Policy on Latecomers

For the last twenty-some years I have tried to decide all issues for the good of the group. I intend to continue this policy as long as I am responsible for the game. In particular, I strive to start play promptly so that we have time to finish the hands and leave at a reasonable time. My goal is to decide on the movement at Noon and to distribute the guides and set the scoring system by one or two minutes after. 

To make this feasible, we have several members standing by to take all necessary steps when that time arrives. It is annoying when players fly in at 11:59, but we have always followed the rule that if they are on time they are guaranteed to play. If they are late, even a minute, they play at the discretion of the director.

These decisions will be made for the good of the group. If their presence is helpful to fill in or avoid a sit-out, I will welcome them. If it causes a sit-out and we have to restart the computer program, they will not be able to play.

This has generally been clear on Thursdays, but it has been looser on Mondays. The session starts at Noon, but we usually don't start the play until 1:00 P.M. This creates a grey area wherein players arrive during the lesson and want to play later because their "partner held my seat".

I want to make it clear that these issues will be decided by the director for the good of the group. If everyone can play, fine. If there is an odd player who cannot play, it will be the latecomer. The best way to avoid this is to not be late.

I realize that there are different reasons for being late. There are "serial" latecomers who should be used to missing out. There are unexpected reasons for being late, such as flat-tires, slippery roads or such. We will do our best for them, especially if they e-mail or message their partner so we know what's going on. There are schedule conflicts where the player knows he or she will be a little late. Usually these players notify me in advance and I usually do all I can to get them in. Players must remember, however, that I will always act for the good of the group. I will not keep everyone waiting while I mess around with individuals.