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Scoring errors

The members of the HLPC (high level players commission) which I am on were asked to comment about the problem involving the incorrect score in the open pairs.  Here are my suggestions for reducing the chances of this happening in the future.

Verification:

With the current bridgemates, there is a good chance that an incorrect score may slip by.  Sometimes the player keeping score presses the ok button twice after entering the score, and the E-W pair never gets a chance to verify.  Also, a score might appear to be correct when in fact it is on the wrong side.  If you are +50 on a hand you see a 50 when you are verifying, and you have to be very careful to see that the right pair is playing the hand and has achieved the score.

I suggest the following:  The scores for each hand are entered and verified as they are now.  However, at the end of the round, the score of the boards in that round is presented the way it would look on a players scorecard, e.g.

 7.  4S N         620

 8.  1NT S                    50

 9.  3NT E                    630

 

The N-S pair verifies that this is correct.  Then the scores are displayed from the E-W point of view, e.g.

7.  4S N                     620

8.  1N S        50

 9.  3N E       630  

And the E-W pair must verify this.  The scores will not be entered in the system and the bridgemate will not continue to the next round until this verification is done.  

Note:  This verification should apply to team games also, not just pair events.    

Unlikely scores:  

Scores like +420 when everybody else is -420 in the same contract should be flagged.  And apparently the software does flag them, which is perfect.   The key is what happens when the strange result is flagged.  Apparently with the current system, nothing happens unless the "scorer" notices that the result has been flagged -- if the scorer fails to do so, the result goes through.  It would be better if a flagged result did not go into the system unless the scorer positively hit a button which puts it in.  Of course strange results do happen, so there has to be a way for them to be accepted.  But it should be a positive acceptance, not a positive rejection.  Had this been in place, the disaster would not have occurred since the result at R/S table would not have entered the system.    

Results dissemination:  

The technology exists for a full recap of every board and every result to be emailed to each contestant as soon as all the results are in.  This should include not just the results for the pair receiving the email.  It should include the results for every pair.  In this way, a pair can check the scores of another pair for mistakes.  If this had been available, the second place pair would have had the opportunity to check R/S results and find the impossible score.    

Correction:  

Between sessions, and after the final session until the time for corrections has elapsed, there should be a scorer's table with a director there so players can submit scoring errors.  Players should not have to scurry around to find a director and submit a scoring correction.  There should be a place where the players can go to do this, well publicized.      

These procedures will require programming effort, modifying the bridgemates and the program appropriately.  It is worth the cost and effort.  I believe if these procedures are followed, scoring errors will virtually vanish.

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