[BLML] written bidding

Tony Musgrove ardelm at optusnet.com.au
Sat Apr 12 09:23:30 CEST 2014

One of our senior Directors, CTD at the NSWBA, has been very
vocal in not endorsing the use of bidding boxes since he thinks
that it facilitates many directing decisions that you have mentioned.
In country NSW there are many clubs which adhere rigorously
to the rules and cover the bidding box after the first
trick.  Local carpenters outdo each other in inventing devices
for the purpose.  However, at each of my clubs in Sydney
we would consider such practices a bit posh, and I have
never seen other clubs in Sydney who care.  I prefer bidding
boxes when I play at the NSWBA, but otherwise do not
care too much.  (I used to like spoken bidding except
when I played in Italy once, and ended up in quattro
cuori, which the Italians insisted was quattro fiori,
owing to just learned Italian).
Tony (Sydney)  
From: blml-bounces at rtflb.org [mailto:blml-bounces at rtflb.org] On Behalf
Of Timothy N. Hill
Sent: Saturday, 12 April 2014 2:07 PM
To: Bridge Laws Mailing List
Subject: [BLML] written bidding
On a recent visit to Sydney, Australia, (to meet my newborn
granddaughter!) I had my first encounter with written bidding. I have a
couple observations. I'd be interested in the comments of Australian
directors experienced with both written bidding and bidding boxes.
My general impression (based on one weekday afternoon at a local club)
was highly favorable. Written bidding seemed to work at least as well as
bidding boxes in all respects (except paper consumption). I didn't
witness anything like some problems that are all too common with bidding
boxes: "mechanical" misspulls, insufficient bids, calls out of rotation,
calls covered up or placed at suspicious angles, reaching for one half
of the box or one call before reconsidering, scooping up the cards and
putting them away prematurely, or having to give a review after the
bidding cards have been put away. (Of course, written bidding does
nothing to prevent informative breaks in tempo, sometimes accompanied by
pen-hand gestures.)
The bidding slip, including alerts made by reaching over and circling
partner's call, must be very handy when the director has to make a
There was one procedural peculiarity at this club. As North, I
instinctively put the bidding slip out of sight when third hand played
to the first trick (after which no one is entitled to a review of the
auction). This seemed to disconcert people. Apparently the accepted
practice in this club is to leave the slip on top of the board
throughout the play. Is this common practice? I checked afterwards, and
the regulations
<http://www.abfevents.com.au/events/tournregs/ABFwbbb10.pdf>  do say
"The written bidding sheet remains in view until the third player
(partner of the opening leader) has played to the first trick when it
should be removed (or turned over) by dummy. If dummy omits to do this
then another player may remove the bidding sheet."
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