ACBL Laws Commission Minutes



Members Present
Ralph Cohen
<--- Co-Chairmen --->
Chip Martel
Karen Allison
Bob Friend
Ron Gerard
Dan Morse
Jeff Polisner
Eric Rodwell
John Solodar
Roger Stern
Bobby Wolff
Also Present
Gary Blaiss
Rich Colker
Mike Flader
Alvin Levy
Matt Smith


The meeting was called to order at 9:30 A.M by Chip Martel.

The minutes of the Phoenix meeting were approved.

Ralph Cohen reported on the progress of Laws proposals resulting from World Bridge Federation Laws Revision Subcommittee meetings that were held in Montreal. He stressed that none of the draft laws were intended to be final and that the committee would welcome further input and advice.

The balance of the meeting was devoted to discussing letters and suggestions received by
the ACBL Laws Commission in response to the draft revisions from the WBF.

Roger Stern’s letter of February 4, 2003 was considered. Law 42 regarding whether dummy should be permitted to prevent an irregularity by declarer was discussed. No consensus emerged on what the philosophy of this law should be. Serious concerns were raised regarding the phrasing of the revisions to Law 16A. Reservations were expressed that by writing the law to specifically list what is authorized information there is a danger of inadvertently excluding items that the framers may otherwise intend to be authorized. As well, concerns were voiced regarding revisions to 16B and 16C. The desirability of defining “logical alternative” in numerical terms was discussed. Preference was expressed for a law that would allow the sponsoring organization to define the term if it wished but not for a law that itself defined the term as explicitly as does the draft proposal. There was a general consensus that the revisions to Law 16 need to be re-examined. Concern regarding the inclusion of the word “solely” in the draft of Law 23A was discussed. The draft wording of the proposed Law 26B2 insofar as lead penalties not applying if the suit is specified in the “subsequent auction” was discussed. There was some concern that this change from the current “legal auction” phrasing of the current law is not desirable. Finally, a consensus emerged that the wording of the proposed footnote to Law 85B4(c) regarding an appeals committee presuming the correctness of a director's ruling is decidedly too strong. However, in close cases, we did agree that the committee should not overturn the director. More specific guidelines are more suitable for Conditions of Contest since director quality and conditions may vary greatly.

Eric Rodwell’s proposal for changing the claim laws to allow for play to continue after a claim was discussed. The Commission supports in principle such a change even if reservations exist to some of the specifics of the proposal. The Commission also supports the principle that the non-claiming side may decide either to play on or to call the director immediately when a disputed claim occurs. As for the changes in the claim laws in the WBF proposal, the Commission opposes the inclusion of 70C4 and 70C5 mandating the allowable order of cards played after a claim.

Two meetings are planned for the Long Beach NABC on the first Friday and Saturday mornings.

The meeting was adjourned at 11:55 A.M.