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Code of Conduct

The Sarasota Bridge Club (SBC) is publishing this Code of Conduct on May 3, 2023, for the bridge players who participate in the ACBL-sanctioned duplicate bridge games that it conducts at Knights of Columbus, 4880 Fruitville Road, Sarasota FL 34232.


This code of conduct is derived from code of conduct directives provided by the ACBL Zero Tolerance Policy, the Knights of Columbus in whose facility the games are played and the judgment of the owners and manager of the Sarasota Bridge Club.


Code of Conduct During an SBC Game


Sarasota Bridge Club is committed to encouraging and ensuring acceptable player behavior at all times. In accordance with ACBL Laws 74, 80B2(f), 81C4, 90A, 91, and 92A (Laws of Duplicate Bridge) the following policy outlines what is expected of all players during an SBC bridge game while at the table.


We are attempting to eradicate unacceptable behavior in order to make the game of bridge more enjoyable for all. Below are some examples of commendable behavior, which, while not required, will significantly contribute to the improved atmosphere:

  • Being a good ‘host’ or ‘guest’ at the table.

  • Greeting others in a friendly manner.

  • Praising the bidding and/or play of the opponents.

  • Having two clearly completed convention cards readily available to the opponents. (This one is a regulation, not just a nicety).


The following are some examples of behavior which will not be tolerated:

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

  • Negative comments concerning opponents’ or partner’s play or bidding.

  • Constant and gratuitous lessons and analyses at the table.

  • Loud and disruptive arguing with a an SBC Director’s ruling.


If a player at the table behaves in an unacceptable manner, the SBC Director should be called immediately. Anyone involved in an SBC game can call the SBC Director to report what he/she considers to be unacceptable behavior, but it is important that the person making an SBC Director call be knowledgeable about the circumstances of the reported incident. Annoying behavior, embarrassing remarks, or any other conduct which might interfere with the enjoyment of the game is specifically prohibited by Law 74A. Law 91A gives the SBC Director the authority to assess disciplinary penalties.


The following procedures have been given to the SBC Director(s) for implementation.

  • At the start of each event, the SBC Director shall make an announcement that the tournament will be observing ZERO TOLERANCE for unacceptable behavior. It is requested that the SBC Director be called whenever behavior is not consistent with the guidelines outlined above.

  • The SBC Director, when called, shall make an assessment of the situation. If it is established that there was unacceptable behavior, an immediate disciplinary warning or penalty shall be assigned to all offenders. This may involve any number of players at the table irrespective of who initiated the unacceptable behavior. The SBC owners and manager strongly believes that assignment of disciplinary warnings and penalties will improve the overall behavior at our games.

  • Warnings may be issued at the discretion of the SBC Director for minor infractions. Warnings will have a long life and will be considered in the event of future indiscretions. More serious incidents will result in immediate penalties. Regardless of who may have initiated unacceptable behavior, ALL offenses are punishable. Retaliatory behavior is a punishable offense. Frivolous accusations will also be considered as offenses under this policy.

  • If it is determined that the same offender is responsible for a second offense in the same event, or is determined to be guilty of an offense for which he/she has previously received a warning, then the offender(s) may be ejected from participation in that event. An offender removed from an event shall be deemed to have not played in the event, no masterpoints will be awarded and no refunds will be made. All previously-obtained results shall, however, remain valid as to their effect upon other competitors. In the case of a serious offense and in the case of multiple offenses over a period of time, an SBC Disciplinary Committee hearing may be convened to determine whether the offender(s) should be banned from participation in SBC games for some period of time.

  • In accordance with the Laws of Duplicate Bridge, an SBC Director’s decision to impose a disciplinary penalty is final; however, all such decisions may be appealed. An appeals process may not overturn the SBC Director’s decision, but could recommend that the SBC Director reconsider the imposition of a penalty. It should be noted that during the appeals process the SBC Disciplinary Committee may feel that the penalty assessed was not severe enough.

  • The SBC Director-in-Charge shall provide a summary report of all behavioral warnings and penalties to the SBC ownership and manager and the IBC Disciplinary Committee.


Code of Conduct While Attending SBC Games


Sarasota Bridge Club utilizes the Knights of Columbus facility to conduct its ACBL-sanctioned duplicate bridge games. The Knights of Columbus seeks to provide and ensure a safe, clean and welcoming environment conducive to the appropriate use of the facilities of its members, employees and SBC players.

The Knights of Columbus's Conduct Policy for Use of Its Facility

  • It expects all visitors to treat all people and property with respect. This includes, but is not limited to:

    • Engaging in conversation and behaviors in a manner that does not disturb, offend, harass or threaten others or their property.

    • Using furnishings, equipment, supplies, and facilities only for their intended function, in a manner that does not interfere with others’ use and does not damage or threaten to damage property.

    • The responsibility for loss or damage to unattended personal belongings rests solely with the owner of their personal belongings.


Consequently, the following are some examples of behavior that will not be tolerated:

  • Driving through the parking lot and adjacent areas in a reckless manner at a rate of speed greater than 5 mph and/or against posted traffic directions.

  • Parking in reserved spaces that are identified in signage as being restricted.

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

  • Smoking, including the use of smokeless tobacco and electronic cigarettes; possessing, consuming or being under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs inside the building or outside on the grounds.

  • Carrying weapons of any type (e.g. guns, knives, blunt instruments, sling shots, etc.).

  • Damaging any Knights of Columbus property.

Players have the responsibility of discarding their used food and beverage containers in the appropriate refuse containers that are provided throughout the facility.

If a player on the Knights of Columbus property behaves in an unacceptable manner before, during or after an SBC game, the SBC Director or an SBC owner or manager should be called immediately. In the event that the infraction does not involve card play or table behavior, the SBC director will immediately contact an SBC owner or manager to report the infraction. The SBC Director and the SBC ownership and management have the right to invoke penalties that may involve scoring deductions and play restrictions. In the event that an SBC player commits an act of civil disobedience, the proper authorities will immediately be contacted.

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