Join Bridge Winners
Convention Cards and online tournaments (mostly ACBL)

Issue #1

In ACBL tournaments on BBO, including "virtual clubs",  a SAYC (Standard American Yellow Card) gets loaded for any pair that does not have their own convention card loaded.

From what I've been told, there is NO requirement that the pair actually use this system.

So why on earth is this convention card, which they are NOT PLAYING, being loaded? This seems absurd.

If I see a pair has a CC, obviously I should be able to click on it and assume that it is what they are playing.  Instead, I've been advised by a director that if it says SAYC without names, I should ignore it. 

What is the purpose of making me click, scroll to check what the top of the cc says, and then if it says "SAYC" ignore it and ask questions?  Usually what I want to see is their carding, and I would like to go straight to that section.  

Just as in live play, if a pair doesn't have an accurate CC, it is greatly preferable for them to not have one at all.


Issue #2

Earlier this week, I asked a local ACBL club director whether the ACBL, or the unit directors, had addressed the issue of whether or not players may look at their own system notes and/or convention card during the auction (and play?).  This director told me they had not seen any discussion of this question.

This seems quite pertinent, and therefore extremely surprising to me if this has actually never been addressed, given how many ACBL masterpoints were awarded even before COVID-19.

I see organizations around the world have been addressing this issue recently, and coming up with different answers.  This is unfortunate, though unavoidable, because it makes it less likely that players will be clear on what the rules are in any particular tournament.  It also makes it difficult for a pair to decide what system to use in this age of exclusively online play.  Many want to use more complex systems if they can look, but not otherwise, and having to vary from event to event is not ideal. 

What is best here is complicated, and probably warrants it's own discussion on a separate thread.  In fact, I think I've already seen at least one such thread, and various comments about this on other threads.  My main purpose in posting it as part of this article is to request clarification as to the current ACBL rules.

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