"A primary objective of the ACBL is to instill in all players the concept that vigorous efforts should be made to provide equity in bridge. Every player should take pains to make sure that the opponents have in no way been harmed through incomplete or misleading information as to the meaning of conventional calls and treatments."
What does this mean?
The ACBL is a community of people, united by a love of duplicate bridge. Duplicate bridge is a contest, a competition among its members, a game with rules and guidelines designed to promote the pleasure of playing. When those rules are obeyed, both in letter and in spirit, the game is FAIR.
|Question:||"What does following the spirit of the law mean?"|
In a nutshell, a player is required to avoid any action or inaction which will gain himself or his partner unauthorized information (UI). That means
- alerting all alertable calls.
- giving good explanations of alertable calls when asked to explain, and preferably not just the label of the convention.
- when it's your contract, BEFORE defender leads, explaining to defenders failure to alert or incorrect explanation of the alertable call
- when it's their contract, explaining to declarer AT THE END OF THE HAND, any failure to alert or incorrect explanation. (You can't do it before declarer plays, for it would give your PARTNER unauthorized information.) And yes, the Director may be called to make a ruling.
Let's be real about this. There are other ways of gaining UI. So, being fair can ALSO mean:
- asking your opponent to hold cards differently instead of letting him/her continue to hold the hand so you can see them.
- avoiding discussing any hand when others could hear, even if they have played the hand at another table.
- notifying the Director if you overhear discussion about a board you have not played.
After all, what fun is it to win when the playing field is not level?
For more information, see Active Ethics on the ACBL web site.