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MINUTES

BridgeBase Online Tournament Directors Coalition Meeting

January 31, 2004  12 Noon ET

Attendees

13Tricks, _Kowal , Abadaba, Ack_Hh, Aisha759, Andy 25, Anidiot, Attilag, Baa-Lamb, Bambi1, Bangalore, Bbo_TDs , Bilmanager, Blackbikin, Blokier, Borko, Callmesara, Cg, Cosey, Ege123, Ehhh, Farecik, Frosty , Georgul, Gerardo, Giasone, Goodjava, Hope, JAPIE2, John Goold, Kaiserzell, Kernow, Kumi, Longo, Maaa, Maaa2, Mirekf, Miss Blue, Misterpino, Natanya, Olmet, Omerjo, Rain, Rain2, Redds, Rmoyster, Sbrown2562, Sceptic, Slothy, Sunu, Sylvaindt, Tiad, Tritri

Moderator:  BBO_TDs (Gweny)

Gweny brought the meeting to order at 12:05 by welcoming all in attendance. Co-administrators of the BBO TDs Coalition, Frosty and SBrown2562 were introduced. Frosty is responsible for keeping the Coalition membership records up-to-date and SBrown2562 is responsible for welcoming new members. Both welcomed attendees and expressed their enthusiasm for the cooperative effort being undertaken

The initial topic for discussion was SCHEDULING TOURNAMENTS. It was noted that the website www.bridgebase.com/tourneyschedule/ includes a schedule of BBO tournaments and the mechanism to add events to the schedule. The attendees were also made aware of the direct link from BBO to this website. Blackbikin asked if any TDs would be willing to take over her events during her upcoming absence. John Goold offered to add the scheduling website link to the Online Help in the upcoming update. Georgul requested the addition of a tournament description accessible from the website schedule and Gweny indicated that this change is already in the works and will be available very soon.

There was a brief discussion of how TDs should handle getting substitutes when they are unable to run their events, - i.e. who to contact. Gweny suggested that the TDs should develop a network of TDs that are generally available during the same time-frame, or as an option that the TD should Email the Coalition website for help. Gerardo recommended the development of TD teams during given timeframes so there would be a more structured network of reinforcement. Sceptic brought up the challenge of TDs being invisible and wondered if there were some way to make them visible to the other TDs.

This generated a discussion of the possible ways to see TDs that would make them unique from the rest of the names list. The use of unique hosting names or unique colors were seen to have some advantages, but the prevailing drawback mentioned was the inability to use the same Nick and the inconvenience of always being "on duty". The general consensus was that it would be helpful to have a way to identify our fellow TDs separately from our "Friends" if a way could be found that wouldnt overburden the TDs or necessitate using different names. Rmoyster felt that TDs should only have a unique distinction if they are certified by their governing organization in the WBF.

A discussion was initiated about when to "create" the tournaments in BBO. Challenges have been popping up when TDs "create" their events with a short lead-time. TDs are frequently competing with one another for the same time and format if 1) the schedule isnt consulted, or 2) a scheduled event doesnt show on the Tournament list until shortly before it is supposed to begin. Sometimes, what appears to be an open time slot in the active Tournament list might actually be the time slot a TD has scheduled to run an event but the event isnt listed yet. Those advocating listing a tournament early cited 1) less opportunity for conflict with other events, and 2) more time for players to decide to play. One recommendation was for events to be "created" at least an hour in advance. The argument against was that players usually dont sign up for an event more than an hour in advance and most wait until much later. Concerns were expressed about TDs who schedule a tournament to begin shortly before or at the same time as a pre-existing tournament. Gweny encouraged all TDs to check the schedule and to make a concerted effort to coordinate with one another.

Miscellaneous comments included: Sceptic and Japie2 offered to help anytime they were online. Abadaba asked if there were TDs who would consider Directing some of the Abalucy tournaments. Rmoyster also asked for help with his tournaments. Bangalore wondered if there were any plans to allow Kibitzers to call the Director (as in an earlier release) in the future and if it would be possible to have only one Director call from each table at a time. Kaiserzell asked if the "time until tournament starts" could NOT be in minutes as it is often hard to calculate and easy to make a mistake (several concurred). The possibility of using a clock, or something similar, was suggested.

The next topic was THE ROLE OF YELLOWS. Rain explained that Yellows are BBO Guides and that some of them Direct tournaments, but it is not a requirement. He also said that Yellows are available to help with discipline or infringement problems as they occur and that TDs are accountable to Yellows just like in a normal club.

The discussion turned to several aspects of DIRECTING. Several TDs mentioned having difficulties finding the correct Movie to review for adjustment requests and/or disputes. A suggestion was made to have the Table # shown on the Movie for each hand. Gweny indicated that Uday is working on a solution for this. One TD expressed frustration at having Director calls interrupt whatever you are working on and several concurred. Some expressed concerns about players abusing time limits to manipulate scores or leaving early if they were not happy with their scores. Some TDs felt it was helpful to keep track of and share information about those who do this often. Rain told the TDs that these players should be reported to abuse@bridgebase.com if the TD is certain that the players have delayed or left intentionally. A concern was expressed about the time crunch that TDs experience when dealing with adjustments, subbing and answering chat questions. Gweny indicated that a Tournament Management symposium was being planned for a later date to attempt to address these concerns. The idea of restricting players with bad connections from entering clocked events was suggested but rejected after it was noted that this practice would unfairly impact European players.

The final agenda topic was the upcoming interactive ADJUSTMENTS CLINIC. The general consensus was that training in how to do adjustments correctly is a high priority for much of the TD community. Bangalore asked if the original TD instructions to avoid adjustments and disputes as much as possible were still in effect. Gweny explained that three well-qualified TDs are in the process of generating the Adjustments clinic so that less experienced TDs can learn how to handle adjustments/disputes, and asked for input from the meeting attendees on what should be covered. Several experienced TDs expressed their dissatisfaction with the practice of using A+-= and asked that this be evaluated carefully before being included. There were questions about whether the clinic would be required and whether there would then be stricter rules about the application of bridge law and the credentials of TDs. Gweny reminded the TDs that the Coalition exists to support and organize the TDs who have a diverse background of skills and experience, but that nothing the Coalition offers is required. She explained that the information offered in the Adjustment clinic would serve as a guideline to assist TDs in managing adjustments.

Gwen opened the floor for GENERAL Q/A. A suggestion that requests for information on Alerts be routed to the partner rather than the player alerting was made. TDs were encouraged to "teach" players to use the Substitute for your Partner option on the Call Director button.

A motion was made and seconded to adjourn, and the meeting was officially ended at 2:05 pm ET. Several TDs remained in the Private Club to enjoy a few hands of casual bridge.

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Copyright 2004 BBO TDs Coalition    Last modified: Saturday, 13. November 2004