Psyche Policy in Bridge Club Live
Love it or hate it - Psyching is part of Bridge.
In response to many comments passed in recent months on the topic of psychic calls, Bridge Club Live has carried out a substantial amount of research and consultation, and has now finalised the policy which is to be implemented within the club.
By way of background information, whilst the guidelines of the ACBL and the EBU (as the NBOs with the largest representation) have been taken into consideration, as an international club, BCL has chosen to be guided by the rules of the World Bridge Federation. Consequently, we have conferred with the Chief Tournament Director of the WBF, who is responsible for the interpretation of the laws, before arriving at the club’s policy.
Whilst psyches are a legal and legitimate part of the game of bridge, and as such, are permissible within BCL, the guidelines of the WBF state that;
“ the laws of Duplicate Contract Bridge 1997 permit a player to make a psychic call provided that such calls are not based on a partnership understanding. If a call is based upon partnership understanding it ceases to be psychic. In its minutes of 30th August 2000 the WBF Laws Committee ruled that a partnership understanding exists when the frequency of occurrence is sufficient for the partner of the player who makes the call to take his awareness of psychic possibilities into account, whether he does so or not;”
The guidelines then go on to state that;
“understandings whereby from time to time there may be gross violations of the normal meanings of calls, and where this type of violation can be anticipated must be disclosed on convention cards.”
“subject to satisfactory disclosure, methods of this kind are permissible in any category of event”
These two extracts would appear to contradict one another, however having taken advice, BCL’s view is that the first of these extracts is unequivocal, and is not superceded by the second, which carries ambiguity in the interpretation of “from time to time”.
The policy of Bridge Club Live is that whilst psychic calls are accepted as a legitimate part of bridge, and are permitted within the club, any pair which is deemed to be psyching with sufficient frequency so as to establish that their “awareness of psychic possibilities may be taken into account” will be in contravention of the club’s policy.
Should such a situation arise, the members in question would be advised accordingly, and asked to desist from such actions. Any further transgressions would result in termination of their memberships.
We recommend NOT to psyche in the Social or Coaching Rooms where Guests and beginners may be confused and/or upset.
In order that ‘frequency’ may be fairly monitored, we request that all psychic calls (i.e. a deliberate and gross mis-statement of honour strength/suit length) should be reported through the normal ethics reporting procedures. These have been specifically developed to record Psyches and monitor them
Please note that neither an individual’s personal attitude/opinion on psyching, nor the fact that full disclosure of the possibility had been made, alters the responsibility to report.
Links on Psyches