The other day I was asked to stand in as an emergency TD, and do the best I could. So there I was minding my own business and thinking I'm about to get through the whole evening without incident........ when lo and behold on the very last round, I was called over to a table. On arrival I was greeted by at least three highly respected and experienced players with slightly sheepish looks on their faces. I wondered what the problem could possibly be that had caused them such embarrassment - surely it would be an easy matter for me to flick through the Red Book and resolve matters......or would it ?
It was an unusual problem to say the least. Picture this - the game was half-played and it appeared that North, East, South and West had the same coloured cards from the same board. However, somehow South had managed to have in his possession cards from a completely different board. Either he was the playing a hand from the wrong board ( or perhaps North, East and West were playing with cards from the wrong board, implying South was correct .....! ) Thankfully, this problem came to the surface, when halfway through this bizarre sequence, the players noticed that a particular card had appeared twice.
Firstly, I took great credit in not having laughed out too loud, and for maintaining a professional composure. Convinced that this unusual scenario was unlikely to be covered in the Red Book ( other than under the provisions of " boards that could not be played for whatever reason " ) I decided to adopt a common sense approach. Therefore, I pronounced that the 2 boards affected were now unplayable, and that I intended to award averages to both sides.
This obviously didn't go down well with one of the players, who quietly pointed out " Two averages may be bad for us ? ". Naturally, I pointed out to him that " they might also be good for you ! " An observation to which all three other players nodded in submission.
Had I done the right thing ? Yours not so sure, Gloria Stitz
First off, it seems to me that the mis-boarding of cards must have taken place earlier on, perhaps on the table where the boards last came from. If that was the case those negligent and dopey sods responsible should have been fined. If it turns out that the mis-boarding had taken place several rounds earlier ( suggesting that several tables had failed to notice two or more cards appearing twice ), then the two boards in question should have been totally scrapped from the scoring. Hell fire, what kind of members do you have at your club ?
As for your ruling, I believe that the Red Book....or any other book for that matter....should be ignored whenever possible, especially when incidents cry out for common sense rulings that provide equity all round. You madam can TD at our club any time. The ones who we have to suffer are mean, unsympathetic, nit-picking, bolshy, up-their-own-arses, we-know-best, never argue against the written word, officious, power crazy despots.
Best regards Rebecca