easy or quick.

Who wouldn’t love the chance to go on a shopping spree. Imagine being able to walk into a shop and choose whatever your heart desires without having to worry about how much it costs.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Romford Recorder
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now