Procedural penalties

edited August 2018 in EBU TDs

Hello. As a fairly recently qualified Director, I would appreciate some guidance from more experienced heads on when (and how severely) to impose procedural penalties.

There were two incidents at my club the other night which could under certain circumstances have incurred a penalty: one when two players failed to count their cards and the play had got as far as Trick 11 before anyone noticed that South had two cards left and West four (South is a highly experienced player who really should have known better).

The second involved a lady who took the law into her own hands in telling her inexperienced opponent what he and his partner had to do after he made an insufficient bid, and when he insisted on calling the director, demanded stridently that I "tell HIM his partner has to pass throughout".

I did not impose a penalty in either case as this was the first time for both under my (brief) stewardship (though I have known the lady in the second case behave similarly in the past) - besides which as a fairly new director I would rather not do anything controversial just yet. (Ironically, my partner and I ended up second by two MPs to the first South).

I'm not so much asking "what should I have done?" as, in general terms, under what circumstances should a procedural penalty be incurred, how many chances should a player be given before incurring one, and how many match points should be involved? (The Laws, as I recall, are a bit vague on the subject - I don't have my copy to hand just now).

Comments

  • The White Book 2.8.2 ( https://www.ebu.co.uk/node/3173 ) gives suggested Procedural Penalties for various offences, some of them merit a warning first time. WB 8.12.3 gives “Standard amounts” for PPs, at MPs it is 10% of a top.

  • @MalcolmB said:
    The White Book 2.8.2 ( https://www.ebu.co.uk/node/3173 ) gives suggested Procedural Penalties for various offences, some of them merit a warning first time. WB 8.12.3 gives “Standard amounts” for PPs, at MPs it is 10% of a top.

    Actually it is now 25% of a top - it changed on 1st August. The director can of course award whatever PP he likes e.g. 40% of a standard EBU PP would be 10%. For aggravating circumstances double or higher multiples of standard PPs have been awarded.

    In a club, I would certainly suggest warnings (and perhaps a general announcement next session to highlight the procedure that was broken) and only issue quantitative PPs to reclacitrant offenders.

    Since you are representative of the club (who are the tournament organiser) maybe you could seek direction from the club committee who should be setting the Conditions of Contest.

  • In the first case, since the board would have to be cancelled and AV- awarded to both sides, I don't think a further penalty is warranted, unless they are repeat offenders.

    In the second case, I think it does merit one, especially as you indicate this is not the first time she has done this. I would also recommend familiarising yourself with Law 11 in preparation for future occasions when she might try to take the law into her own hands.

  • edited August 2018

    Thank you all for your input.

    Re the first hand, as it was the first time the board had been played, I got them to redeal it (and play it at coffee break so as not to hold the rest of the room up) - so there was no penalty at all. Was this incorrect?

    I like that Law 11.

  • I think you were right Mike, but I hope you warned them that they wouldn't have been so lucky if anyone else had already played the board.

  • In my opinion (which holds less weight than Gordon's), you should give a PP when an action has made an innocent party's evening less enjoyable (which by definition includes ruining a board for them)

    • On the first one, both pairs were at fault and no-one else is damaged so I wouldn't award a PP. if North/South had 14/12 cards and the board had to be cancelled, I might award a PP because E/W have been damaged (although awarding 60/40 is probably enough here, they've already been penalised).

    • The second one I think the PP is for acting obnoxiously rather than trying to be the table's TD. The latter I would tell someone not to do it at least once, and warn them they will get penalised if they do it again. But being rude to opponents should be stopped quickly.

    It's obviously a bit diplomatically difficult to give someone a PP when you are a playing director and as a result you finish in a higher position. There isn't an easy answer, other than being clear up front what offences will generate a PP, and being consistent in applying them. You don't want to give one player a penalty when you end up first as a consequence, and then not penalise someone else when it (coincidentally) doesn't affect your position.

    During the summer meeting, I am aware of (at least) two cases where loud talk at one table was overheard at another. The first was in the pairs, and prevented the board being played at that table. That merited a penalty. The second was in the teams, and the offending player was perhaps lucky that the board had not been played at either table in the match that overheard him, so they were able to play a substitute board and the player was not penalised.

  • @weejonnie said:
    Since you are representative of the club (who are the tournament organiser) maybe you could seek direction from the club committee who should be setting the Conditions of Contest.

    I definitely agree with this. The WB seeks to ensure consistency in EBU events by setting out standard penalties for various things. In the club context it is a good idea for the Committee to have some policy so that the different directors are consistent with each other. If they want to adopt the WB provisions on the grounds that the EBU has done all the hard work, well and good.

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