The most important thing to remember is that the Director is there to help. His (or her) job is to run the game in such a way that everyone has a pleasant experience — very few of us set out to have an unpleasant time.
Pleasing everyone is, of course, difficult or even impossible, but if we do a good job, there won’t be any fistfights or shouting matches.
One of the ways the ACBL has tried to alleviate some of these problems is by introducing the ZERO TOLERANCE policy. Barbara Seagram who some of you have met was one of the co-founders of the Zero Tolerance movement and instrumental in getting the Zero Tolerance policy in place.
When to Call the Director
You should call the director as soon as someone draws attention to an irregularity. This is for your own protection. If you don’t call the director until later, you may lose some of the protection provided in The Laws. As well, the sooner the director is called, the easier it is to establish what happened.
Do not change anything before calling the director or while waiting for him (or her) to appear. So do not put calls back in the bidding box, do not put cards back in your hand, don’t play additional cards or make additional calls (bids). Above all, do not change the order of the played cards (the tricks) or start going back through the played tricks.
Who Can Call the Director?
During the auction, any player may call the director. It doesn’t have to be at that player’s turn to call. As soon as an irregularity is noticed, call the director (and be polite, it is not always fun being the Director).
It is a bit different during the play of the hand. Remember, once the auction period ends, the player who is Dummy, only acts as Declarer’s agent. He or she plays the cards that declarer calls but is not to participate in the play. Dummy must not, for example, indicate in any way how he or she thinks the hand should be played. This means Dummy should never reach for a card before declarer has indicated it should be played. Not participating in the play also extends to pointing out irregularities — Dummy must not point out irregularities during the play.
Dummy can attempt to prevent declarer from committing an irregularity, such as playing from the wrong hand, revoking or pointing the card played to the current trick the wrong way, but is not to point out any actual irregularities that have actually occured. That’s a very important distinction.
For example, if declarer starts to detach a card from his hand, dummy can warn him that the lead is in dummy. But if declarer actually plays the card — for example, it is face up on the table — then dummy must no longer say anything.
If another player (declarer or a defender) draws attention to an irregularity, then Dummy is allowed, as are any of the players, to call the Director.
To recap: Anyone can call attention to an irregularity or call the director during the auction. Dummy cannot call attention to an irregularity during the play, but can call the Director if someone else points out an irregularity. After the play is over, any player, including Dummy, can then draw attention to an irregularity that occurred during the play, for example, that a revoke occurred.