WHOSE FAULT IS IT?
I received the following email but since I am not qualified in this area (nor do I want to broach the subject after my outrageous ruling and AWMW later revoked several years ago), I passed it on to Bobby for impartial expert advice.
Here is the questioner’s letter followed by Bobby’s response:
Player calls the director during auction for hesitation by opps, Director makes usual ruling, call me if you feel you are damaged. In the meantime Director looks at the hand records and sees he has obvious adjustment, but original player never calls director back to say they have damaged. Is the Director duty bound to give them the adjustment ? or is he supposed to let it pass, and allow the hesitators the advantage they gained by the pause?
This happened today at the local club, and I was later asked what should have happened. I WAS STUMPED…. On the one hand the original callers should know enough to call director back, on the other hand they didn’t , but it still rankles that the hesitators should gain from the hesitation.
You’ve brought up an off-shoot challenging the responsibility of what a tournament director should do as a follow-up to a director call.
The TD was correct in what he told your table, before he left, and so followed the rules. However, depending on what he thought and therefore felt, after he saw the magnitude of the possible ethical violation to which he was called to your table.
It would have normally required at least one or more players to have called him back, for him to further rule on the possible violation, but if the TD was sufficiently inflamed by what he saw in the hand records, there is no doubt that he should have enthusiastically returned, if for no other reason, than to discipline the possible wrongdoer and try and convince him to never do that or anything similar again.
All officials of the administrative part of bridge tournaments have an unwritten (at least to my knowledge) DUTY to make sure the game is serviced properly and to have a violation of the special and unique ethics of the game severely violated, should require TD’s to issue disciplines to the possible culprit or else the game is not being directed properly.
Of course, it is mamby pambyish behavior of the worst category for the aggrieved party(s) to not call the TD back if they thought they were damaged, but two wrongs never make a right and each wrong needs to be reported individually.
Please take this advice in the spirit it is given and that spirit is only to do the best thing possible for the future of our great game.