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Code of Conduct

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1. No smoking is allowed on the HBC premises or just outside the doorways.

2. No solicitation or commercial activity is allowed on the HBC premises. No posting of other materials unrelated to HBC is allowed unless the approval of the Club Manager is first obtained.

3. Illegal substances are not allowed on the premises. The serving or consumption of alcohol is not allowed unless authorized by the Board of Trustees (BOT).

4. The presence or use of products, such as perfumes, colognes, or similar toiletries that emit pronounced scents is not allowed on the premises of HBC.

5. People with contagious conditions, e.g., a cold, are not allowed to play or kibitz.


Players should be courteous and friendly and should practice active ethics.  The following behaviors are not allowed:

1. Yelling, profane language, rudeness, threats, heated discussions, or violence;

2. Unsolicited comments of instruction or criticism directed at opponents or partners;

3. Gestures directed at opponents or partners;

4. Excessive arguing with a game director concerning a ruling.


1. ACBL Rules and Regulations. Bridge games will be run in accordance with the rules and regulations of the ACBL except insofar as those rules and regulations have been changed by the HBC BOT.

2. Code of Conduct Violations. If a game director determines that there has been a minor violation of the Code of Conduct, the director may issue an oral warning to the offending player. If the game director determines that there has been a serious violation of the Code of Conduct, the director may apply a score penalty and/or expel the offending player from the game. If the director determines the matter requires further action, the director shall review the matter with the club manager. If the club manager also believes further action is warranted, the matter will be referred to the BOT for action in accordance with Article V, Section 8(d) of the HBC Constitution.

3. Game Delays. Game delays that are caused by slow play or discussions concerning either bidding or play are strongly discouraged. To better manage slow play, the director will issue a warning when the remaining time in the round is 2 minutes.  The game director has the authority to issue warnings and remove boards for delays caused by slow play. Repeated instances of delays caused by slow play will be treated as violations of the Code of Conduct.

4. Psych Bids. A psych bid is one that purposefully and grossly misrepresents either distribution or point count:

i.  The psyching player must call the game director upon completion of the hand and report the psych. Failure to do so will result in a procedural penalty equal to the top on a board.

ii.  All players are encouraged to report psych bids.

iii. If a psych is committed against a player of lesser ability or experience, it will be considered bad sportsmanship and a procedural penalty equal to the top on a board will be assessed.

iv. If a player pyschs more than twice in one event, there will be a procedural penalty equal to the top on a board. This does not mean that it is acceptable to psych twice in every game.  Psychs should be rare.

v. Excessive psyching can result in being barred from the HBC for a period of time determined by the HBC BOT.

5. Scoring Errors. Players should make every effort to ensure that scores are entered correctly into the Bridgemate devices during the game. If a player reviews the results after the game, however, and believes a score at his or her table has been recorded incorrectly, it is that player’s responsibility to notify the club within 24 hours of the results being posted. If the correction benefits the reporting player, that player is also responsible for contacting the opponents and obtaining their agreement to the corrected score before any correction can be made. If a player identifies a scoring error at another table that materially affects the outcome of the  game, that player may reach out to the players involved and seek their approval to request a score change, and the HBC Manager or a game director will make changes that have been confirmed by the players involved provided those changes are requested within 24 hours of the original posting.

6. Seating Preferences. Game directors will accommodate seating-preference requests based on need provided they are made by phone or at the game registration desk at least one-half hour prior to the start of a game. Requests not based on need will not be accepted by phone, but will be honored on a first-come, first-serve basis provided (1) the request is made at the registration desk at least one-half hour prior to the start of the game, and (2) it is the game director’s judgment that honoring the request does not affect the optimal balancing of the field.

7. Allowable Conventional Bids. Bids that are “disallowed” by the ACBL Open Chart are prohibited in HBC games.

8. Convention Cards. Participants in HBC games must carry and display convention cards revealing bidding conventions and carding agreements. Exceptions to this policy include pairer player assignments, impromptu pairings, “call ins,” and playing directors.

9. Cell Phones and Electronic Devices.

i. Before the game starts, the owner must turn the power off on any cell phone.

ii. In the event of a cell phone infraction, the offending player will immediately notify the director. If there is a failure to self-report, the offending player's partner or the offending player's opponents will notify the director. Other players are encouraged to report unreported violations to the director.

iii. People who incur multiple offences will receive additional penalties.

iv. If a player must make a call during the game, or after play is finished, but while others are still playing, that player should step outside where the conversation cannot be heard by the other players.

v. If a player anticipates having to receive a call, that player should arrange for the call to be made on the bridge club phone, but such arrangements are discouraged except for instances involving emergencies or unusual circumstances. Players anticipating emergency calls should set their phones on vibrate.

vi. The BOT’s intent is to eliminate outside personal and business interferences with the game in progress. Devices such as earphones, iPods, minicomputers, etc. are not allowed. Players should respect their partners and opponents and utilize these "communicators" judiciously and away from the field of play.

10. Pairer Players. Pairer players should arrive fifteen minutes before game time. The game director will assign the pairer player to anyone needing a partner. The pairer player will play free of charge and will receive an additional free-game coupon. If the pairer player’s services are not required the pairer player will receive two free-game coupons. 

11. Players Without Partners.  Players without a partner desiring to play should notify the game director at least 30 minutes before game time. The game director will assign a partner, or the pairer player will serve as the partner. Any player without a partner who refuses to play with the assigned partner or the pairer player will be barred from the privilege of obtaining an assigned partner in the future.

12. Kibitzers.  Kibitzers are welcome at open games provided they observe the following rules:

  • Do not display any reactions to the bidding or play;

  • Do not look at the hand of more than one player without the permission of the game director;

  • Do not in any way disturb a player;

  • Refrain from any mannerisms or remarks;

  • Do not stand: kibitzers must remain seated;

  • Do not touch any player, player’s chair, or the table;

  • Speak to any fact or law unless requested to do so by the game director.

A player has the right to bar a specific kibitzer without cause, but does not have the right to bar all kibitzers.

13. Claims. If a player at any point during the play of a hand, makes a claim of the remaining tricks, that player must state the line of play leading to the claim. If there is any question concerning the validity of the claim, the game director must be called.

14. Alerts. If one partner makes an alertable bid, the other partner must put out the alert card and, if asked, explain the bid. If one partner makes a bid that requires an announcement, the other partner must put out the alert card and make the announcement (e.g. “transfer” or “it may be short”).

Ver. 08/15/19


Scoring Errors




Players whose individual masterpoint totals exceed the limit allowed in restricted games are not permitted to play in or kibitz those games.  This restriction applies to all partnerships, including the mentors and mentees.  As an exception, the game Director can request an advanced player to participate in order to complete a movement.  In this instance, the Director is responsible for the decision and no masterpoints will be awarded to the non-eligible partners.


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