The following is the American Duplicate Bridge League Policy on Zero Tolerance.
The American Contract Bridge League Board of Directors and Management are committed to improving acceptable player behavior at all times. In accordance with Laws 74, 80F, 81C4, 90A, 91, and 92A (Laws of Duplicate Bridge) the following policy outlines what is expected of all players during NABCs and other ACBL sponsored events, as well as in the playing area before and after each session.
The ultimate purpose of the Zero Tolerance policy is to create a much more pleasant atmosphere in our NABCs. We are attempting to eradicate unacceptable behavior in order to make the game of bridge more enjoyable for all. Below are some examples of commendable behavior, which, while not required, will significantly contribute to the improved atmosphere:
- Being a good ‘host’ or ‘guest’ at the table.
- Greeting others in a friendly manner.
- Praising the bidding and/or play of the opponents
- Having two clearly completed convention cards readily available to the opponents (This one is a regulation, not just a nicety)
The following list contains some examples of behavior which will not be tolerated:
- Badgering, rudeness, insinuations, intimidation, profanity, threats, or violence.
- Negative comments concerning opponents’ or partner’s play or bidding.
- Constant and gratuitous lessons and analyses at the table.
- Loud and disruptive arguing with a director’s ruling.
If a player at the table behaves in an unacceptable manner, the director should be called immediately. Annoying behavior, embarrassing remarks, or any other conduct which might interfere with the enjoyment of the game is specifically prohibited by Law 74A. Law 91A gives the director the authority to assess disciplinary penalties.
The following procedures have been given to the tournament directors for implementation:
- At the start of each event, the director shall make an announcement that the tournament will be observing ZERO TOLERANCE for unacceptable behavior. It is requested that the director be called whenever behavior is not consistent with the guidelines outlined above.
- The director, when called, shall make an assessment of the situation. If it is established that there was unacceptable behavior, an immediate 1/4 board disciplinary penalty (3 IMP in team games) shall be assigned to all offenders. This may involve any one or all four players at the table irrespective of who initiated the unacceptable behavior. If both members of a partnership are guilty, the penalties are additive (¼ board EACH = ½ board!). The Board of Directors strongly believes that assignment of disciplinary penalties will improve the overall behavior at our tournaments.
- If it is determined that the same offender is responsible for a second offense in the same event, then the offender(s) shall be ejected from future competition in that event. An offender removed from an event shall be deemed to have not played in the event, no masterpoints will be awarded and no refunds will be made. All previously-obtained results shall, however, remain valid as to their effect upon other competitors. In the case of a serious offense and in the case of multiple offenses (three) during a tournament, a disciplinary committee may be convened to determine whether the offender(s) should be allowed to play in other events at the tournament and/or whether additional sanctions may be appropriate.
- Warnings are strongly discouraged and will be given only when there is no clear violation or in cases where the facts cannot be determined. Offenders are to receive immediate penalties. Regardless of who may have initiated unacceptable behavior, ALL offenses are punishable. Retaliatory behavior is a punishable offense. Frivolous accusations will also be considered as offenses under this policy.
- In accordance with the Laws of Duplicate Bridge, a director’s decision to impose a disciplinary penalty is final; however, all such decisions may be appealed. An appeals committee may not overturn the director’s decision, but could recommend that the director reconsider the imposition of a penalty. It should be noted that the committee may feel that the penalty assessed was not severe enough and may refer the matter to a disciplinary committee.
- The DIC shall provide a summary report of all behavioral penalties to the Tournament Chairman and/or Recorder.