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All comments by JoAnn Sprung
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Nick - The first point - really?

for b) That's not really a ringing endorsement for allowing court proceedings instead of arbitration. A lot of people on this board complain that the League is hampered when dealing with cheaters for fear of being sued and the Insurance company forcing us to settle.

I'm not a Lawyer but I would suspect court cases cost more than arbitration even if we win.

This is a membership organization - “we” are the League not “they”. When someone brings a suit they are suing all of us.
Oct. 23
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Question for all of those who are railing against the ACBL arbitration policy - Are you willing to have your membership and entry fees raised substantially for the privilege of some to be able to sue their own organization?
Oct. 23
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Ron you didn't post your partner's hand. In this case your partner's pull of 2S is suspect. If you explained her bid as the majors that alerted her to your taking a major preference as opposed to a suit of your own.

What if you had explained her bid as hearts and a minor? Would she have pulled to 3C? Maybe, maybe not. Perhaps you hold QJTxxxx,x,Qxx,xx. If partner holds a spade void than the 3C bid is logical. If partner was 65 with 6 clubs and extra values perhaps a pull is reasonable. Otherwise she needs to pass 2S.
Oct. 17
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@Robb - “I want to be really clear about the club thing. Except for major ethics issues we have NO ability to investigate nor enforce discipline at the club level”

Not to beat a dead horse (I know too late) It appears that you are advocating the collection and maintaining of recorder forms from clubs without any routine followup.

IMO This is dangerous on several levels
1. The accused doesn't have a chance to refute the claims made. As we know once both sides are heard the story may be very different.

2. The recorder system has gotten a bad rap, perhaps deservedly so, for nothing happening. So many people have said “why bother”. If we encourage club players to submit forms without any followup the image of the forms being ignored will continue.
Oct. 12
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@Robb - “2. While the ACBL has very little to do with player discipline at the club level I DO want player memos from clubs for our database.”

Robb thanks for weighing in and good luck with your new job.

Are you going to be sending guidelines to the recorders and clubs about this?

As a former recorder I always discussed the recorder form with both sides to get their input and in some cases provide feedback/guidance to the offending party if necessary.

Is this going to be the procedure for clubs going forward? Does this sync with the current CDR or are you anticipating a change?
Oct. 11
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@Don - “And the ACBL needs to be clear about that”

Don - It certainly does. Not even our powers to be agree on whether the Recorder can and should be involved in club matters. Believe me I asked.

The League needs to issue clear guidelines about when the Recorder can be involved in a issues that arise at a club. Just saying ethical doesn't cut it. For example we could all agree that a pair colluding to transmit info is included. How bout a fast double or quick shift to a singleton? What about a pair that fails to disclose agreements?

FWIW I believe that the board made a mistake in separating club players from the rest of the bridge world in this regard. Most club players (should) know how to behave ethically and the current situation puts the owners in a difficult position. It's sending the wrong message.
Oct. 10
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Peter you can always bypass them and submit to the next level up.
Oct. 10
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Don - Then someone needs to get the word to the League. We've had club owners beg the League for the recorders to get involved and told that they have to handle their own problem children. I know for a fact that recorders have been told that they cannot accept or keep files of recorder forms initiated at regular club games.

BTW it's improper for the recorder to keep files on players unless they inform the violator of the complaint and given a chance to reply. This is not the FBI.

I believe cheating in this case refers to situations like a pair colluding. The kind of cheating that the League wouldn't inform players that they were being watched until they lower the boom.

This confusion should definitely be cleared up by someone at the League.
Oct. 10
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Kudos to both you and Robb for taking the necessary steps to make the system a success.
Oct. 9
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Ed, perhaps you are correct but this is a major championship. Presumably a high level event. Time for the players to put on their big boy pants The redouble indicates that North wasn't in on the joke. I would be embarrassed to take this to committee much less call the director.
Oct. 8
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Venkatesh I find some of your reasoning troubling. A few times (3-4) in several years certainly doesn't indicate an implicit partnership agreement unless it was a high percentage of the amount of times the pair played. I suspect not since it seems this is a regular partnership. Also your comment “maybe more” indicates a possible bias against this player or pair.

Opening very light with a suit that you want led doesn't really constitute a psych but light initial action in third seat.

Since India doesn't seem to have a way to record and track these incidents the committee is making assumptions that may not be based upon fact but to the pair's detriment.

No one likes it when the opponents “get them” by making a strategic bid but that's the rub of the green. If North had alerted the third seat opener as possibly very light and West had bid 2NT getting doubled when South had close to a real opener they would still be squealing and asking for redress on the basis that they had been misled since the light bid “only” occurred a few times in the past .

See what is happening? According to your committee they can make a tactical bid unless it succeeds.
Oct. 8
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@David I also play that double followed by 1Nt shows a very strong hand but in this situation West is forced to do something. If the pass shows (as I assume) no preference then 1NT might not be very strong. What would you bid with Axx, KJT, QTxx, KJx? Some might not make a TO double with this hand but if that is your style a balancing rebid of 1NT would seem appropriate.

All that said the ruling was ridiculous. Psyching is part of the game and the redouble by a passed hand on a 9 count is normal.
Oct. 7
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FWIW Nick I don't think the League would agree with you. They want to leave these issues up to the club owner. . I can tell you we have had numerous requests from club players and the owners themselves. They have contacted the League and were told they had to deal with it at the club level.

Rather than debating contact the League for an answer.
Sept. 30
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Hi Nick,

AFAIK a fast double, fast return or lead, hesitations do not rise the level of collusion. These are UI and as such are “out there” for the world to observe. and interpret the meaning. Yes partner can take advantage of the UI and infer a meaning but so can you. As such you can protect yourself by calling the director and possibly getting redress.

Collusion involves a private system of exchanging information that is difficult to detect and (obviously) not disclosed to the opponents.

Prime examples are FN and FS. There was a pair in the 70s that used to exchange info via the location of their cigar. Cokin and Sion used the location of their pencil to transmit info. Transmitting information via the placement of the bidding cards is also collusion. A coughing system was used by the German Doctors.

As I understand it If one suspects this type of systemic private agreement between a pair that would rise to the level where the League would be willing to get involved.

I will ask our national recorder, Robb Gordon to weigh in as well.
Sept. 30
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@Nick - Can you please point to the regulation prohibiting the submission of player memos in respect of incidents that occur in club games.

Sigh… Can't anyone just take someone's word anymore? Ok Nick here is the proof.

CDR: http://web2.acbl.org/documentLibrary/play/CDR82017.pdf
Section 2.1 defines the limit of Unit jurisdiction in club sponsored ACBL events to collusion style or systemic cheating. That is the one exception where the recorder could get involved.

Section 2.1.5 #3 “Other than CDR 2.1.1(d) and actions at a Unit Sponsored Club, Units, Districts and the ACBL have no original jurisdiction over behavior at club sponsored games”

CDR Frequently Asked Questions: http://web2.acbl.org/discipline/CDRFAQ.pdf -
#3 “Does the CDR cover incidents that occur at a club? No, the ACBL does not have jurisdiction over incidents that occur at a club other than those related to cheating. Matters that arise at a club should be handled by the club manager or owner.”

ACBL club discipline Regulations:http://web2.acbl.org/documentLibrary/clubs/Club-Discipline-Regulations.pdf
“Irrespective of discipline imposed by a club, the unit has jurisdiction over participants in ACBL sanctioned games conducted in its geographical area. A unit has no authority over a club’s disciplinary process and only limited appellate jurisdiction over a club’s decision to bar a person from its games”

The League made this change years ago at the urging of club owners who didn't want the League messing with and affecting their business. Basically a church and state separation. Unless the Unit has jurisdiction i.e. stac, unit wide, GNT type game then the ACBl is out of it.

Why would the recorder have to advise club owners? Just for those situations and to let them know the limit of their authority
Sept. 30
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Barry et all - there is no recorder system for club games unless it is a Unit wide or sectionally rated game. The recorder cannot accept or act upon forms from club games. The League has given the responsibility of discipline to the club owners/managers.
Sept. 29
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Yes
Sept. 29
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Tore wouldn't it matter if they also moved their familes? If their immediate family still lived there…
Sept. 26
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Isn't it also to inform then when they are defending? If one expects 12-14 and declarer has 15-17 that might make a difference.

If the solution to not alerting is a requirement that one studies the card on “simple” auctions the game will take a very long time.
Sept. 23
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We announce when 1NT is opened but the range isn't a pre-alert. Also with very weak NT openings some rebids show different ranges depending upon the minor opened. It makes sense to alert the rebid when it is outside the normal (for ACBL) 12-14.
Sept. 23
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