John Simon Sportsmanship Award Recipients: Jeff Ruben & Andrew Stayton (USA) and Debbie Rosenberg (USA).
The John Simon Sportsmanship Award is granted occasionally for acts of sportsmanship by bridge players that define how we all should act. This year there were two incidents at the North American Bridge Championships in Philadelphia in July that stood out.
Firstly, in the David Bruce 0-5000 Life Master Pairs, Jeff Ruben and Andrew Stayton, who had won the event, were checking their matchpoint scores against their estimates. They noticed that their score for one board greatly exceeded their estimate. Upon checking further, they discovered that the score for that board had been entered incorrectly, and furthermore, that the correct score would drop them from first to second place. They immediately reported the correction to the Tournament Directors.
Secondly, Debbie Rosenberg woke up in the middle of the night realising that her team in the Richard Freeman Mixed Board-a-Match Teams had scored a board incorrectly, winning a full point rather than the correct half a point (board-a-match in the ACBL is scored as a point for a win on the board and half a point for a draw). The margin of her team’s win was less than half a point. Rosenberg also immediately reported the error to the directing staff, dropping her team out of first place into second.
While it is true that these actions are covered in the rules of the game, the behaviour of Ruben, Stayton and Rosenberg is laudatory and shows that there is sportsmanship at all levels of the game.
IBPA – International Bridge Press Association
August 25, 2012
Paolo Enrico Garrisi’s comment: These facts demand for a further comment. The sportsmanship is a necessary quality of all players, otherwise the game itself would be in jeopardy; nevertheless, what Debbie Jeff and Andrew have offered to us are examples of courage by no means easy to do. It is not so difficult be fair at table – at least by true players – but to discard what has been already wrapped up and sent by the luck is part and parcel of great people.