WBA Slow Play Policy
Bridge is a Timed Event!
Bridge is a fun passtime, but it's a lot less fun if you have to wait behind a slow pair every round. To encourage players to finish rounds in the alloted time, WBA has adopted the following Slow Play Policy.
- WBA gives 7 minutes to play a hand, somewhat more in limited games.
- It’s rude to take make everyone else wait for you, so try to keep up.
- If you get behind, even if it’s not your fault, please do your best to catch up.
- The directors will announce when there is four minutes left in the current round.
- If you have not started bidding your last board when the four minute warning is announced, you will have to take a NO-PLAY. That is not a penalty – it’s equivalent to a 1 board sit-out! The rationale behind this is that nobody can realistically expect to bid and play a board in less than four minutes, so if they start after that they will be late finishing.
- The first time you are two minutes late finishing a round, the director will visit your table and give you a Slow Play Warning.
- The next time either pair who received the Slow Play Warning is two minutes late finishing a subsequent round, the director is authorized to issue a Slow Play Penalty equal to ¼ of a board.
- Note that ¼ of a board is generally equal to the number of tables in play minus 1 divided by 4. So if there are 25 tables in play, the penalty will be 6 matchpoints.
- Penalties double after that.
What can you do to speed up your play?
Experienced players should not regularly require more than 7 minutes to bid and play a hand. Sure, some hands are harder than others, but they should not be regular.
Adopting the following habits can speed up your play a minute or more per hand:
- Make your opening lead face down before you write down the contract or enter the contract in the BridgePad.
- Claim if you can.
- Save the post-mortems for after the game.
- Don’t visit the snack bar if you are behind!
- Keep your head in the game while the auction is proceeding.
- Don’t start thinking about your opening lead after the auction ends.