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EBU Skyblue Book Regulations for EBU online bridge games

#1 User is offline   gordontd 

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Posted 2020-May-07, 06:04

The EBU has just issued its Skyblue Book, written by Robin Barker and with input from me and Frances Hinden, to provide a regulatory framework for the games we run online and to answer some of the questions that have arisen in them over the last seven weeks. This is in addition to our existing regulations for online teams matches. There have been a number of threads here concerning the issues raised by online bridge, which may be answered by it. Other NBOs may also be considering writing their own regulations and might find it helpful to see what we have done.
Gordon Rainsford
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#2 User is online   pilowsky 

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Posted 2020-May-07, 15:59

I have just looked at this well-intentioned document. Robin Barker is a mathematician. Gordon Rainsford is a sociologist, while Frances Hinden is also a mathematician. All highly skilled in their respective fields and clearly accomplished bridge players. But what are their qualifications for carefully drafting legal documents? Is it possible for the World Bridge Federation to form a Committee of appropriately qualified experts to draft a document? Such a committee might include players at all levels, lawyers, ethicists and key members from major regional authorities. The WBF was constituted in 1958 by a committee of white men. 'stale, pale and male': I really hope that we can do better this time as we move into a new era.
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#3 User is offline   blackshoe 

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Posted 2020-May-07, 16:26

You seem to be suggesting that these three are not competent to draft "legal documents". If you're speaking of law in general, you might be right. If you're speaking of the rules of our game, you're dead wrong. All are on the Laws and Ethics Committee, Frances is the Vice-Chair. Gordon is the Chief Tournament Director of the EBU. All three are well qualified in this endeavor.
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#4 User is online   pilowsky 

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Posted 2020-May-07, 16:55

A law is a law is a law.
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#5 User is offline   shyams 

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Posted 2020-May-07, 17:05

View Postgordontd, on 2020-May-07, 06:04, said:

The EBU has just issued its Skyblue Book, written by Robin Barker and with input from me and Frances Hinden, to provide a regulatory framework for the games we run online and to answer some of the questions that have arisen in them over the last seven weeks. This is in addition to our existing regulations for online teams matches. There have been a number of threads here concerning the issues raised by online bridge, which may be answered by it. Other NBOs may also be considering writing their own regulations and might find it helpful to see what we have done.

Thank you RMB1 and gordonTD
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#6 User is offline   PeterAlan 

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Posted 2020-May-07, 22:48

View Postpilowsky, on 2020-May-07, 16:55, said:

A law is a law is a law.

Actually, no. Some games (cricket, bridge) are governed by what are labelled their "Laws"; for other games (eg baseball) the corresponding label is "Rules". Both terms have the same meaning, and neither has the same standing as, say, an Act of Parliament.

In any event, you have clearly failed to understand the very first section in the book:

EBU Sky-Blue Book said:

0 Introduction

0.1 General

This book (the Sky-Blue Book) consists of EBU regulations and interpretations for online bridge competitions organised by the EBU. It is written to supplement the Laws of Duplicate Bridge (2017), The EBU Blue Book and The EBU White Book where the provisions of those laws and regulations are not applicable for online bridge. ?br />
The current scope of this book is for EBU events, where the EBU is the tournament organiser, and has been agreed by the Chief Tournament Director. Some sections are only relevant to pairs events or events played specifically on BBO.

In the future, the scope of this book may be extended to events where the EBU is the Regulating Authority, and may be recommended for other events in England; and formally agreed by the Laws & Ethics Committee.

If you don't understand what is meant by "Tournament Organiser" and "Regulating Authority", refer to the Laws of Duplicate Bridge (in particular 78-80, 92 & 93). If you don't understand what is meant by "regulation", "interpretation" or "scope", refer to a dictionary.

You're apparently a well-educated academic physiologist. Why do you choose to appear as a fool on these forums?
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#7 User is offline   gordontd 

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Posted 2020-May-08, 00:20

View Postpilowsky, on 2020-May-07, 15:59, said:

Is it possible for the World Bridge Federation to form a Committee of appropriately qualified experts to draft a document?

I'm sure no-one would be opposed to such a thing, but what was needed was to have a framework now, to help us and our TDs dealing with cases and questions that are arising at the moment, which were not covered by existing documents.
Gordon Rainsford
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#8 User is offline   diana_eva 

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Posted 2020-May-08, 03:19

Pilowsky stop trolling. I removed your last post which was a direct attack on another poster.

#9 User is offline   shyams 

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Posted 2020-May-12, 13:56

I think the situation posted by McBruce in another thread (link) is interesting. I wonder whether #1.3 in the Skyblue book addresses this situation adequately.
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#10 User is online   hrothgar 

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Posted 2020-May-12, 14:22

As is oft the case, I wish that the ACBL were as accomplished as the EBU in drafting these sorts of documents

(With this said and done, I do think that the ACBL has been doing a lot better recently)
Alderaan delenda est
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#11 User is offline   awm 

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Posted 2020-May-17, 03:56

The decision to allow players to look at their own system notes seems very strange to me. This is very much a change from face-to-face bridge where memory aids are not permitted!

It's true (as the document suggests) that anything else is unenforceable. However, there are many rules in online bridge that are unenforceable, for example:

1. You are not allowed to discuss the hand in progress with your partner over Skype (or in person, if playing from the same household).
2. You are not allowed to use software like SuitPlay to assist in the play of the hand.
3. You are not allowed to kibitz your own table using a second BBO account.

All of these are basically on the honor system, and I don't see why the system notes thing should be any different.
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#12 User is offline   gordontd 

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Posted 2020-May-17, 04:14

View Postawm, on 2020-May-17, 03:56, said:

The decision to allow players to look at their own system notes seems very strange to me. This is very much a change from face-to-face bridge where memory aids are not permitted!

It's true (as the document suggests) that anything else is unenforceable. However, there are many rules in online bridge that are unenforceable, for example:

1. You are not allowed to discuss the hand in progress with your partner over Skype (or in person, if playing from the same household).
2. You are not allowed to use software like SuitPlay to assist in the play of the hand.
3. You are not allowed to kibitz your own table using a second BBO account.

All of these are basically on the honor system, and I don't see why the system notes thing should be any different.

One difference is that there is a long history of one group of players online consulting their notes/system cards/profiles because it would not occur to them that they are not supposed to, while the other (smaller imo) group do not. I think this is in part due to online bridge historically being based on short-term and rapidly- changing partnerships.

This still carries through in the frequent need for substitute players for online games. Should a prohibition on consulting system cards apply to them?
Gordon Rainsford
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#13 User is offline   BudH 

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Posted 2020-May-23, 04:26

How does one give a weighted score in BBO? It appears I can choose only a number of tricks or an artificial Ave, Ave+, or Ave-.
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#14 User is offline   gordontd 

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Posted 2020-May-23, 08:22

View PostBudH, on 2020-May-23, 04:26, said:

How does one give a weighted score in BBO? It appears I can choose only a number of tricks or an artificial Ave, Ave+, or Ave-.

Yes, you can抰. You just have to approximate as best you can unless you are exporting the results and can rescore the event.
Gordon Rainsford
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#15 User is offline   pescetom 

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Posted 2020-May-23, 15:21

I was a bit puzzled by the distinction assigned vs adjusted in the last paragraph

Skyblue Book said:

This may allow the TD to award an assigned score (rather than an
adjusted score) when a board has been curtailed by the online platform.


Should this read:
This may allow the TD to award an assigned adjusted score (rather than an artificial
adjusted score) when a board has been curtailed by the online platform.
?

Thanks.
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#16 User is offline   RMB1 

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Posted 2020-May-23, 16:49

View Postpescetom, on 2020-May-23, 15:21, said:

I was a bit puzzled by the distinction assigned vs adjusted in the last paragraph

Should this read:
This may allow the TD to award an assigned adjusted score (rather than an artificial
adjusted score) when a board has been curtailed by the online platform.


When I wrote this I wasn't sure if TD could give only 40/50/60 (an artificial score) or any percentage (which some scoring programmes allow), so I just used a vague term.
Robin

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#17 User is offline   pescetom 

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Posted 2020-May-24, 02:34

View PostRMB1, on 2020-May-23, 16:49, said:

When I wrote this I wasn't sure if TD could give only 40/50/60 (an artificial score) or any percentage (which some scoring programmes allow), so I just used a vague term.


Ok, thanks. I wasn't aware of the WBFLC minute which is reassuring to know, as as assigned adjusted score is of course what the players demand (and deserve if the cutoff was not their fault). Yet another 'TODO' area for online laws, including the circumstances (if any) under which the software may curtail play.
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#18 User is offline   pescetom 

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Posted 2020-June-11, 11:33

View PostSkyblue Book said:

4.2 Unauthorised information (Law 16B, Law 73C)
Significant hesitations and remarks (‘table chat’) are unauthorised information, which will
constrain the player and can be subject to a ruling under Law 16B or Law 73C.
There can reasons for pauses in an online game, due to the environment, but the TD is entitled
to determine that a significant hesitation is nevertheless unauthorised information and rule
accordingly.



What are your thoughts about ruling under 16B when the opponents are robots and fail to call the TD?

As TD (not EBU) during a tournament today I witnessed robots EW bid solidly to 4, North hesitate for almost a minute before passing and then South bid 5, doubled and down 2 (both sides vulnerable). I rolled it back to 4 making and was fortunate that nobody asked who had called me.

We have only just begun to have pairs of robots in tournaments and I suspect this may become a quite frequent dilemma, given also that the robots play faster than human opponents and thus free up time for hesitation as well as never complaining.

It is probably unreasonable to expect a robot of GIB level to evaluate realistically whether or not it may have been damaged, but maybe it could call TD whenever it has a suspicion. Perhaps a more realistic start would be to have think time data available to TD.
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#19 User is online   pilowsky 

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Posted 2020-June-11, 14:26

Especially the North robot, although the West robot can be a bit iffy given half a chance. Mind you, the other day all. four of them paused for about an hour and went to the bathroom. Isn't it about time to realise that the idea of assigning intent and UI based on pausing is a bit of a joke in the online environment where there are much bigger issues such as skype, telephone and zoom to worry about? A simple time limit for thinking is all that is needed. That's what chess clocks were invented for.
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#20 User is offline   blackshoe 

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Posted 2020-June-11, 15:19

View Postpescetom, on 2020-June-11, 11:33, said:

What are your thoughts about ruling under 16B when the opponents are robots and fail to call the TD?

As TD (not EBU) during a tournament today I witnessed robots EW bid solidly to 4, North hesitate for almost a minute before passing and then South bid 5, doubled and down 2 (both sides vulnerable). I rolled it back to 4 making and was fortunate that nobody asked who had called me.

Quote

Law 81C. Director’s Duties and Powers
The Director (not the players) has the responsibility for rectifying irregularities and redressing damage. The Director’s duties and powers normally include also the following:

3. to rectify an error or irregularity of which he becomes aware in any manner, within the periods established in accordance with Laws 79C and 92B.

I wouldn't worry about being asked who called you, since a call by a player is not a prerequisite for a ruling. If you judge that 16B has been violated and the non-offending side damaged then you adjust the score.
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