Club Management Focus: Autumn 2015

Abuse of the NGS host system

The NGS host system allows for host players and their partners to be excluded from the NGS calculations in some circumstances. This system exists to try to ensure that people are not discouraged from acting as a host and partnering unfamiliar players.

We believe, however, that it is necessary to highlight some aspects of the system:

"If a player volunteers as a "host" or "mentoring" partner for a club duplicate session they can decide in advance that their score, or their and their partner's score for that session should be ignored by the NGS. This is limited to one player or pair per session and is at the discretion of the organiser of that session."

"Because of the disadvantage for unfamiliar partnerships, and to avoid discouragement of players to act as "hosts" or "stand-by players" at clubs, it will be made possible for a player assuming that role to indicate before the start of play that the pair wishes not to be graded for that particular session. This facility is limited to one pair per event."

"A "host" player together with his/her partner may opt to be excluded from the grade calculations of any particular event. This is limited to one player or pair per event, is at the discretion of the event organiser, and the pair must express their intention to opt out before the start of the event."

These extracts make clear that choosing to be excluded from the NGS may only be done by host players and their partners. This may only be done before the game starts and is only allowed because of the disadvantage that might result from the unfamiliarity of such a partnership, so it should not be used by anyone in a regular partnership.

Unfortunately there is mounting evidence that a small number of hosts and TDs in a few clubs are abusing this system by selectively excluding themselves from games only when they have scored badly, and sometimes when playing in partnerships that are not unfamiliar.

We would therefore ask you to draw this to the attention of anyone at your club who might be in a position to take advantage of the system, to ensure they fully understand the limited circumstances in which exemptions are allowed.

Any individuals who abuse the system in this way can expect it to be dealt with as a serious Laws & Ethics matter. Actions of this type damage the integrity of the system, disadvantage the vast majority of players who follow the words and spirit of the regulations, and the end result could be that this concession be withdrawn altogether for everyone.

Please remember that a player's NGS grade is not adversely affected just by playing with a weaker partner, and therefore the host exemption should not be used in those instances. This article may help to dispel some of the myths regarding the NGS system.