Should I call the director?
Sometimes it seems unnecessarily picky or even aggressive to call the director about an honestly made mistake at the table. And often we feel that we know the remedy for many minor problems so why bother the director? I hope that by the end of this short article you will agree that it is a good idea to ask for the director to sort out the problem.
Duplicate contract bridge is like any other competitive game, having its own rules and regulations, namely the Laws. These are agreed by the World Bridge Federation and published by the EBU in its small blue book. I guess they were written by lawyers and agreed by committee but you can’t have everything in life! And as in other games there is a referee or umpire to see fair play and apply the laws correctly and without bias, the director.
The first impression to remove is that it is unsporting to call the director. If an error is made (a bid out of turn, an insufficient bid, etc) this can produce a slightly unfair result and can damage not only you but potentially all the other couples playing in the same direction as the person who made the mistake. These other couples can be disadvantaged and they have not made any errors (we hope).
Perhaps you feel that you are so well acquainted with the laws that you can apply them yourselves at the table. That may be so but you may be wrong and you are unlikely to be unbiased. To check how well you know the laws I have appended some notes on the laws, initially written as a brief summary for the directors. As an example it came to the notice of the secretary recently that after an insufficient bid was made it was corrected by an experienced player but completely incorrectly. The director was never called and the end result was that the affected couple were disadvantaged. Check out the section on insufficient bids.
The pair who may have made an error should not be embarrassed when the opponents call for the director. It is simply that the correct procedure is being followed. The laws themselves state that the director should be summoned at once when attention is drawn to an irregularity. So it is an infringement of the laws not to call the director!
So if you ask yourself “should I call the director?” the answer is always “yes”.