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Late Penalties Swiss teams

Poll: Late Penalties (34 member(s) have cast votes)

Should a team be notified if they are being assessed a late play penalty?

  1. They must be notified, laws/regulations require it (16 votes [47.06%])

    Percentage of vote: 47.06%

  2. It would be polite/good directing, but not required (15 votes [44.12%])

    Percentage of vote: 44.12%

  3. Why should they be notified? (3 votes [8.82%])

    Percentage of vote: 8.82%

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#61 User is offline   mycroft 

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Posted 2012-May-14, 16:20

No idea, but probably (but probably not a *good* score). I was busy trying to manage an 18-table Howell with pairs who haven't played a Howell in decades, two sets of boards (that skipped up to 5 tables when were passed) to avoid duplication, and pairs who demanded to start the next round early, and couldn't see why it might be a problem in a round or two (or why I would have a problem running an 18-table Howell). So I wasn't paying too much attention to scores.

The (much more experienced) other TD on the floor said "You handle section A, I'll look after the rest of the floor." I thought that was a little demeaning to my (2-years-an-ACBL-TD, so still pretty green) ability until about round 3; at which point I realized that his 4 sections were, in fact, only as much work as my 1.
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#62 User is offline   Mbodell 

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Posted 2012-May-14, 20:19

View Postbillw55, on 2012-May-14, 07:28, said:

I thought the point of late penalties was to try to get the event running on time. If you don't tell anyone they are penalized, then there is no reason at all to think they will speed up. On the contrary, they can be expected to think that if the director does not address them about their pace, then it must be ok.

Maybe the directors were hoping that the players will speed up at the next tournament?


I think a little bit of that might be appropriate (would you give a LP penalty for the last round? IIRC there were none in this event in A/X on the last round, but I think a last round LP penalty when the team is late is still potentially appropriate). But I think the much larger part of why the TD didn't notify the players is that the TD expected that the players had been notified either through hearing the announcements and/or seeing the visual notice of teams that were late (and/or got told as they turned in results). I don't think if you asked the TD should the penalties be "hidden" anyone (including the TD) would agree that this is what was desired or what the TD would have thought had been implemented at the event.

I guess the question is really should a TD giving a penalty be like an alert (where there is an absolute responsibility on the side giving the penalty/alert that the side receiving the penalty/alert heard and understood there was a penalty/alert), or be more like a reasonable effort? If you were the TD and had announced the time instructions and that slow play could result in penalties, had had a number of players complain about the slow play and ask about the implementation of penalties, have a clock which showed teams how much time they had left to finish a round, have a written display board of which teams were getting warnings and penalties, and adjusted the running scores in a Swiss tournament to reflect the penalties as they happened and then at the very end of the event one of the few penalized teams comes to you and says they had no idea they had been late or subject to penalties and they hadn't heard you make any announcements, instructions, warnings, or other information about penalties what would you do? Does ignorance of lateness and associated penalties through a failure to hear an announcement (very understandable due to the acoustics of the room) or to notice the other information indicating penalties absolve a team that is guilty of using an extra amount of time that is supposed to result in slow play penalties from actually receiving said slow play penalties?

While I have sympathies with OP's team, and 100% believe them that they hadn't heard the warnings and were completely surprised at the end of the day, and that their team may have been able to change their speed of play if they were aware of what was happening after the first late round (where the penalty was only a warning and not a VP penalty), I still think the TD has to leave the penalty applied given they did take too much time in 3 of the matches.
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#63 User is offline   billw55 

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Posted 2012-May-15, 06:45

I think we mostly agree Art. The OP gave me the impression that there was an initial announcement of potential penalties before any play started, but that there was no communication of actual penalties until after the event was over. I think that *some* kind of communication of each infraction is essential to get the desired result. If captains are told when they turn in their slips - good enough. If posted results have a marker of some kind that indicates a penalty was applied - good enough. If nothing at all was done - not good enough.

I am imagining a scene here where the directors are baffled over the ongoing late play infractions. These are intelligent people, surely it would occur to one of them that maybe the offenders are unaware they are being penalized? There must be opportunities for further announcements. Swiss events often serve lunch on site; how about a short speech then, to the effect that late penalties have been applied, check your scores, etc. I really think that - if the OP has accurately described the situation - then the directors dropped the ball on this one. Of course, it could be that the OP was unaware of some further facts.
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#64 User is offline   bluejak 

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Posted 2012-May-15, 07:36

I have played an awful lot of bridge. I have been warned by TDs either in general by announcement or in particular many times over the years for things like late play. I have been penalised very rarely. Why would I assume I had been penalised when I had been warned? I still find it incredible that anyone thinks it is acceptable for a TD to issue a penalty without letting the contestant know.
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