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A Double Standard?

At a club game I opened 1NT (15-17), partner bid 2 Stayman, and RHO doubled. I assumed it was lead-directing. We had agreements for that but the double wasn't lead-directing. It was made with scattered values.

The result was a disaster. Had we known what was going on, I would have passed, partner would have redoubled, and we would have had a great result.

After the hand I asked LHO bout the meaning of the double and was told that they had no agreement. I asked RHO and was told that it was "takeout." The director let the result stand because the opponents were inexperienced players and had no idea what they were doing.

I wrote to the ACBL asking whether or not a "takeout" double of Stayman is alertable (over a strong notrump) because of its highly-unusual meaning and was told that "...it is arguable..."

Ordinarily I wouldn't have given it a second thought but it proves the existence of a double standard (no pun intended). Suppose that expert opponents had done exactly the same thing knowing what the result would be. Would the director have ruled the same way? Of course not. It would result in a recorder memo and perhaps an adjusted score and/or a reprimand.

If a director's rulings depend on a pair's knowledge of the game, where do you draw the line? A director isn't a mind reader so every ruling would have to be subjective.

Suppose the inexperienced pair who got away with the "takeout" double liked the result and decided to do the same thing every time. Would they get caught? If they did would a lack of knowledge of the game result in the same ruling?

Please select up to 2 choices.

You were fixed. Forget about it.
A non-lead-directing double of Stayman over a strong notrump should be alertable.
This does expose a double standard and there should be a level playing field.

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