In the Closed Room of Segment 5 of the 2023 Senior USBC USA Stage 1 match between Lusky and Beatty, play was curtailed after thirteen of the scheduled fifteen boards in order to start Segment 6 on time. The North-South pair, Jim Foster – Mark Jones (Lusky) took 78 minutes of pair time, and the East-West pair, Steve Beatty-Fred Stewart (Beatty) took 46 minutes of pair time. The Conditions of Contest (relevant sections below) call for cross-imping of the curtailed boards, and call for minutes to be added to the team’s excess time; the amount of excess time section, however, does not include what to do to calculate the time when boards are curtailed. The TD staff made the interpretation that the pair’s time should be calculated per board, rather than per fifteen board segment; therefore Foster-Jones’s 78 minutes was 26 minutes more than their allotted four minutes per board (rather than 18 minutes more than 60 minutes per fifteen board segment).

The Lusky team appealed this interpretation of the conditions of contest.

Appeal Committee: Danny Sprung, Lynn Baker, Chip Martel

The committee unanimously agreed with the interpretation made by the TD staff, and felt that an interpretation of “always sixty minutes” would be both unworkable and provide perverse incentives.

Relevant Conditions of Contest

General Conditions of Contest:
A. General Principle
In an electronic environment, with complete bidding, play and time records, each pair will be given an amount of time for each segment of play and the pair’s team will be penalized in accordance with section C.3 below for any time taken in excess of that amount whether or not the table as a whole finishes on time.
C. Removal of Unplayed Boards and Penalties
2. In a Knockout Match
In knockout play, the DIC may impose the penalties set forth in Section 3 below based on electronic time and play records. In order to avoid giving any unwanted incentive for a slow pair's opponents to slow down, it is possible for a slow pair to incur a time penalty, even when the table finishes the session on time. The DIC may also curtail boards, but only if it is necessary to allow the next segment of play to start on time. If a board is played at only one table, it will be scored in accordance with Section X. H. 4 above (“Score for a board played at only one table”).
3. IMP & VP Penalties for Slow Play in Electronic Environment
When events are played on either RealBridge or LoveBridge, the time taken by each pair for a segment is available to the director, and IMP or VP penalties will be imposed if a pair takes more than their allotted time for a segment. A team’s excess time is the sum of the excess time taken by all pairs on the team during a match. Appendix A sets forth the general procedures for measuring time and informing players of the time they have used during a segment. Penalties will be imposed on the following schedule:
2. In a KO match, each team’s excess time will be penalized as follows:
a. The first 7 minutes in a match will not be penalized.
b. The next 5 minutes in a match will be penalized 1/2 IMP per minute.
c. The next 5 minutes in a match will be penalized 1 IMP per minute.
d. The next 5 minutes in a match will be penalized 2 IMPs per minute.
e. Subsequent excess time will be penalized 3 IMPs per minute.
NOTE - for 2023 only, these penalties will be reduced by 50% - that will go in the Special Conditions of Contest for the 2023 USBCs.
X.H.4. Score for a board played at only one table
A board that has not been started when time expires will not be played. If it is likely that a board will not be played at one table, the DIC may prevent the other table from playing it. If a board has been played at one table and not the other, the DIC will assign a score based on the Cross-IMPs for the result at the table where the board was played, as long as the board has been played at least twice. Results from all tables in USBF events playing the same deals will be used in the Cross-IMP calculation. If there are three or fewer comparisons available, the table’s result will be added to the Cross-IMP calculation.

When play is taking place on electronic devices, the following procedures will be in place:
1. Each pair is allocated half of the time allocated to the session as its “pair time”
2. Time shall be deducted from each pair’s time whenever it is the turn of a player on the pair to bid or play. If a bid or play is being delayed after it has been made and before it is shown to the other players, that time is not deducted from the pair’s time.
3. The following time will not be charged to either pair:
a. When a bid or play is being delayed after it has been made and before it is shown to the other players;
b. When the director has been called and has not restarted the time;
c. When a player has chosen to “hold the tray” after both bids have been made on one side of the screen;
d. When a player has clicked on the “pause” button to review a hand;
e. When a claim has been made and has not yet been accepted or rejected;
4. Each pair shall have a separate clock to measure the time the pair has taken. The clock will be shown to the pair at the start of each board, but not during the bidding and play of the board.

Special Conditions of Contest, 2023 Senior USBC:
Interpretation of Conditions
On matters involving the interpretation of these conditions or treatments of matters not included in these conditions:
1. Prior to March 28, 2023, the Conditions of Contest Committee and ITTC Technical & Advisory Committee (TAC) shall make determinations.
2. After March 27, 2023 but before May 19, 2023, the DIC shall make determinations after consulting with the TAC. Appeals from the DIC’s decision may be made to the Tournament Appeals Committee.
3. Beginning May 19, 2023, the DIC shall make such determinations. Appeals from the DIC’s decision may be made to the Tournament Appeals Committee.