What are USCF rules concerning cell phone disturbances ?

TheOldReb

I recently attended a tourney in which at the beginning of each and every round the TD made an announcement to everyone to turn off their cell phones and that a ringing cell phone could cause someone to receive punishment as harsh as game forfeiture . In every round ( all 5 ! ) someone's cell phone rang anyway and noone received punishment of any kind ! Why ?  This was the only " black mark " against this tourney imo and other than this it was a well run event that I enjoyed very much .  I have yet to see anyone punished for ringing cell phones and think FIDE's approach is best : game forfeiture !  Perhaps then people would turn off their cell phones ? ! 

ThrillerFan

The problem is USCF is behind with everything.

FIDE has a mandatory forfeiture of the first occurrance of a cell going off.

USCF is director disgression.  The most common that I've seen is first offense 10 minutes or half the time, whichever is less (like this is football or something, half the distance to the goal).  Second is forfeit of game (second occurrence of the tournament, doesn't have to be twice in the same game).  Third offense expulsion from the tournament.

 

So if my opponent's phone go off with 4 ticks left in the first time control with 5 second delay, whoopi, I lost 2 seconds!  Such utter BS!

 

The problem with the USCF is way too many rules are "director's disgression" and all these "variant 1", "variant 2", and whatever else they allow the TD disgression over.

 

Wake up USCF!  Quit the hogwash, and put in clear cut rules you FREAKING BRAINLESS GOOD-FOR-NOTHING MORONS!

 

YES - I'M POINTING AT YOU!  CALLING OUT EVERY FREAKING MEMBER OF THE USCF BOARD!

TheOldReb

I lost once by forfeit in Portugal because my phone rang during a round and I havent neglected to turn mine off since then !  Surprised

Martin_Stahl

I think a large part of the issue is that the USCF (along with many of TDs) doesn't want to scare off casual players.

Almost all tourney prize funds are generated by the players. If the FIDE method was strictly enforced you would have a number of very angry players that may decide that playing in events isn't worth the hassle.

I can't say the FIDE implementation is wrong but I prefer the ability as USCF TD to be more lenient in some cases. It is hard enough getting a sufficient number of players in many areas, I don't need to make it harder by being too strict.

Now, in larger events, or maybe more important events, I can see being more stringent.

ThrillerFan
Martin_Stahl wrote:

I think a large part of the issue is that the USCF (along with many of TDs) doesn't want to scare off casual players.

Almost all tourney prize funds are generated by the players. If the FIDE method was strictly enforced you would have a number of very angry players that may decide that playing in events isn't worth the hassle.

I can't say the FIDE implementation is wrong but I prefer the ability as USCF TD to be more lenient in some cases. It is hard enough getting a sufficient number of players in many areas, I don't need to make it harder by being too strict.

Now, in larger events, or maybe more important events, I can see being more stringent.

Unless you are playing a casual game with no entry fee, prize funds, or rating impact, rules are rules and they need to be followed, plain and simple!

You say you don't want to scare off the casual player.  Well, what about the serious player?  You scare off the serious player, and you'll be going out of business fast!

In a local tournament of 60 players, you might have 20 serious players and 40 casual players.  However, those serious players will be playing in 90% of the events in your area.  The casual player may play in a couple per year.

Now you tell me which players you don't want to lose?

There are organizers out there where I will not play in another tournament they run, ever!

Top of that list?  Cajun Chess!  I went to a tournament in 2003 in Orlando, and not a director was to be found.  They were all screwing around elsewhere and not remaining in the tournament hall.  My opponent was making moves with one hand, hitting the clock with the other before he move was even completed, and I had 26 seconds left for the rest of the game in a won position, and the guy I was playing against, Antonio Angel, is a known cheater as well as I caught him red-handed in round 3 of the 2005 World Open on the board next to me playing 20.h4 while the guy playing Black was in the restroom, and 2 minutes later, pulling that pawn back to h2 and restarting his own clock.  I instantly reported it to the TD.  Luckily enough, I was one of the last games done in that first round in Orlando, and had a player go scout a director while I kept guard of him not restarting the clock as I tried to stop the clock and get a director and he (my opponent) wouldn't let me.

So then in 2006, after a supposed change of staff at Cajun Chess, there were 2 people at the entire tournament of 120.  One director, and a sales lady.  She wasn't that bright, and the one and only director for a 120 player event is playing in the Under 2000 section.  WTF?

There are other organizers whose tournaments I won't play at, but they are the only one that runs multi-day events that I won't attend.  I also discourage all others from ever playing in a Cajun Chess run event!  THEY SUCK!  Nobody is there for director instances, and they don't even know half the rules.

 

Now you tell me again who you want to lose?  The casual player?  Come on, Man!

Martin_Stahl

Must be nice to get 60 players. I'm lucky to get 25 and we have a mixture of serious and casual. I rarely have a problem with phones but I'm also not willing to scare off players for a what I consider a minor infringment like that, especially for a first time offense.

I also don't run FIDE rated events so forfeit on phones going off isn't an issue for me. I try to remember to announce phones should be off or on vibrate and when I play I turn mine off and put in my bag (where FIDE doesn't really allow them in the room at all).

Again, for larger events, I can see being more stringent.

Ziryab

Our local tournaments are pretty casual with a lot of forgiveness. The youth tournaments, which relax rules on keeping score and are rated via NWSRS rather than USCF, may be stricter in many respects. I have forfeited players.

I wanted to celebrate and quote Becky_the_Stabber's post, but then found myself sympathetic to Martin's point in the next post.

We have a name for the cell phone rule in my city. It is a local player's name. One particular player had his phone go off consistently in nearly every event. He was never forfeited, but frequently warned. At the beginning of every event over the past few years, the TD points to him, tells him to silence his phone, and then reminds the rest of us. I haven't heard his phone in more than two years now.

SnakesPlisskens

the person on the other end of the phone could be wanting to tell you to get home fast as the house is on fire. ah well, chessplayers have their priorities in life i guess.

Diakonia

There is no need to have a cell phone on you during a tournament.  If you have so little self control, and your cell phone addiction is so strong you cant part with your phone for a few hours you need help.  

The USCF is horrible about this.  I have yet to see anyone punished for having a cell phone go off during a round.  

Ziryab
Diakonia wrote:

There is no need to have a cell phone on you during a tournament. 

Mine is on silent, but it is still counting my steps. I walked my dogs four miles first thing in the morning on Saturday, but my pacing during the first two rounds of the tournament added three more. (I won't dispute that my step counter is an addiction.)

ozzie_c_cobblepot

Personally I often leave my phone in my room, so I don't have to worry at all about it. And there's something nice about having a wristwatch which is incapable of emitting a sound. All of this is geared towards removing any and all potential distractions.

But it doesn't help prevent blunders, which I still make regularly.

SilentKnighte5

I have no problem with punishments for ringing cellphones being enforced.  They should be.  It's a small nuisance, but a nuisance nonetheless.


You luddites who get uppity and think you have a right tell us what we can carry on our persons are insane.  You aren't winning that battle so go back to living in a grass hut in the woods.

TurboFish

I've never seen anyone punished for a ringing cell phone at a USCF tournament, even though I hear phones go off at least twice at every tournament.  This is one of the reasons (in addition to thwarting cheaters) that I once considered bringing a local cell phone jammer with me to tournaments.  I found a plan for one on the internet that looked small enough to fit in my pocket.  But it turns out that jamming cell communications is illegal, so I abandoned my plan.  Embarassed

bigpoison

I'm not sure I've ever seen that conflation of words before. 

Sorry to digress from the thread topic, I'll try to be more discrete in future.

Ziryab

My wife sent me a text on Sunday morning while I was playing. As my game was in progress when I wanted to reply, I told the TD that I wanted him to watch me reply so there would be no suspicions. He told me that he trusts me. I told him to trust no one.

SnakesPlisskens

i got busted at a tourney for not having my phone off once. i was listening to GunsNRoses on my Beats when it rang. so it was ringing for about 3 minutes while i was jiving, thinking about my next move. TD tells me to take a hike. dunno how long it took him to get home with no wheels on his jeep.

Diakonia
TurboFish wrote:

I've never seen anyone punished for a ringing cell phone at a USCF tournament, even though I hear phones go off at least twice at every tournament.  This is one of the reasons (in addition to thwarting cheaters) that I once considered bringing a local cell phone jammer with me to tournaments.  I found a plan for one on the internet that looked small enough to fit in my pocket.  But it turns out that jamming cell communications is illegal, so I abandoned my plan.  

It may be illegal but it doesnt mean you cant do it.  I can actually now enjoy going to a walk-in theater again :-)  Drink holders work wonders for things others than drinks :-)

TheGreatOogieBoogie
Reb wrote:

I recently attended a tourney in which at the beginning of each and every round the TD made an announcement to everyone to turn off their cell phones and that a ringing cell phone could cause someone to receive punishment as harsh as game forfeiture . In every round ( all 5 ! ) someone's cell phone rang anyway and noone received punishment of any kind ! Why ?  This was the only " black mark " against this tourney imo and other than this it was a well run event that I enjoyed very much .  I have yet to see anyone punished for ringing cell phones and think FIDE's approach is best : game forfeiture !  Perhaps then people would turn off their cell phones ? ! 

When I first heard that I just thought to myself, "Of course, gotta stop any potential cheating."  

Then I read on and wow, it's amazing whenever tournament directors themselves disrespect the rules by not enforcing them.  How do they know someone's IM coach isn't on the other end to help them?  Since they'd be recommending strong human moves they'd bypass the engine checks (not that a titled player would need engines to help someone cheat anyway.) 

pfren

FIDE does not allow currently any electronic devices (cellphones included) at the playing hall, switched off or not. You must leave them at the room / car / reception.

Diakonia
pfren wrote:

FIDE does not allow currently any electronic devices (cellphones included) at the playing hall, switched off or not. You must leave them at the room / car / reception.

And that is the way it should be.