Incorrect scoring of boards missed by slow play.

Why do some scorers insist that they are correct in scoring a board that has not been played because of slowness as "not played" , when my understanding is that the director should have been called and that the board should be scored as an average.
Can anything be done if both DIrector and Scorer insist that they are correct? Hi

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Comments

  • edited November 2017

    EBU White Book

    8.12.9 ‘Not played’

    Computer software usually has a possibility of inputting ‘not played’ for a table on a specific board. Some TDs or scorers use this when a table loses a board for slow play, late arrival or other similar reasons but this is illegal. At such a time the TD should decide whether to give AVE+, AVE or AVE- to each side as is required by Law 12C2 (a). (below - weejonnie)

    ‘Not played’ should only be used when a board is not played as part of the general movement. Suppose the TD sets the computer up to play nine three board rounds, but because the evening is slow decides to stop after eight rounds. The TD should now enter ‘not played’ for all the scores for round nine that the computer is expecting.

    Suppose a movement is set up for nine tables, but there are only eight and a half. When a pair sits out ‘not played’ is entered because this is part of the movement. In this case, it is usually possible to get the half table into the movement in the scoring program, so the Bridgemates will not expect anything to be entered.

    1. (a) When owing to an irregularity no result can be obtained [see also C1(d)] the Director awards an artificial adjusted score according to responsibility for the irregularity: average minus (at most 40% of the available matchpoints in pairs) to a contestant directly at fault, average (50% in pairs) to a contestant only partly at fault, and average plus (at least 60% in pairs) to a contestant in no way at fault.
  • Only the Director should use Not Played. You have to do this sometimes if the board will be played later as it's the only way for the Bridgemate to proceed.
  • The Director is always right. The Scorer should always do what the Director says
  • There is a general problem when a TD does not follow the laws through ignorance or pigheadedness. In a column I write I recently answered a simple question about the laws and the person who asked it says the TD says I am wrong and he will keep doing as before. It was a simple book ruling!

    There is no simple answer. Probably the club committee are the only ones the TD will listen to and not always then. Quoting "the EBU" or "the WBFLC" or something might have the desired effect but quite possibly not.

  • Please forgive my ignorance, where there is no clear 'culprit' as to why a table cannot finish a board (perhaps there was a Director call due to a mis-boarded hand from the previous table that took time to resolve, etc). Why should they 'only' get 50% or 60%?

    Wouldn't it be fairer to have this as not played, so that they score their actual score from all the hands they actually played?

    I have also started to introduce a lot of our improver class to our missed standard night, by giving them the confidence that they can just play 2 out of the 3 hands if they find it a little fast for them (at least to start with). So the last board is 'not played'. Where do the rules stand with that (or as director, am I allowed to make that decision)?

  • With no one at fault both sides get 60% which is good.
    There is an allowance if they actually score better than 60% overall
  • edited December 2017

    Martin, it seems pretty unfair that a pair who are unable to play a board through no fault of their own should get 35% for it if that is what they have scored overall, while their opponents might get 65% for the same board. If they both get average + this gives them a minimum of 60% for the board - if their overall score is better than that, then they get their session score for the board.

  • edited December 2017

    While the rules are often bent in improvers/novices/beginners Bridge, the principle of giving Not played is wrong for three separate reasons

    1 It is illegal and flouting the lawsleads to more flouting. What is next? Shall be give a three trick penalty for a revoke to stop people revoking? That is just as illegal as Not played.

    2 As Gordon says it can be horribly unfair on the players themselves. When the law requires 50%-50% or even 40%-60% giving the effect of 62%-41% or something cannot be right.

    3 It also skews the field. It is actually easier to get big scores over fewer boards so Not played gives an advantage to players who lose boards. Once the players work this out playing slowly deliberately to lose boards might happen.

    What I can never see is why people want to give this illegal score instead of the normal legal averages. Why not just follow the law?

  • edited December 2017

    I have no idea why my reply above has formatted this way. My apologies.

    (It seems to have been your use of # - I've corrected it now - GR)

  • Fair comments so far, thanks guys.

    So, I see 2 issues:

    What to do when trying to encourage new players from my improvers class that take around 10 minutes to play a board and so in a 3 board movement can't keep up yet? Give them an average (probably better than they would get) and their opponents ave+? Should they have an Ave- as it is actually their fault? My ideas of not playing that 3rd board has helped to open up the sessions to some new players that might not have otherwise taken that step. These new player have only scant understanding of the scoring anyway, so using that as a way to get better scores is not likely and all the better players do not like not playing these boards (other than to encourage the new players and we will generally play 24 boards so missing a round of hands for a 1/2 table then not playing a board is not ideal).

    Secondly, we use BridgeTabs at the club (which generally work very well and are cost effective), however, I have not seen a way to enter in averages at all, only skip. So, we would then need to go into ScoreBridge and manually adjust the scoring to Ave, Ave+ or Ave-.

    For our relatively small (8 tables or so) and very relaxed social and mixed ability sessions, this does not seem to be that important. Though I take on board that we should be doing this, so will give it some thought about how to complete the update on ScoreBridge and teach everyone how to do that.

    Many thanks

  • "What I can never see is why people want to give this illegal score instead of the normal legal averages. Why not just follow the law?" [Bluejak]

    The reason is that it strikes many people as fairer to give (effectively) their session average for a missed board as it gives a better expectation of the result that would have obtained had they played the board. It's illegal, I agree, and shouldn't be done, but don't pretend there's no argument to support the practice.

    Martin, I think it would be reasonable and, what's more, legal, to incorporate "no plays" into the movement from the outset for your improvers. If you announce at the start that everyone will be playing three-board rounds apart from the following pairs (your improvers), who will only play the first two boards of every set, you can then say that the third board at those tables was not scheduled to be played, and score it as "not played". (You will have to stick rigidly to this and not allow the third board to be played even if they finish the first two with ten minutes to spare.)

    I can imagine some people raising objections to this, claiming it's going to have an adverse effect on their NGS score or something. What I might do instead is set up some appendix tables outside the normal movement and have the improvers play boards "for fun" against pairs who are sitting out of the regular movement. You could then calculate their scores on each board against the traveller, so they get some idea of how they've done, even though the scores won't count. This will only work (I think) if you have either very few improvers or about as many as you have regular players (play two parallel sections), and may require some advanced knowledge of movements.

  • Hi VixTD - I think you made my point more eloquently than I, so thank you.

    We have considered a separate movement, but we are only able to get 1 or 2 pairs to dip their toes in at the same time, so it doesn't really work with the standard movement too well (it also help to continue the 'exclusive' feel that some people see to club bridge, 'I'm not good enough to play'). We have also used a regular session set of boards to practice with, to compare the improvers scores with the 'experts' scores, which can be interesting.

    When I watch the improvers play, it is interesting to see that declarer makes an error which gives up a trick, then a defender makes and error and gives it back. So the final scores when new players compete against other new players are not that interesting and explains how 'reasonable' improvers can struggle against more experienced players.

    I am all for teaching bridge to get people playing and so encourage them to get playing as soon as possible. This has been successful in increasing attendance on our more casual nights and they soon earn their teeth and catch up. So, I am always looking for ways to encourage them and not put them off - reducing boards for them is one way, another is that we have a hard cut-off at 22:15, movement be damned (probably also against the laws, but the timing thing is very popular with that group of members and has been voted for more than once).

  • Encouraging newbies to play with the big boys is always fraught with difficulties relating to speed of play. It's all well and good to allow extra time for the beginners to play at their own pace but this does inconvenience the faster players who are there to play Bridge and not to sit around waiting for the next round to start. Note that this problem is not unique to improvers; there are some strong, experienced players who are notoriously and excruciatingly slow in their play.

    I might suggest placing the slower players as far away from each other as possible in the movement and ensure that they sit in the same direction. This gives the faster players more time to catch up after playing against the slower ones. There comes a point, though, when you simply have to tell them to play faster and also to adjust boards 40-60 for their slow play. Do it in a kindly and understanding manner, explaining the situation to them for their 40% score and they'll speed up in time.

  • "The reason is that it strikes many people as fairer to give (effectively) their session average for a missed board as it gives a better expectation of the result that would have obtained had they played the board. It's illegal, I agree, and shouldn't be done, but don't pretend there's no argument to support the practice."

    There is no reasonable argument. Of course there are arguments. In my column in BRIDGE which is a magazine aimed at Club players I often have to deal with arguments such as why give a trick for a revoke when it does not cost. They even quote that the laws are primarily to provide equity.

    We can ignore the laws as much as we like, but it isn’t Duplicate Bridge, and the one about averages v Not played is not one I think even reasonable. How anybody who understands the law can support something that
    (A) benefits slow players and
    (B) disadvantages players who play to time and
    (C) is illegal
    Is beyond me.

  • Your third point has been dealt with many times. No one is arguing that it is legal to award "no play" for missed boards, only that it would be fairer. I think this is only being suggested for cases where no one is at fault, so it wouldn't benefit slow players (they'd get average minus anyway), nor reward those who play to time (they get average plus regardless). I think as usual you are trying to put up arguments that no one is making in order to have something to knock down.

  • Slow players play fewer boards. It is easier to get big scores if you play fewer boards. Thus slow players are given an unfair advantage. You say it doesn’t benefit slow players: if you are a slow player which would you prefer, Ave- or your session score, say, for example, 52%? Even Ave/Ave is worse than 52%.

    The argument for the quick players is less compelling, I grant you, but if you actually check in any club which gives averages for unplaced boards, I bet over 90% of boards are just given as Ave/Ave, so the reward is less.

    I do object to your appraisal of my motives. I play a lot in clubs and expect a lot of illegal events, but this one is unfair and unnecessary. I think your imputation of my motives needs you to reconsider. I do not argue for the sake of it but we are talking about a very common abuse probably caused by ignorance of directors, and the fact that the default on BMs is to allow players to put in No play. This forum is read by a lot of directors at various levels and if people follow your idea of it doesn’t matter the abuse will continue.

  • Our poor and slow players are more likely to score 38% for a session (last nights bottom was 31%), so 40% would be an improvement for them! As for 60% being fair, I scored a little over 60% last night and came 3rd!

    I don't see how it can be considered unfair (illegal yes), when fairness is more about treating people equally and consistently. Should a club decide to ignore that law and score the board as not played every time, then how can that be considered unfair?

    Whilst the law is the law, the law can also be an ass and as with a police officer giving a driver a friendly warning over a failed brake light rather than an on-the-spot fine, Directors should have this facility also (particularly with new players).

    It is perhaps not surprising that in my area there are many clubs that are not EBU affiliated (another was lost this year and I think ours is the last now for 30 miles). These less competitive and friendly clubs are well supported, the more competitive and strictly law following clubs are less well supported. At my club we have a range of sessions from around 46% NGS rating to 54% NGS rating. The slower, les strict, more social night has roughly double the number of people playing - initially for the newer and lower standard player but increasingly visited by some better players as the nights are more fun and social.

    The reality is that at our friendly session we very rarely do not play a board, but rather we plan ahead for slow play, aim for 24 boards in 3 Hours 15 Minutes (we stop at 22:15 regardless). On the odd occasion where a board is not played, we choose SKIP in BridgeTabs (there is no option for average etc), which would then add more work for the director to manually adjust the scores in ScoreBridge for what will actually be minimal effect (the difference between 50% and 60% over 25 boards is 0.4% on the overall score, for example).

    I can also say that there was yet another vote at our AGM this year around maintaining EBU membership and this sort of thing does not help. When the club pays some 12% of its income to the EBU for pay to play and then is berated for making logical decisions over the play or non-play of boards and how they are scored, does not help.

    I do think that this becomes a more important issue at congresses etc, as do all of the rules and their implementation. On a weekly social club night, having members enjoy the evening and come back next week is the most important consideration.

  • Making a big thing out of things like that is what upsets players. In the clubs in which I play averages are given and no-one thinks twice about it nor cares.

    As for less competitive and more friendly clubs it is a common fallacy. At both the major clubs I play at the more competitive nights are more easy going: It is at the less competitive nights that people whinge about laws and rulings.

  • Hi Bluejak - I think you are making my point for me. The players on better standard nights appreciate the laws, why they are there, what the ruling mean/don't mean etc.

    The majority of players on the more casual, relaxed and friendly nights do not appreciate the laws (such as hesitations etc) and so rulings make no sense to them and losing tricks (say for revoking that 'made no difference'), having adjusted scores and the like cause problems. As they do not appreciate the implications of what they are doing, they do not understand the consequences which can feel like a punishment.

    Obviously this is something that I work on during my classes, but we are talking about people that forget that they are playing weak takeouts after 1NT, or to lead partners suit, not lead around the AQ etc. So the laws and regulations are barely understood. This is why I think that perhaps a 2-tier approach is best - full on strict adherence to the laws for the more competitive nights and congresses etc, a more relaxed approach to the relaxed nights.

    If one were to insist on strict adherence to the tempo/hesitation rules for example, then it would alienate a good number of players early on in their playing careers, so that they either give up entirely ("I can't remember the system, let alone the laws") or they give up playing in EBU clubs to play in the more relaxed non-EBU member clubs.

    There just has to be a compromise somewhere?

    Having said all of that, this particular aspect I think is of little consequence and is done this way out of ease (there is no way to average easily on the tablets). Next time I have to do this, I think I will have them enter the score as 7NT -13 so that it will flag up in Scorebridge and prompt me to change it to AVE-AVE.

  • TagTag
    edited December 2017

    I play in mixed-ability sessions and it's just generally made clear that claims on many "judgement rulings", such as hesitation or even misinformation, will often be viewed favourably towards the less-experienced players. As you say, they don't even realise what they've done and will have little concept of so-called "logical alternatives".

    The hard laws, though, are another matter. They just have to rely on the director to rule fairly and they simply have to come to accept, for example, that a revoke will usually cost their side a trick. On the other hand, people often just wave away some irregularities from the less-experienced players and generally cut them some slack which they won't extend to stronger opponents. If the session is truly a friendly one then everyone has to join in with the relaxed attitude towards them, just as they have to understand that some aspects of the game have hard rules. They can either learn them or rely on the director to be fair.

  • I think I will have them enter the score as 7NT -13 so that it will flag up in Scorebridge and prompt me to change it to AVE-AVE.

    Entering not played is fine as long as the TD knows, and makes a ruling (AVE/AVE, AVE+/AVE-), and tells the scorer what he has ruled. Someone TD/scorer/both (or same person) should write down the ruling.

  • "Slow players play fewer boards. It is easier to get big scores if you play fewer boards. Thus slow players are given an unfair advantage. You say it doesn’t benefit slow players: if you are a slow player which would you prefer, Ave- or your session score, say, for example, 52%? Even Ave/Ave is worse than 52%."

    "I do object to your appraisal of my motives. I play a lot in clubs and expect a lot of illegal events, but this one is unfair and unnecessary. I think your imputation of my motives needs you to reconsider."

    "... if people follow your idea of it doesn’t matter the abuse will continue."[Bluejak]

    You're proving my point again. If I deliberately play slowly (or make no attempt to play at a reasonable pace) I expect to get no more than 40%, not 50% or my session average, under either method of adjustment. And if people follow "my idea" they will never be given their session average, because I don't advocate entering "no play" for missed boards. I never have. This is what I mean when I say you deliberately misrepresent your opponents' arguments to make yours look more reasonable.

    I don't think you are arguing just for the sake of it (that's another thing I haven't said). I think you are wilfully ignoring any good in your opponents' arguments, as if the whole matter were black and white. You argue like a counsel in an adversarial court system whose job it is to convict or acquit the defendant regardless of the weight of evidence, rather than take a reasoned look at both sides. You act as if your opponents are doing the same.

    If yet another driving analogy will help you understand my position, here goes: I'm a very law-abiding driver. I keep to the speed limits wherever possible. I sometimes find myself driving down a wide, straight, open road with good visibility, no nearby houses, parked cars, pedestrians, side roads or obstructions, in a 30 mph limit. I think to myself that this could surely be made a 40 mph limit without any risk to anyone; in fact it would probably be safer to do so. I still drive at no more than 30 down that stretch of road, and would advise others to do the same, but if anyone asks me what I think the speed limit should be, I don't pretend to think it should be 30.

    I also have to field well-meaning questions about "no play" on club director training courses, and I find it best to acknowledge the reasoning behind their argument (it helps admittedly that I at least partly agree with it) before trying to explain the legal position, rather than just deriding it as "illegal" and "abuse", or accusing them of "trying to reward slow play" or "ruin the game for everyone else", or whatever other stock phrases you resort to in these situations. It's much more likely to win them over.

  • @BarkerBridgeTD said:

    I think I will have them enter the score as 7NT -13 so that it will flag up in Scorebridge and prompt me to change it to AVE-AVE.

    Entering not played is fine as long as the TD knows, and makes a ruling (AVE/AVE, AVE+/AVE-), and tells the scorer what he has ruled. Someone TD/scorer/both (or same person) should write down the ruling.

    Thanks BarkerBridgeTD - the idea of 7NT-13 is that it would flag up on Scorebridge so that one can simply correct to AVE-AVE.

    If it is entered as 'Skip' in BridgeTabs then the pairings do not get added to Scorebridge for that hand and one has to then enter the parings too. If you enter a crazy score then it will pop up as a reminder to the scorer and they can easily update it to AVE.

    Cheers for your input though :)

  • OK. Scorridge and JSS/EBU scorers are built very very differently.

    What happens in Scorebridge when 60/40 (or whatever) is entered in the Bridgemate?

    If you put "not played" in the Bridgemate in EBU Score there is still a slot on the traveller for the score; and the lack of score will show up as a missing score. But then EBU Score will read 60/40 from the Bridgemates dirrectly.

  • edited January 8

    Well, I am not sure how birdgemates work, but BridgeTabs (software you install on generic Android tablets and connects wirelessly to a PC with a relevant licence) does not have the facility for averages (or +/- averages) - at not in the main menu (I will have to check out their TD menu tomorrow).

    We can only enter a correct contact, Pass or Skip. If you enter skip then the players do not appear at all for that board in Scorebridge, but you can add the details in manually and add the relevant Ave score.

    EDIT: had a brainwave and installed BridgeTabs on my phone and so managed to check if I can add an average score in the TD Menu - you can't.

  • @Martin said:

    EDIT: had a brainwave and installed BridgeTabs on my phone and so managed to check if I can add an average score in the TD Menu - you can't.

    I did that (installed BridgeTabs) and had to take it to the EE shop for a master reset. It seems my advisor ("you can even download it to your phone") gave me the iphone version for my Samsung android - so beware folks. Don't be plain daft like me.

  • One other reason for not skipping the score: If you leave it blank then a pair can fall below the 70% rule - which would mean that no one in the session would get masterpoints.

  • @weejonnie said:
    One other reason for not skipping the score: If you leave it blank then a pair can fall below the 70% rule - which would mean that no one in the session would get masterpoints.

    You've said this before in another forum and it's simply not true!

  • I think that weejonnie is correct, but probably not in most situations.

    On the EBU site, http://www.ebu.co.uk/70-per-cent-rule, under the section of dealing with 1/2 tables and do the 'missed boards count.:

    Example: You have 10 1/2 tables, with no E/W pair at table 11.
    If you use 33 boards, and play 8 x 3-board rounds, then all E/W will play 24 boards (72.73% of the boards in play), as will two of the N/S pairs. For the purpose of this regulation all the pairs are considered to have been scheduled to play 72.73% of the boards and so this meets the requirements of the 70% rule.

    In this situation, if you skip one board then you only played 23/33 = 69.69%

    However, this would not crop up too often I cant imagine at many clubs. For example, 8 table Mitchell playing 24 boards skip a board and 23/24 = 95.83% of boards played.

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