Away of the table option

Lately we have often mentioned the ‘away of the table option'. Specially now, with the comparable calls cases, more and more. Is there any law statement offering officially to the Td's this authority? Recently I was asked by a player, whom I wanted to take away from the table, if this action was allowed, and I wanted to give him a documented answer.


  • For comparable cases (calls out of rotation and insufficient bids) the TD should be able to rule without taking the player away from the table BUT the TD should offer to talk to the offender away from the table if the offender wants to better understand their options (and how the TD might rule on which calls are comparable).

    A different case is when one player is unable to remember the meaning of partner's bid. It can be necessary to send the player away from the table, while the partner is questioned about whether there is an agreement and if so what.

    In general, the TD is allowed to make reasonable requests/instructions in order to fulfill his functions and ensure the progress of the game. If there are reasonable objections to being asked to leave the table (e.g. disability) then other accommodation can be found.

  • Thank you. You forecast and answered also my second question ;)

    So it is lawful, and a good practice, to send the player away from the table, while he has forgotten his system, and then ask his partner, the bidder, whether there is an agreement, and if so what?

    Is this based on law 81 'Director's duties and powers'? Or somewhere else in Laws?

  • There's a few words in the middle of Law 20F1: "Except on the instruction of the Director, replies should be given by the partner of the player who made the call in question."

    White Book Para 8.20.3 refers and quotes a WBF minute:

    "If a player knows that his partner’s call is conventional but says he cannot recall what was
    actually agreed the Director may in his discretion send the player away from the table and allow
    the partner to tell opponents in his absence what the agreement is. The Director must be called
    and no action may be taken before he arrives.
    The partner continues in the auction on the basis that the player has understood his call, and
    does not use the unauthorised information that his partner is uncertain of the meaning. The
    Director is strongly urged to remain at the table whilst the hand is completed. This procedure is
    only for the exact circumstances described; it does not apply when the player says that the
    position is undiscussed or there is no agreement."

    It is important that it is the TD who authorises the sending away of a player, rather than the players making some sort of guess as to what to do. I have had at least a couple of occasions of being called and as I arrive at the table, a player has just been sent away, and I have quickly established that they have sent the wrong player away! Yes, really!

    The correct player to send away is, of course, the partner of the player who made the call in question. After sending the correct player away, I always then say to the caller "Your opponents are entitled to know if you think you have an agreement about your call, and if so, what that agreement is. Your opponents are not entitled to know what you hold in your hand."

    I am not quite sure why it recommends that the TD stays at the table till the end of the play, but if I am a non-playing TD, I like to hover near the table till the end of the auction and see that everyone seems happy.

    Barrie Partridge - Senior Kibitzer in Bridge Club Live - Pig Trader in IBLF

  • To be fair, Barrie, amongst better players the sending people away from the table routine is understood and often done without the TD. Yes, I know it should not be. At my table alone I can think of about six or seven occasions in the last six to eight months, usually when my regular partner is unsure of the explanation and she offers to go away.

  • It's the better players that think they understand the routine, but sometimes they don't. I can only imagine that some want, for reasons best known to themselves, to ask the partner of the caller what he is going to take the call to mean.

    It's only ever been at EBU events that I've found the wrong player has been sent away from the table! :)

    Barrie Partridge - Senior Kibitzer in Bridge Club Live - Pig Trader in IBLF

Sign In or Register to comment.