Software Clock Display

I wonder what people think about this.
As a player I find it intensely threatening and offensive. Unless my partner insists I never play at an event where I know it will be there.
As a Director I don't see how it helps. It would never affect my decision to prevent play on a board and it doesn't help the problem of deciding which of two pairs is slow.
('Intensely' is an understatement.)

Alan

Comments

  • Alan, I can understand your feelings towards this "tool" for directors. Unfortunately the people that should be affected by its presence (the slow ones) take absolutely no notice of the time and after a while don't hear the 4 minute warning or the "dong" at the end of the round. However, most clubs get it because the belief is that slow players will speed up. It is a bit like having a sledge hammer to hammer in tacks! I have even noticed that some directors don't know where the time has gone! I don't know if there is an answer to slow play but I do think that directors need to use the "tools" available otherwise chaos rules.

    I have noticed that in congresses and County events there is no pressure on time. So why is it that time is such a concern in clubs? (yes I know really, room hire etc.) Most "time" is lost through early "postmortems" and possibly one way to eleminate these might be to shut off the bridgemates from giving more than the percentage for that hand (EBU default on the scoring program). Why do we need to give them details of results from other tables? Why don't we challenge people that discuss hands, it always continues beyond the end of the hand and well into the time for the next hand. Look around the bridge room when you have finished all the boards and you will see many people taking a long time shuffling their cards, before boarding them, and whilst doing so discussing the hand. Go to a table to move the boards and it is as if you don't exist as they continue to talk and shuffle even though the move has been called and the bridgemate hasn't been updated for the last result.

    Big problem for some clubs and probably needs a "steer" from above.

    CMOT_Dibbler

  • Bridge mate scoring under EBU Score provides an excellent Round Monitor display. It shows me which tables are still playing.
    I usually finish play in time to go round the room to check.. and glare in a schoolmastery way at slow players.
    When all but two tables are finished I move them on. Sometimes I take away a board from a slow table. I award 60/60 and warn about repeated offences. I have never had a repeat offence.
    I am well known for watching the time and those who have taxis or buses to catch really appreciate it.
    Apart from the reaction from the players, I can't see how the clock would have any affect. It certainly wouldn't change the way I Direct.

    Alan

  • @Alan16248 said:
    I wonder what people think about this.
    As a player I find it intensely threatening and offensive. Unless my partner insists I never play at an event where I know it will be there.
    As a Director I don't see how it helps. It would never affect my decision to prevent play on a board and it doesn't help the problem of deciding which of two pairs is slow.
    ('Intensely' is an understatement.)

    "threatening and offensive" seem to be extreme overstatements.

    It's helpful to players who want to use their time without being late. It's helpful to directors, not only to keep track of the rounds without having to remember when the previous move was and calculate the difference, but also to have an objective measure to draw to the attention of pairs who are slow.

    Games with clocks tend to run to schedule better than those without.

  • I have played twice at an event with a clock.
    The Director didn't mention it and so no one knew what would happen when the time ran out. As far as I could see the Director ignored it, all the players ignored it and there was still slow play.. over running the clock.
    I can't believe that sessions with a clock run faster than those with a Director taking proper control of time.

    Alan

  • Two things - one is that at the Green point events I have attended (played) the TD team always allow far too much time (e.g. an hour for eight boards), that is probably why you haven't felt time pressure at a congress.
    Second thing - if there were a cure/answer to slow play and slow players, the EBU would have typed it up and made all clubs aware and we'd all be using the cure. There isn't a cure (apart from alienating slow players by badgering them) so we have to live with it.

  • P.S. the above comment was not intended to be critical of congress TDs who I regard highly.

  • @TawVale said:
    Two things - one is that at the Green point events I have attended (played) the TD team always allow far too much time (e.g. an hour for eight boards), that is probably why you haven't felt time pressure at a congress.
    Second thing - if there were a cure/answer to slow play and slow players, the EBU would have typed it up and made all clubs aware and we'd all be using the cure. There isn't a cure (apart from alienating slow players by badgering them) so we have to live with it.

    We do have one document about slow play written for EBU panel TDs, and another in the Club Management Handbook written for clubs.

    60 minutes for eight boards in a fairly serious event doesn't seem too much time to me. It is meant to be a thinking game, and those who play faster than that often welcome the time to go and get a coffee/have a walk/have a cigarette.

  • Hi TawVale. Sorry I am always being told off for going "around" the subject. Perhaps I should have said that maybe Congresses and County events should be run in the same way as is expected of clubs. Maybe even go as far as to use the Brdigemates EBU default button and limit the information that is given back to the table after the result is transmitted. With todays technology the hands can be reviewed after the event has finished. It might cut down the discussions (arguments and light gloating) After all the expectation is that no one should obtain an advantage over others. If the EBU is willing to say how long boards should take to complete the auction and the play why can't they demonstrate that those timings are adhered to. That is why I used the word "steer", I agree that the cure is a long way off but unless clubs see it in action from the above we have no chance.

    Alan not sure that the "glare" might be considered within best behaviour at bridge. I am also wary of the award of 60/60 for a withdrawn board. Someone must be guilty!

    CMOT_Dibbler

  • Glare was perhaps a bit of poetic licence. I like them to know I am watching.

    Sadly I always know which is the slow pair. We have some pairs that are always slow. But I have no evidence so I have to treat both the same. This is one reason why I don't like the clock. I don't want to be threatened when I am playing with a notorious slow pair.

    Alan

  • I personally find it reassuring to know how much time is left in a round sometimes. This is more of a thing in swiss events when rounds are longer. Slow play can be a problem at these as well, certainly in my experience as a player.
    I think it is useful, as a director, to have some visual reminder even if you can sometimes grant leeway to slow pairs.

    I do find, in club level events, it's possible to be flexible. Apart from anything else, everyone plays quicker at the start of an event and if you can get a few early moves in you've got time to spare later. In a larger congress field that's probably less workable, there'll be more players expecting to have the full time available. I recognise Alan's description of being able to 'train' club fields. They get to know you as a director, know you will take boards away if you have to and not to waste time if they are behind. I find some players speed up remarkable once I've called the move, doesn't work on everyone sadly :).

    I tend to award 50/50 for a slow board, but you should obviously try to account for players finishing late. I'm also not especially shy about blaming a pair I know to be serially slow, generally if they arrived at a table late they get a bit of blame. 60/50 is perfectly legal, it's worth remembering that.

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