Barrage bid?

I play in Spain, where the word "pre-empt" is generally not well understood. The word most commonly used which seems to work well in English, French & Spanish is "barrage".
Last week I was playing (in a predominantly English speaking group) with my regular partner and the dealer, my LHO (the lady who runs the Friday afternoon bridge group) opened 1NT (15-17). My partner bid Stop 3H. Opener asked me what 3H meant and I said it's a barrage, (later I added weak with 7 hearts.) Opener immediately said "she can't do that She has to say 4H!". I was rather taken aback and before I spoke again my partner said "I can do it & I just have!" I was directing and playing. So I just said 'anybody can bid whatever they like', please continue. It took several more comments before the other two stopped talking, with opener insisting that 3H over 1NT is not a barrage. A few days later the opener (now not well enough to play) sent a message to me that she had phoned the Bridge association ... who? The EBU? I don't know who she called, but apparently they verified that she is correct and that my partner has to say 4H over 1NT for it to be a barrage.
I am totally astonished by all this. I have not seen the lady since, as she isn't well. I do not wish to continue arguing with her and will not mention the subject again unless forced, but I would like to know the facts - surely she is not right, is she?
Here is my p's hand spade Q heart Q J 10 9 6 4 2 diamond 10 7 5 4 club 2. The opponents got a top! Opps did have 3NT, but no-one made it!
Anyway to reiterate my question: My partner can bid 3H over 1NT and we can play it as a standard pre-empt can't we?


  • She can in EBU land.
    I can't imagine any jurisdiction forbidding the use of 3H as a preempt here.

  • @ManchesterRambler said:
    She can in EBU land.
    I can't imagine any jurisdiction forbidding the use of 3H as a preempt here.


  • Thank you both!

  • In a column that I write based on question and answer every so often I get a question of this sort. Players, especially those who play in limited area, eg just a club or two clubs, learn to play a particular way and then expect everyone else to play that way. Some of them tell opponents they cannot do that if they have some sort of different agreement: such players sometimes tell their opponents this quite aggressively. It is not easy to explain to them they are wrong. Many many years ago a player refused to play against us because we used a 10-12 1NT.

    As for “phoning the Bridge Association” this is another unfortunate habit. People tell their opponents they have it on such-and-such an authority but of course they have often misunderstood or misexplained the problem or similar. With the exception of minimum standards for opening bids it is very rare to find any restrictions on natural bids in any jurisdiction.

  • Thank you Bluejak

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