ACBL Laws Commission Minutes


Ralph Cohen, Co-Chairman

Dan Morse, Jeff Polisner, Eric Rodwell,

George Rosenkranz, Peggy Sutherlin, Bobby Wolff


Chris Patrias, Secretary

Virgil Anderson, Gary Blaiss, Rich Colker,

Marvin French, David Silber, Matt Smith, Adam Wildavsky

The meeting was called to order at 10:00 a.m.

Ralph Cohen reported that the Board of Directors has appointed Dan Morse, Sami Kehela and Beth Palmer to five year terms on the ACBL Laws Commission.

Jeff Polisner introduced a case from the Cavendish Invitational. He asked if it were possible to misinform the opponents though silence (other than a failure to alert). This question led to a discussion of Law 40.B: "A player may not make a call or play based on a special partnership understanding unless an opposing pair may reasonably be expected to understand its meaning, or unless his side discloses the use of such call or play in accordance with the regulations of the sponsoring organization." The question was then posed as to whether the second part of this Law could override the first. That is, if a pair has complied fully with the regulations of the sponsoring organization, are they then absolved of all responsibility if their agreements are not understood by their opponents? The consensus opinion was that, if a sponsoring organization established by regulation or condition of contest a procedure for informing the opponents and a pair complied fully, then they could not be held liable for the opponents' misunderstanding.

The Laws Commission also discussed a claim that was ruled on in Maastricht. A few questions were raised for future consideration: What is irrational? Is subsequent (illegal) play evidence? How loosely defined is a statement of claim?

In a related issue the Commission agreed that the last sentence of Law 68.D ["If the claim or concession is acquiesced in, Law 69 applies; if it is disputed by any player (dummy included), the Director must be summoned immediately to apply Law 70 or Law 71, and no action may be taken pending the Director's arrival"] does not allow the Director to instruct the players to continue with play.

The Commission continued their discussion on whether or not they should adopt a philosophical position that "a card laid is a card played." Although no consensus was reached, there was a strong sentiment toward accepting this position.

The meeting was adjourned at 11:45 a.m.