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 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 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, give 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.

Poor personal hygiene, grooming, or dress.

If a player believes a Zero Tolerance violation has occurred, the player must 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 this case, one should state “this player is interfering with the enjoyment of the game.”    Unless the perceived violation is immediately reported to the game director, no further recourse is available to the offended player(s) and the matter is closed.  The game director completes documentation of the violation and gives copies to the involved parties and the Zero Tolerance Committee chairman who keeps records of the violations and reports them to the Board.

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: a procedural penalty of ½ board or 3 IMPs.    Additional penalties as directed by the Board of Directors, normally a three month probation period.

Third Offense in a different game: a procedural penalty of ½ board or 3 IMPs.    Additional penalties as directed by the Board of Directors, normally a three month suspension.

Appeal may be made to the game director for a reduction in the procedural penalty.   Appeal may also be made to the chairman of the Zero Tolerance Committee.   The Zero Tolerance Committee shall, at it’s 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.

     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

The use of cell phones and any other devices which emit a sound ("Devices") are prohibited in the playing area of the club during games. All Devices should be turned OFF prior to the beginning of games. If a device emits a sound during a game its owner will be assessed a penalty  of ½ board, even if the device is not in possession of the owner when the sound is emitted. Speaking or otherwise using a Device in the playing area during a game will also result in a ½  board penalty for the player doing so.

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).

Players may use a Device or the club's land line outside the playing area between rounds. If a player requires the use of a Device during a game for a health related reason, the player will be permitted to use the
Device, to the extent necessary, provided she informs the game director of the health related reason prior to the beginning of the game.

     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

The BDBC Board voted to courteously but strenuously request that players not attend games if experiencing any symptoms of a potentially contagious illness.  This would be suggested by coughing, sneezing, diarrhea and many other “common sense” symptoms.  A fever would absolutely preclude your attendance.  If other players are made uncomfortable by your manifestations, it is clearly discourteous to attend. Further, please remember that at least one of our members has a life -threatening peanut allergy and others have severe reactions to scents and perfumes.  A reminder: in accordance with ACBL guidelines and our established BDBC policies we are a fragrance free club.