Better Behaviour

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Oh dear. Partner did something that puts me in an awkward position (usually hesitated). What can and (and what can't I) do now?

Law 73C: Player receives Unauthorized Information from Partner

When a player has available to him unauthorized information from his partner, such as from a remark, question, explanation, gesture, mannerism, undue emphasis, inflection, haste or hesitation, an unexpected alert or failure to alert, he must carefully avoid taking any advantage from the unauthorized information.

If you convey Unauthorized Information by any means you put partner under pressure. 
He must try to ignore the UI, but should not “choose, from among logical alternatives, one that could demonstrably have been suggested over another by the extraneous information.” (Law 16B)

We have all been in such a situation (perhaps most commonly when partner has hesitated). It is a very difficult place to be.

So let us be sympathetic towards the player under ethical pressure:

  • Do not assume that he has taken advantage – give him the benefit of the doubt till proven otherwise.
  • Do not call the Director and insist that your opponent ‘must pass’ (that is not the case!)
  • Do not get emotional – establish the fact of the hesitation nicely, then if you are unhappy, ask the Director for a ruling – always nicely!
  • Do not insist that when there has been an infraction an opponent must be punished. 
    The aim of the Laws is to restore equity – if you have not been damaged you should not expect an adjusted score.

“Then gently scan your brother man…….
Tho’ they may gang a kennin wrang
To step aside is human:”                               (Burns: Address to the Unco Guid)