What Is New in the 2017 Laws — Part 4 — The Rest

This is the fourth and last of a series of articles comparing the current ACBL Laws of Duplicate Bridge, 2016 Revised Authorized Edition with the WBF The Laws of Duplicate Bridge 2017.

This article covers the remaining Laws starting with Law 72.

Any highlighting (bold) in quoted Laws, other than titles, has been added by the author.

To facilitate the comparison, here are the chapter names used in the ACBL 2016 Edition:

Chapter Title Laws
VII Proprieties 72 – 76
VIII The Score 77 – 79
IX Tournament Sponsorship 80
X Tournament Director 81 – 91
VII Appeals 92 – 93

Law 72 — General Principles

As mentioned in a previous article, the Law covering damage that could have been foreseen by an offender was moved here. It is now Law 72C.

Law 72C ­— Awareness of Potential Damage

  1. If the Derector determines that an offender could have been aware at the time of his irregularity that it could well damage the non-offending side, he shall require the auction and play to continue (if not completed). At the conclusion of play the Director awards an adjusted score if he considers the offending side has gained an advantage through the irregularity.

Law 73 – Communication, Tempo and Deception

A change in the title means it reflects more accurately the contents of this Law.

Law 73A — Appropriate Communications between Partners

A phrase has been appended to Law 73A(1) to avoid a conflict among the Laws (for example, a penalty card communicates information that is authorized while the card is faced on the table).

  1. …, except as specifically authorized by these laws.

Law 73C — Player Receives Unauthorized Information from Partner

The original Law becomes Law 73C(1) and Law 73C(2) has been added. It makes it explicit that violation of this Law may result in a penalty against the offender and, if the opponents are damaged, an adjusted score may be assigned.

  1. A penalty may be assessed against a player who violates C1, but if the opponents have been damaged, see also Law 16B3.

Law 73E — Deception

An attempt has been made to make this Law stronger and catch a shady practice (for example, breaking tempo before false-carding). Note: What was Law 73E has become Law 73E(1) and what was Law 73F (“Violation of Proprieties”) has become, with a minor change in wording that drops the reference to proprieties, Law 73E(2).

  1. A player may appropriately attempt to deceive an opponent through a call or play (so long as the deception is not emphasized by unwonted haste or hesitancy, nor protected by concealed partnership understanding or experience).

Law 75 — Mistaken Explanation or Mistaken Call

This Law has been completely rewritten. The old version was based on using an example auction and explanation, whereas the new version is a statement of the rules. A new section has been added (Law 75D) that clarifies the Law for the Director. Here is Law 75 in full:

After a misleading explanation has been given to opponents the responsibilities of the players (and the Director) are as follows:

Law 75A — Mistake Causing Unauthorized Information

Irrespective of whether or not an explanation is a correct statement of partnership agreement, a player, having heard his partner's explanation, knows that his own call has been misinterpreted. This knowledge is unauthorized information (see Law 16A) and the player must carefully avoid taking any advantage from it (see Law 73C); otherwise the Director shall award an adjusted score.

Law 75B — Mistaken Explanation

  1. When the partnership agreement is diffenent from the explanation given, the explanation is an infraction of Law. When this infraction results in damage to the non-offending side, the Director shall award an adjusted score.
  2. If a player becomes aware of his own mistake, he must summon the Director before the opening lead is faced (or during the play, if discovered later), and then provide a correction. The player is also permitted to call the Director before the auction ends, but he is under no obligation to do so (see Law 20F4).
  3. The player's partner must do nothing to correct the mistaken explanation while the auction continues and if he subsequently becomes a defender, he must call the Director and correct the explanation only after play ends. If the player's partner is to be declarer or dummy, he must, after the final pass, call the Director and then provide a correction.

Law 75C — Mistaken Call

When the partnership agreement has been explained correctly, the mistake being the call made and not the explanation, there is no infraction. The explanation must not be corrected (nor must the Director be notified) immediately and there is no obligation to do so subsequently. Regardless of damage, the result stands [but see law 21B1(b)].

Law 75D — Director's Determination

  1. Players are expected to disclose their partnership agreements accurately (see Law 20F1); failure to do so constitutes Misinformation.
  2. It is a condition of any partnership agreement that both players possess the same mutual understanding, and it is an infraction to describe an agreement where the same mutual understanding does not exist. If the Director determines that the misleading explanation was not based upon a partnership agreement, he applies Law 21B.
  3. When there is an infraction (as per B1 or D2) and sufficient evidence exists as to the agreed meaning of the call, the Director awards an adjusted score based upon the likely outcome had the opponents received the correct explanation in a timely manner. If the Director determines that the call has no agreed meaning, he awards an adjusted score based upon the likely outcome had the opponents been so informed.

Law 79 — Tricks Won

Law 79B — Disagreement on Tricks Won

Law 79B(2) has been split into two parts. The first sentence of the original remains as Law 79B(2); the remainder has been rewritten with a subtle change as Law 79B(3).

The original indicated “… no obligation or increase a side's score.”; whereas the new Law says “… without increasing it for the other.”

  1. If the Director is not called before the round ends, the score may be changed for both sides only when he is clearly convinced as to the result obtained at the table. Otherwise he should either allow the recorded score to stand, or decrease the score for one side without increasing it for the other.

    Law 79C — Error in Score

    Law 79C(2) has a subtle change in that now the Director has to be satisfied as to the correction and his decision simply has to be approved by the Tournament Organizer.

    1. Subject to approval by the Tournament Organizer, a scoring error may be corrected after expiry of the Correction Period if the Director is satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that the record is wrong.

    Law 86 — Team Play

    Other than Law 86A, which becomes Law 86A (“Substitute Board”), Law 86 which was formerly titled, “In Team Play or Similar”, has been completely rewritten. Here is Law 86 in full:

    Law 86A — Substitute Board

    The Director shall not exercise his Law 6 authority to order one board redealt when the final result of a matche without that board could be known to a contestant. Instead, he awards an adjusted score.

    Law 86B — Result Obtained at Other Table

    1. Single Result Obtained

      In team play when the Director awards an adjusted score and the result at the other table between the same contestants is clearly favourable to one side, the Director shall award an assigned adjusted score [see Law 12C1(c), but for multiple adjusted scores see B2 following].

    2. Multiple Results Obtained at One or More Tables27

      In team play when two or more non-comparable results have been obtained between the same contestants or when these Laws otherwise require the Director to award more than one adjusted score:

      1. If no contestant was at fault, the Director shall cancel the board(s) and award one or more adjusted scores [see Law 12C2] or, if time permits, play one or more substitute boards (but see A above).
      2. If only one contestant was at fault, the Director shall award to the non-offending side, for each board in question, either an artificial adjusted score of average plus [see Law 12C2(b)] or an assigned adjusted score, whichever is more favourable. The offending side shall receive the complement of the score awarded to their opponents.
      3. If both contestants were at fault, the Director shall cancel the board(s) and award one or more artificial adjusted scores [see Law 12C2].
    3. The Regulating Authority may provide differently for circumstances where boards have been played at only one table between the same or multiple contestants. The score awarded for each such board may be varied by regulation from that prescribed in B2, however in the absence of a relevant regulation, the Director proceeds as above.

    27 including results from a fouled board

    Law 87 — Fouled Board

    A section has been added having a cross-reference to handle a fouled board when playing teams.

    Law 86C — Team Scoring

    See Law 86B2.

    Law 90 — Procedural Penalties

    The Director, thankfully, can now assess procedural penalties for any offence requiring the award of an adjusted score, regardless of where the adjusted score needed to be assessed; that is, it can be at the contestant's table or another table. The phrase “at another table” has been removed:

    Law 90A — Director's Authority

    The Director, in addition to implementing the rectifications in these Laws, may also assess procedural penalties for any offence that unduly delays or obstructs the game, inconveniences other contestants, violates correct procedure, or requires the award of an adjusted score.

    Law 91 — Penalize or Suspend

    Law 91A — Director's Powers

    The redundant phrase, “and may not be overruled by an appeals committee” has been removed from the last sentence of this Law, which now reads:

    The Director's decision under this clause is final (see Law 93B3).

    Law 93 — Procedures of Appeal

    An important change in wording has been made. Rather than referring to the “Director” this Law now refers to the “Director in charge”. Presumably, that means in a tournament where there are multiple Directors, decisions involving appeals are made specifically by the Director in charge.