ACBL Laws Commission Minutes



Members Present
Co-Chairman --->
Chip Martel
Jon Brissman
Bob Friend
Dan Morse
Beth Palmer
Jeff Polisner
Eric Rodwell
John Solodar
Bobby Wolff
Also Present
Gary Blaiss
Rich Colker
Mike Flader
Marvin French
Joan Gerard
Olin Hubert
Alan Le Bendig
Chris Patrias
George Retek
Matt Smith
Adam Wildavsky


The meeting was called to order at 10:00 A.M.

The minutes of the Washington meeting were approved.

An ACBL Board of Directors resolution to permit sponsoring organizations to allow club players to look at their own convention card during the auction was discussed. The conflict between Laws 80E and 80F as opposed to the footnote to 40E was noted and whether this type of regulation might be an appropriate item for conditions of contest.

The Laws Commission found that looking at your convention card is contrary to the present Laws of Duplicate Contract Bridge (Laws). The Commission noted that, while the Laws prohibit such a practice, there is no specified penalty attached to looking at one’s own convention card. However, other consequences in law (for which the director may have to apply law 16 or 84E, for example) may result from so doing. There was a consensus that this matter be referred to the drafting committee for further consideration. WBF draft revisions to Law 27 were discussed. A consensus emerged that the law should be changed in some way to allow for corrections of conventional bids to be made without specific penalty if the information transmitted by either the insufficient bid or its
correction to the legal level is not significant. However, the Commission wished to retain the present law 27 method of handling non-conventional insufficient bids (i.e., let them be corrected, but allow an adjusted score when harm was done because of the insufficient bid). How unauthorized information should be handled in Law 27 was also discussed. Some reservations regarding the language of the drafts were expressed and how that language needed to be corrected to clarify its intent.

WBF draft revisions to Law 40 were also discussed. Some specific suggestions as to how to revise the draft were offered. A more general discussion ensued regarding how to enforce full disclosure with Law 40 while still maintaining practicality at the table. Included in the discussion was under what circumstances it is correct to have the bidder explain his own call in his partner’s absence (with and without the use of screens).

The Co-Chairman suggested and it was agreed that as the WBF draft proposals were lengthy and in need of detailed review that the draft be studied by smaller groups of the Laws Commission who would later report back to the Laws Commission as a whole with recommendations. It was also agreed that the WBF Drafting Committee be asked to clarify the intent of the changes with notes and examples.

The meeting was adjourned at 11:50 A.M.