Get Bridge Classes into School: 4th grade and up. FREE!

Interested in getting the classes into your school?

Click School Bridge (and then click on School Bridge Articles) or click here to find out why your school should be doing this!

See the survey results provided by teachers on the benefits of bridge in school!

4th grade and older:

ACBL provides the textbook and a book bag to each student.  At the end of the 8 lessons we have a small tournament in the class and the top student gets a trophy.

ACBL pays the bridge teacher a small stipend to help compensate for the time.  So the class is free to the students!  I’d love to start a class in your school if you have at least 8 students in the class.  If you are in the greater Kansas City Metropolitan Area, I can probably fit you in to my schedule.

The classes are great as part of a math class or a gifted class.  They would work wonderfully in an after school program as well.  The classes are taught using the Bidding in the 21st Century series, which is a series of 8 two hour lessons.  It works best as 2 hour lessons, but we can modify it to work as 16 one hour lessons as well.  If you don’t live near me, contact ACBL to see if there is a teacher available in your area.

Bridge News

Jump Start Bridge

This was an interesting read – start kids playing cards!  I always recommend slap jack as a first game, kids as young as 2 can play that!  Play cards!

Bridge and Pokemon Go? Bridge in the KC Star 2016

Another article about why Kids should learn bridge!  2015
in Huffington Post this time.

Youth Play with ACBL President in 2011 

Publicity Link – Bridge is Cool  2006 page 4

Publicity link – ACBL Junior Grapevine 2005-page 4

Publicity link – Denver Daily Bulletin 2005 – pgs 1 and 4

Listen to this 12 year old sum it all up!

Engineering Scholarship

This scholarship is not associated with Bridge but rather with Engineering, which was both my late husband’s profession as well as my own. It is available only to graduates of the Lee’s Summit Public High Schools, St. Michael The Archangel High School, or to Lee’s Summit school district residents who are homeschool graduates. If you are planning on majoring in Engineering, graduating from one of these high schools, and have some music performance in your background please consider applying. This scholarship is the Eugene J. Rolfe Memorial Scholarship available via online application through the Truman Heartland Community Foundation.  It is a $1500 scholarship renewable for an additional 3 years with a college GPA of 3.0 or higher while continuing to major in engineering.

Bridge Scholarship for Graduating High School Seniors

The Kathy Rolfe Bridge Scholarship is administered through the Truman Heartland Community Foundation. This $500 scholarship is open to graduating high school seniors who are former bridge students of Kathy Rolfe or to students of students. In addition, the applicant must have at least a B average and have earned at least 1 masterpoint (black, red, silver, or gold) and be a member of ACBL. The scholarship can be renewed for an additional 3 years if the recipient maintains at least a B average in post-secondary work and earns additional masterpoints (or fractions thereof) in each succeeding year. Deadline is July 15 of each year.  Applications are available through this website Truman Heartland Community Foundation.

So if you are interested in pursuing this scholarship and need practice or a partner to play at a duplicate club, keep informed about when Kids Bridge practice nights are being offered or call me when you are ready to go play duplicate. I’ll help get you started! I’ll play with you for up to 4 sessions, paying my own entry fee. For sessions 5 to 9, you’ll need to pay my entry fee. Beyond that, I charge $30 to play with me plus you pay my entry fee.


Teacher of the Year Finalist: 2012, 2013, 2014, 2017

The American Bridge Teachers Association and Master Point Press established a process for nominating a bridge teacher of the year and selecting finalists and a winner.  The first award was given in 2010.  Kathy Rolfe was nominated for that in 2010 and again in 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2017.  In each of the years 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2017 she was a finalist.

Some pictures from those finalist years are here:

Kathy is 2nd from right.
2012 ABTA/MPP Teacher of the Year Finalist
Kathy is 3rd from the right. 2017 Teacher of the Year Finalist.

2015 High School Bridge Camp

The inaugural year for the high school residential bridge camp went off without a hitch! It was held at Missouri Western State University in St. Joseph, MO from July 5-11. We all stayed in the dorms, ate in the student cafeteria, and had classes and tournaments in the Student Union.

Lots of learning and lots of fun! We took a tour of the campus on Tuesday and the outdoor volleyball and basketball courts close to our dorm became an immediate hit among our 11 students. Tuesday night we all went bowling at Belt Bowl on dollar night. So we each got a snack and drink and 2 lines of bowling, relatively inexpensively. The post camp survey proved this was a hit with everyone! Wednesday afternoon we had a docent led tour of the Walter Cronkite Memorial, right there on campus. Thursday night was our talent show and what turned into a joke telling night as well. Friday night we went to the student production of “The Fantasticks”. Besides the organized activities, the kids took full advantage of free time on the aforementioned courts, and there was also lots of movie watching, popcorn eating, and game playing going on during free time as well. And before we knew it, it was Saturday morning and everyone was going home! Look below for some pictures from our week.

Of course throughout the week there were bridge lessons for four and a half hours per day and a two hour bridge tournament each night. Click here to see most of the results

ABTA Applebasket Award Winner

The American Bridge Teachers Association collects teacher tips from the members every year which are voted on by the members attending the annual convention.  I won the award in 2012.
Kathy (on the left) receiving her crystal apple for the 2012 winning teacher tip.

Applebasket Entry, 2012

Submitted by: Kathy Rolfe

First Place Winner, 2012. (Of course I don’t teach Standard American anymore, so this isn’t quite so true, but still, my students know what to bid when I ask if they’re desperate yet?)

When I teach how to respond to an opening bid of one of a suit with 6 to 9 points (or 6 to 10) depending on which book I’m teaching from, I list the priorities to respond and 1NT is always the last choice.  I call that choice the bid of desperation!  It does not mean responder has a balanced hand.  It does not mean you actually want to play Notrump, although you may end up doing so!  It simply means, “Partner, I have to bid and this is the only bid available!”


How to respond to 1 of a major with 6 to 9 points:

1)    Raise partner to 2 of the major, (must have at least 3 card support)

2)    Can’t do that?  Then bid a suit of your own at the 1 level.

3)    Can’t do that?  Bid 1NT!

How to respond to 1 of a minor with 6 to 9 points:

1)    Bid a suit of your own at the 1 level.

2)    Can’t do that?  Raise partner to 2 of the minor, (must have at least 5 clubs, 4 or 5 diamonds)

3)    Can’t do that?  Bid 1NT!

When my students are practicing this concept, I’ll let them struggle with what to bid and if they can’t come up with the response, I’ll ask, “Are you desperate yet?”  Then they laugh and say, “Yes!  1NT!”

I was in 2nd place for the award in 2023 with this tip on hand evaluation, invitational or game forcing, how to decide:

How Disappointed Will You Be if Partner Passes your Invitational Bid?

When my students are having a hard time determining if they should make an invitational bid or a game forcing bid or game itself, I ask them the above question. 

If the answer is “VERY disappointed” then likely they are recognizing that their hand has been re-evaluated to be stronger than it looks if just counting points. They unconsciously perhaps have recognized that it is a game going hand even if they can’t put into words as to why.

If the answer is, “not very”, then they probably recognize that their hand has not gained enough from the information learned by bidding to force the partnership to game, and they would be correct to just make an invitational bid.