ACBL Laws Commission Minutes



NEW ORLEANS, LA -      NOVEMBER 22, 2003

Chip Martel, Co-Chairman
Ralph Cohen, Co-Chairman

Karen Allison, Ron Gerard, Dan Morse,
Beth Palmer, Eric Rodwell, Bobby Wolff


Gary Blaiss, Alan Le Bendig,
Rich Colker, Alvin Levy,
Mike Flader, Matt Smith,
Jerry Fleming, Linda Trent,
Marvin French, Adam Wildavsky,
Olin Hubert

The meeting was called to order at 9:35 A.M.

ACBL President Alvin Levy and District 17 Board Member Jerry Fleming addressed the commission regarding whether proposals from the Club Rules Committee relating to relaxed rules at ACBL sanctioned club games are consonant with the laws. It was noted that some of the proposed items on the list (such as dealing with behavior) are currently directly permitted by the laws, some other items (such as requirements to display convention cards) are subject to regulation by the sponsoring organization in the current laws, and others (such as the proposal not to penalize meaningless revokes) are not in accord with the current laws.

The minutes of the Long Beach meetings were approved.

The commission discussed a proposal to the Board of Directors from management regarding the legality of amending the ACBL Code of Disciplinary Regulations to empower the director in charge of a tournament to suspend a player’s playing privileges following a serious offense pending the holding of a disciplinary hearing. Management’s position is that Law 91A is not intended to limit the power of a director to suspend a player but instead it is intended as a minimum authority of the DIC that cannot be abridged by a sponsor. Therefore, extending the DIC’s authority beyond the session is legal according to Laws 81C4 and 80F. While the commission expressed reservations as to the wisdom of the proposed regulation as written, a majority of the members present believed it to be legal under the current laws for the DIC to be empowered to suspend a player’s playing privileges for a coming session or event pending a formal hearing after that player has been charged with an offense.

Ralph Cohen reported on items discussed at the WBF Laws Drafting Committee meetings in Monte Carlo:

Proposed revisions to Law 12 were discussed and the commission reaffirmed its position that in the new laws for non-knockout events 12C3 should apply to the non-offending side but 12C2 should apply to the offending side. The problem of employing this approach in conjunction with Law 86B in knockout play insofar as it dilutes the effect of 12 on the offending side was noted. The commission expressed reservations about extending the use of 12C3 to knockout play.

It was noted that the proposed new Law 15 will leave the current law as the default position but it will allow sponsoring organizations to vary its provisions.

Strong reservations were noted to the idea of legislating that it is proper for a player to ask about the meaning of a bid only if the answer might affect his choice of actions at that turn. The commission believed that the potential for unauthorized information that might result from this change in the laws would be a serious problem.

Proposed changes to the revoke laws that would normally result in a one trick penalty rather than the current two trick penalty were discussed. It was noted that the director’s responsibility to ensure equity under Law 64C would not be changed. As well, it was reported that the definition of the word “convention” would change in the new laws. There will be separate definitions for bids, doubles and redoubles, and pass.

The meeting was adjourned at 11:25 A.M.