Incorrect board played and incorrect claim

Tuesday night's regular Pairs session was a nightmare (for me as the director). The first problem was that I had forgotten my Law book so I was in a position where I had to rely on my memory for any rulings.

I was summoned to a table where the wrong board had been played. I remembered somewhere that all the players at a table share responsibility for correct procedures and so fined each pair (Ave-) for playing a board they shouldn't have. Indeed having since checked I see that Law 7D says that all players at a table share responsibility for correct procedures. The wrong board being played also meant that some players couldn't play the board so I awarded them an average plus as per Law 15B3 (also since checked).

However I see that Law 15B2 says that the board should be played by the 4 players and scored. If that happens, what happens to other pairs who should have played the board ?

E/W were peeved at my rulings as they felt it should be N/S who should be penalised as North was the one who put the incorrect board on the table. E/W were also upset because of the slow play by N/S on the next board which meant they couldn't complete the round. E/W didn't want to play the board at the end but I wonder if I was wrong in not awarding them an adjusted score since it was N/S who caused the problem ?

N/S arrived at another table as E/W and played the hand again this time scoring just 10%. I probably made the mistake of awarding the 90% pair with an average plus. Should I have left the score as 90% (or even increased it to 100%) and applied a second penalty to reduce the infringers' score to 0%?

The Pairs who were unable to play the board were awarded Average+.

I suppose the question comes down to:

a. Basically, do two infringements of the same rule at different tables warrant one or two penalties?

b. If two, does the second penalty still apply if it involves the same board?

Finally N/S arrived at our table (Howell movement) and playing E/W this time West made a claim which we accepted. Having made a call on the next board my partner realised that the claim was incorrect and the board should have been scored as one down. West accepted my partner's analysis and so I corrected the score on the bridgemate. East objected to my ruling saying that as a call on the next board had been made the result had to stand. I promised to check it out when I got home. LAW 69 covers this problem but is a bit confusing to say the least. 69A says that agreement is established when a call on a subsequent board has been made. You would probably look no further as 69B is on the next page which counters this by saying that agreement with a claim can be withdrawn within the Correction Period (24 hours in our case - see Law 79C). I think 69A needs a reference to 69B and 69B 1 & 2 could be better expressed.

What a night!

Comments

  • edited October 2018

    I tried to teach how to deal with this on a club TD course at the weekend, really to explain that if the wrong players start the board they should be allowed to finish it and keep the score obtained (provided neither has already played the board). Then I had to explain how to deal with the fallout of what to do about unplayed boards. This is always easier to do than to explain.

    First of all, if a pair play a board for a second time that score is cancelled, even if they are offenders and have obtained a worse score the second time round (law 15B1). If pairs play the wrong board and neither have played it before, the score stands (law 15B2).

    Let's assume that:

    Boards 1-3 should be played by pairs 1 vs 2 and by pairs 3 vs 4

    Boards 4-6 should be played by pairs 1 vs 4 and by pairs 3 vs 2

    But when pair 2 sat down to play pair 1 they picked up board 4 by mistake and started it.

    They should be allowed to finish it, then switch to the boards they are scheduled to play (1-3). I always find it helpful if they only have time to play two of these, and have to have an artificial adjusted score for the final board, for reasons I'll come to.

    When 1 vs 4 and 3 vs 2 come to play board 4 they won't be able to play it, so they'll need to be awarded artificial adjusted scores. Your travellers will be expecting the following scores:

    Board 3 (unplayed for lack of time): 1 vs 2

    Board 4: 1 vs 4 and 3 vs 2.

    For board 3 enter 40% - 40% for pairs 1 and 2 as they were responsible for fouling the board for other contestants.

    For board 4 switch the EW pairs round in the scoring programme and enter the result obtained at the table between pairs 1 and 2. Enter 60% - 60% for 3 vs 4 as they were in no way responsible for the error.

    If pairs 1 and 2 play quickly and manage to finish boards 1-3 as well as board 4 in the round, they should keep all those scores, but I'd apply a procedural penalty for causing a board to be unplayable at another table.

    I didn't answer the question about penalising only NS for putting the wrong board on the table. On my TD course there was a general assumption that it was North's responsibility to make sure the boards and opponents were the correct ones before starting the round (laws 7D and 8A2). I think this is putting too much onus on North, as quite often EW absolve themselves of all responsibility and then complain when things go wrong. I've known EW pairs give the wrong pair number, or fail to answer if asked. If there are table cards they have the opportunity to check the board and pair numbers as well. If there aren't they can prompt North to check the bridgemate or tablet. You could certainly argue that if NS are primarily at fault, EW are partially at fault for failing to check, and so score it 40% - 50%.

    For this reason I usually announce that all players have to check they are playing the right boards and the right opponents before starting the round. Now they're all guilty if something goes wrong.

  • @AlanB said:
    Tuesday night's regular Pairs session was a nightmare (for me as the director). The first problem was that I had forgotten my Law book so I was in a position where I had to rely on my memory for any rulings.

    I was summoned to a table where the wrong board had been played. I remembered somewhere that all the players at a table share responsibility for correct procedures and so fined each pair (Ave-) for playing a board they shouldn't have. Indeed having since checked I see that Law 7D says that all players at a table share responsibility for correct procedures. The wrong board being played also meant that some players couldn't play the board so I awarded them an average plus as per Law 15B3 (also since checked).

    However I see that Law 15B2 says that the board should be played by the 4 players and scored. If that happens, what happens to other pairs who should have played the board ?

    If some partnerships play a board when they shouldn't, the board gets scored anyway. The players then play the correct board if there's still time to do so (at the director's discretion), which also gets scored.

    Later on, when the time comes at which the partnerships in question should play that board, it's unplayable (one partnership already knows the entire board), so gets scored as Av-/Av+ against the partnership who incorrectly played it earlier.

    You misread Law 7D. It puts the requirement for playing the correct board on the stationary pair ("Any contestant remaining at a table throughout a session is primarily responsible for maintaining proper conditions of play at the table.") I'm not sure how this applies in a Howell, where at most tables there isn't a stationary pair.

    E/W were peeved at my rulings as they felt it should be N/S who should be penalised as North was the one who put the incorrect board on the table. E/W were also upset because of the slow play by N/S on the next board which meant they couldn't complete the round. E/W didn't want to play the board at the end but I wonder if I was wrong in not awarding them an adjusted score since it was N/S who caused the problem ?

    I'd probably have ruled the fault for playing the wrong board as N/S fully at fault (they found the wrong board, brought it to the table, etc.) and E/W partially at fault (they could have unilaterally prevented the irregularity). That'd mean Av- to N/S, Av to E/W. (Although, of course, the board needs to be played anyway if the auction has started; thus the Av- and Av penalties would be marked against the time at which the boards were supposed to be played, not against the time they actually were played.)

    The unplayed boards at the end of the round are just a typical case of slow play, unrelated to everything else, and it's always going to be a judgement call who's responsible for it. They should normally be scored as Av-/Av+ (either way round) or Av/Av depending on whose fault you believe it is.

    N/S arrived at another table as E/W and played the hand again this time scoring just 10%. I probably made the mistake of awarding the 90% pair with an average plus. Should I have left the score as 90% (or even increased it to 100%) and applied a second penalty to reduce the infringers' score to 0%?

    The original N/S (now E/W) have violated a lot of Laws here by playing a board which they'd already played earlier! If you'd warned them not to play the board again, then that'd be worth at least a PP (note that that's -25% on the final score, not a reduction on the individual board). By a literal reading of 15B3, I'd say that the 90% pair has somehow not been "deprived of the opportunity to earn a valid score" (even though the irregularity would normally cause that to happen because Law 15B1 normally cancels the board before the opportunity can occur), so this just turns into an unauthorised information case. Most likely, the ruling would be "irregularity but no damage", thus the 90%/10% result stands (possibly with a 25% PP against the pair who played the same board twice using Law 90B7).

    The Pairs who were unable to play the board were awarded Average+.

    I suppose the question comes down to:

    a. Basically, do two infringements of the same rule at different tables warrant one or two penalties?

    b. If two, does the second penalty still apply if it involves the same board?

    There's a difference between an adjustment and a penalty. There's no automatic penalty for playing the wrong board (and there's only an adjustment if at least one of the players has already played that board). You can, however, give a discretionary penalty for anything that forces a score adjustment; because it's discretionary, there are no hard rules about when to give it. The EBU has some advice on when it considers discretionary penalties appropriate in the White Book; I'd use paragraph 2.8.2i for this, which suggests that causing a board to be unplayable at your own table via a procedural error is a warning for the first offence and a PP for the second. Technically speaking, the partnership in question has only caused one board to be unplayable, but I might be tempted to give the PP anyway, given that playing it the second time is clearly an irregularity over and above the irregularity that caused the warning.

    Finally N/S arrived at our table (Howell movement) and playing E/W this time West made a claim which we accepted. Having made a call on the next board my partner realised that the claim was incorrect and the board should have been scored as one down. West accepted my partner's analysis and so I corrected the score on the bridgemate. East objected to my ruling saying that as a call on the next board had been made the result had to stand. I promised to check it out when I got home. LAW 69 covers this problem but is a bit confusing to say the least. 69A says that agreement is established when a call on a subsequent board has been made. You would probably look no further as 69B is on the next page which counters this by saying that agreement with a claim can be withdrawn within the Correction Period (24 hours in our case - see Law 79C). I think 69A needs a reference to 69B and 69B 1 & 2 could be better expressed.

    There are three possible states a claim can be in:

    1. Claim made, but not agreed
    2. Claim made and agreed
    3. Claim made and agreed, but the agreement was withdrawn

    Law 69A deals with claims moving from the first state to the second, Law 69B with claims moving from the second state to the third. In this case, you were too slow to keep the claim in the first of these states, but in time to move it to the third.

    In the case where agreement to a claim has been withdrawn, it's adjudicated more sympathetically to the claimer than usual: they make any trick except those which would have been likely to have been won by the opponents. So in this case, doubt is being adjudicated mostly in favour of the claimer, not mostly against them as usual. If, however, you had assented to a trick being made by the declarer when it would likely have been made by the defenders, you should have been able to get that trick back again.

  • The pairs who have been deprived of the board each score Ave+. The pairs who have already played the hand get the score they obtained when they played it, not a further Ave-.

  • ("Any contestant remaining at a table throughout a session is primarily responsible for maintaining proper conditions of play at the table.")
    I'm not sure how this applies in a Howell, where at most tables there isn't a stationary pair.

    At a table where neither pair remain at the table, neither pair is primarily responsible, but both pairs are equally responsible.

  • @Tag said:
    The pairs who have already played the hand get the score they obtained when they played it, not a further Ave-.

    I don't know how I missed this, but you're right, of course.

  • edited October 2018

    @Tag said:

    The pairs who have already played the hand get the score they obtained when they played it, not a further Ave-.
    I don't know how I missed this, but you're right, of course.

    But this means that the pairs who played the wrong board aren't penalised for their misdemeanour.

  • @AlanB said:
    But this means that the pairs who played the wrong board aren't penalised for their misdemeanour.

    There are number of points in the 2017 laws where the laws seek to obtain a bridge result and offenders do not penalized. At teams, the application of Law 86A will give the team with a favourable result a good score, regardless of which side cause the board to unplayable the next time it was played.

  • @AlanB said:
    @Tag said:

    The pairs who have already played the hand get the score they obtained when they played it, not a further Ave-.
    I don't know how I missed this, but you're right, of course.

    But this means that the pairs who played the wrong board aren't penalised for their misdemeanour.

    Adjusted scores shouldn't be used in an attempt to penalise people anyway, that's not what they're for.

    If you think someone deserves a penalty, give then a procedural or disciplinary penalty, as appropriate. (However, for something like accidentally playing the wrong board, the EBU guideline is to only give a warning the first time, and a penalty only if the side's already been warned.)

  • I'd like to thank everybody for their comments. This situation has been quite an eye-opener for me and I've learnt a lot from your replies. The misplayed board was the first one I remember seeing in 7 years of directing.and it had to happen on the only night I'd forgotten to bring along my Law book! Just as an aside I wouldn't want to apply a procedural penalty for such an error. That would seem a bit harsh against someone who had probably been working hard all day and had rushed to the club for their one game of bridge that week. I talked to a more experienced director about this and he suggested that procedural penalties on club nights should be reserved for such things as swearing.
    When the Law book gets updated in 9 years time perhaps we'll some changes to Laws 69 A & B. It may be a bit too much for me to expect to be around to see the new one but I hope so!
    Thanks again everyone.
    Alan

  • @AlanB said:
    I'd like to thank everybody for their comments. This situation has been quite an eye-opener for me and I've learnt a lot from your replies. The misplayed board was the first one I remember seeing in 7 years of directing.and it had to happen on the only night I'd forgotten to bring along my Law book! Just as an aside I wouldn't want to apply a procedural penalty for such an error. That would seem a bit harsh against someone who had probably been working hard all day and had rushed to the club for their one game of bridge that week. I talked to a more experienced director about this and he suggested that procedural penalties on club nights should be reserved for such things as swearing.
    When the Law book gets updated in 9 years time perhaps we'll some changes to Laws 69 A & B. It may be a bit too much for me to expect to be around to see the new one but I hope so!
    Thanks again everyone.
    Alan

    Hi Alan,

    I don't disagree with tending towards leniency on a club night, but I would like to point out that something like swearing should actually be given a disciplinary penalty rather than a procedural one.

  • Just a thought.
    Maybe your club should have a spare copy of the book at the club. :)

    Alan

  • I bought our club two, as I was concerned whether they would last given they were paperback. However they seem to be standing up well.

    (My own copy - I got a book-binder to make it a hard-back. He did comment that he thought the paperback was well made.)

  • We did have another copy, for a while.

  • Download and save it in your phone, in kindle, ibooks or whatever app you use to read, assuming you do. This way you will never be without the book, unless you leave your phone at home along with the book.

  • Have a copy on the scoring computer. Obviously it's better to have a hard copy that you can take to and read from at the table, but it's a backup.

  • [ais523]: "Adjusted scores shouldn't be used in an attempt to penalise people anyway, that's not what they're for.

    If you think someone deserves a penalty, give then a procedural or disciplinary penalty, as appropriate. (However, for something like accidentally playing the wrong board, the EBU guideline is to only give a warning the first time, and a penalty only if the side's already been warned.)"

    This is why I like it when the offending pair don't have time to play one of the boards they were scheduled to play - I can give them 40%-40% and they can't really complain. A procedural penalty used to have a similar effect to docking them 10% of a top until it was changed last summer. Now it's a little harsher than that.

    I too am reluctant to penalise players on club nights for a first offence, and the White Book recommends a warning first. Then again, if I'm directing, I will have told them to check they are playing the right boards and the right opponents before starting the round, so they've had a warning.

    Adjusted scores are not given for the purpose of penalising players, but when they are given an average minus is given in place of an average or average plus as a penalty for causing the problem.

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