Affiliated Clubs Handbook > The Bridge Tree > World Bridge Federation

The World Bridge Federation (WBF)


The World Bridge Federation (WBF) was formed in August 1958 by delegates from Europe, USA and South America, follow this link to read the history of the organisation.

The WBF has shown strong and steady growth and its membership now comprises over 100 National Contract Bridge Organisations (NCBOs) with over 700,000 affiliated members who participate actively in competitive bridge events - locally, nationally and internationally.

The purpose of the World Bridge Federation is:

  • to promote, foster, promulgate and develop the sport of Bridge throughout the world;
  • to be in the Olympic Movement, remaining affiliated with International Olympic Committee (IOC) as a recognized International Federation (IF) in conformity with the requirements of the Olympic Charter;
  • to contribute to the achievement of the goals set out in the Olympic Charter, in particular by way of spreading Olympism and Olympic education;
  • to federate National Bridge Associations in all countries;
  • to devise methods and conduct competitions to award international or world championship titles;
  • to establish standard laws for its contests adopting the International Code and supplementing them as may be required, but not inconsistent with them;
  • to support and encourage the promotion of sports ethics;
  • to dedicate its efforts to ensuring that in bridge contests the spirit of fair play prevails;
  • to fight against doping in sport and to take measures, the goal of which is to prevent endangering the health of bridge players.

WBF Zones

Most of the NCBOs belong to one of the eight geographical zones, each of which has its own Zonal organisation.

Zone Organisation Area Member Countries Membership
1 European Bridge League Europe 46 352,468
2 American Contract Bridge League North America 3 170,606
3 Confederacion Sudamericana de Bridge South America 10 3,575
4 Bridge Federation of Asia & the Middle East Asia 11 7,307
5 Central American and Caribbean Bridge Federation Central America 14 895
6 Asia Pacific Bridge Federation Pacific Asia 12 59,242
7 South Pacific Bridge Federation South Pacific 4 51,420
8 African Bridge Federation Africa 12 6,086
Total: 112 683,317

Membership as at the end of 2017

Each National Contract Bridge Organisation agrees to fulfil certain requirements, such as opening its ranks to all its citizens and residents and upholding a standard of ethics acceptable to the WBF.

The World Bridge Federation has a Congress which has the powers not delegated to the Executive Council under the Constitution and Bylaws.

The Congress meets every second year, at Team Olympiads and at World Championships.  Each National Bridge Organization (NBO) is entitled to send one delegate to the Congress, at which a quorum consists of delegates from at least one-third of the NBOs in good standing with the WBF.

The World Bridge Federation is administered by an Executive Council consisting of delegates from the eight geographical zones, plus the President.  There are five delegates from the European Bridge League (Zone 1), five from the American Contract Bridge League (Zone 2), two from the Pacific Asia Bridge Federation (Zone 6) and one from each of the other five geographical zones.  In addition, two more members of the Council are elected by the High Level Players Commission.  Thus the Council has twenty voting members, including the President.

The Executive Council meets annually at the site of the World Championships.  There is also a Management Committee which transacts necessary business between Executive Council meetings.


The WBF organises numerous championships including the prestigious Bermuda Bowl and Venice Cup which are contested in odd numbered years.  Further information about these events and other WBF events can be obtained from the WBF website.

The South Pacific Bridge Federation

The South Pacific Bridge Federation which has Australia, New Zealand, French Polynesia and New Caledonia as members is an affiliate of the World Bridge Federation.