ACBL Code of Active Ethics

Social Behavior and Slow Play

Social Behavior

Active ethics enables players to compete on equal terms. In addition, the actively ethical player contributes to the enjoyment of all players by continuously striving to maintain a courteous attitude toward both his opponents and his partner and by avoiding any behavior that would make anyone uncomfortable. These social attributes are VITAL to the game of bridge and duplicate bridge.

Slow Play

Failure to finish on time can do a great deal to chase players away from the game and is extremely distressing to waiting players. Bridge is a timed event. If a pair takes more than their share of the allotted time for each round, they are inconveniencing their fellow competitors as well as gaining an unfair advantage over them. When a pair has fallen behind it is incumbent on them to make up the time lost as quickly as possible whether at fault or not.

The actively ethical player makes a concerted effort to catch up when they have fallen behind, regardless of the reason for their lateness. All players are expected to develop this good habit.

Remember: Slow play is subject to penalty, and the penalties are well earned when slow pairs disrupt the normal progression of the game.

Additionally, players should be available to start each subsequent round promptly, avoiding wherever possible, being late to a table for non-bridge reasons.

At the discretion of the TD, slow play penalties will be deemed to be either disciplinary (and unappealable) or procedural. If the latter, appeals committees should tend strongly to reject all routine appeals against slow play penalties. When they do deny such an appeal, they should consider imposing an additional penalty for a frivolous appeal. The burden is on the appellant to demonstrate that some unusual circumstance makes the penalty inappropriate.