Paul Cronin

San Francisco

Now that the San Francisco NABC is over, am wondering if the ACBL ZT policy was in effect.

Were ZT announcements made by the director before every session, as mandated by the ACBL?

Did anyone hear a ZT call for a director?

Did anyone see or hear of any ZT penalties being assigned?

Did anyone encounter inappropriate behaviour at the table? If so, did you call for a director? If you didn’t call for a director, why not?


Judy Kay-WolffDecember 9th, 2012 at 9:51 pm


I’m with you 100%! I was only there for five days and I did not witness a ZT incident. I just believe the ACBL wants to keep its hands clean and stay away from all confrontations.

I DID HAVE a situation with an insolent director in the Mixed Pairs — and it WAS NOT the first time he exhibited arrogance. Zero Tolerance should apply to Directors as well!

paul croninDecember 9th, 2012 at 10:38 pm

Hi Judy,

Unfortunately, directors can only be disciplined by the ACBL. While most directors are knowledgeable and polite, it’s too bad you had to run into one (again!) who was not.

Semper Fi!

Marty DeneroffDecember 10th, 2012 at 6:42 pm

I was there for all but the last day, and never once heard a ZT announcement of any sort.

I also had an unpleasant interaction with a director. Playing in a regional Swiss event, a pair came to our table playing a highly unusual system. Called a director to ask him whether a number of the conventions they were playing were legal in this event and was told (best paraphrase I can manage) ” I have to run this event and don’t have time for this. Your question has last priority among all of the things I have to do.” I do not understand this attitude. Who else are we supposed to ask about things like this? Or is it in factr the case that the ACBL has no interest in actually enforcing the conditions of contest?

John Howard GibsonDecember 11th, 2012 at 10:13 pm

Howard Bigot-Johnson
I would suspect players don’t call TDs over for suspected breaches of a ZT code, because of several reasons :
1. It’s wrong for kettles to call pots black
2. Let he who is without sin cast the first stone
3. Can TDs be trusted to treat all alleged offenders equally ? I think not !
4. Players are fearful of being labelled as petty, vindictive and picky. No one likes ” to be seen as a snitch ”
5. Most players are realists and are tolerant of opponents getting frustrated and irritated
6. Players have learned that in a highly competitive arena leniency and common sense must prevail if petty incidents end up being treated as major crimes
7. ZT policies, which set out to clamp down on the intolerance displayed at the tables, seem only to reflect the intolerance of administrators to acknowledge provocation, and crack down on the indiscretions of those responsible for such provocative acts
8. In most sports the decision to award small advantages to the injured parties ( eg free kicks in football ) such be applied to bridge. Just simple score adjustments on relevant boards against the offending parties.
9. The risk of opening the floodgates if everyone is encouraged to complain about the smallest indiscretions
10. A general consensus of opinion by players all is not right with ZT initiatives, when the problems of cheating and slow play are not addressed, with the same vigour and determination as less significant matters like temper tantrums and rudeness.

Bill CubleyDecember 12th, 2012 at 10:07 pm

Had an opponent rudely call the director because my partner made a lead directing double and they missed a slam. She asked and he said it was a bid that workded. Instant RUDE DIRECTOR CALL.

Post session I saw her at the stand wating for the printout and sincerely said, “I hope the rest of your session went well.” Got a venomous order, “Shut your mouth or I will be rude.” Told her she is already rude. She repeated and i called the directo. The direxctor pursued her and took her to task for her rudeness. I also saw the original director and brought her up to date.

Judy Kay-WolffDecember 13th, 2012 at 3:22 pm


I am 100% in accord with your philosophy.
Perhaps Horn Lake should pay more attention to the training and qualifications of the directors before they turn them loose on the public.

I strenuously object to the new policy of having to put your ACBL# in after the first round. What are the directors being paid for??? To sit at a table and wait for a call and then print out and post the results on the stanchions? Hogwash!

It is time the public is made aware of all this nonsense.


Marty DeneroffDecember 13th, 2012 at 4:32 pm

I should add that most of the directors are more than happy to answer any and all questions of this nature. In fact, Solly Weinstein, the head director for the tournament, happened to respond to a similar call on another occasion. He was, I’m sure, more pressed for time than any of his sibordinates, but took the time to look over the card, ask a few questions,and, in a totally non-confrontational way, explain to everyone that a particular convention was not legal and why, and to suggest a legal alternative.

Judy Kay-WolffDecember 13th, 2012 at 6:14 pm


I have been around for a long time and go back to the days of Al Sobel, Maury Braunstein and Solly Weinstein. I did not
know Al Sobel that well except for his sense of humor — but was quite friendly with both Maury and Solly for whom I had and have the utmost respect. Another director who is still very active is Chris Patrias and he is one more whom I would rank as a 10! I believe a director must be blessed with a certain amount of savoir faire to be dealing with bridge players — especially the new ones who are not aware they are doing something wrong.

Unfortunately, many (not all) club directors and owners are more interested in avoiding a confrontation or insulting a customer (that they could lose) than protecting the honor of the game in a civil manner. I am proud to say that the Las Vegas Bridge World goes out of its way to establish equity when it is available and treats their customers gently but with dignity while still maintaining the majesty of the game.

My husband Bobby, whom you probably know has been active in bridge both as an Administrator, President of the ACBL and WBF, a club owner himself in his early days in San Antonio, organizer of the Dallas Aces with Ira Corn, and a very successful and respected top player for about six decades, made an effort to upgrade the quality of directorship. Some years ago — he, on his own dime, volunteered to go to Memphis and give a seminar to the directors, instructing them what they need to know and do as respected directors, but the person in charge would hear nothing of the kind. He was incensed that someone would subject his staff to such inconvenience.

Perhaps you should look to the source of the problem — the ACBL itself! It is their responsibility to not turn any directors loose on the public unless they are qualified — both in the areas of knowledge and inoffensive personalities.

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