Best Behaviour at Bridge
“Make bridge enjoyable for yourself, partner and opponents.”
Whilst the vast majority of members observe the above tenet of BB@B, the Trustees are concerned about the number of reports of bad behaviour reaching them concerning a small minority who can spoil the enjoyment of their partner, or their opponents, or those sitting nearby.
The trustees are determined to do all in their power to change this for the good of the Club and all the players. So with effect from the date of this newsletter, the trustees are launching an initiative to try and eliminate bad behaviour at the club by asking all directors to take immediate on the spot action in cases where such behaviour occurs.
Here are some examples from the recent past that we seek to eradicate:
- Being less than scrupulously polite either to opponents or to partner
- Arguing with the director
- Talking loudly about the hands or reading out contracts from the BridgeMates such as to spoil the novelty of a hand for someone yet to play it
- Talking loudly about anything else while other tables are in play
- Players not calling the director when they think that something is amiss
- Players other than the director trying to advise what to do when something has gone amiss
And in future directors will share information about such instances of bad behaviour to ensure consistency across all sessions.
The requirements are very simple – but they need the active cooperation of ALL players. Details are in the attached appendix which all players are asked to read.
Let’s all make bridge enjoyable for ourselves, partner and opponents!
More on Best Behaviour at Bridge
1. Bridge is a game to be played for enjoyment. Good behaviour is an essential part of that. In addition, bridge has a set of laws which, like any other game or sport, have to be followed for the good of all. The director in charge of any session is the person entrusted with ensuring both good behaviour and that the laws are properly observed.
2. Please note that the director is the only person who is entitled to deal with instances of bad behaviour, or who can rule on a case where a problem arises within the laws (eg lead out of turn etc). The director is there to help.
3. The trustees therefore wish to emphasise to all players that there is no stigma or implication of malpractice attached to calling the director to a table, and that this should be done in all cases where there is a problem of any sort.
4. In the event of an infringement of BB@B, it is essential that the TD is called – either by the victim or by any another player affected (even at another nearby table). Regrettably, infringements are often reported after the event – which results in a referral to the Conduct Committee, inevitable delays while evidence is gathered, and judgements made by people who were not present at the session.
5. It is also important that no player, however experienced, should attempt to make a ruling at their own table. The director must be called.
6. Players should be aware that the TD has very considerable powers, both to impose summary justice, in the form of a procedural penalty; and also to ensure that offenders are not in a position to offend, by being removed from the premises. According to the laws, a TD can remove a player from a session; and according to the OBC Articles of Association (clause 7.2), “the director may exclude any player from a session if in their reasonable opinion that player would not satisfy the requirements of clause 13.1 (Conduct) of these regulations for that session.” That means that, for example, a player who has made life unpleasant at a Tuesday morning session could find that all TDs refuse them admission to a Tuesday morning session for a period of time.
7. So from the date of this newsletter, the trustees have asked directors to take immediate action in all cases where they find unacceptable behaviour – whether directed at an opponent or partner. This could be in the form of:
- A warning in the first instance,
- A procedural penalty,
- In serious cases (or repeated instances), exclusion from the session.
8. Directors will henceforth be sharing information about players who behave badly, and where such bad behaviour is repeated, will be asked to consider excluding such a player from a future session.
9. The trustees appreciate that, especially for new or inexperienced players, this can all seem very intimidating. But that is why the directors are there, they are your friends and you should not hesitate to call them if you think things are going wrong for any reason.
10. However we understand that calling the director is very public, and if a player is still reluctant for any reason to call the director in the case of bad behaviour, the trustees encourage you to make a report on one of the pink feedback forms in the hallway. These will all be read, and will help monitoring of behaviour issues.
11. Please be in no doubt, the trustees are determined to eradicate bad behaviour from the club.