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WBF: Disciplinary Guidelines for Zonal Authorities and NBOs

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WBFOn 1st October 2015 in Chennai the WBF Executive Council approved the “Guidelines for those empowered to impose a sanction on an offender in accordance with the Disciplinary Rules of the Zonal Authority and/or the NBO”:

The World Bridge Federation is desirous of encouraging Zonal Authorities and NBOs to adopt a consistent approach to the imposition of sanctions on those persons who are found to have breached its Disciplinary Code.

Cheating is considered to be the most serious offence that can occur within the sport of bridge. These guidelines are restricted to that nature of offence. Zonal Authorities and NBOs are likely to have their own structure for dealing with lesser behavioural offences.

The guidelines are intended to assist the Sentencer in determining the appropriate sanction for any person who admits or has been found guilty of cheating. It should be stressed that they are guidelines and not tramlines and each case must be dealt with on its own particular set of facts and circumstances.

Principles of Sentencing

The purpose of Disciplinary Codes:
(1) To ensure an acceptable form of behaviour by all those who participate in the playing of Duplicate Bridge;

(2) To ensure that all players play the game according to the Laws of Duplicate Bridge both in letter and spirit;

(3) To ensure that all those players who participate in the playing of Duplicate Bridge do so in a fair manner and with integrity.

The legal framework within which the procedures have application:

(1) Zonal Authorities and NBOs will usually have, and are encouraged to implement, a Disciplinary Code that sets out the processes and procedures that will apply in dealing with misconduct.

(2) There will usually be a relationship by which such Disciplinary Code will have application. This may arise contractually, by virtue of a membership agreement or by acknowledgement of being subject to the Disciplinary Code


(1) Collusive cheating – pre-arranged methods of arranging unauthorised information by a partnership:

1 st Offence: Life ban from playing with that partner and a 10 years suspension from participation in Zonal and/or National events.

2 nd Offence: Permanent ban from participation in Zonal and/or National events.

(2) Obtaining information relating to hands – actively seeking information regarding hands not yet played:

1 st Offence – 1 year suspension from participation in Zonal and/or National events

2 nd Offence – 5 year suspension from participation in Zonal and/or National events

(3) Inadvertent cheating – obtaining information regarding a hand not yet played and then acting on that information when the hand is played:

1 st Offence – warning

2 nd Offence – Suspension from participation in Zonal and/or National events for up to 2 years

Discounted sentencing

Life bans for partnerships are not subject to any discount. The period of suspension for other sanctions may be discounted by onethird where the offender admits their culpability and demonstrates remorse.


David R Harris

General Counsel

World Bridge Federation



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