The director-in-charge (DIC) of the tournament is, among other things, responsible for ensuring that the tournament is conducted within the rules and regulations of the ACBL. The DIC assigns or delegates duties, runs scheduled events according to regulations, and works with the tournament committee in conducting the tournament. He is also an additional link in the chain of authority placed just before the Field Supervisor.

If a question arises on interpretation of an ACBL regulation, the DIC’s interpretation prevails for the duration of the event. If, for example, there is a question about whether a particular procedure is mandatory or optional, the DIC interprets the regulation and makes the decision.


Whenever practical, the DIC of a sectional tournament must hold the rank of Tournament Director or higher and be a full-time ACBL employee. Exceptions are made for some tournaments with low upper masterpoint limits or under extraordinary circumstances. The DIC of a regional tournament must be of National or Associate National rank and must be a full-time ACBL employee. Any exceptions must be approved by the Field Supervisor and ACBL management. The DIC is assigned to a tournament on the basis of the sponsor’s request, proximity to the tournament site, employee status (salaried or part-time), prior assignments to a particular tournament, general tournament schedule, expertise, and personal workload. DIC assignments are reviewed by the appropriate Field Supervisor, prior to sponsor notification.


The DIC must discuss all options for the tournament with the tournament chairman and come to agreement on what the procedures will be. The DIC should get these instructions in advance of the tournament whenever possible, but certainly in advance of any event where they may arise. Many sponsoring organizations establish standing instructions that apply to all of their tournaments.

A sponsor who wishes to make a major departure from previously recognized tournament methods should notify ACBL (usually through the DIC) of that desire well ahead of the event. ACBL welcomes new ideas and suggestions for improvement. Thus, ACBL may permit a tournament to try a new event experimentally which the DIC could not allow without having written permission from ACBL before arriving at the tournament.


The DIC is responsible for enforcing all ACBL regulations and seeing that all staff members conform to ACBL standards of conduct. Some important considerations are choice of movements, conditions of contest and maintaining order.
CHOICE OF MOVEMENTS: ACBL permits some variation in the physical setup of games and in the selection of movements at sectional and regional tournaments. The DIC usually runs the game(s) using common, proven methods. When no standout choice exists, the DIC should explain the pros and cons of each possible choice to the tournament chairman and make a recommendation. The chairman makes the decision from the menu of choices offered.

CONDITIONS OF CONTEST: Conditions of contest are set by ACBL regulations. Once the DIC announces the conditions of contest and the event begins, neither the players nor the tournament chairman may revise conditions of play. The Tournament Committee may modify or revise conditions only under extraordinary circumstances.

MAINTAINING ORDER: “The Laws of Duplicate Bridge” specifically empower the DIC to suspend a player for the current session, or any part thereof, or to assess penalties in points as necessary to maintain order and discipline. The DIC’s decision in such cases is final.

The DIC may not abridge or modify ACBL regulations by request or instruction of the tournament chairman. If any deviation from ACBL regulations occurs, purposeful or otherwise, the DIC must report the deviation and the circumstances to ACBL management. The report must state the reasons for the deviation and must accompany the tournament report sent to the ACBL office at the conclusion of the tournament.

FLIGHT AND STRAT ELIGIBILITY: The Director-in-Charge of an ACBL sanctioned tournament may require an ACBL member to enter a Flight, Strat or Bracket above that dictated by his ACBL masterpoint holding if the member is deemed to have equivalent bridge experience. The DIC may require a non-member to enter a Flight, Strat or Bracket equivalent to that non-member’s past bridge experience. The DIC may require any entrant who is a member of another NBO to play in Flight A if a lower status is not confirmed by the other NBO.

Units and Districts have the same authority regarding NAP and GNT participation at any level under their jurisdiction.


The DIC is responsible for approving all staff vouchers. Any disagreements between the DIC and staff as to expenses or charges will be resolved according to the DIC’s interpretation of regulations. Unresolved disputes will be settled by ACBL.


An important responsibility of the DIC is to send the tournament results and funds to headquarters in as timely a fashion as possible. In addition to sending in the financial report and the actual tournament results, DICs must include any other information (such as hotel statistics) requested by ACBL management. Refer to Appendix G for information on fees and charges.