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Recorders

#1 User is offline   Phil 

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Posted 2009-August-06, 10:01

Fred's post brought to mind my experience with recorders.

I have filed several recorder forms during my career. Not once have I received a response from the recorder.

In our district, filing a player memo is comparable to filling out a customary survey at a restaurant complaining about the waiter after he brings your soup to you cold, and doesn't refill your ice tea. It allows you to vent, but you do not expect any follow up, or disciplinary action against the waitstaff.

I have never filed a PM in a national event, although there was an incident in the Blue Ribbon pairs where Gnome and I should have, however, calling the director would have been a good first move B)

Filing a recorder form is a hassle. Its a hand-written two page form that takes a lot of time to fill out.

With better technology, I see no reason why the recorder system can't take place online. It should possible for player memos to be viewed by the general public, with names and tourney information withheld and only available to national and district recorders, as well as a follow-up memo on what action was taken. This would help educate players on the types of behavior that warrants the filing of a PM.

What have others experienced in this regard?

(Note: this thread should be moved to the laws section)

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#2 User is offline   hrothgar 

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Posted 2009-August-06, 10:11

Phil, on Aug 6 2009, 07:01 PM, said:

With better technology, I see no reason why the recorder system can't take place online. It should possible for player memos to be viewed by the general public, with names and tourney information withheld and only available to national and district recorders, as well as a follow-up memo on what action was taken. This would help educate players on the types of behavior that warrants the filing of a PM.

Sounds like a lawsuit waiting to happen
Alderaan delenda est
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#3 User is offline   inquiry 

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Posted 2009-August-06, 11:09

It seems the technology exist, and was designed for just such an action.

Take a look at this website. This really works.
--Ben--

#4 User is offline   TimG 

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Posted 2009-August-06, 11:22

I was once the recorder of my Unit. I believe I acknowledged all forms I received, but there were very few and most were handed to me in person or at a tournament where I could acknowledge in person (I did not make "official" acknowledgment of these).

None of the reports ever resulted in a disciplinary action, so I never had any reason to inform the complainant about the results of a hearing. When giving a written acknowledgment, I made sure to note that even if no action was taken, the complaint was considered and saved. I did not inform the complainant about my interaction with the subject of the complaint.

I have been directly or indirectly involved (as an administrator) in a number of Conduct & Ethics Committee procedures and the resulting appeals, so I know that recorder forms do sometimes result in hearings and disciplinary action.

I have filed one Player Memo with the national recorder. I did it via e-mail after the conclusion of a tournament (a recorder form does not have to be hand-written) and receipt was acknowledged.

I believe correct procedure when a Player Memo is submitted (to the Director-In-Charge, for instance) for an out-of-unit player, is to forward the Player Memo to the Recorder in the player's home unit. I doubt this actually happens in many cases. Once the DIC (or the Charging Authority) decide that the complaint does not warrant a hearing, I expect the majority of PMs are discarded rather than forwarded. Even within a District, there is likely little or no coordination amongst the Unit and District Recorders.
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#5 User is offline   JoAnneM 

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Posted 2009-August-06, 11:25

Speaking only for our District, and only for the two years that I was president, we followed up on players memos to the Recorder. However, there is only so much you can do, and if the Director wasn't involved it becomes even more difficult. But we have put players on notice, and conducted a hearing or two.

I remember at the Dallas NABC our opponents were arguing to the point of completely distracting us during a knockout. A Director came an stood several feet from our table and watched. He even nodded at me once, and once he intervened. After the match I filed a player memo. Later the NABC Recorder told me the memo was being thrown out because I had not "specifically" called the director and complained. But he was there!!!! The couple denied they were arguing.
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#6 User is offline   awm 

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Posted 2009-August-06, 11:55

I've filed quite a number of player memos in NABC+ events. Sadly, I feel that I rarely play in a nationals without one or two hands worthy of a player memo. There has never been any follow up on any of these to my knowledge.

Discussion with a former district recorder indicated that the general procedure is that a disciplinary committee has to be convened. This is never done due to the complaints of "normal players" or due to the quantity of recorder forms filed about any individual player -- the process can only be initiated by an ACBL "big shot" with sufficient stature to accuse people of cheating without being penalized. Once such a proceeding is initiated, the recorder forms will be used as evidence.

Not very reassuring.
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#7 User is offline   Phil 

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Posted 2009-August-06, 11:59

hrothgar, on Aug 6 2009, 11:11 AM, said:

Sounds like a lawsuit waiting to happen

Please explain.
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#8 User is offline   hrothgar 

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Posted 2009-August-06, 12:17

Phil, on Aug 6 2009, 08:59 PM, said:

hrothgar, on Aug 6 2009, 11:11 AM, said:

Sounds like a lawsuit waiting to happen

Please explain.

We living in a very litigious society and the ACBL has a well established track record of folding under pressure.

There have been occassions where the ACBL has successfully fought individuals who have brought lawsuits against them. There are many many more when the organization has settled.

I would not be suprised if one or more individuals decided to sue the ACBL to expunge recorder forms or, alternatively, to force the organization to keep these forms confidential.
Alderaan delenda est
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#9 User is offline   TimG 

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Posted 2009-August-06, 13:12

awm, on Aug 6 2009, 12:55 PM, said:

Discussion with a former district recorder indicated that the general procedure is that a disciplinary committee has to be convened. This is never done due to the complaints of "normal players" or due to the quantity of recorder forms filed about any individual player -- the process can only be initiated by an ACBL "big shot" with sufficient stature to accuse people of cheating without being penalized. Once such a proceeding is initiated, the recorder forms will be used as evidence.

This may have changed since I last read the regulations (over 5 years ago), but in a District there is a designated Charging Authority that is responsible for convening a disciplinary committee. If no Charging Authority is designated, the District President is by default the Charging Authority. At a regional, the Director-In-Charge may convene a disciplinary committee for incidents that take place at the regional and are reported to the DIC.

So, in many Districts a recorder is not empowered to convene a disciplinary committee, the Recorder first has to present the evidence to the Charging Authority who may convene the disciplinary committee.

I bolded your mention of "cheating" because I imagine that the vast majority of Player Memos don't involve allegations of cheating. In my experience PMs are mostly about personal deportment.
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#10 User is offline   TimG 

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Posted 2009-August-06, 13:15

hrothgar, on Aug 6 2009, 01:17 PM, said:

We living in a very litigious society and the ACBL has a well established track record of folding under pressure.

I think this is almost entirely about the cost of litigation rather than fear of verdict.
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#11 User is offline   Phil 

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Posted 2009-August-06, 14:30

hrothgar, on Aug 6 2009, 01:17 PM, said:

Phil, on Aug 6 2009, 08:59 PM, said:

hrothgar, on Aug 6 2009, 11:11 AM, said:

Sounds like a lawsuit waiting to happen

Please explain.

We living in a very litigious society and the ACBL has a well established track record of folding under pressure.

There have been occassions where the ACBL has successfully fought individuals who have brought lawsuits against them. There are many many more when the organization has settled.

I would not be suprised if one or more individuals decided to sue the ACBL to expunge recorder forms or, alternatively, to force the organization to keep these forms confidential.

You did notice the names of the participants were left off, now? I would even go so far as leaving the exact name of the tournament off as well as the date, and the director.

Can't get much more anonymous than that.

I think the ACBL should be much more worried about personal information on the player database that any certified director has.
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#12 User is offline   pigpenz 

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Posted 2009-August-06, 17:43

JoAnneM, on Aug 6 2009, 12:25 PM, said:

Speaking only for our District, and only for the two years that I was president, we followed up on players memos to the Recorder. However, there is only so much you can do, and if the Director wasn't involved it becomes even more difficult. But we have put players on notice, and conducted a hearing or two.

I remember at the Dallas NABC our opponents were arguing to the point of completely distracting us during a knockout. A Director came an stood several feet from our table and watched. He even nodded at me once, and once he intervened. After the match I filed a player memo. Later the NABC Recorder told me the memo was being thrown out because I had not "specifically" called the director and complained. But he was there!!!! The couple denied they were arguing.

speaking for your district, i was the recorder for 3 years back in 1990-93. I received lots of forms and would try to contact all parties involved. I even started a database i put on a laptop back then....talking to the parties involved was a different story....unfortuanetly many players were beligerant when talking to them and sometimes the forms from better players in some cases pros made you wonder about dual or double coincidence. At that time alot of dealing behind the scenes was done by Sid Davidson, head directory and some higher ups in the district. Also at committees at the Reno Regional sometimes committee members were spoon fed data that almost made it seem like the non bridge judgements on people were pre determined.

I have always felt that on bridge matters they need to have a database where hands can be added and recorders can assess records of the participants, so that if a pattern does develop in partnerships then it can be taken care of.

I dont know if recording has changed cause I havent been to a regional since 1993.
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#13 User is offline   Jlall 

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Posted 2009-August-06, 17:59

They definitely use the recorder forms that have been filed against you when you go to a C&E hearing. Also, a couple of times I have had recorder forms filed on me and the district recorder has followed up with me about them to determine whether I should have a C&E hearing.

Just saying this so people know that these things do get followed up on sometimes.
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#14 User is offline   blackshoe 

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Posted 2009-August-07, 00:19

ACBL Recorder Regulations.
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As for tv, screw it. You aren't missing anything. -- Ken Berg
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#15 User is offline   JoAnneM 

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Posted 2009-August-07, 10:57

I have a "situation" right now that I have to handle when I get home from the regional I am attending. We had our local sectional recently. I have received two emails from players whom I highly respect complaining about the conduct of a player at the tournament.

They did not play against this player, but I did. The problem was that this player was loud and obnoxious evidently every round after the first one. We blitzed their team (maybe that was the problem.) I witnessed only one of the occurrences and our director was at the table handling it.

The two letters I received said that many players were complaining and that they think "something" should be done. I guess I should first contact the TD and see if a player memo was written, or if she gave a zero tolerance penalty, and then go from there. I showed the emails to the directing staff here at the Regional and they said people can't just complain they have to actually write things up, which should have been done at the tournament. We actually have a unit recorder who follows through on stuff.
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#16 User is offline   RMB1 

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Posted 2009-August-07, 11:26

JoAnneM, on Aug 7 2009, 04:57 PM, said:

...  I showed the emails to the directing staff here at the Regional and they said people can't just complain they have to actually write things up, which should have been done at the tournament.  ...

I'm not sure I understand the process that should happen for disciplinary problems. If I am brave enough to call the TD and say this opponent is being loud and obnoxious - and it spoiling my enjoyment. Does the TD require me to fill out a written complaint before they will investigate?

Robin
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#17 User is offline   FrancesHinden 

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Posted 2009-August-07, 11:31

From a cross-Atlantic perspective, I wonder if it's worth mentioning that all 'report of hand' forms are looked at by a sub-committee of the Laws & Ethics Committee, and
(i) some of them are followed up
(ii) some of them are filed, then referred to later if there's a suggestion that a pair has a CPU (typically frequent psyches of the same nature)

However, even when they are followed up, the 'reporting' pair may well not be contacted again.
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#18 User is offline   TimG 

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Posted 2009-August-07, 12:16

JoAnneM, on Aug 7 2009, 11:57 AM, said:

The two letters I received said that many players were complaining and that they think "something" should be done.  I guess I should first contact the TD and see if a player memo was written, or if she gave a zero tolerance penalty, and then go from there.  I showed the emails to the directing staff here at the Regional and they said people can't just complain they have to actually write things up, which should have been done at the tournament.  We actually have a unit recorder who follows through on stuff.

The people who have complained to you should be instructed to submit a Player Memo to the Recorder. I don't believe there is anything in the CDR that says the PM must be submitted at the time of incident, at the tournament where the incident occurred, or otherwise gives a time limit on when the PM may be submitted.

From the CDR:

Quote

5.2.1 (a) An initial complaint involving a single incident of conduct must be brought within thirty (30) days of discovery of the incident. Irrespective of the foregoing period of limitations, the subject of a complaint is permitted to file a complaint related to the original incident against the complainant within fifteen (15) days of written notification that there has been a charge made against him or her.


Also from the CDR:

Quote

Note: A complaint is the basis for an official charge to a disciplinary body. The disciplinary body receives and acts on a charge or charges, not a complaint or complaints.


The recorder receives PMs and investigates. When the Recorder believes a disciplinary hearing is appropriate, the Recorder makes a complaint requesting a disciplinary hearing to the organization's Charging Party (the organization's President by default). The Charging Party then decides whether to make an Official Charge to a disciplinary body.

I don't believe "discovery of the incident" is further defined, but it seems to me that "discovery of the incident" is when the Recorder receives a PM.

Anyway, seems to me that there is still time to address this incident, but that you ought to get things moving quickly. I'm sure an argument can be made that "discovery of the incident" occurred when you received the e-mails and that the clock is ticking on your 30 days.
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#19 User is offline   mycroft 

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Posted 2009-August-07, 14:43

As I have said, the one time I filled out a player memo, I got a call the following week from the Recorder to say that he had received it, and to clear up some ambiguities in the report (not least of which what I was complaining about. I do realize it was an unusual complaint as it had nothing to do with what he was saying (which, also, could have been the basis of a complaint), but solely with the fact that he wouldn't stop saying, even after requests and director calls).

I didn't hear what happened after, and I'm not concerned. I would have, however, been on the lookout had I ever played against him again (which, by luck, didn't happen).
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#20 User is offline   blackshoe 

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Posted 2009-August-07, 15:13

RMB1, on Aug 7 2009, 01:26 PM, said:

JoAnneM, on Aug 7 2009, 04:57 PM, said:

...  I showed the emails to the directing staff here at the Regional and they said people can't just complain they have to actually write things up, which should have been done at the tournament.  ...

I'm not sure I understand the process that should happen for disciplinary problems. If I am brave enough to call the TD and say this opponent is being loud and obnoxious - and it spoiling my enjoyment. Does the TD require me to fill out a written complaint before they will investigate?

Robin

I certainly hope not. It seems to me the recorder process serves two purposes: one is to allow an incident of severe misconduct to be dealt with at a higher level than the TD on site, the other is to document an ongoing pattern of misbehavior. Neither of these purposes obviates the TD's responsibility under the law to deal at the time with problems that occur at a table under his jurisdiction.
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