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EBU Rules

edited February 2012 in All Things Bridge
Rules are, or should be, to make the game fair. Of course what is fair is somewhat subjective but I am forming the view that there is a group of wrinkled old grumpy old ladies at the EBU with nothing else in their lives who sit around thinking up new rules just to perpetuate their existence. I know from life experience that some people just simply like rules for themselves. They get a kick out of knowing the rules and telling other people what they are doing wrong. These people have lost sight of fact that the game is something to be enjoyed and the rules are simply to make the game fair – for the people the rules are their for them to catch people out and make them look inferior.

We have just come back from a RTW cruise where the Bridge director started by announcing her EBU qualifications and then spent most of every day policing the tables to ensure strict enforcement of the rules. I was particularly irritated by the insistence that the boards stay in the middle of the table during play; not to the side or in the corner of the table or the chair besides but smack bang in the middle of the table making us play the cards over the top of the board. Notwithstanding the fact that all four players were happy for the board to be placed elsewhere she insisted that it stay in the middle of the table because “that’s the rules.” - stupid.


  • edited 12:56AM
    You should at least target the right group for your rant! Laws are not made by the EBU or any other national body. They are made by the WBF (World Bridge Federation) and indeed Law 7A says that the board is placed in the centre of the table until play is complete. It does have the merit of lowering the risk of the cards going back in the wrong slot and running the board for the next table but much easier to think that it is invented for your personal inconvenience. Speaking as the wrinkled grumpy old lady who is the current chairman of the EBU Laws and Ethics Committee we have better things to do than "thinking up new rules" I agree that too many regulations and laws enforced in an officious way reduce enjoyment but perhaps you are deciding that having had a poor experience where people interfered with your inalienable right to have the board where you wanted everyone must act in this way. How can I put it:-they don't!
  • edited 12:56AM

    I think your post proves my point.

    I expect rules to be improve a situation by making it fairer, easier, faster, more efficient etc., if a rule creates more of a problem than it solves it is a BAD rule and I expect someone at the EBU to identify such rules and protect us from them.

    In this case the benefit the rule brings – ‘It does have the merit of lowering the risk of the cards going back in the wrong slot’ (your words) is minimal against the disruption to play by having a play over a lump of plastic. And, even if you don’t agree that the ‘cure is worse than the disease’ - if all four players are happy for the board not to be in the middle for the table, why does the WBF / EBU tell them that they MUST have it in the middle of the table – how arrogant is that!
  • edited 12:56AM
    Let's try again. The laws are international not local. Whether you believe the law is right or wrong please understand how it is set. You can redeal when people pass out the hand, you can have the board on the floor not in the middle of the table, you can add a fifth suit if you want. You just aren't playing bridge. You seem to assume that if you prefer something then the regulations of the game don't apply to you. There are some who might think that to be a touch arrogant. What is the problem with having a board plastic or otherwise in the middle of the table? If all four players are happy with this and there is only one table in play then fine but if there are others then they also need some consideration.
    To be honest it seems a peculiar thing to get exited about unless the tables were so msall as to make it inconvenient
  • edited 12:56AM

    “We’re not playing Bridge if the board is not in the middle of the table.”

    I don’t know where you play your Bridge!

    I’ll bet you (name the wager) that the vast majority of (duplicate) Bridge games played at Bridge clubs up and down the country do not keep the board in the middle of the table during play. Why - for the reasons I’ve stated. So what – with a background in law I was taught that a bad law is one that is not enforceable or which is widely ignored. That would seem to describe Law 7a.
  • edited 12:56AM
    I may not have played in as many clubs as you but the board in the ones I have played in is almost universally kept on the table. I have seen it removed from the table though usually by someone with several bees in their bonnet.
    Those who make the laws (the WBF as you say) require you to lead face down. Back in about 1976 there were those who were going to give up because of this requirement. In retrospect it reduced leads out of turn and rather unethical lead directing questions for no cost excepting flouting tradition.
    I can see the case for hurling the board on the floor but there are times when it is the easiest way to remind oneself of the vulnerability(should I play for 200?) and it reduces the number of misboards. Your point is " disruption playing over a lump of plastic" Why do you do this? The cards are played in front of you and you have no need to reach anywhere. If this is the best you can do in criticising the law and lawmakers I suggest a hot cup of tea and a lie down! I hesitate to quote Michael Winner but........................
    Worth saying you are also a bit late as this particular law was in the 1947 edition of the laws. Not sure about pre-war versions.
  • edited 12:56AM
    Thank you for the clarification. I play duplicate, weekly at a delightful club, very friendly and good-natured. My only problem is I sit North/South and I always, gently insist that the boards stay in the middle of the normal size Bridge table. I am repeatedly told that I am the only person in the room who wants this and also no-one seems to understand the point of it. We are not an EBU club and we play 9 - 12 tables a week. Do you think I am unreasonable ? I have played duplicate in many different clubs for over thirty years and found this to be a new experience.
    Janet J.
  • edited 12:56AM
    No I don't think you are unreasonable. At one club I play at the tables are quite small but there still is no problem. I think it is just a matter of expectations. There are good reasons to do it, IMO, and the only argument against it seems to be "no-one should tell me what to do" Where boards are taken off the table I've seen them put back where South is North and vice versa. As curtain cards become rarer this is more of a problem and more difficult to rectify. It spoils board for other tables and is mostly avoidable at no real cost.
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