SETTING UP THE GAME
In order to begin the game on time, the director should be on hand an hour before game time.
The Basic Items of Equipment and Supplies necessary for a duplicate game are as follows:
A set of duplicate boards and case
A set of Howell Movement Guide Cards
A set of Numbered Table Cards (Markers)
A pad of traveling score sheets and/or pick up slips
A supply of private score sheets
A pad of recapitulation sheets and/or a computer and printer
A place to post game results
A pad of entries
Bidding boxes (optional but desirable)
Enough playing cards to supply one deck for each board
Basic reference Materials necessary
Laws of Duplicate Bridge
The Official American Bridge Association Handbook
Duplicate Bridge Direction, Alex Groner
Bridge Directors Companion. Larry Harris
Duplicate Decisions, Julie Greenberg
Directors Quick Reference Companion, Larry Harris
Arranging the Room
The director designates which side of the room is North, then sets and dresses the tables. All table markers should point toward 1 (North) the last table should be as close to table 1 as possible for logistical purposes (passing the boards). For reasonable comfortable play, the space provided should allow placement of tables on eight-foot centers, thus requiring 64 square feet for each table. The room should be rectangular, rather than square, and arrangement of tables in two rows is usually serviceable.
The entries must be prepared in advance and sold in order as the players arrive or in some areas placed previously on the table and players select their tables. For larger games and in areas where there are more experienced players, the director should seed the field. Seeding is method to keep the game equitable. The stronger pairs in a game should be placed at table 1, 4, 7 and 11. The purpose for seeding is for the sake of the experienced player as well as the not so experienced player.
Selecting the Type of game
A legal duplicate game requires a minimum of 2 ½ tables. With 15-20 minutes of game time, the director must decide the type of based on the number of registered players. As a general rule, a game of six tables or less should use a Howell Movement and games with seven or more tables should use a Mitchell Movement. When practical, 24 boards are recommended. However 22 boards are permitted when eleven tables are in play. Note: In games with half tables, pairs sitting out a round must have their final scores adjusted. Factor up only. If using the computer scoring program, it will factor for you.
The use of Larry Harris’s Directors Companion or his Directors Quick Reference Companion is a good source reference. The most efficient game will be suggested. Distribute the boards once you have determined the movement and when you are ready to start the game.
Prior to the start of the game, the director should get the attention of the players and announce the type of movement, the number of tables, boards and rounds. Usually other announcements are made at the beginning of the last round.
Seven and one half minutes are allowed for the play of a board. For example if two (2) boards are played per round it should take approximately 15 minutes, 22 minutes for three (3) boards and 30 minutes for four (4) boards.
When majority of the payers have finished playing a round on time and there are only 1 or 2 tables still playing, the director should call the change promptly and announce that the slower players should pass their completed board(s) to the next table. If it is determined that a pair is a full board behind, pass the unplayed board to the next table and give the pairs at the table a late play, average or no play whatever is the policy of the Host group.
Keeping control of the game
In order for the director to maintain and insure the orderly progress of a game he or she should do the following:
Never tolerate improper behavior in the game and not allow his or her authority to be challenged.
Keep the game moving and quiet
Administer and interpret the Laws, advising the players of their rights and responsibilities
Assess penalties when applicable
Rectify any error or irregularity of which he or she becomes aware in any matter within the correction period established in according with Law 79.
Posting and Reporting Results
On the completion of the game, the results should be posted for review. Within ten days (for grade C and higher games), a press sheet of the results or an ABATSS file emailed to the National Office, a completed sanction accompanied by the appropriate sanction fees must be mailed to the National Office in Atlanta.
THE MECHANICS OF DUPLICATE PLAY
Types of Duplicate Games and Movements
A duplicate bridge game requires a minimum of two tables, and the practical maximum is determined by the space available for the game. The minimum is determined by the fact that more than a group of players must play the same bridge deals. (Deals, not hands, a bridge hand consists of just 13 cards, while a deal consists of four hands in play)
Bridge competition pits individuals against other individuals, pairs (partnerships) against other pairs and teams of four or more against other teams of four or more.
The individual game is a test not only of the bridge skill of the individual also of his adaptability. It is similar to party bridge in that you change partners during the game. Because of the frequent changes or partnerships, a player should adopt a carefree attitude similar to a Bid Whist game. This game produces single winners.
This is a complex game that needs careful advance planning. The planning required is:
Tables with prime numbers seem to work best
Advance registration is s MUST
The use of Guide cards is useful
Maximum cooperation from the players
The traveling score sheet and or pick up slip is different from the pair game, since it must allow for entering scores for four different players. For further information on Individual movements refer to your Groner, pages 88-104.
The Howell movement is commonly used for pair games under 7 tables. In most cases every pair in the game will meet every other pair and there is one winning pair. Guide cards are used to determine the pairs’ numbers on the first round and the pairs’ movement instructions for each round.
The boards move in a circular structure and the pairs in a somewhat erratic movement, but if the Director understands the movement it is not as complex as it seems.
At table 1 the highest pair sits stationary and the other pairs then play against the highest numbered pair in numerical order sitting East-West. Pair # 1 is the first in this position followed by Pair 2, then Pair 3, etc. Not only does Pair 2 follow Pair 1 after the first round but continues to follow Pair 1 throughout the game by moving to the position that Pair 1 has vacated. Similarly Pair 3 follows Pair 2 Pair 4 follows Pair 3, etc.
Since there are only half as many tables in play as there are pairs, some boards must be idle each round. Boards not in play are placed in fixed positions called bye stands or an assembly table. The boards always progress toward the next lower numbered table.
In all types of duplicate games the director should learn how to use and prepare schedules and master sheets. These provide continuous check on a duplicate game whether Howell, Mitchell or Team and can be used as the pattern of the movement.