Unit 174 Slow Play Policy
Failure to finish on time can do a great deal to chase players away from the game and is extremely distressing to waiting players. Bridge is a timed event. The guideline for ACBL events is 15 minutes per two boards. A timing device will be used in all Unit sponsored regional and sectional tournaments. Where different clocks are being used in different sections, the Director will may every effort to call the rounds and provide an audible two minute warning.
Players should be available to start each subsequent round promptly, avoiding wherever possible, being late to a table for non-bridge reasons.
If a pair takes more than their share of the allotted time for each round, they are inconveniencing their fellow competitors as well as gaining an unfair advantage over them. When a pair has fallen behind it is incumbent on them to make up the time lost as quickly as possible whether at fault or not. The actively ethical player makes a concerted effort to catch up when they have fallen behind, regardless of the reason for their lateness. All players are expected to develop this good habit.
Remember: Slow play is subject to penalty, and the penalties are well earned when slow pairs disrupt the normal progression of the game. Where fault can be determined and is not caused by disability, first offenders will be warned, given one round to get back on schedule and informed that in addition to a late play when allowed, penalties will be assessed for future offenses. The typical penalty is ¼ of top on a board.
At the discretion of the Tournament Director, slow play penalties will be deemed to be either disciplinary (and unappealable) or procedural. If the latter, appeals committees should tend strongly to reject all routine appeals against slow play penalties. When they do deny such an appeal, they should consider imposing an additional penalty for a frivolous appeal. The burden is on the appellant to demonstrate that some unusual circumstance makes the penalty inappropriate.