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Slow Play

#1 User is offline   euclidz 

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Posted 2021-September-09, 07:46

1. How many minutes do you expect to complete playing a hand?

2. How do you manage the time element of playing each Board e.g. speaking clock?

3. How do you deal with that pair who are slow particularly when they are long standing old and frail members who are apt get lost on the way back from the toilet?
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#2 User is offline   DavidKok 

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Posted 2021-September-09, 13:32

  • Online I usually expect about 5-5.5 minutes per hand, including the bidding. In face to face play this is closer to 6.5 minutes, though the slower players at my club average as much as 8. That being said, I have been told my partner and I play rather rapidly.
  • We usually have spare time, so we take as much time as we need when we feel we need it, and only start worrying if the clock is running low (say, 13 minutes with 3 boards to go). But this only works because we know we are fast on average. I would still always recommend making a slow and correct play (and let the opponents call the director if your play is too slow. I'm not joking, just let them! And ignore opponents' huffs and puffs and threats that fall shy of a director call - but never ignore partner's request to speed up). It is relatively easy to go from "making good plays with thought" to "making good plays in correct tempo", but next to impossible to go from "making poor plays in tempo" to "making good plays in tempo". So in the long run I feel this is far better for your play. And if you get a penalty for being slow along the way, that's the cost of doing business.
  • At a local club game, either call the director or smile and ignore it, whichever you think is more appropriate. The former has the upside that on repeated tardiness the director will be aware of the history of infractions, while still allowing 'no penalty' on on any particular board.

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#3 User is offline   Gilithin 

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Posted 2021-September-09, 13:38

Standard time is 7 minutes per board or 15 minutes for a 2 board set. Online play tends to be considerably faster than this.
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#4 User is offline   paulg 

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Posted 2021-September-10, 01:54

View PostGilithin, on 2021-September-09, 13:38, said:

Standard time is 7 minutes per board or 15 minutes for a 2 board set. Online play tends to be considerably faster than this.

Is this still true?

Over the last 18 months I've seen the pace of online play slow down considerably.

Firstly in online club bridge there are a lot more people playing, most of whom are new to BBO, struggle more with technology and just find looking at a screen more challenging. So I have to make some adjustments at seven minutes a board.

Amongst stronger players, they are taking more time because they are taking online bridge more seriously, perhaps because more serious events are being played online now.

At random tables it is still probably be a lot quicker than traditional offline play, but it is all slower than it was two years ago.
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I don't work for BBO and any advice is based on my BBO experience over the decades
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#5 User is online   sfi 

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Posted 2021-September-10, 03:14

View PostGilithin, on 2021-September-09, 13:38, said:

Standard time is 7 minutes per board or 15 minutes for a 2 board set. Online play tends to be considerably faster than this.

This wasn’t my experience when directing on BBO. Players still used the full 7 minutes per board, and occasionally I would have to add a couple of minutes to the round. I thought it would speed up but was surprised.
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#6 User is offline   AL78 

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Posted 2021-September-10, 04:00

View Postpaulg, on 2021-September-10, 01:54, said:

Is this still true?

Over the last 18 months I've seen the pace of online play slow down considerably.

Firstly in online club bridge there are a lot more people playing, most of whom are new to BBO, struggle more with technology and just find looking at a screen more challenging. So I have to make some adjustments at seven minutes a board.

Amongst stronger players, they are taking more time because they are taking online bridge more seriously, perhaps because more serious events are being played online now.

At random tables it is still probably be a lot quicker than traditional offline play, but it is all slower than it was two years ago.


It is true at my club although from my perspective the 7 or 8 minutes a board online feels much too slow (pairs shouldn't need as long as F2F because moving between rounds is instantaneous (i.e. no dithering in the middle of the room causing maximum obstruction trying to remember which pair they were following on a Howell). I play fairly quickly (too quickly sometimes) and my partner and I are not infrequently waiting until what feels like the next ice age for the field to finish. It was the same in the club pre-COVID and it will be the same when (if) we ever go back to full F2F bridge. It is fair enough last year because online bridge was forced upon people who haven't used it before (or they don't play bridge), but we've had over 18 months to get used to it now so the "I'm not used to it" excuse doesn't hold anymore. Some of the slow play is due to inexperienced players which I can make allowances for. My club plays an active and successful role in bringing newcomers into the game, meaning over the years, there has been a shift in field standard from experienced to inexperienced. The worst evenings are those with a large bias in hands the other way leaving you defending three quarters of the time, slow play by the oppponents leaves you pushing up against the clock on maybe half the rounds, and on BBO your board gets truncated if you go over time and someone else or a robot decides what the score should be which you don't really want to happen. Years ago when I directed quite frequently, I was often a non-playing director so I could keep an eye on the repeat offenders and take the last board off them if I knew there was no chance they were going to play it in the remaining time. I have a reputation in the club for being good at keeping the movement going to time.
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#7 User is offline   Gilithin 

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Posted 2021-September-10, 10:48

View Postpaulg, on 2021-September-10, 01:54, said:

Is this still true?

Over the last 18 months I've seen the pace of online play slow down considerably.

This is true. While I generally do not play online tournaments, my partner that does told me that immediately after the switch to virtual tournaments the pace of play was painfully slow. The impression I have is that that has rather sped up since then though and now that f2f clubs are open again, I would have assumed that we would get back to somewhere similar to where it was before covid.
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#8 User is offline   pescetom 

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Posted 2021-September-10, 16:13

View Postpaulg, on 2021-September-10, 01:54, said:

Is this still true?

Over the last 18 months I've seen the pace of online play slow down considerably.

Firstly in online club bridge there are a lot more people playing, most of whom are new to BBO, struggle more with technology and just find looking at a screen more challenging. So I have to make some adjustments at seven minutes a board.

Amongst stronger players, they are taking more time because they are taking online bridge more seriously, perhaps because more serious events are being played online now.

At random tables it is still probably be a lot quicker than traditional offline play, but it is all slower than it was two years ago.


Not my experience (with a lot of solid data as a TD, but a different country).
Offline 2 years ago it was hard work holding them to 8 minutes, whether serious or not (especially when not).
When they first went online on BBO it was still hard work, but they quicky descended to 7 minutes and a year later to 5 minutes 20 seconds (even when not).
On Realbridge they can hold just over 6 minutes if pushed, although a few serious latecomers to online play will exceed 8 minutes if allowed.

Offline recently, my only experience is as a player and things were very slow (inherent hassles of offline and lack of familiarity with them, plus some new ones such as not forgetting a personal bidding box).
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#9 User is offline   blackshoe 

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Posted 2021-September-12, 00:33

View PostGilithin, on 2021-September-09, 13:38, said:

Standard time is 7 minutes per board or 15 minutes for a 2 board set. Online play tends to be considerably faster than this.

Whose standard is that?
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#10 User is offline   AL78 

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Posted 2021-September-12, 03:53

View Postblackshoe, on 2021-September-12, 00:33, said:

Whose standard is that?


This is the standard for a non-novice session of duplicate bridge across the UK. A session will typically play 24 boards in 3 hours, which equates to 15 minutes per two board round, 22 minutes per three board round, or 7 minutes per board plus some time to allow for movement of pairs. Bridge is a timed game and it is part of the game that a certain number of boards will be played in a fixed time. As for where this standard came from I don't know, but it seems to be the standard on BBO as well, so it may be an international convention that has developed over time that all countries have converged too. Where it came from is irrelevant, the important thing is that it exists, and that is the speed at which you are expected to play.
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#11 User is offline   Gilithin 

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Posted 2021-September-12, 07:30

View Postblackshoe, on 2021-September-12, 00:33, said:

Whose standard is that?

Well yours, for one.
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#12 User is offline   Douglas43 

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Posted 2021-September-12, 14:31

Have just played in a congress where the time allowance was 45 minutes for 6 boards and generally it seemed to work. The TD had to adjust scores occasionally on incomplete boards. I think we were late twice out of 16 sets.
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#13 User is offline   Prone2erro 

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Posted 2021-September-18, 10:16

My concern is that in casual play, folks overbid, and disappear when the hand starts. I would like BridgeBase to remove from its membership anyone walking out of say more than 3 hands in a week after the bidding is complete.

Posting here because I could nog find another place to do so :-)
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#14 User is offline   blackshoe 

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Posted 2021-September-26, 10:44

View Postblackshoe, on 2021-September-12, 00:33, said:

Whose standard is that?


View PostGilithin, on 2021-September-12, 07:30, said:

Well yours, for one.

Not mine. Haller, et.al.'s. Though I do agree with their approach.

ACBL "standard" is 7 1/2 minutes per board, with no consideration for "move time" or any other additions. Clubs here, though, do it differently, as I said.
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