Well , I never ......if bridge has been excluded as a competitive sport because it lacks that real or significant physical element , then will someone tell me WHY IN THE BLUE BLAZES ARE DARTS AND RIFLE SHOOTING NOT SIMILARLY EXCLUDED !
When one considers darts , where is the physical element there ? Because what we have are obese , fat-bellied , beer swilling men standing on the oche mat with their bodies and heads utterly still and motionless , taking careful aim , before making only an elbow movement to execute the throw.
As for rifle shooting the physical element appears to be the movement only of the trigger finger.
Competitors are either sitting or lying down , again attempting to be utterly motionless and still , such that when the triggered is squeezed there's no body movement at all to distort the accuracy of their aim.
In my view , these two sports ( like bridge ) require absolute focus and concentration, which requires physical fitness to help maintain the intense mental effort and stamina to perform successfully at the highest level.
So even judges don't understand the demands of bridge , which clearly suggest that it too is an extremely challenging sport !
( The Telegraph report can be seen below )
The English Bridge Union loses legal challenge against HM Revenue and Customs aimed at reclaiming VAT on competition entry fees
To its legions of fans, contract bridge can be every bit as gruelling and competitive as football or cricket.
It may therefore come as a surprise to the 300,000 regular players in
that a tribunal has
ruled that it is a game and not a sport. Britain
The English Bridge Union had argued that its members should not have to pay VAT on competition entry fees because they were taking part in a pursuit that is recognised as a sport by the International Olympic Committee, the Charity Commission and several other European countries.
It pointed out that croquet, darts, billiards and gliding were regarded as sports by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) even though “physical skill or activity plays second fiddle to mental skill”.
Playing bridge regularly promotes both physical and mental health, and studies have shown that it may benefit the immune system and reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer's Disease or suffering mental deterioration, the English Bridge Union argued.
However, the Tax Chamber of the First-Tier Tribunal rejected the claim, concluding that contract bridge does not involve a “significant amount” of physical activity.
Judge Charles Hellier said: "To our minds, sport normally connotes a game with an athletic element, rather than simply a game."
The English Bridge Union brought the case against HMRC in an attempt to reclaim the VAT paid on bridge competition entry fees between June 2008 and December 2011. In 2012/13 alone the income from fees totalled £631,000.
Dr John Petrie, the union’s treasurer, told the tribunal that national bridge organisations in
, France , Holland, Belgium and Ireland were not charged VAT
on entry fees. Poland
He argued that the proper meaning of “sport” included contract bridge as an activity which promotes mental and physical well being.
David Ewart QC, for the English Bridge Union, asked whether it was possible to “draw a distinction between the mental skill needed in planning a snooker shot, or a croquet stroke, and the physical skill used in executing it”.
Judge Hellier accepted HMRC’s argument that it was the physical, rather than the mental, aspect of sports that benefited from the VAT exemption.
Dismissing the appeal, he concluded: "Contract bridge involves some physical activity, but not a significant amount.
"The physical activity is not the aim of participation and physical skill, as opposed to purely mental skill, is not particularly important to the outcome of participation".
However, the judge did note some qualms that failing to recognise bridge as a sport might discriminate against older people given that a high proportion of the card game’s players are elderly.
He said it could be argued that the sports exemption was “skewed towards the young”, but added: "We console ourselves with the thought that, although the direct beneficiaries of (physical) education are the young, the old may benefit from their labours."