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The arrow switch doesn't work

(This should probably be one in a series about combatting club myths)

I've had a complaint at the club about arrow switching. In one session last week North-South pairs finished in the top four places, and sixth, as the eight tables played a 8 x 3-board rounds Mitchell, arrow switching the final round, scored by matchpoints.

On this set of hands, North-South averaged 21 points per hand. I've had both a NS and EW pair remark that all the hands were North-South in this set.

It is clear that our club players all play the hands (a lot) better than they defend. So if the hands are biased in one direction, then I'd expect the stronger players in that direction to dominate the leaderboard. The fact that there is an arrow switch does not materially change the fact that North-South pairs are likely to play most of the boards.

So it is not the arrow switch but the distribution of the cards that is more important.

The corollary is that there will be a demand to balance out the points, so I suspect I'll be saying that it evens out over the season and it is unlawful not to deal a random set of hands. The alternative is a Howell movement, but with far fewer stationary pairs I do not think this will be popular and, of course, the same could happen but you'd never spot it :)

Does this sound right and anyone think I should add any more?

(I do know about David Stevenson's, but they are unlikely to read this)

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