A. General Principles
These Conditions of Contest are based on the position that the quality of time used is more important than the amount of time used. A player or pair who habitually wastes time will be subject to the sanctions set forth below (Ladder of Penalties).
Some examples of time wasted are:
1. Taking undue time to play for an overtrick in a cold contract.
2. Refusing to play a card in a hopeless situation.
5. Unnecessary questions
Some examples of legitimate use of time are:
1. When the dummy comes down
2. Playing a difficult contract
3. A difficult defensive decision.
4. A high-level competitive decision.
5. Any kind of slam auction.
6. Difficult choice of game decisions.
Appendix D Instructions for Time Monitors, more fully discusses the way in which use of time should be evaluated.
B. Time allotted.
In USBF Championships, the schedule of play is based on 8.5 minutes per board. In a Round Robin where several matches are played in one session, the DIC may schedule additional time for changing tables.
In a Round Robin
In Round Robin play, when a match is not completed although time has expired, the DIC shall curtail the match by removing boards if the auction has not begun before time expired. If one team is found responsible for the slow play, its opponents will be awarded the greater of 3 imps per board removed, or the imps its other-table result would normally earn.
In a Knockout Match
In knockout play, the DIC may impose the ladder of penalties set forth below when in the DIC’s opinion, which may be based upon statements by an independent observer (“time monitor”) as well as direct observation by the Directors, a pair has wasted an excessive amount of time. In order to avoid giving any unwanted incentive for a slow pair's opponents to slow down, it is possible for an egregiously slow pair to incur a time penalty, even when the table finishes the session on time. The DIC shall take into consideration the ratio of the number of segments and amount of time a pair or player has wasted to the number of segments such a pair or player has played.
The DIC may also curtail boards, if necessary for the orderly progress of the event.
D. Ladder of Penalties
When the DIC has determined that it is appropriate to assess a penalty against a team because one or both of its pairs has wasted an unreasonable amount of time, normally, the following penalties will be assessed in order. In egregious situations, the DIC may accelerate the ladder of penalties or impose additional penalties, in the DIC’s discretion. Time penalties imposed by the DIC shall not be appealable:
1. A written warning shall be given to the team captain stating that the DIC has concluded that the pair wasted an unreasonable amount of time.
2. The team shall lose its seating rights for the next segment in which it has seating rights
3. The team shall lose between 3 and 9 IMPs, based upon the DIC’s assessment of how serious the waste of time was. An IMP penalty may be imposed only if a Time Monitor was present throughout substantially all of the segment for which the penalty is assessed.
E. Time Monitors
When the DIC believes a pair or a table is playing at a pace slower than normal, he may assign a time monitor to the table.
When a team has been warned and has lost its seating rights, the DIC shall assign a Time Monitor to the table(s) of the pair(s) at fault for any additional segments those pairs play.
The time monitor shall assess the time being taken in accordance with the provisions of Paragraph A above and the Time Monitor Instructions. Any time the Time Monitor believes a player or pair has wasted a significant amount of time, the Time Monitor shall inform the player or pair that he or they might be in danger of being penalized.
F. Long Term Slow Play
Whenever a player or pair has, in the sole opinion of the DIC, wasted an unreasonable amount of time in a significant number of segments, the DIC shall prepare a report documenting that fact and file it with the USBC Conduct & Ethics Committee. The USBC Conduct & Ethics Committee shall write the offending player(s) informing them that the DIC found them to be guilty of excessive waste of time and that should such behavior be repeated at a future USBF Championship, the player(s) will be subject to being barred from competing in one or more USBF Championships.
Time Sections of GCOC