When to Call the Director
By Mike Sears
Calling the director is NOT putting someone on report. It’s a process that’s been developed over the years to ensure that everyone enjoys the game and that the game is played consistently across the country. So, please call the director whenever someone is interfering with your enjoyment of the game or whenever an irregularity occurs, no matter how simple or insignificant.
Most duplicate bridge players understand the need to call the director when a claim is made that they disagree with, or simply don't understand. Importantly, recall that once a claim is made, subsequently "playing it out" is not allowed. Call the director.
When else should we call the director? Of course, call the director for the usual suspects: lead out of turn, revoke, bid out of turn, insufficient bid, etc. But there are also the "not so usual" ones for which you should call the director:
• A card dropped from the hand and exposed to another player. Is it a major penalty card or a minor penalty card or neither? What difference does it make?
• A Call made after a long, out-of-tempo pause for thinking. The rule presumes that many times such an out-of-tempo call provides unauthorized information to one's partner.
• A Call made in error by your displaying an erroneous selection from the bidding box. This mechanical error may be corrected depending upon when you realize what you've done. You should call the director and explain the situation AWAY from the table such that your explanation is not overheard and does not provide unauthorized information to your partner.
• A Call is made that should be Alerted, but is not. It may have affected the bidding. It may have affected the play. Opponents may have been harmed.
There is another set of reasons to call the director. These fall in the category of "Zero Tolerance" by the ACBL. They do not allow players to exhibit rude or inappropriate behavior. Unfortunately, this behavior will usually not be exposed unless someone calls the director.
We request that YOU call the director when you encounter such behavior. Please.
• Partners being critical at the table of one another's bidding or play.
• Partners discussing the previous hands at length, discussing what might have been or giving lessons. This should occur following the game session.
• Gloating by opponents: "Thanks for that lead." "That was a gift." "You should have made that contract."
• Intimidation by the opponents, which might look like not being greeted upon arrival to the table, a surly attitude, a snide comment, an aggressive claim.
Please remember that you are requested to call the director by the ACBL and by the club whenever any of these or similar instances occur. We're counting on you to do so.
Larry Willis explains the options following a revoke in 2015 tournament at the club.