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Lay off the Ethics Training in Clubs

I was playing in a Club game the other day and there was a nice YOUNG (probably early 30's) couple playing duplicate together for the 1st time (and new to the game clearly)  that came to our table.  I am only 42 but have been playing for 20+ Years so of course I gave them obligatory "It's nice to see young people playing bridge" comment that I have been hearing all my life.  We had a few laughs and I tried my best to make them comfortable even though the mis-bid one hand and were the only pair in 6Diamonds making (one of them bypassed AKQx of Hearts to raise their partner's diamonds with 10xxx) - but hey, it happens...

They moved on to the next table and during the the auction at I overheard one of their opponents make a comment similar to "You really should make up your mind before you touch the bidding box".  I started thinking about it and for this pair what does touching multiple cards in the bidding box really mean?  All it says is "I am unsure what to do next"  and trust me, playing against new, nervous people (and trying to impress them?) it is always obvious that they are unsure what to do next.  

Then I was reading the article about "Is it ethical" and all I saw was people complaining about the ethics of club level players and it occured to me - Most (clearly not all, but that is another discussion) Club players are so concerned about trying to follow suit and maybe count the trump suit that they are not paying ANY attention to their partners or opponents mannerisms.  This is very very hard for experienced players to fathom because counting is so second nature and easy, but lets face it - new players struggle for multiple years to learn to count.  Combine this with the "future of bridge" article and I think you will quickly see the point -- we are driving new players away because we are holding them to a standard that is not capable of being obtained.  So I say again "Lay off the ethics training at the clubs"  At least until new players are considered somewhat advanced and can understand what is trying to be taught!

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