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Directing play with screens

#1 User is online   pescetom 

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Posted 2020-January-15, 08:30

After a year of directing local pairs tournaments, this weekend I get to direct my first teams tournament between clubs. The biggest challenge I see is that it will be played behind screens - I have little experience of screens as a player, and none as a director.
Do more experienced directors here have any good advice in this regard? Obviously I will study our regulations about screens, which is about three pages long. But is there some situation which comes up frequently and is quite different compared to the equivalent without screens? Things to watch out for, things not to worry about?
Thanks for any help you can give.
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#2 User is offline   axman 

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Posted 2020-January-15, 10:43

View Postpescetom, on 2020-January-15, 08:30, said:

After a year of directing local pairs tournaments, this weekend I get to direct my first teams tournament between clubs. The biggest challenge I see is that it will be played behind screens - I have little experience of screens as a player, and none as a director.
Do more experienced directors here have any good advice in this regard? Obviously I will study our regulations about screens, which is about three pages long. But is there some situation which comes up frequently and is quite different compared to the equivalent without screens? Things to watch out for, things not to worry about?
Thanks for any help you can give.

I think it would help the players the most that they understand irregularities that do not cross the screen, and the forfeiture provisions of calling attention to UI created on their own side of the screen.

perhaps a ten minute lecture an hour before the first session?
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#3 User is offline   sanst 

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Posted 2020-January-15, 10:47

One of the most frequent problems is different explanations from the two sides of the screen. As you can imagine that can put the opponents totally on the wrong footing on the different sides. Just try to imagine what will happen if an overcall is explained as natural on one side and as Ghestem on the other. Maybe funny to see, but not so for the players.
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#4 User is online   pran 

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Posted 2020-January-15, 13:11

View Postsanst, on 2020-January-15, 10:47, said:

One of the most frequent problems is different explanations from the two sides of the screen. As you can imagine that can put the opponents totally on the wrong footing on the different sides. Just try to imagine what will happen if an overcall is explained as natural on one side and as Ghestem on the other. Maybe funny to see, but not so for the players.

That is the (main) reason why every question, response, alert, announcement and explanation must be made (recorded) in writing and these notes be kept until the Director can no longer be called upon to rule on a board.
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#5 User is offline   mycroft 

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Posted 2020-January-15, 19:57

...but that will not always happen, so be prepared to work out what happened at the table like normal, except there's now two "tables" to get information from.

Be prepared to be bored. Try not to be, but with no IBs, OLOOTs, BOOTs, ... there just aren't very many calls (but yes, any call you do get will be one of the difficult ones).

What I found was the most important thing to pay attention to was tables getting behind. Screens are slow to begin with, "big events" slow some players down, and restricted sightlines make it hard to have a clock everyone can see. And as you know, in long matches, the fast players are faster and the slow players remain slow. So, pay attention much earlier than you normally would to see if, after the time for 3 boards of the match happened, there are people just opening the screen on board 2, and be prepared to remind them of time.

But the most important piece of information I'll give is the usual one: Trust, and listen to, your DIC. It won't be their first time with screens, and it won't be their first time with these players and these events. They'll be able (and probably very willing) to give you their idea of "what to watch out for".
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#6 User is online   pescetom 

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Posted 2020-January-16, 08:35

Thanks to everyone who replied so far. Yes IBs, OLOOTs, BOOTs and MI are pretty much the bread and butter of director calls in pairs competition around here (revokes it seems one has to catch them at it) and it would be nice although boring to be without them. Somehow I'm sure they will brew up some sinister mess to keep me occupied. One of the playing captains is a former national director, which may or may not be a good thing <_<
Somehow I don't count on finding everything written down. I would already be surprised and grateful to find everyone with system cards, although I did remind about that.
I will definitely keep my eyes on the clock, as we have 3 x 16 hand-dealt boards to get through. Our regulations specify a maximum of 2h15 for 16 boards with screens, which looks reasonable on paper.
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#7 User is offline   jhenrikj 

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Posted 2020-January-17, 09:20

One thing is sure...When you get a MI ruling you will soon realize, this post should not be in the simple ruling section :)
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#8 User is offline   blackshoe 

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Posted 2020-January-17, 11:25

View Postjhenrikj, on 2020-January-17, 09:20, said:

One thing is sure...When you get a MI ruling you will soon realize, this post should not be in the simple ruling section :)

True, and I was just thinking that. I'll move it.
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#9 User is offline   Vampyr 

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Posted 2020-January-17, 11:53

View Postpescetom, on 2020-January-16, 08:35, said:

(revokes it seems one has to catch them at it).


What does this mean?

I have never directed a game involving screens but playing with them I have never known what the solution is to the misinformed problem. Usually I find it is not known to anybody that different explanations were given on opposite sides of the screen. I would at least require them to have convention cards, and if non-compliance is expected to be a problem, let the players know in advance so they can prepare.
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#10 User is online   pescetom 

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Posted 2020-January-17, 12:09

View Postjhenrikj, on 2020-January-17, 09:20, said:

One thing is sure...When you get a MI ruling you will soon realize, this post should not be in the simple ruling section :)

Good point, and fingers crossed :)


View PostVampyr, on 2020-January-17, 11:53, said:

What does this mean?

Just that I see more revokes as a player than I do as a director, clearly some people are in the habit of handling even established revokes amongst themselves. It's one thing to work on, but I'm not the only director and it's hardly the biggest problem.
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#11 User is offline   jhenrikj 

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Posted 2020-January-17, 17:09

Good luck, and if you need it, search for jhenrikj on facebook. I had a few thousand deals with screens now so I have some basic knowledge at least.
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#12 User is online   pescetom 

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Posted 2020-January-18, 16:28

Well I survived, including the 2 hour return drive in the fog :)

At 48 boards it was a rather long affair, but fairly painless. Everyone knew pretty much what to do, which helped, and there was also a bar with excellent espresso. Not sure if it was due to my previous request or not, but everyone turned up with system cards and notes. The only screen-related issue turned out to be a faced LOOT where offender's screen-mate had raised the screen, where I ruled on the basis of our regulations that declarer had accepted the irregular lead. Nobody complained.

The turning point of the match was a hand which in front of me went something like:
1 DBL RDBL 4
4 5 5 p
p 6 DBL p
p p.
[Edit: missing pass inserted]

In the other room they stopped in 5, both made for a 17 IMP swing.
Whatever one's feelings about this method of scoring, I was struck that the auction I enjoyed could never have been convincing without screens.
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#13 User is offline   blackshoe 

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Posted 2020-January-18, 19:54

Somehow that auction doesn't look quite right to me.
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#14 User is online   pran 

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Posted 2020-January-19, 00:30

View Postblackshoe, on 2020-January-18, 19:54, said:

Somehow that auction doesn't look quite right to me.

I have a feeling that there is either a missing pass or a surplus pass here?
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#15 User is online   pescetom 

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Posted 2020-January-19, 03:08

View Postpran, on 2020-January-19, 00:30, said:

I have a feeling that there is either a missing pass or a surplus pass here?

now corrected, thanks.
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#16 User is offline   gordontd 

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Posted 2020-January-19, 05:56

View Postpescetom, on 2020-January-18, 16:28, said:

The only screen-related issue turned out to be a faced LOOT where offender's screen-mate had raised the screen, where I ruled on the basis of our regulations that declarer had accepted the irregular lead. Nobody complained.

This doesn't sound correct - the offending side's actions can determine that declarer has accepted the lead?
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#17 User is offline   jhenrikj 

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Posted 2020-January-19, 06:06

View Postgordontd, on 2020-January-19, 05:56, said:

This doesn't sound correct - the offending side's actions can determine that declarer has accepted the lead?


The declaring side opened the screen. The offender's screenmate is on the declaring side.
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#18 User is online   pescetom 

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Posted 2020-January-19, 07:06

View Postjhenrikj, on 2020-January-19, 06:06, said:

The declaring side opened the screen. The offender's screenmate is on the declaring side.


Exactly. And under our regulations this essentially means that things are as if the lead was accepted under Law 54B (so no possibility for the declarer to become dummy here).
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#19 User is offline   gordontd 

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Posted 2020-January-19, 12:28

View Postjhenrikj, on 2020-January-19, 06:06, said:

The declaring side opened the screen. The offender's screenmate is on the declaring side.

Somehow failed to register “screenmate”!
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