ACBL Laws Commission Minutes

CINCINNATI, OH      11 MARCH, 2000


Ralph Cohen and Chip Martel, Co-Chairmen

Karen Allison, Dan Morse, Jeff Polisner, Eric Rodwell,

George Rosenkranz, Bobby Wolff


Chris Patrias, Secretary

Jay Apfelbaum, Gary Blaiss, Jon Brissman, Rich Colker, Olin Hubert, Matt Smith, Linda Trent, Howard Weinstein


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

The Commission approved the minutes of the 1999 Fall meeting held in Boston.

Jeff Polisner submitted a letter describing what he views as some major problems with the Laws. His first issue involves the way laws are worded. He pointed out that the necessity to have a thick volume of interpretations probably means the Laws described were poorly written in the first place. Secondly he thought the basic philosophy of the Laws was skewed. He believes that players should only be given an option to correct obvious mechanical errors. It is his opinion that such a practice would be accepted by players.

Jeff acknowledged that it is too early to rewrite the Laws but thought that serious considerations of changes should begin now. He also feels that groups other than ACBL sometimes feel left out of the decision making process and efforts should be made to include their opinions. This would also make it more likely that a uniform Code would be adopted which he sees as beneficial.

Ralph Cohen said that discussions would begin in Montreal in 2002 and that Gratten Endicott is amassing proposals for Law changes.

Jeff said that simplicity and clarity should be our first priority. The Commission thought that it would be beneficial for Ralph to work with Gratten to have a joint commentary on the Laws.

No consensus was reached in regard to unauthorized information when screens were being used.

A discussion was held concerning when and how to apply the part of the footnote to Laws 69, 70, 71 which refers to "the class of player involved." No consensus was reached except that there was some feeling that it should make a difference if all players at the table were expert level rather than just one pair or player. For example, in the case of AKT9 opposite Q8xx, if an expert claimed against non-experts without stating a line of play, no consideration should be given that the expert would play the Ace or King first. However, in an all expert game, consideration should be given.


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