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Accurate Recording of Play

Each major tournament that passes, it becomes more clear to me how desperately we need a mechanism to accurately track all play at all tables. This mechanism needs to be automatic rather than the current manual system. A couple of examples of how we may achieve this are with cameras that can recognize cards or chips inside the cards.

The benefits of tracking this data will reach many different elements of our game. It will help tournament operations through monitoring slow play and handling irregularities like hesitations. It will help prevent cheating by providing a mountain of data to analyze for statistical anomalies and determine the validity of accusations. It will help in the broadcasting of the game by creating viewer-friendly partnership and individual statistics such as your game making %, slam making %, net IMPs on slams, and defensive success. The data will help in education and allow us to take the high-level game to the next level through analytics.

I realize that there are a large number of people who say they would quit the game if it goes all-electronic. What I believe is that the accurate tracking of play and bidding data is critical enough that if we cannot find an achievable solution to it with cards, we will end up with no choice but to move to an electronic format for the survival of the game.

There is urgency to get something deployed in that a lot of situations come up so infrequently that they need years of data before the statistics become meaningful. The sooner we get a solution rolled out, the sooner we will be able to reap the benefits of the data. It would also be extremely helpful if all global bridge organizations signed on for the same system so that the database can be standardized and grow that much faster.

Does anyone know of existing solutions with stuff like RFIDchips or camera image recognitionthat are either on the market or approaching the market? Does anyone know anything about running tech contests through schools? This seems like something that fresh minds with better understanding of available modern technology could achieve in creative ways.

The purpose of this post is to find out if there is a realistic solution to add on to the current card-based game and how we might achieve it. I would appreciate it if people would refrain from discussing their opinions on changing to an electronic format.

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