The ACBL 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 Z-T 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
- 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 are 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
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 (1/4 board EACH = 1/2 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 a second offense has occurred 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. 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 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
A Zero Tolerance Report Form shall be available for players to report
incidents which occur away from the table; and for directors to document complaints and
action taken. The DIC shall provide a summary report of all behavioral penalties to the
Tournament Chairman and/or Recorder.