Member Policies

Birmingham Duplicate Bridge Club Mission Statement

The purpose of the Club is to provide an environment for competitive duplicate bridge players which emphasizes education, enjoyment, nurtures members’ development,  encourages competition, upholds ethical and behavioral standards, and incorporates necessary administrative/managerial support to ensure this environment is sustained for the foreseeable future.

Birmingham Duplicate Bridge Club Policies


The following policies outline what is expected of all players at the Birmingham Duplicate Bridge Club (BDBC).

    1. Zero Tolerance Policy

The ACBL and the BDBC Board of Directors are committed to acceptable player behavior at all times. The Zero Tolerance Policy states that all players are expected to follow the ACBL Laws regarding behavior including Laws 74 (Conduct and Etiquette), 81-C4 (Director’s Duties and Powers), 90-A (Procedural Penalties-Director’s Authority), 91 (Penalize or Suspend), and 92-A (Right to Appeal). These laws set behavior standards and procedures for Zero Tolerance Policy violations.

A Zero Tolerance violation is any unacceptable behavior that occurs before, during or after a game. The purpose of the Zero Tolerance Policy is to create a pleasant atmosphere and safe environment at the BDBC.

Examples of behavior that lead to the enjoyment of the game are:

 Being a good “Host” or “Guest” at the game and table.

Greeting others by name in a friendly manner prior to the start of each round.

Praising the bidding or play of the opponents.

Having two convention cards clearly completed and available for the opponents.

When asked about an “alert” or other bid, giving a complete explanation.

Examples of Zero Tolerance violations:

 Badgering, rudeness, insinuations, intimidation, profanity, threats or violence.

Negative comments concerning partner’s or opponent’s play or bidding.

Gloating over good results.

Constant and gratuitous lessons and analysis at the table.

Objecting to the call for the director.

Disputing or arguing with the director’s ruling.

Excessive talking or loudness that interferes with concentration.

Unacceptable personal hygiene, grooming or dress.

Eating in the playing rooms is a Zero Tolerance violation. Exceptions include:

Small non-sticky tic-tacs, lozenges, cough drops, or mints are allowed, provided that all wrappers are disposed of promptly and properly.

Eating in the game rooms is allowed only as directed by a Club Officer, Party Chairman or Director for a designated special event such as the Holiday Party, Tailgate Party, Intermediate/Novice Social, or a Saturday Pot-Luck Party. All trash must be disposed of promptly and properly.

The Procedure in Event of a Zero Tolerance Violation:

If a player believes a Zero Tolerance Violation has occurred, the player is asked to immediately call the game director and explain the perceived violation. It is understood there may be a natural reluctance to complain about fellow players. In such a case, one should state “this player is interfering with the enjoyment of the game.” It is permissible for a violation to be reported to the Director after reflection by the offended player. In that event, the Director still has authority to assess the appropriate penalty. The game director completes documentation of the violation and gives copies to the involved parties and the Zero Tolerance Officer. This officer maintains records of the violations and reports them to the Board.

The game director is also empowered to address a Zero Tolerance Violation if he or she witnesses such an event.

BDBC policy is that there are NO warnings. Penalties are assessed by the game director at the time of the violation. They are as follows:

First offense in a game: a procedural penalty of ½ board or 3 IMPs.

Second offense in the same game: ejection from the game.

Second offense in a different game within a three (3) month period: a procedural penalty of ½ board or 3 IMPs. Additional penalties are determined by the Board of Directors, normally a three (3) month probation period.

Third offense in a different game within a three (3) month period: a procedural penalty of ½ board or 3 IMPs. Additional penalties are determined by the Board of Directors, normally a three (3) month suspension.

Any player leaving a game before all boards have been played, not due to an emergency, will be suspended from the club for 30 days and will be given a Zero Tolerance Violation.

An appeal may be made to the game director for a reduction in the procedural penalty. An appeal may also be made to the Zero Tolerance Officer. The Zero Tolerance Officer shall, at his/her discretion, have the right to remove zero tolerance violations from the record of any member. This generally would be done a year after the violation occurred.

Certain Zero Tolerance Violations pose risk to the health, safety and well-being of other players. These violations are assessed accordingly by the Board of Directors. Failure to correct such behavior is unacceptable to BDBC. Penalties for such an offense may include termination of membership and a permanent ban from entry to the club.

These behaviors include but are not limited to threats, violence and unacceptable personal hygiene.

Persons who cannot adhere to basic standards of personal hygiene necessary to provide a safe environment for club members are banned from participation at BDBC.

     2. Alcohol Policy

The BDBC club policy is that no alcoholic beverages are allowed in the club (including the parking area), by any player before, during, or following any games or other sponsored event. Exceptions are only provided by approval of the Board.

     3. Smoking Policy

The BDBC club is a smoke free facility. Smoking is allow outside the building in designated areas only.

     4. Use of Cell Phones and Other Devices

Electronic devices are now permitted to be visible in the playing area between rounds. Devices must be turned off during the play of the hand, but can be viewed between rounds. Placing or receiving calls in the playing area is still prohibited. Penalties will continue to be assessed for disruptions due to devices that make noise during play.

In the event of special circumstances, a device may be left with the game director for emergency calls or other contacts. If a player expects a call on the club’s land line, she should inform the game director before the beginning of the game. The game director will inform the player of the receipt of the call or other contact at an appropriate time, (usually between rounds).

     5. Animals

Animals are not allowed in the building during, before, or after a game. Health department issues concerning animals and the serving of food are the primary reason. Of course, service dogs for special needs are exempted from this rule.

     6.  Neatness

All players are expected to deposit their waste products in the appropriate containers during the game. These products include napkins, cups, spoons, plates, drink cans,  paper trash, score sheets, etc.   Please recycle when possible.

After the game, N/S pairs are expected to clean up around the  table area and E/W pairs are expected to return the boards to the assembly area.  Please place chairs under the table.

     7. General Convention Chart

All club games and sectionals held at the BDBC will be played using ACBL’s General Convention Chart.   Any conventions played not on this chart may be subject to penalty.

     8. Fragrances

Some people have an extreme sensitivity to fragrances (colognes or perfumes or scented lotions). Because duplicate bridge requires players to be in close proximity to each other, individuals who suffer from fragrance-related reactions cannot avoid those who are wearing them. The issue is much more serious than simply disliking a particular smell — it’s a real health problem for these individuals. The ACBL and the BDBC ask everyone to give this issue the consideration it deserves. Please do not wear cologne, perfume, or scented lotion at the Club.

     9. Refunds/Transfers

Paid registration for any event the club is hosting is non-refundable and non-transferable.

     10. Photography

Persons at the club agree that the club may use photographs of themselves with or without the persons’ name and for any lawful purpose. Examples include such purposes as publicity, illustration, advertising, and web content.

     11. Health

a.  Appropriate immediate accommodation must be offered to any player with an immediate medical need.

b.  Players should not attend games if experiencing symptoms of a potentially contagious illness. Such symptoms would include coughing, sneezing, diarrhea and other “common sense” symptoms. A fever would absolutely preclude attendance.

c.  In accordance with ACBL guidelines and our established BDBC policies we are a fragrance free club.

d.  BDBC will accommodate any player with severe allergies identified to our officers or directors in our pursuit of a safe environment for all players.