header                Issue #29               Dec 2016

These pages are an attempt to inform bridge players of  the laws governing our game.  In particular, we will be looking at everyday situations where the TD is called.
These pages will be updated each month, so please come again!  

Always call the TD for any infringement, however minor -  do not take the law into your own hands.

Hesitations - some misconceptions
Case 1 Case 2

This happened in an expert game -

There was a long 20 sec hesitation pass by West after 5
and N/S queried from the TD whether East could bid.

What do you think?


As TD, would you allow the 2 bid?

Whilst book rulings like insufficient bids, leads out of turn, and the like can be resolved by referring to the Law Book, the procedure becomes very different in judgemental or discretionary rulings like these thorny hesitation cases. First we consult with another TD and sometimes that is enough to get a ruling. If not, then we need to poll players - be careful to interview players of the same calibre/level as our two Easts!

Case 1 was easy - West's pass was forcing - and left it to East to double or to bid 5. A double would also work out well, as it happens. Pass was just not a logical alternative given that they had the majority of points.

Case 2 was also resolved easily - polling 3 players - and all of them responded 2. Furthermore, none of them thought Pass was an alternative.

The hesitation in itself is not an infraction - but partner needs to tread carefully. He must not be influenced by the hesitation (or break in tempo BIT). If Pass is a logical alternative, an ethical player will choose that action after partner has hung you. But if you have your bid - like the 2 cases above - make them and leave it to the TD to assess whether you took advantage - that is the TDs function.

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Please feel free to write in regarding the bridge laws, to   elsid480 [at] gmail.com


Sid Ismail
National Director

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