What club-specific bidding rules are allowed in EBU clubs?

This topic came up at a club committee meeting and I wondered what clubs are allowed to do in terms of club-specific rules. The Blue book defines levels of partnership understandings so it is obviously OK to stipulate that club events are played at level 2 or level 4. Is it also allowable to have special rules? For example:

  • To disallow strong no trump openings?
  • To disallow psyches?
  • To disallow multi 2D openings (other than by playing at level 2)?

Note I don't personally favour special rules like this but realised that I am not clear about what is acceptable in EBU clubs.

Tim

Comments

  • From what I understand, you can create your own rules like this, essentially creating a bespoke level for bidding.

    However, I think that people are generally against bids like multi 2D because they don't know how to defend against it and so it seems to them like an unfair advantage. So, I would suggest that the club creates a brief hand out with a basic method for dealing with those bids, rather than banning them. Perhaps an advanced lesson on these sorts of bids and how to play against them.

    Most clubs have a need for more players so I believe that we should be as welcoming to players of all systems and support those that don't like them. If you make restrictions like this, would the club be happy to lose those players to another club that would accept them with open arms?

  • The two clubs nearest me each have an annual "Simple Systems" night. This leads me to think that a club can, to some extent at least, step outside the regulations of the Blue and White Books.

  • The technical answer is that clubs are their own Regulating Authority with powers assigned from the EBU. This means that clubs can have their own regulations but must follow the laws.
    * To disallow the strong NT you would have to say that a strong NT is a special partnership understanding (which the club is free to do) and then the agreement can be regulated
    * Psyching is permitted by law, so can not be djsallowed(we can start another thread on how clubs can discourage psyches)
    * The club is not bound by EBU Blue Book levels, and can pick and choose what artificial calls are permitted, so can exclude multi 2D (in which case you probably want to prohibit all multi-way could-be-weak bids permitted by Blue Book 7C).

  • @BarkerBridgeTD said:
    The technical answer is that clubs are their own Regulating Authority with powers assigned from the EBU. This means that clubs can have their own regulations but must follow the laws.

    Thanks, that's very helpful.

    Tim

  • edited June 7

    @BarkerBridgeTD said:

    • Psyching is permitted by law, so can not be djsallowed(we can start another thread on how clubs can discourage psyches)

    Ah but I'm not sure about this because law 40 B2a(v):

    "The regulating authority … may restrict the use of psychic artificial calls"

    So maybe they can be disallowed!

    Tim

  • edited June 7

    And can we explore the meaning of law 80 A(3):

    "The Regulating Authority may delegate its powers (retaining ultimate responsibility for their exercise) or it may assign them (in which case it has no further responsibility for their exercise)"

    So are all the Regulating Authority powers referenced in the laws assigned to clubs? That would seem to leave a rather vague role for the EBU.

    Tim

  • I think this "The regulating authority … may restrict the use of psychic artificial calls" means that a regulating authority could not allow a player to pysche a strong, artificial 2C opening or a Multi. Indeed there was such an EBU regulation in the last century! The law does not prevent you psyching a natural opening however.

    The EBU gets to be the regulating authority for all its own tournaments and to suggest a framework for clubs. In practice clubs are typically only too grateful not to have to sort this out for themselves.

  • @Jeremy69 said:
    I think this "The regulating authority … may restrict the use of psychic artificial calls"

    Ah, that makes sense. So you may not restrict the use of psychic natural calls.

    Thanks

    Tim

  • It is interesting to note, though, that a club can choose to ignore the Blue Book and the White Book.

  • The EBU is only the RA for its own events , I believe. Clubs can do what they like (providing they do not break the actual laws of bridge) under law 40B. There is an article in the "Director Please' series by Mike Swanson when the protagonists go to a new club and are advised about the different protocols for announcing 1NT bids (amongst others).

    No doubt many clubs adhere to EBU guidelines so that their players aren't disadvantaged when going to EBU events - but there is no requirement to do so. Naturally I am biased but if a player went as an 'innocent abroad' to a club with widely different allowed calls, they would be at a serious disadvantage compared with the regular players there - this cuts both ways, of course. Clubs that have markedly different rules on bidding would probably find it hard to attract players used to 'mainstream' bidding. Thus even though the blue and white book aren't imposed on clubs, the framework allows for greater uniformity of practice and thus allows members to play comfortably at different clubs and, indeed go to a club outside their local area e.g. on holiday and have a reasonable expectation that they will understand the calls made there.

    For several (?many) years the EBU disallowed psyching on strong conventional calls, but now allow anything (provided there is no CPU or means to control the psych).

    The EBU has a greater role than just deciding what conventions are allowed in clubs, it operates the master-point system, the NGS, liases with other RAs to help develop the game, provides training for TDs, EBED, provides information to its members on significant events in the Bridge world, and no doubt many more.

  • @weejonnie said:
    The EBU is only the RA for its own events , I believe. Clubs can do what they like (providing they do not break the actual laws of bridge) under law 40B. There is an article in the "Director Please' series by Mike Swanson when the protagonists go to a new club and are advised about the different protocols for announcing 1NT bids (amongst others).

    One consequence which concerns me is that if the club is in effect the RA, it may make a final decision on appeals, see law 93(C)2.

    In practice I believe most clubs will allow an appeal to the county association and to the EBU if necessary.

    I had thought that playing in an EBU affiliated club automatically meant a right of appeal beyond the club itself but maybe you have to look at each club's constitution before making that presumption.

    Tim

  • First check if the club has a constitution.
  • At present clubs are free to have a constitution or not. A look at club websites shows a lot who either don't have pone or perhaps don't publish one. Of course the EBU recommends to
    a. have one
    b. make sure it has sensible disciplinary procedures
    There is a model constitution that can be adopted wholesale or tweaked to suit local circumstances. Those clubs who choose not to have one or indeed a sensible one are not doing their members a service.

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