Paul Cronin


My motion

Item 112-87  Player Conduct/Misconduct at clubs

Moved that: Player conduct and/or misconduct occurring at any ACBL Club is hereby made subject to actions by Units, Districts, or the ACBL to enforce any violations of the ACBL Code of Disciplinary Regulations. This is applicable to any actions and/or conduct in violation of the Code.

was defeated at the Toronto NABC ACBL Board meeting. The purpose of the motion was to once again give players at clubs the right to submit complaints to the Unit Recorder, as has been their right since (ACBL) time immemorial. If you think that players should once again have this right, please contact your District representative and request that the motion be reconsidered at the Seattle NABC ACBL Board meeting. The current situation of having to report complaints to club management is simply not fair, particularly in cases where players in small towns end up having to submit a complaint against the club owner to the club owner, and cannot vote with their feet if there is no other club in town.


John Howard GibsonJuly 30th, 2011 at 8:34 am

HBJ : The problem with rules is that they need exceptions, which in turn might require exceptions to the exceptions.
If there is a general rule that complaints should first go to the club management, then exceptions seem blatantly obvious when the complaint concerns the club management. Therefore it is both prudent and correct for such a complaint to go to a higher authority.
Nowhere the law does one see a person sitting in judgement when party to a dispute.
It seems to me that your complaints procedures are more akin to the theatre of the absurd.

Judy Kay-WolffJuly 30th, 2011 at 12:35 pm


I sympathize with the problem. The lovely,
beautiful club where I play has gracious directors, but not of true expert quality. What I suggested is that we have a rotating appeals committee (with players such as Fred Hamilton, Ron von derPorten and Bobby) who play fairly often. There are two or three others who could pitch in if needed — but not of the classs of the three above. Club owners should not be allowed to make rulings when they are unqualified. But, the ACBL does not want to rock the boat and cut off the card fees, dues and percentage of the entry fees for special games. it is all about $$$$!

Paul CroninJuly 30th, 2011 at 5:59 pm

Hi Judy,

Thanks for the kind words – much appreciated!

A committee system would indeed be great, but impossible to match the quality of one with Bobby on it. I do feel that Unit Recorders served as an excellent “central office” to keep track of players who misbehave at a number of clubs. All that is lost now, and it would be very difficult, and sometimes impossible, for a committee dealing with a misbehaving player at club A to know that he had also been misbehaving at clubs B,C,D, ..etc.

The Recorder system has effectively been destroyed, and I want to do everything I can to bring it back.

Judy Kay-WolffJuly 31st, 2011 at 11:20 am


Some individual club owner, in the interest of civility, has posted a written statement that if one woman took off at her husband again, she would be barred. She was back Friday and won, so perhaps she has toned it down.

Our host director (in addition to reminding you to shut off your cell phones), adds to be nice to your partner and opponents — AND MEANS IT. She has barred another for five years for rudeness and other assorted offenses.

She won’t tolerate for improper behavior in her club. How’s that for guts??

Steven GaynorAugust 1st, 2011 at 5:16 pm

My experience is that the recorder system does not always work that well. You need someone willing to do the ‘dirty work’ as well as be organized to keep the papers properly managed. Game owners, especially at the larger clubs are sensitive to disruptive forces since they are in it to make a living and usually act firmly when necessary.

However, I know of a small club in another town where the game operator and director has allegedly done some, uh, ‘things’. It is tolerated there mainly due to its’ being the only game in town and since no one else wants to do the work of running it, they get away with some bad behavior.

I guess it is a matter that ‘one size does not fit all’. Each individual area should have a clear path spelled out to report eithical and behavioral violations – recorder, club owner, unit board, etc. whatever will work best in their corner of the ACBL.

Bobby WolffAugust 3rd, 2011 at 11:11 am

This subject is indeed important, interesting, necessary, and sadly, very complex.

Steven has touched on, change that directly addresses the problems, which Paul has expressed.

1. Self serving
2. Politics at its worst
3. Means to an inglorious end

Events which have suggested the above:

1. Firing the best, bridge loving, most feeling, outstanding work ethic, Recorder who ever existed, Bob Rosen, because he dared take a major recorder problem, featuring a BOD’s member directly to the ACBL BOD’s.

2. Dealing with a totally respected H-O-F member, Peter Pender, who bequeathed a rather large sum of money to the ACBL in a similar way to how Michael Vick treated dogs and then, when eventually exposed, practically turned a deaf ear to accounting for their significant failure and even though a bandaid has returned Peter’s good name to prominence, there still is, at the very least, misspent money to be accounted for.

3. However, in the ACBL BOD’s defense, there are similar self-serving, self-aggrandizing antics, on a much larger scale by our National government’s legislative division when it comes to legislation designed to further their own fortunes and general interest and that added to their selfish priority of being reelected, rather than making the hard decisions necessary to positively manage the country, instead of just advantaging and protecting themselves.

4. Getting back to bridge, allowing the power involved of running the ACBL to flow to the animals in the zoo, their administrative employees including their TD’s, instead of, what is in the best interest of the game in general and particularly its national and world future.

5. When bridge’s importance passes to the populated “high card wins” element within its members (mostly geezers of which I am one) with almost total disregard to the future of where all the electricity comes from, our high-level world class competitors, our administrators are doing something terribly wrong and which, in time (not very long) may cause all to forget about what our wonderful game had always represented, a great mental challenge, never to be conquered, but always to be attempted, the world over.

Simply put, at least at this moment in time, we apparently are not blessed with the experienced leadership necessary to allow units and districts to make consistent significant decisions regarding
poor behavior and other potentially nefarious actions at the clubs and so, and has been their history, the ACBL takes a laissez-faire approach
to all things controversial, even responding negatively to dealing from afar nationally, with direct possible heinous violations, normally, and at least, begging for action.

Until a form of vigilante call for action crusade, or at the very least, a consistent cry from the so called, “little bridge player” to show us the right direction and help make our game much better, no mind change on top, is likely to occur.

It appears to be like a 5 card major system is to bridge—-very comfortable, but arguably not the best way.

Paul CroninAugust 3rd, 2011 at 12:00 pm

Your comments are right on, Bobby! For decades past, players had the right to submit reports or complaints about player behaviour at clubs to their Unit Recorder for review and possible disciplinary action. Then , with no consultation with the grassroots membership, the ACBL took this right away by decreeing that all behaviour problems at clubs, except for a serious breach of ethics like cheating, must be handled by the clubs themselves. If this was motivated by the ACBL’s omnipresent fear of being sued, then, in my opinion, this fear was badly misplaced. So now, if a player at the only game in a small town is insulted or harassed by the club’s owner who is playing in the game, the player has to take his complaint against the owner to the owner. This just doesn’t make sense, and is manifestly unfair, as in many areas there is no way the player can take his business to another club as there is no other club. This action has also, to an appreciable degree, killed the Recorder system, as most of the issues previously handled by Recorders came from incidents at clubs. It is crucial that item 112-87 be reconsidered at the Seattle BOD’s meeting, and I again ask everyone to contact their District Direcror to request that this be done.

Judy Kay-WolffAugust 3rd, 2011 at 12:56 pm


The chain of command in this isssue is like the Cabots speak only to Lodges and Lodges speak only to God.

THERE MUST BE A MIDDLEMAN TO ADJUDICATE THE FREQUENT MALFEASANCES AT THE CLUB LEVEL and I attest to their existence — but no one wants to lose customers. Some clubs make an effort but others act dumb, deaf and blind where the card fees are in jeopardy.

CeylinnazDecember 2nd, 2015 at 12:05 pm

That’s a subtle way of thninikg about it.

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