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Zero tolerance at club games (club directors' comments are appreciated)

West
8
J8
J10975
QJ842
North
AQJ97
A53
A84
63
East
K6532
Q76
Q6
1075
South
104
K10942
K32
AK9
W
N
E
S
P
1
P
2
P
2NT
P
3NT
P
P
P
D
3NT North
NS: 0 EW: 0

This hand happened at a recent club game at a table where all 4 players are experienced tournament players. At the end of the auction, East asked about the length of clubs 2 promised, and South said it's an all-purpose game forcing bid and clubs could be 2 or 3, depending on who he plays with. East finally led 6 and was surprised to see dummy's 5-card suit, so he said "this is a strange bid". After the declarer picked up the suit, East was a bit upset so he said it was "indeed a strange bid". At that point, South exploded and called the director, claiming East's comments "insulted my bid and my partnership". When East tried to explain to the director that he was just commenting South's 2 bid, the director insisted that "you are passing judgment and this is a ZT violation". Therefore a ZT document was written and a hearing was scheduled (to determine whether or not a penalty to East will be given).

I was very much surprised to see the escalation of the incident. The club's attendance is on the decline and each time the feedback from the young kids (my own sons and some young players from UCLA and UCI) was almost all negative: bridge players are not friendly.

What do you think?

East was over-reacting and deserved a ZT warning
South was over-reacting
The director was over-reacting
all of the above
East was whining but not deserved a ZT warning
it's normal

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