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Does anyone actually know the alert procedure?

In a recent unit game, I decided to perpetrate a 3 opener in second seat favorable holding 52 QJT9652 J J42. Partner held a difficult hand and chose to bid 4, kickback by agreement. After the auction, my RHO, a friend and nice guy, gently suggested that 4 is alertable. I thought that bids past 3NT were not, and he corrected me that opener's SECOND bid past 3NT is not alertable, but that responder's first bid is.

All of that is fine. My opponents agreed that they were not injured by the failure to alert, and that our announcement that we'd had a keycard auction before opening lead was fine, especially as they both assumed that 4 was kickback. No harm no foul.

Here's my question. I asked the director after the game if partner's 4 bid was alertable, and that started a discussion. One strives not to alert kickback in case one of the partners has forgotten. It's one of those bids whose alerts help the bidding side more than the other side. Our understanding was that the alert change was specifically to avoid doing so.

Also, there was some disagreement about what should and shouldn't be alerted among the directors. It seemed clear this should have been, but there was some disagreement about other bids. For example, 4NT, in this case spade exclusion.

Now, in our local unit game, it's not a problem. We allow many mid-chart conventions (Multi, 2D over opps' 1NT to show one major, etc.) even in 2 board games. Many of us play similar conventions, as I'm sure happens in many areas. As I say, it seemed obvious to my opponents that 4 was most likely kickback in our auction. And our opponents by and large know us and know that we strive to follow the rules, and are therefore more willing to give us the benefit of the doubt.

But I'm heading to Dallas, and I need to actually know the alert procedure, and have some questions. To wit:

  • Playing a modified Meckwell Light approach, with 1 promising 0+ diamonds (i.e.,we don't play 2 as 3 suited). Is the proper announcement to 1D "Alert" or "Could be short"? Partner and I disagree. Partner contents it's the latter. Even if that suffices, I think it's more accurate to alert. What are the rules? Where do I find it?
  • After a precision 2 opener, are basically ALL bids alertable? it seems that way.
  • Over 1, 2m is either a game forcing hand or an invitational hand with only a 5 card suit, while 3m is a 6 card suit, invitational. Which of these bids are alertable? It seems to me that 3 isn't - invitational with diamonds - but 3 is, as are both 2 level minors. It seems wrong to me that one of those 4 is not alertable. Are all of them?

Most of all, where do I find this in an area where I can actually begin to understand it? The ACBL site is, uhm, a garbled mess (yes, that is putting it kindly). It's sad, if not ridiculous, that I think the most likely place for me to find the right answer to these questions is NOT the site of the sponsoring organization, but rather a group of players crowdsourcing the answer. 

Thanks for any input!

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