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N/S Seating

#1 User is offline   nor750ton 

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  Posted 2021-June-03, 02:29

I run Tournaments, for my private members Club, of 3 to 5 tables. Hopefully this will grow due to Covid restrictions. I had comments, from my members, that they would like to play, as they would face to face, at the Club. The placement of pairs, by the BBO system, did not appear to have any logical arrangement. Players were just seated in a random order. I ran a trial whereby I asked 1 pair to logon and 'sit' in the Competitive/Free server area. When the Tournament started the Show Tables revealed a sit out pair. I then substituted players until I got the strong players either sitting N/S or E/W, using the minimum of substitutions. This reduced the risk of slow players being on the same table and allowed a more even level of competition.
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#2 User is online   mycroft 

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Posted 2021-June-03, 09:57

The arrangement of pairs is: divide the entries into two groups (or 2N groups if there are multiple sections, which I recommend once you get to 2*rounds tables). Each group will have equal numbers of strong and normal pairs. After that, one group is assigned the N-S seats and the other the E-W seats (assuming no +howell+) *at random* - so yes, all the strong pairs could be at tables 2,3,4 NS and 3,7,11 E-W. This is why I recommend having sections about the size of the number of rounds if possible :-)

The idea of all the strong pairs N-S and the less strong E-W is patently unfair (to both groups). Bunny-bashing isn't fun; winning E-W by "being beat up less than everyone else" also isn't fun, because they're still being beat up. Never mind knowing that "we won E-W" means "wouldn't make 50% if they sat N-S"; and while the E-W pairs may not have figured it out, the more "snooty" N-S people *definitely* will, and will make that clear.

If BBO's idea of who the "strong players" are is wrong, that's another issue. While you're a small game, see if you can access the "howell" movement and play 9 rounds in your 5 table game so everyone plays everyone. Then it doesn't matter!
When I go to sea, don't fear for me, Fear For The Storm -- Birdie and the Swansong (tSCoSI)
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#3 User is online   pescetom 

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Posted 2021-June-03, 16:17

View Postmycroft, on 2021-June-03, 09:57, said:

The idea of all the strong pairs N-S and the less strong E-W is patently unfair (to both groups). Bunny-bashing isn't fun; winning E-W by "being beat up less than everyone else" also isn't fun, because they're still being beat up. Never mind knowing that "we won E-W" means "wouldn't make 50% if they sat N-S"; and while the E-W pairs may not have figured it out, the more "snooty" N-S people *definitely* will, and will make that clear.


I think you're almost right. Bunny-bashing may not be much fun, but the strong and the snooty people will still do anything they can (down to inventing disabilities) to sit N-S and the only reason I can imagine is that they prefer to bash bunnies rather than face their rivals directly (or risk finishing second on line to some bunnies).
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#4 User is online   mycroft 

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Posted 2021-June-04, 09:21

There are people who just need to be in control of the table, and they will come in an hour early to sit N/S. And when we ask them to go E/W, just this once, to balance the field, it's as if it was a personal offence that we could possibly have got the game into a state that *they* (and not another pair) would have to actually move. Entitlement in bridge players? Colour me shocked!

There are definitely those who play N-S in these kinds of biased clubs who do so to avoid playing against the strong players (even though it means they *score against* the strong players). Ah well.

Sometimes, arrow-switching helps. Definitely, seeding tables (and enforcing it, before the game *) helps. Definitely doing a quick run-around before the game and fixing murderers' rows, or "look, all the 'seeded A' players are sitting N/S today and all the E/Ws are 'masterpoint As'. Maybe I should try to swap one of those tables." helps.

Of course, a lot of what you do depends on what your players think are the problems with the movement. What *I* think the problems in the movement are is secondary. If your players want an unfair game because it's better for them than a fair one, more power to them. I think it causes problems later, but sure, let them enjoy their tiny bubble.


* Although my club in México maybe takes this too far - they've bounced us from an A table because "today, you're B". Never mind that everybody in the field would call us an A pair and putting us into a B table is going to bias that line of the field stronger than the other one. But since we don't have the 4000 monsterpoints... And I say I'm the person that Follows the Rules even when they're Stupid.
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#5 User is online   pescetom 

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Posted 2021-June-04, 12:54

View Postmycroft, on 2021-June-04, 09:21, said:

There are people who just need to be in control of the table, and they will come in an hour early to sit N/S. And when we ask them to go E/W, just this once, to balance the field, it's as if it was a personal offence that we could possibly have got the game into a state that *they* (and not another pair) would have to actually move. Entitlement in bridge players? Colour me shocked!

There are definitely those who play N-S in these kinds of biased clubs who do so to avoid playing against the strong players (even though it means they *score against* the strong players). Ah well.

Sometimes, arrow-switching helps. Definitely, seeding tables (and enforcing it, before the game *) helps. Definitely doing a quick run-around before the game and fixing murderers' rows, or "look, all the 'seeded A' players are sitting N/S today and all the E/Ws are 'masterpoint As'. Maybe I should try to swap one of those tables." helps.

Of course, a lot of what you do depends on what your players think are the problems with the movement. What *I* think the problems in the movement are is secondary. If your players want an unfair game because it's better for them than a fair one, more power to them. I think it causes problems later, but sure, let them enjoy their tiny bubble.


* Although my club in México maybe takes this too far - they've bounced us from an A table because "today, you're B". Never mind that everybody in the field would call us an A pair and putting us into a B table is going to bias that line of the field stronger than the other one. But since we don't have the 4000 monsterpoints... And I say I'm the person that Follows the Rules even when they're Stupid.


Wanting to be in control of the table I can understand more, but they still behave the same online when offered a choice.

As a Director in Italy I don't have the asset/handicap of stratification, so I can use my own judgement (at my own peril) if I want to equal things up a bit.

One additional reason that they want to sit N/S is that they took it for granted until I arrived that any sitout would be E/W. The first time I decided the contrary (by flipping a coin) I risked mutiny.
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#6 User is online   mycroft 

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Posted 2021-June-04, 14:03

Oh, *all* sitouts are N/S. In my games, at least. For one thing, you don't have to worry about people skipping Last-table N and their sitout and starting play at table 1 before the last-round-sitout pair gets there. You don't have to worry about N/S N passing boards to N-1 and N-2 wondering where their boards are, or taking them to N-2 instead and having them pick the wrong set.

But mostly because "everyone" wants to sit N/S, and I need a sweetener for the E/W pairs...

*unless, of course, it helps *me* to have an E-W sitout. Like when I'm running the 7.5 table, 27-board hesitation Mitchell or the 11.5 table, 24-board relay-byestand movements "without the relay".
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#7 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2021-June-06, 15:29

View Postmycroft, on 2021-June-03, 09:57, said:

The arrangement of pairs is: divide the entries into two groups (or 2N groups if there are multiple sections, which I recommend once you get to 2*rounds tables). Each group will have equal numbers of strong and normal pairs.

We only arrange the players by points in stratified games, to ensure similar numbers of players in each stratum in each section/direction. Otherwise it's totally random.

#8 User is online   mycroft 

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Posted 2021-June-07, 09:01

That's a mistake. In an open game it's even more important to seed the field, for exactly the reasons in this thread.
When I go to sea, don't fear for me, Fear For The Storm -- Birdie and the Swansong (tSCoSI)
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#9 User is offline   McBruce 

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Posted 2021-June-08, 12:03

View Postmycroft, on 2021-June-07, 09:01, said:

That's a mistake. In an open game it's even more important to seed the field, for exactly the reasons in this thread.


If ACBL doesn't relent on the 11-feet (3.35m) between table centre requirement for re-opening, we may need to start charging $1 extra for N-S seats when moving table to table becomes more of a marathon, especially since many perma-N-S players will not get up to pass boards, which will be difficult to impossible with 11 feet between table centres. Otherwise, as Phil Wood used to say when his players sat 70%N-S and 30%E-W, "there will be a lot of sitouts ..." :)
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#10 User is online   mycroft 

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Posted 2021-June-14, 11:01

Cue my "Hey [owner], I need N/S tonight, I may have broken my toe" story...

(spoilered for those who've read it 5 times already)
Spoiler


My other "I need a N/S" "No, you have to play E/W today" story a) isn't mine, and b) would be of zero interest to anyone but directors...
When I go to sea, don't fear for me, Fear For The Storm -- Birdie and the Swansong (tSCoSI)
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#11 User is online   pescetom 

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Posted 2021-June-14, 13:20

View Postmycroft, on 2021-June-14, 11:01, said:

My other "I need a N/S" "No, you have to play E/W today" story a) isn't mine, and b) would be of zero interest to anyone but directors...

OK, being a director I bite :)
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#12 User is online   mycroft 

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Posted 2021-June-25, 11:19

sorry, missed this one.

TD of note (as I said, not me) was doing a tournament in the middle of nowhere (seriously, look at district 18, there's a *lot* of nowhere). He had two rooms for the event, one of which was a glorified hallway that could fit two tables abreast, if he staggered them carefully. When he laid out the 14 tables, he was told in no uncertain terms by the tournament organizer that North had to point north (the short way). So, to appease him, he did.

When the guy with the two canes came up to buy an entry, and asked for a double N/S, TD said "no, you get a double E/W today". "but you see..." "No, trust me, double E/W."

I'm sure you've guessed by now, but the first round change, of course, was "N/S higher, boards lower, round 2 please."

TD told me that story when he DIC'ed his first Calgary sectional, and set the room up "backwards". He was told, again, in strident tones, that here, North points to *that* wall. Of course, when giving me the map for Saturday morning (with A, B, side ( C), and 199er (E) sections), I found it odd that North was pointing a different direction in each one. He swears to this day this was "just the best setup for expansion" and not a subtle revenge. I still don't believe him...
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#13 User is online   pescetom 

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Posted 2021-June-25, 11:47

Thanks :)

Not sure our software contemplates a Mitchell with NS moving.
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#14 User is offline   McBruce 

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Posted 2021-June-25, 14:14

A club director here in Vancouver told me she had an entry buyer requesting "an East-West near the washroom, please." :)

I told her my response would have been "only planning to go in round one?" :)
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#15 User is online   mycroft 

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Posted 2021-June-25, 14:44

EDMOV is your friend :-) Other Software May Vary.
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#16 User is offline   sandiem 

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Posted 2021-July-20, 11:21

I have found that the 1st and subsequent odd number (so 3,5,7,9 etc)to register are allocated N/S and the even numbers are seated E/W
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#17 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2021-July-24, 20:08

View Postsandiem, on 2021-July-20, 11:21, said:

I have found that the 1st and subsequent odd number (so 3,5,7,9 etc)to register are allocated N/S and the even numbers are seated E/W

Stratified tournaments shuffle the players within the sections after distributing by point totals. Non-stratified tournaments do what you say.

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