The director is there to make sure we all have an enjoyable session of duplicate bridge. This job has three parts:
- To choose and set up the movement so that each pair plays as high a proportion of the hands and as many opponents as realistically possible in the time available.
This can be stressful for the director as they only have a few minutes available. This is the reason we ask you to arrive in good time. Sometimes the director will need to move players around before play starts; there is no movement for six tables and three extra North Souths! If the director asks you to move then you should do as she asks without argument – her life is hard enough already.
- To keep the play moving so we finish in good time and players feel neither rushed nor are kept hanging around.
At Windermere, we allow 14 minutes a round for two board rounds and 20 minutes for a three board round and have a clock that shows the timing on display. A buzzer indicates there are two minutes left for theround. We all know that some hands take longer than average and it is not reasonable to expect everyone else to wait for you. If the opening lead to the board you are playing has not been made when the buzzer sounds, please return the cards to the board and enter the score as "NP" (not played) on the BridgePad. This will result in you getting the average score for that board (it might even be your best result of the evening!).
- To adjudicate on matters that arise in bidding and play.
Bridge is played according to a set of rules,known as the laws of the game. These cover matters such as the order in which bids are made, the order in which cards are played, who leads to a trick and so on. The rules also prescribe remedies when the laws are broken. These are not designed to punish the offending player since we all break the rules occasionally by accident: remember the old saying, "She who has never revoked has never played bridge". The penalties are designed to restore equity. It is all quite complicated and so you should always call the director, who should have studied these things, when a transgression has occurred. Calling the director is not accusing the other side of cheating – it is merely calling in an expert to clear up a mess. Of course, to deliberately break the rules to try and somehow get an advantage for your side is at best unsporting and at worst downright unethical.
The director should be called even if you or a table companion think they know what should happen as the correct procedure is often more complicated than many players realise and trying to sort it out can make a simple matter very complicated. Beware barrack room lawyers! Some common situations in bidding and play are discussed elsewhere.