Zero Tolerance Review, Part 2.
The AIDBC Board of Directors asked for frequent reminders that we will be enforcing Zero Tolerance behavior. Before we begin reviewing what Zero Tolerance policy is, let us review the BRIDGE LAWS that relate to it.
LAW 74 CONDUCT AND ETIQUETTE
As a matter of courtesy a player should refrain from:
- paying insufficient attention to the game.
- making gratuitous comments during the auction and play.
- detaching a card before it is his turn to play.
- prolonging play unnecessarily (as in playing on although he knows that all the tricks are surely his) for the purpose of disconcerting an opponent.
- summoning and addressing the Director in a manner discourteous to him or to other contestants.
C. Violations of Procedure
The following are examples of violations of procedure:
- using different designations for the same call.
- indicating approval or disapproval of a call or play.
- indicating the expectation or intention of winning or losing a trick that has not been completed
- commenting or acting during the auction or play so as to call attention to a significant occurrence, or to the number of tricks still required for success.
- looking intently at any other player during the auction and play, or at another player’s hand as for the purpose of seeing his cards or of observing the place from which he draws a card (but it is appropriate to act on information acquired by unintentionally seeing
an opponent’s card).
- showing an obvious lack of further interest in a deal (as by folding one’s cards).
- varying the normal tempo of bidding or play for the purpose of disconcerting an opponent.
- leaving the table needlessly before the round is called.
All of these laws under 74B and 74C are important, but some are more relevant to zero tolerance than others and highlighted the ones I want to discuss. Particularly LAW 74C5: “summoning and addressing the Director in a manner discourteous to him or to other contestants.” When you call for a director at tournaments, you most often hear some say “Director, Please.” The tone varies such that the Please does not necessarily convey a friendly call. But the point is not to disrupt nearby tables with the call. Our directors know Bridge is a timed game, and they will respond as soon as practical. The second half of the 74C5 is not discourteous to the director (or other contestants). The other contestants here are when explaining to the director why he was called, do not attack your opponents (who probably created an infraction which is why you are calling). Simply state the issue and answer questions from the director. Remember, it is the director, not you who needs to consider the evidence and make a ruling. As an online director, I am horrified by the number of people calling us and telling us how we should rule or how one of their opponents be banned for rudeness or slowness.
The highlighted Law 74B2 duplicates in many ways LAW 74A2 we covered in part I of these notes but gives yet another specific example. 74B2 expands the gratuitous comments to any indication of approval or disapproval of play. This may come as a surprise as we frequently congratulate our opponents for their excellent bid or play. I am going to suggest why we don’t comment about this because often people will call online and suggest their opponents were talking by phone and when I read the chat log, I see where the person who called had issued some tongue-in-cheek common like “wow what a wonderful bid on no values” or similar. This LAW is meant to prevent this type of behavior. I would be hard-pressed to sanction if one of our many Bettys congratulated one of our different Johns on an excellent play or bid.
It has been quite a while since I was at the table at the club (😣), but I was a frequent violator of 74C8 by leaving the table to grab a Coke or some snack (especially on days when we had cake). I think getting up to grab goodies is not necessary. An urgent need for other personal needs would be.
Next, we will go over the Zero Tolerance guidelines from the ACBL which were built upon LAW 74 (the laws are written by the World Bridge Federation Laws Committee with input from the American Contract Bridge League Laws Commission, other National Bridge Organizations, and the Bridge-playing public.)