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Teaching ethics to club players

Any number of posters routinely (and correctly) decry the ethical state of the game at the local level.  Calling the director about a question of UI is seen, according to one recent commenter, as tantamount to an accusation that one is a pedophile.  And any number of posters have expressed their hope and desire that club directors will become more proactive about teaching their clientele about how to play ethically.

Two things about this have occurred to me recently.

1.  Players need to understand that they may actually benefit from a cleaner game.

2.  The education that needs to happen needs to be expressed in as positive a fashion as possible.

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Explanations:

1.  A couple of weeks ago, my (new) partner and I had an auction which we hadn't discussed previously.  There was some hesitation and ambiguous bidding, and my partner made a call that at least arguably was based on UI.  It happened that this was against one of the most experienced pairs in the room, who did not hesitate to call the director.  The director ultimately (after polling several other players) ruled against us.  And let me state here, I have no argument with his ruling, nor with his explanation of it to me later on.  That's not the point here. 

What occurred to me, though, is that had we had the same board, same auction, against many other pairs, they might likely not have recognized that they were potentially entitled to have the director review the hand.  And that's unfortunate (not because my partner and I go around inadvertently transmitting UI at multiple tables, but because it would be nice if everybody got protected, not just the top of the field).

In other words, teaching club players as a group to recognize why issues of UI are important is not simply a burden to them; it's a potential protection for them as well.

2.  If, as I sometimes imagine it happening, the education of club players is of the form "You must always do this; you must never do that; to do otherwise is a violation of the Rules," it's hardly surprising that people (a) don't care, and (b) don't get it.  That kind of education is just short of an accusation of cheating.  Instead, what needs to happen needs to be on a more positive note.  'Here's what you DO.  Here's why you do it."

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One last note:  None of this is meant to criticize the efforts of anybody who is trying to do the right thing on this subject.  I just want to get the general ideas out there, hoping that people will take the opportunity to share anything that might have worked for them in the past...

 

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