The World Bridge Federation has tasked itself with revising the Laws once every decade. This edition came into force in Scotland on 1 September, 2017.
There are no major changes, the emphasis is on clarification, making it easier to apply the laws in a uniform and fair manner. Players should try to familiarise themselves with the Laws to a certain extent, so that, if necessary, they can find their way around them.
DO NOT try to memorise them!
To quote from the Introduction: "The purpose of the Laws remains unchanged. They are designed to define correct procedure and to provide an adequate remedy for when something goes wrong. They are designed not to punish irregularities but rather to rectify situations where non-offenders may otherwise be damaged.
Players should be ready to accept graciously any rectification, penalty, or ruling. The trend, begun in 2007, to give Tournament Directors more discretion in enforcing the Law has been continued and attempts have been made to clarify interpretations."
As part of our Better Behaviour Campaign, we would like to endorse this approach. An opponent who makes a mistake, such as a bid out of turn, or a revoke, feels foolish and embarrassed. Better behaviour requires that you do not aggravate the situation by demanding rectification in a loud, gloating or aggressive manner.
You should not wish to profit from such an inadvertent error. The Laws are there to ensure that you are not actually damaged; they aim to restore equity,not to give you a better score than you would otherwise obtain.
In the (unlikely?) event that you have made an error try not to compound it. You make a bid out of turn – do not try to grab it back and replace it until opponents are fully aware of their options.
- You revoke – call the Director to find out whether your revoke is established before taking further action.
- Try not to comment on your error by giving out information that may complicate the Ruling. The TD is your friend, but if you make a relatively simple situation more complicated than it need be you will stretch that friendship to its limits.
- In short, when something goes wrong: call the TD; make sure you have explained the situation accurately and completely; accept the Ruling graciously.
- If something happens that requires rectification you should call a Tournament Director, make sure you have stated all the relevant facts, and listen carefully to the Ruling.
- The TD will consult the Laws to make sure that he is applying the correct one.
- If a TD is not available you may take advice from an experienced player, but always consult the Laws before making a decision.