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Conduct and Correct Procedure

Bridge Club Live is proud of its friendly, helpful membership and the warm real club atmosphere which prevails.

This page provides our Code of Conduct as well as advice for when something goes wrong. It is hoped that everyone will have referred to this page by shortly after they have started to play in BCL, and be at least aware of the various other information pages on this BCL web site.

Be a valued member

A valued member is a member who is polite, friendly and courteous at all times, whether chatting in the club or sending Sticky Notes or contributing to Comment Boards.

A valued member respects other members' rights to have different opinions or ways of thinking, while conducting their own chat in a proper, mature and inoffensive manner taking into account that the internet environment is without feelings and deprives us of the real voices and smiles that take the sting out of face to face chat.

A valued member assists new members and guests and tries to show patience and understanding.

Language of chat in the club and at the table

We are an International Club with many different languages spoken by our members - but English must be spoken when sat at a table or when sending messages to a table, unless exceptional circumstances require another language to be used for a short time, for example to assist a new member.

Kibitzing and lurking

We are free to spectate or kibitz at all tables. When kibitzing, please don’t send chat to the table during the auction or the play. During a break between hands, you may wish to let the players know you are there, though many players prefer to be undisturbed.

If you are lurking and want to speak to someone who is already seated, maybe playing at a table – please go to spectate at that table and wait until a suitable moment between boards before sending your chat so that you don’t interrupt the game or disturb the players too much.

Courtesy to Partner and Opponents

We want you to enjoy your playing experience and we want the same for your partner, and also your opponents. Please avoid being critical of partner’s or opponents’ bidding or play. Constructive discussion is fine but our members do not come to play in BCL to be given a hard time or to be told that they play poorly or need lessons.

It is polite when joining a table to say hello or welcome. There is even a button you can click to send a greeting to the other players. Equally, it is polite to say thank you or goodbye before you leave.

  • Please do not swear or use abusive language anywhere in our club. Bridge Club Live is a friendly place. We work hard to keep it that way and we ask that you do your part to maintain this atmosphere. Never use foul language of any sort, not even if it is abbreviated! We advise that you re-read any message before sending it and if you think it may be taken badly or may hurt, offend, or be perceived as gloating, then delete and don’t send.

It is not good etiquette to rub salt into opponents' wounds. If you have a good score - great - but remember it means the opponents have not had a good score. If you have been gifted a score by their mistakes, please be tactful or, better still, stay quiet!

  • Please do not play when you are tired or under the influence of alcohol or any kind of drugs. It may affect your chat, and what may seem amusing to you may be not at all funny to others.
  • Please avoid discussing politics or religion in the club.
  • Please also avoid typing in capitals as this is considered as shouting.
  • Please do not type rows of question marks. This is considered impolite, especially if there is no accompanying question!

Incident Reports

In the event that you do encounter unpleasant or rude behaviour, please let Management know by submitting an Incident Report. There is a link from the Home Page to guide you. You can also click a button near the bottom right of the screen when in the club to initiate an Incident Report. There is nothing too trivial for an Incident Report.

Equally, please do not “threaten” to send an Incident Report, or attempt to take things into your own hands. This usually prolongs unpleasantness and makes situations worse. If you have cause, please just send a report. The Incident Manager can access all the chat records, and assesses all events on their merits

If you are concerned by opponents’ bidding or play.

While it is reasonable to ask an opponent why they might have made a call or a play, it is not our place to criticise their choice, nor to suggest that their choice may be unethical. If you retain any concern, the Incident Report system is there for our TD to provide advice or to act.

One of the most serious offences possible is to suggest or imply cheating. If you have any such concern it is imperative that you say nothing at the table and nothing to any other member, and that you submit an Incident Report so that our specialists on the Management Team can investigate and take any appropriate action with complete discretion. There is more information on this on our page titled “Serious Ethics”. In short, we absolutely do not tolerate anyone who does cheat, but equally we do not tolerate anyone who confronts another player with any suggestion or implication of cheating.

When you are dummy.

Law 43A1c states: “Dummy must not participate in the play, nor may he communicate anything about the play to declarer.”

If you are Dummy, when the last trick has been played, you then cease to be Dummy, but until then, you may chat about the board in play only if a defender requests information on a call by your partner that occurred during the auction. In particular, you may not tell declarer to claim the remaining tricks, no matter how obvious things may appear to be to you.

Leaving a table.

Except for genuine emergency, you may never leave the table before finishing a board that has been started. Play of a board does not finish until all four hands are on show on your screen and the score for that board is showing in the middle of the screen. Please take special care to not leave prematurely when there has been a claim.

“Quitting” is the act of deliberately leaving a table during the play of a board to attempt to avoid a bad score for the board, or the act of leaving a DIDO round or Tourney before completion. There is more information on this on a page titled “Quitting”.

If you start a round of four boards in DIDO, you are committed to complete those four boards, and you should allow for at least 30 minutes before starting the round, even though the average duration of a DIDO round is about 22 minutes.

Similarly, if you enter a Tourney, you are committed to completing the event. These are mostly of 16 or 18 boards. You should allow for a Tourney to take at least two and a quarter hours, even though the vast majority are completed in less than two hours, and often in much less time than that.

External communication and other distractions when playing

We do not approve of the use of SKYPE, MSN, telephone or any other such method of external communication with anyone whilst playing in the club, as this might cause delay, as well as being rude to the other players at the table. Such communication with your partner or indeed any other member of BCL is particularly unacceptable as this could easily lead to inadvertent but illegal exchange of unauthorised information, and even without such exchange, may well cause misplaced suspicion of cheating.

If you become disconnected.

Obviously, you will attempt to return as quickly as possible and try to return to the table where you were sitting. If you were unable to return in time, it is strongly recommended that you send a Sticky Note to the other players to advise them that you were disconnected. Any player can submit an Incident Report and the TD will then assign the score that was likely to have occurred had the board been completed. If you cannot remember who the other players were, an e-mail to IncidentManager@bridgeclublive.com will prevent any doubt regarding your disappearance.

When another player has become disconnected.

Please wait as long as 4 or 5 minutes for a player who has been disconnected from your table, whether an opponent or partner. In DIDO, the server will indicate a minimum period to wait.

Despite modern technology, the internet can still cause bad connections. When the player returns, any board partly bid or played - must be rebid and replayed exactly as before so that no-one is disadvantaged by the disconnection. Many players like to shorten the auction. Please do not do this as it causes confusion and accidents, and in any case, players (and those looking later at the archives) are entitled to the knowledge of the correct auction.

If that player does not return, the board must not be played by an incoming, different fourth. In that case, please select a different board. This is not usually possible in a Tourney, in which case the board should be played to achieve a result and any player can submit an Incident Report for the TD to adjust the score to what would likely have occurred if a player had not been disconnected.

Correct procedure

During the play of a hand, it may transpire that a player will have a significantly different hand to that described in the auction. This may be due to any of five reasons.

1. The player may have mis-clicked but had not attempted to correct in time. (For more information on this, please see the page titled “Mis-bids and Mis-clicks” in the Information section on this site.)

2. The player may have made an error in bidding (a “mis-bid”).

3. The player’s partner may have accidentally given a mis-explanation of the call.

4. The player may have deliberately deviated from his side’s stated agreements (this may be a psyche or a deviation).

5. Or the player may have simply exhibited poor bidding judgement.

It is not for the other side to presume a cause, but if you are concerned that you may have called or played differently, a submitted Incident Report will bring advice, and occasionally a score adjustment but depending on the circumstances. There is also information on psyches in the Information section on this site.

Simple System Disclosure (SSD)

Our SSDs are the equivalent to System Cards (also known as Convention Cards). They are to assist you and a new partner to have at least some basic system agreements. They provide information to your opponents. As partnerships get more experienced it is convenient and advised to update your SSDs as you agree more conventions and methods. Our CTD advises that having a complete SSD and SSD Extra also helps your own side. There is a separate information page on SSDs.

Delays

Please try to play at a reasonable pace and not unnecessarily cause the other players to wait. If you have a medical or health reason causing you to be slower than other players, we advise that you put a note of explanation on your profile so that other players can be politely and unobtrusively informed. There is advice on the CTD Advice page if there is an unexpected delay at your end.

At the end of play of hands, a little discussion of the board just played (often called “post mortem”) is quite reasonable but please don’t cause opponents to wait before you click Ready for the next board or continue discussing into the auction of the next board. The end of a DIDO round is a good time to have a longer discussion with partner. Many regular partnerships discuss a sessions’ boards by phone after finishing play and there is then full access to the bidding and play records on this web site.

If you find that you have delayed in alerting partner’s call and you see that your right hand opponent has already called, then you should give your opponent the opportunity to change their call if they wish.

Advertising for a partner.

If you advertise for a partner within the club, we would expect you to accept whoever comes to join you, whatever PPI symbol they may have, and to be flexible in choice of bidding system, especially in rooms other than the Social Room.

Playing in Tourneys

We have at least two fixed-time tournaments every day. They are particularly popular for those who enjoy Pairs events with IMP scoring, and Individual events. It is, however, important that if you play in a tourney, you commit to playing till the end.

Because a delay at one table can hold up other tables and ultimately the whole tourney, it is essential to keep a reasonable pace and try to avoid particular delays. If a problem occurs at a table, the top priority is to avoid any excessive delay. If necessary a result should be achieved for a problem board even if considered incorrect, and an Incident Report subsequently submitted for the TD to resolve and, if appropriate, adjust a score.

Delays also occur due to a disconnection. If a disconnected player has not returned within about 3 minutes or as advised by server messages, a substitute must be sought by advertising. If it is your partner who has been disconnected, you must persevere to get a substitute. You must not abandon the tourney or else your opponents must advertise for two substitutes and that would cause much more serious delay.

Substitutes in Tourneys

In the event of a disconnection of a player and replacement with a substitute player, it may be that the disconnected player is eventually able to return. While the disconnected player on return may let the table know that he has returned, the protocol is that the substitute player has priority to remain playing. It may well be that the substitute player offers to let the returning player resume the tourney, and that is absolutely fine. Equally, the returning player may also suggest that the substitute continues if concerned that his connection is not as reliable as he would wish.

Playing in Special Competitions

Our Tournament Manager organises many special competitions through the year. These are open to all members. It is important, however, to appreciate the commitment required for each event should you wish to enter. For example, a season in the IMPs League takes over five months.

When playing in an event that requires private arranging of matches, please check frequently for Sticky Notes as your opponents usually have only this method available to contact you. We strongly encourage matches to be arranged as quickly as possible when draws are known.

Membership Accounts.

Paragraph 7 of the Terms of Membership states that you must not open more than one membership account per person. This is one of the most serious offences possible, so don’t even think about it!