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Conduct hearing I'm involved in

#21 User is offline   Cyberyeti 

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Posted 2024-March-29, 14:30

View Posthrothgar, on 2024-March-29, 12:56, said:

I am surprised that this is rising to the level of a Conduct and Ethics Hearing

I agree that this should be disclosed
Without evidence of deliberate deceit or repeated offenses (after a discussion), it feels strange to waste time on this


This is the precise problem, the issue was that the NOS contended that this WAS a systemic approach and repeated offence to which the OS objected.

Also (and I think this is a point the EBU should look at), another part of the convention card says defence when opps open one of a suit and they add a supplementary note, describing that over 1 they play 5-5 michaels showing the majors, it would be VERY easy to look at that and not go a fair way further down to the short 1 section.

Quote

If there's not room for something on the card, you make a supplementary page and put it there. "There's no room" is a BS excuse.


not sure how computer literate the two guys are, but the section provided on the EBU supplied online card, the "supplementary notes" section is full to overflowing. This was online, so they will use that card
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#22 User is offline   blackshoe 

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Posted 2024-March-30, 09:10

View PostCyberyeti, on 2024-March-29, 14:30, said:

not sure how computer literate the two guys are, but the section provided on the EBU supplied online card, the "supplementary notes" section is full to overflowing. This was online, so they will use that card

I see two ways to go here: 1) it's the RA's fault and the RA should pay a price. 2) If you can't fit it on the card, you can't play it.

FWIW I don't like either choice.
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#23 User is offline   Cyberyeti 

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Posted 2024-March-30, 11:58

View Postblackshoe, on 2024-March-30, 09:10, said:

I see two ways to go here: 1) it's the RA's fault and the RA should pay a price. 2) If you can't fit it on the card, you can't play it.

FWIW I don't like either choice.


I think the RA should supply an extra page which can be used for more notes.
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#24 User is offline   axman 

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Posted 2024-March-31, 07:00

View Postmycroft, on 2024-March-28, 11:46, said:



As I have said frequently here, the Laws are written in many places to avoid having to judge intent when giving a ruling. In fact, the concept of the "Probst cheat" works well, in a "I'm sure *you* didn't think this way, but someone who was trying to ... would do the same thing you did, wouldn't they? So the Laws require an adjustment on the action, no matter the intent."




Probst cheat does not work well at all. The Probst cheat emanates from the mantra 'all wrongs must be punished' never mind collateral damage. Saying that it is not an accusation does not make it so. For instance, when treating someone that actually has not cheated the same as a cheat... in fact not only accuses but convicts. It is not justice, nor is justice served, to convict an innocent party.
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Posted 2024-March-31, 10:24

Score adjustment is not punishment.
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#26 User is offline   mycroft 

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Posted 2024-March-31, 10:38

That is 100% wrong.

Player X committed an infraction. It may be an infraction because unscrupulous players could use it to do something we don't want them to do (a great example, so much so that it's actually not allowed, rather than just an infraction if done, is "insufficient bid followed by (penalty) double"). But it might not be. It might just be an infraction because it's not how the game is (intended to be) played.

When an infraction causes damage, we rectify. And we rectify whether the intent behind the infraction is culpable or innocent. Body in front of the puck at the blue line? Don't care if you were trying to gain an advantage or it was just an accident, you're offside. But:

a) we don't punish, we rectify.
b) we don't automatically do anything, there must be damage.

The Probst Cheat is a way to explain to players who did commit an infraction *why* the Laws say it's an infraction. Not a way to explain that They Were Bad, and They Should Feel Bad.

"convict an innocent party" - BS. They committed an infraction. They may not have done it with intent; they almost certainly did not do it with intent to gain from it being unLawful. But they committed an infraction - they ain't innocent. Innocent of Cheating? 100%. This isn't unique to bridge. Not all laws, even in the USA, require mens rea - and in fact, most infractions (let's start with almost all traffic infractions), it don't matter one bit if you intended to California Roll or ping the radar camera or not. But there as well, if they can show that you intended to do the thing you did, with intent to gain an advantage, there are other things you can be charged with, and those have higher penalties.

"saying it is not an accusation does not make it so." Sure. But it is not an *accusation of cheating*, it is an accusation that the player, for instance, fiddled with their box before coming out with a pass. Which, in this case, was in fact true. Stating the fact that someone *trying to pass the information that caused this person to fiddle with the box* would do the same thing is not an accusation that they aren't innocent of intent, just that if anyone does it, the director gets involved, and their partner is under obligations.

Now you may say that they are, in fact, treated the same as cheaters who do the same thing, because nothing happens to *them* either - and I won't gainsay you, most of the time. I know there's someone on these forums who would agree with you and go farther. I have my own collection of "the usual suspects", and I am very unhappy that they get to stick around too.

But strangely enough, this is a thread about a conduct hearing. Where the difference between innocent and culpable *does* matter. In which case, we don't talk about a theoretical person who was trying to gain an advantage illegally, but a person we think *has* done it. Or, in this case, who has said something injurious to the game deliberately and with intent (and, potentially, without actual cause).

And these hearings happen, on a regular if infrequent basis. And punishments - not rectification of results back to "what was likely absent the irregularity" - come out of those hearings. Those punishments tend to be pretty impressive, and sometimes even lead, after they are served, to the behaviour stopping when nothing else did. And sometimes the approbrium attached to those punishments, when it is not 100% clear that the behaviour has not completely stopped, leads to informal continued punishment from the community. And that's not always a bad thing.

Again, where to put the line between "people are getting frustrated and leaving the game because of all the garbage people get away with for years" and "people leaving the game because every little slight or second mistake gets Sent To Ethics" is an argument for the ages (and maybe not that many ages any more). But of course, when actual landsharks start getting involved and one "call the wrong person out, even if they wouldn't last 2 months at the Wild West poker table" can get a club sued into *personal* bankruptcy, where to put that line also changes, doesn't it?

And yes, that's one reason why the Laws are written so that the people who didn't realize what they did was a problem, the people who did realize it was a problem but thought they were on the right side of the line, and the people who "push all the lines they haven't been called on yet" get the same ruling at the table. And no, it's not optimal. But nothing is.
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#27 User is offline   axman 

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Posted 2024-April-01, 05:00

View Postmycroft, on 2024-March-31, 10:38, said:

That is 100% wrong.

Player X committed an infraction. It may be an infraction because unscrupulous players could use it to do something we don't want them to do (a great example, so much so that it's actually not allowed, rather than just an infraction if done, is "insufficient bid followed by (penalty) double"). But it might not be. It might just be an infraction because it's not how the game is (intended to be) played.

When an infraction causes damage, we rectify. And we rectify whether the intent behind the infraction is culpable or innocent. Body in front of the puck at the blue line? Don't care if you were trying to gain an advantage or it was just an accident, you're offside. But:

a) we don't punish, we rectify.
b) we don't automatically do anything, there must be damage.

The Probst Cheat is a way to explain to players who did commit an infraction *why* the Laws say it's an infraction. Not a way to explain that They Were Bad, and They Should Feel Bad.

"convict an innocent party" - BS. They committed an infraction. They may not have done it with intent; they almost certainly did not do it with intent to gain from it being unLawful. But they committed an infraction - they ain't innocent. Innocent of Cheating? 100%. This isn't unique to bridge. Not all laws, even in the USA, require mens rea - and in fact, most infractions (let's start with almost all traffic infractions), it don't matter one bit if you intended to California Roll or ping the radar camera or not. But there as well, if they can show that you intended to do the thing you did, with intent to gain an advantage, there are other things you can be charged with, and those have higher penalties.

"saying it is not an accusation does not make it so." Sure. But it is not an *accusation of cheating*, it is an accusation that the player, for instance, fiddled with their box before coming out with a pass. Which, in this case, was in fact true. Stating the fact that someone *trying to pass the information that caused this person to fiddle with the box* would do the same thing is not an accusation that they aren't innocent of intent, just that if anyone does it, the director gets involved, and their partner is under obligations.

Now you may say that they are, in fact, treated the same as cheaters who do the same thing, because nothing happens to *them* either - and I won't gainsay you, most of the time. I know there's someone on these forums who would agree with you and go farther. I have my own collection of "the usual suspects", and I am very unhappy that they get to stick around too.

But strangely enough, this is a thread about a conduct hearing. Where the difference between innocent and culpable *does* matter. In which case, we don't talk about a theoretical person who was trying to gain an advantage illegally, but a person we think *has* done it. Or, in this case, who has said something injurious to the game deliberately and with intent (and, potentially, without actual cause).

And these hearings happen, on a regular if infrequent basis. And punishments - not rectification of results back to "what was likely absent the irregularity" - come out of those hearings. Those punishments tend to be pretty impressive, and sometimes even lead, after they are served, to the behaviour stopping when nothing else did. And sometimes the approbrium attached to those punishments, when it is not 100% clear that the behaviour has not completely stopped, leads to informal continued punishment from the community. And that's not always a bad thing.

Again, where to put the line between "people are getting frustrated and leaving the game because of all the garbage people get away with for years" and "people leaving the game because every little slight or second mistake gets Sent To Ethics" is an argument for the ages (and maybe not that many ages any more). But of course, when actual landsharks start getting involved and one "call the wrong person out, even if they wouldn't last 2 months at the Wild West poker table" can get a club sued into *personal* bankruptcy, where to put that line also changes, doesn't it?

And yes, that's one reason why the Laws are written so that the people who didn't realize what they did was a problem, the people who did realize it was a problem but thought they were on the right side of the line, and the people who "push all the lines they haven't been called on yet" get the same ruling at the table. And no, it's not optimal. But nothing is.



L16 is definition of if it hesitates shoot it. Which is a euphemism for punishment.

L16 compels a player with UI to figure out what it means and to use it. Something that he is ill equipped to do successfully. And what of the observer? What does he observe? To the observer it looks like the player is working out what the UI means and that he uses it. And what does the Probst cheat methodology produce? The same outcome for the cheat as well as the player seeking to satisfy law.

Yet, the law compels the innocent player to do what the cheat would do.
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#28 User is offline   mycroft 

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Posted 2024-April-01, 07:51

You are conflating two different things re: the Probst Cheat - a tool for explanation, and a tool for Law-writing, but not an accusation of intent.

Your argument about L16 is (to me, this is opinion only) exactly why Law 73C1 exists and why we recommend to players to only do that (and 73C2 reinforces that belief). Which doesn't negate your argument at all - you could replace references to L16 with L73 and not change much. But it does change the consideration from "Logical Alternatives" and "demonstrably suggested" and their subdefinitions to - "yes, try to work out what information the UI passes, and actively avoid using it".

I assume we don't have to rehash the discussion about why "active avoidance" is much closer to "ignore the information" than "do what you would always do" or "just ignore it" is? Your point exists and is an issue, but the alternatives are worse.

In effect, the Law compels the innocent player to do the same analysis as the cheat, yes - but then do the opposite thing. Which is the hallmark of a good director, a good security person, and in many cases, of a good person in general - "not only trustworthy, but *seen to be* trustworthy, even in the face of temptation."

And no, it's not "if it hesitates, shoot it." If there is no call that is not subject to rectification if it worked, then there was no call that was *demonstrably* suggested. That's why the word is in there, because of decades of rulings and appeals where we ruled that whatever action taken, if it was successful, was suggested by the UI over the one that didn't work on this hand.

But there are other laws where the Probst Cheat is useful to explain why "yes, you had no ill intent, but" - I would suggest 70C to start. "I know there's a trump out, but I can't remember if it's high or low. If it's high, I'll claim I left it out on purpose and they get it. If it's low, I'll claim I was obviously playing trumps first - something that would lose 4 tricks if it were high." Again, ignore the cheaters - know that a large majority of players, in the face of the information about the hand, "would obviously get it right", and have great explanations as to why *that they 100% believe*. Because bridge players are pattern matching machines, and *in all innocence* pattern match these cases too.
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#29 User is offline   Cyberyeti 

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Posted 2024-April-01, 09:13

In this case, active avoidance is not that tricky:



I've given the meaning of your bid according to your system, it wasn't alerted.

Presumably you have 3 choices, XX, 2 and 2.

One IMO is clearly suggested by the UI, so you have to choose one of the others.
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#30 User is offline   mycroft 

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Posted 2024-April-01, 09:48

Ah, but that isn't conduct either way.

If 2 is supposed to be Alerted if it shows majors and wasn't (implied by the OP), then there is UI that partner didn't think it was Alertable (either because of faulty knowledge of Alert procedure or faulty memory of system).

When discussing calls, the question of what the pass shows after double comes to mind. If it's "you choose", then I don't think you can say that any of those three calls was "demonstrably suggested" by the UI. I might redouble to show "no, you pick 'em"; I might bid 2 "actually, I'm three-suited"; I might bid 2 "you told me to pick, and I did". Now, sure, XX is *really dangerous* and you know that by the UI, but as the bidder I would definitely be arguing "how can 'do what my partner asked, in the system we are actually playing' not be 'carefully avoiding use of UI'?"

If the pass means "nothing relevant to say", then yeah, now the player doesn't get the "but this is the systemic call" GooJF argument. But it certainly makes 2, you know, the suit I actually have cards in, more appealing: "I don't have a 'takeout of clubs' in my system, so I showed majors, and when I got the opportunity, showed my third suit."

Oh, absolutely, you can argue that these are self-serving arguments, and the hand can easily be shown by redouble, which is clearly not suggested by the UI that partner might just float it ("2XX is game, partner, let's try"). And if that's the way the poll goes, fine. But I don't think these arguments are "pull the other one" level.

Now, two things back to the original issue:
  • If the opponents are 5=5 guaranteed, or even (decent) 5=4+, my interpretation of 2 could be very different than "it could be 4=4=4=1 easily", So the lack of disclosure could very easily impact our calls and/or defence after, depending on the future play.
  • "Oh, so this is 4=4 and undisclosed (and what's written implies 5=4 minimum); and you conveniently 'forget' to Alert it; and when the Director gets here at the end of the auction, it's also not time to mention it; AND when partner doesn't Alert it, you make the safe bid rather than make the "takeout" redouble - catering to system forget rather than a forget to Alert. I mean, you are 4=5 in the majors, but QJxx 10-fifth? Is basically 4=4, no? I am impressed that so many interesting actions were taken on the same hand, and how all of the 'forgets' help make this unusual defence more effective. Surely just a coincidence, of course, and so was the other three times this month." Pretty certain if that was actually *said*, it might lead to a conduct hearing. Pretty certain that if it was said in the bar after, there would be a fair amount of agreement.

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#31 User is offline   Cyberyeti 

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Posted 2024-April-01, 11:43

That's not conduct agreed, but it is material to the degree of irritation I would feel if it happened to me.

What the pass tells you is that partner does not have a load of clubs.

This to me suggests that 2 is more likely to work best as it could well be 3-3 rather than the 1156 it might have been.

(irrelevant, but I'd have bid 2 with no UI)
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#32 User is offline   mycroft 

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Posted 2024-April-02, 09:44

View PostCyberyeti, on 2024-April-01, 09:13, said:

Presumably you have 3 choices, XX, 2 and 2.

One IMO is clearly suggested by the UI, so you have to choose one of the others.

Reading this again, I realise I misread it the last time - or at least, I read it the way I thought obvious, which is not what is actually written.

I would have said that there is one of those three options that is clearly suggested *against* by the UI (2xx-5 is a great score, no matter the form of scoring or potential result played by the opponents), and taking either one of the safe options instead of that one is suggested could be a problem.

I'm assuming you mean 2 suggested over the others ("unauthorized panic"), and I can see that. But again, the response is going to be "partner said he wants me to bid my better. We play this all the time in these 'two places to play, or this or that, doubled' situations - pass becomes 'you pick', making the original one natural". And it's hard (not impossible, of course) to argue against that.

Absent the UI (let's say online with self-alerts, rather than "partner Alerted 2, and they didn't ask", or worse yet, "partner Alerted 2 and told me in response to the question that he remembered the system"), I'd also bid 2, because our system doesn't *have* a takeout-of-clubs, and this looks like the best way to get it in. With the meta-agreement above (which I definitely have with several partners), my argument becomes "partner asked me to pick, and my suits, frankly, suck. Why don't I offer him a third place to play? After all, he might have the 'you pick' that is 'because my support for both majors is equally bad'." Depending on my state of mind, I might add "in fact, this is what I was aiming for when I showed majors - I might be able to get my diamonds in cheaply and manufacture a takeout-of-clubs." But again, that's irrelevant to the director call, never mind the disputably unethical response.
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#33 User is offline   hrothgar 

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Posted 2024-April-04, 07:26

View PostCyberyeti, on 2024-March-29, 14:30, said:

This is the precise problem, the issue was that the NOS contended that this WAS a systemic approach and repeated offence to which the OS objected.


Is this claim true?

More specifically, has the pair in question been warned in the past that they must disclose the fact that the 2!C cue bid might be made with 4-4 in the majors?
I'm not talking about complaints from another participant, but rather instructions from a director or some kind of official communication

There is a big difference between a repeated action and a repeated offense
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#34 User is offline   Cyberyeti 

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Posted 2024-April-04, 09:34

View Posthrothgar, on 2024-April-04, 07:26, said:

Is this claim true?

More specifically, has the pair in question been warned in the past that they must disclose the fact that the 2!C cue bid might be made with 4-4 in the majors?
I'm not talking about complaints from another participant, but rather instructions from a director or some kind of official communication

There is a big difference between a repeated action and a repeated offense


There is a contention that they have been frugal with their disclosure in the past and I would agree with that. I don't believe it's occurred in this precise sequence before.
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#35 User is offline   hrothgar 

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Posted 2024-April-04, 12:40

View PostCyberyeti, on 2024-April-04, 09:34, said:

There is a contention that they have been frugal with their disclosure in the past and I would agree with that. I don't believe it's occurred in this precise sequence before.


In this case, I don't think that there is much you can do in THIS Conduct and Ethics hearing.

Explain to them that they have an obligation to disclosure this agreement at the close of the auction
(And, depending on the rules in the UK, that the might need to alert their cue bid)

If you believe that

1. There is a consistent pattern of providing poor disclosure
2. Instances of their poor disclosure has been brought to their attention in the past

then you might consider specifically telling them that a general pattern of substandard disclosure seems to be appearing, this is being noted, and in the future, judgement will eventually be based on the general pattern rather than specific instances.
Alderaan delenda est
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#36 User is offline   mycroft 

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Posted 2024-April-04, 14:57

I believe - and I *really* don't want to know more than I already do - that the "frugal disclosure" players aren't having *their* ethics questioned in this hearing.

It's that after a a number of these "frugal disclosures" with rising levels of complaint or frustration, their opponents called the director on this one, and based on the ruling, uttered some comment about either the opponents' ethics or the director's gullibility (or competence, or bridge knowledge) that went too far and got them sent to Ethics.

And the OP is trying (among other things) to gauge if their frustration, no matter how (badly) expressed, is valid, as a mitigating factor.
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#37 User is offline   pescetom 

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Posted 2024-April-06, 15:46

View Postmycroft, on 2024-April-04, 14:57, said:

I believe - and I *really* don't want to know more than I already do - that the "frugal disclosure" players aren't having *their* ethics questioned in this hearing.

It's that after a a number of these "frugal disclosures" with rising levels of complaint or frustration, their opponents called the director on this one, and based on the ruling, uttered some comment about either the opponents' ethics or the director's gullibility (or competence, or bridge knowledge) that went too far and got them sent to Ethics.

And the OP is trying (among other things) to gauge if their frustration, no matter how (badly) expressed, is valid, as a mitigating factor.


I don't know what OP is trying (here or in the Committee), but on reflection after reading this topic I am increasingly concerned about the Ethics Committee approach and how it might work out in a small or less enlightened club. It seems to me that both the accused players and the TD have their reputations at risk of a judgement that is not wholly independent nor necessarily authoratitive or even impartial. Other interests or conflicts of personality could influence the outcome.

In my RA, all aspects of justice beyond the immediate decision of the Director or his acting superior are absolved by independent federal courts. This includes both appeals against decisions of the Director and situations where the Director decides that he needs a higher authority to judge the actions of players, either because they seem deplorable in their own right or in a context of repeated violations.
Note that this implies the Director putting his own neck firmly on the block: but at least he does not risk coercion from (or collusion with) the people responsible in his club (who are also players he has to control).
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#38 User is offline   mycroft 

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Posted 2024-April-06, 17:41

Yeah, so the issue is that the OP has been *set on* one of those independent federal courts. (okay, maybe it's a club committee, but it might not be)

Which is one of the reasons I don't want to know any more about the situation than I already do :-).
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#39 User is online   pilowsky 

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Posted 2024-April-06, 19:17

No wonder bridge is such a popular game.
Non legit hoc
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