Queensland Bridge Association - Laws Discussion

Laws Discussion



A. Unintended Call

25A1 Inadvertent Calls are still with us under a new name - Unintended Calls. Players will remain confused if one day they have a director who lets them change a call and the next they meet one who won't let them change a call.

Unintended calls happen when a player decides to make a particular call but for some unconscious reason he makes a different call.

Listen to the player's story away from the table. Ask him to leave his cards face down on the table.

Avoid looking at the hand. Looking at the hand puts the director in a position where he might be seen to be making a judgement as to a player's honesty. This is something directors simply do not do.

Looking at the hand before making a decision may give information to other players. For example, looking at a hand before allowing a 1S call to be changed suggests a shortage in spades. This is not information the table is entitled to, though it may be deduced correctly or otherwise.

An unintended call must not have been under consideration. Say something like, "Why did you bid 1NT (or 1H) if you didn't intend to?"

If a player says "I should have bid 1S not 1NT because I have 5 spades," then he has changed his mind.

"I was trying to decide whether to bid 1H or 1S and decided to bid 1S but wrote 1H instead." Not unintended because 1H was under consideration. The director cannot be sure that the player wasn't still thinking 1H when he wrote 1H.

It may be worthwhile enquiring whether systems played with other partners support the call made. Perhaps the player suddenly realized he was using the wrong system.

The actual speed, or whether the pencil leaves the paper, has no relevance in deciding whether the call had been under consideration. A thought takes almost no time at all. On the other hand a player may not even realize that he has made an unintended call until some time has passed eg when partner alerts the call or when an opponent asks a question.

"Table Feel" may also play a part in deciding a player's intentions. The director may find some degree of shock or bewilderment on the part of the person unable to understand how he could have written something so different from what he thought he had written.

25A3 Note that an unintended call may be changed during the Clarification Period i.e. between the end of the auction and when the opening lead is faced subject of course to partner not having subsequently called.

B. Call Intended

The old "Delayed or Purposeful Change of Call" has disappeared however the director will sometimes arrive at a table to find a player has already changed his call.

25B1 Should the director rule that the first call was intended i.e. Law 25A cannot be applied, LHO is still given the option to accept the second call if he so wishes.

If LHO does accept the second call then the first call is withdrawn.

25B2 If LHO doesn't accept, the second call is cancelled.

In both cases the auction continues with information from the withdrawn or cancelled call unauthorized to the offending side and authorized to the non-offenders. There may also be lead restrictions should the offending side become the defenders.



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