Bad behaviour at the table

Two questions about players being abusive towards a partner or opponent at the table.

  1. In general a director does not wander the room looking for infractions but waits until called. But what if the director overhears abuse at a table? Do they intervene or, perhaps persuading themselves that what they find abusive others may not, wait until they are called?

  2. People may be reluctant to confront bad behaviour with the result that it becomes the norm within a club, for at least some of its members. Has anybody had experience of this happening at a club which has then had to “re-set” the standard of behaviour? I would be interested to know how it went about making the change.


  • edited September 2019

    First question:
    I don't think you can ignore overheard abuse.
    Ignoring it is a small step down a slippery slope away from being seen to condone it
    I think I would approach the table and ask the whole table: "is everything OK here?" then remind them about BBAB.
    If I found a real problem I would need to be prepared to deliver at least a warning and maybe more

    Peter Bushby Suffolk

  • Second question:
    Resetting standard of behaviour is in effect bringing about a culture change and that is a long journey
    I don't want to post too many details here so i've sent you a message with my email address
    Things that help:

    • Set and live a club code of conduct "Be nice, or go somewhere else"
    • Living that message means letting/making players go if they can't or won't adapt
    • Use humour so the message lands - I produced a set of cartoons for Suffolk I am happy to share.. message me.
    • work on individuals to embrace the need to change, role model good behaviour and challenge bad behaviour
    • try to give the club a social side as well as a bridge side - so people know each other away from a table
    • Help people realise Bad Behaviour is the death knell for a club leading to member attrition and closure
    • Make sure those abused have a safe channel for reporting bad behaviour and understand the club can and will act to protect them and their right to be treated appropiately
    • Perhaps have a limerick, or design-a-tee-shirt competition to promote the change from bad to good behaviour
    • Get directors committed to the journey to good behaviour. Get them to examine if there are any ways their actions might be triggering or be seen to be endorsing bad behaviour, or might be inhibiting good behaviour. Directors (and committee members) have to realise they are club members too, so they are as likely to have to change as anyone

    Peter Bushby Suffolk

  • my club is well behaved most of the time but one person can be a problem - when she starts having a go at her partner I just call her name and ask her to keep her voice down. She get's the message and settles down.

    another director frequently gives a lecture on etiquette before the session and I have noticed that a few players get annoyed - they come to play bridge.

  • I gave an impromptu lecture on good behaviour at the table a few weeks ago, since we'd had a complaint from one member via email. It went down well and players were then effusively pleasant for the whole evening.

Sign In or Register to comment.