BG woman earns rank of Life Master in bridge


No matter whether you call it a passion or an addiction, Woodie Goddard enjoys playing bridge and is an
avid duplicate bridge player.
She recently became the latest local player to earn the coveted rank of Life Master from the American
Contract Bridge League.
"I didn’t think I’d ever do it," she said of her accomplishment. "I was truly very
One of her goals was to make life master before age 70, and she accomplished that goal.
Goddard, of rural Bowling Green, had been playing bridge eight or 10 years in her 20s or 30s. For various
reasons she gave it up for 30 years.
About eight years ago, after she retired, she found the desire to come back to the bridge table and took
lessons from Ron Woofter.
Before retirement in 1996, Goddard was a high school business teacher at Bowling Green High School.
Like many duplicate bridge players, she began playing in local clubs, but soon found the draw of
tournament action.
Her teacher had encouraged her to attend the Gatlinburg, Tenn., regional, and she says "that set me
on the path."
When she first went to the tournament, she only had roughly 30 master points from ACBL. In order to earn
the life master ranking, you need 300 points, and of those there must be 50 silver points, 25 red and
the toughest to earn, 25 gold points.
Goddard earned a large chunk of those gold points at a tournament in Lancaster, Pa. when she and her
teammates won their bracket in a knockout team event. She earned roughly 12 gold points in that event
and 18 for the tournament.
Gold points are mostly awarded at regional events and are awarded only for top level placements in the
field. While she had earned all her gold, she needed a few more silver when she entered a sectional
tournament in Toledo in October.
Interestingly, she earned those final silver points in a Swiss team event against her former teacher,
Woofter and this writer, and their teammates.
On that occasion her partner was Debbie Nisius with teammates Karen Wolfe and Ron Vandriesen.
Gatlinburg remains one of her favorite tournaments along with the Omaha Regional in Nebraska.
"Gatlinburg is wild and fun; it’s the largest regional in the United States," she says.
She also likes Omaha and recalls playing at the table next to Bill Gates all evening; yes, that Bill
Originally from Fort Worth, Texas, she moved to Ohio in 1970.
The Texas accent still remains, nearly 40 years later.
When not playing bridge, she and her husband, Lee, have a second home in Lewisburg, W.Va.
"I love to play the game. It’s social and also stimulates your mind," Goddard says.
"I might come home happy or frustrated, but I always want to go back," she added. "After
the reintroduction by Ron, I was hooked, or as Lee likes to say, addicted."
"I’m proud she is my first student to become a life master," Woofter said of Goddard. "She
works and studies very hard to improve her game."
Though she plays with many different partners and has success with most, Goddard downplays her
"I know that it can be done by anyone who sets their mind to the challenge," she said.

No posts to display