ACBL Laws Commission Minutes



Ralph Cohen, Chip Martel, Co-Chairmen

Karen Allison, Dan Morse, Jeff Polisner Eric Rodwell

George Rosenkranz Peggy Sutherlin, Bobby Wolff


Chris Patrias, Secretary

Ata Aydin, Gary Blaiss, John Brissman, Rich Colker

Marvin French, Bob Friend, Brad Holtsberry, Olin Hubert

Matt Smith, David Stevenson, Linda Trent


The meeting was called to order at 10:05 a.m.

Ralph Cohen welcomed John Brissman and Bob Friend who will become members of the Laws Commission 1 January 2002. He reminded the Laws Commission that a Committee of at least two Commission members may review a question of Law at an ACBL tournament. Their decision is final for that event or tournament and does not establish precedent until reviewed and confirmed by the ACBL Laws Commission. Any decision should be reviewed at the next meeting of the Laws Commission. He also explained that the Laws Commission acted only after having reached a consensus decision.

The minutes of the meeting in Toronto were approved.

In response to a question from Management, the Laws Commission said that, though the final parenthetical of 25.B.1 was poorly placed, information from a withdrawn call was authorized for the non-offenders.

The Commission began a discussion of items to bring to the Montreal drafting Committee. Jeff Polisner explained that many of his concerns were with laws that allowed for changes of calls or plays. He also expressed concern with Law 11 and actions by a "naive" spectator. There was also discussion of how aggressively a Director is supposed to pursue Law 81.C.6. Finally, Jeff has concerns whenever a player with UI does not make a choice that they would normally have made because of the wording of Law 16.A.

Eric Rodwell presented the following as an alternative to 68.D in order to allow play to continue after a claim:

Either defender, for a claim by declarer, or declarer, for a claim by a defender, has the right to deny the claim and force play to continue. This may occur at the point the claim is initiated or when the claim statement has been completed. Exercising this option waives all rights to Directors adjudication and play is completed in normal fashion.

Ralph Cohen explained that the WBF had accepted the draft for Laws of Online Bridge with the proviso that it would be in effect only until the next draft of the Laws.

The Commission addressed an issue brought by the Competition and Conventions Committee concerning withdrawing a call behind screens. Current definition is that a call is made when placed on the tray and that any change of call would be subject to 25.B. Management wished to change the definition so that a call would not be considered "made" until the tray was passed under the screen. While the Commission did not form a consensus decision on the legality of such a definition, they did feel a change of this type would be unwise. There was a suggestion that calls not seen on one side of the screen might be treated as an incorrect review.

The Commission discussed referring to aids to memory while playing Online Bridge. Some members thought they should be allowed since there is no practical way to enforce any Laws forbidding them.

George Rosenkranz thanked the Laws Commission for their friendship during the years he served as a member. There was unanimous approval for granting Dr. Rosenkranz status as Member Emeritus of the ACBL Laws Commission.

The meeting was adjourned at 11:55 a.m.