By David Stevenson, Merseyside
Recently the Laws & Ethics Committee has received a number of apparently minor cases, most of which would have been better [and more quickly] sorted out at the time by the Director. Some cannot be [for example, if the complaint is against the Director himself!] but many of them seem to have just started with players not calling the Director when things started to go wrong. That is what he is there for. The Director's job is to help people have a good time. He does that by making sure the game runs smoothly, that the rules are followed, and that players are polite or perhaps friendly. Experience shows that these conditions make it easier for everyone to have fun.
The nastiest happenings have been known to start with the words "I won't call the Director, but .": anything up to a full accusation of cheating has been known to follow! If someone says that to you then you should be on your guard. You may find it helpful to call the Director immediately. A player who starts with these words can be genuinely trying to be helpful, and may even be genuinely knowledgeable: however often neither of these admirable traits is present. Furthermore, if your opponents or partner is rude, whether to you or not, call the Director: let him sort the problem out.
Many people think that a "friendly" game is one in which the Director is not called. Experience suggests otherwise. Serious incidents are more likely to arise when the Director is not called straight away. A good Director often calms situations and calling him leads to a friendlier and fairer game. Give him a chance, please!