It is very disappointing that the club has lost potential members because they felt that it was not a friendly and welcoming club. It is, perhaps, inevitable that an established club develops its own way of doing things when most of the members are well known to each other. But this has led to behaviour that may be accepted by friends but can be unpleasant for visitors.
There are two BRIDGE things that we can all do to help the situation.
All bridge organisations are seeing an increase in bad behaviour at the table and this is increasingly causing people not to play the game. We’ve done well to increase the size of the club over recent years as new players, mainly due to our teaching efforts, have come to the club. But we need to continue to grow.
Let us all try a little harder to welcome new members and less experienced players; and treat all players with the respect that they are due.
The directors are there to make the game run smoothly. Let’s use them a bit more.
At the end of the auction the calls should remain in place until the opening lead has been faced and all explanations have been obtained, after which they should be returned to their boxes.
From the SBU Bidding Box Regulations.
Remember – IT’S ONLY A GAME, and meant to be enjoyed! However, there are some basic elements of etiquette which, if followed, can add to the enjoyment and also create a favourable image of our Club if you’re playing somewhere else!
First, please pay particular attention to the following:
The board to be played should be left in the centre of the table so that everyone can see the vulnerability, other boards may be put to the side.
Do not remove your cards from the board until all four players are present at the table. Count your cards before you look at them.
At the end of the auction, all bidding cards mustremain on the table until the first lead is placed face down on the table. At this stage the board must not be moved from the table, but may be moved a little from the centre, never turned.
When players complete a board with time to spare, they often wish to look at the other hands and quietly discuss the board. This is fine but you may only remove your own hand from the board, never another player’s hand.
Ensure that your hand is restored to the correct slot.
Misboarding spoils the board for anyone yet to play it, so the Director will issue a penalty to any pair misboarding a hand, even for the first offence. At matchpoints this penalty is 10% of a top (normally about 2 matchpoints), - 120 points at aggregate scoring and 1 VP for team events.
Other main points:
Without a Tournament Director there can be no tournament.
Try not to take your TD for granted!
The TD will ensure that the tournament runs smoothly and resolve any issues that arise at the table.
But the TD is human like the rest of us and will appreciate you co-operation.
You should all the Director whenever you have a problem, but remember:
call the director politely, in a tone that will not upset your opponents
when you call the TD may be involved elsewhere
do not demand instant attention
familiarise yourself with the basic movements
check that you have the correct boards and the correct opponents
offer to assist with setting up and clearing up
pass the boards to the next table
do not leave boards on the floor
clear away crockery, glasses and litter
it costs nothing to thank the workers
It is not an infraction to hesitate during the bidding or play if you have a bridge reason to do so, but it can place constraints on your partner. This is explained, together with how to use the Stop card correctly, in this guide.
Disclosure of agreements between partners is an important element in Bridge etiquette. Click here for information about disclosure.
We are now using a screen timer with a display, which sits beside the computer at the entrance end of the Hall. A time of 7 minutes per board is allowed. Two minutes before the end of each set of boards, a warning bell will ring and the screen colour will change to amber, to make us aware that we have 2 minutes remaining: when this happens, no new board may be started. Any unplayed boards will be scored as an average, and zero – not pass – entered in the Bridgemate.
After a further 2 minutes another bell rings and the screen colour changes again, this time to red; and 2 minutes are then allowed for moving tables. Clearly, if we can get into the habit of realising, without being told, that it is time to move, this will take a bit of pressure off the director! Having moved to a new table, please check by using the Bridgemate that you are about to play the correct opponents.
We all need to appreciate that we need to play to time and that the change to amber screen is a warning to speed up and finish. Please remember that persistent slow play inconveniences all other players!