Isn’t it good that so many of the rulings at Bridge are not controversial?
Usually when something doesn’t go correctly at the bridge table, there is a simple rule in the” Laws of Duplicate Bridge 2017”which the director applies and that sets things right, it is the end of the matter.
There can be trickier rulings concerning things such as bidding after a hesitation or dealing with a situation when someone gives a wrong explanation for a bid. Because those ruling require a judgment to be made not everyone will always agree with them.
Those trickier rulings are very much in the minority. You might play for months, or even years, before you encounter a ruling of that sort which you disagree with.
In games such as cricket or rugby there is a decision in every game that someone is unhappy about. While it is annoying that the umpire says not out when you know that the ball struck the batsman on the pads right in front of the stumps you get over it because you know that it is part of the game.
At bridge it is excellent that those rulings you are unhappy about are so rare. However, the unfortunate side effect of that is that when they do occur some players can feel personally offended about how unfair they believe it to be.
Will the director’s ruling always be right in those situations? Of course not, because when judgment needs to be applied you can have very tricky situations where even experienced directors disagree with one another.
If you are upset about a ruling remember that the director is just trying to apply the rules of the game to the best of their ability.
If you are really convinced that the ruling is incorrect there is a process where an appeal committee can be convened so that 3 or more people can hear the facts and make a judgment in a difficult case. In America that procedure is used quite often, but in New Zealand it is used less frequently. An appeal at a club session is rare, but it certainly has happened before, so if you really feel strongly that the ruling is not correct please consider that an appeal is always an option.
Posted: Mon 08 Jul 2019