If you're a spectator to a game at either competitive or professional REL and you see a gamestate error occur, should you call a judge?

What happens if you don't call a judge?

Is it different if you see blatant cheating or bribery instead of a gamestate error?

1 Answer 1


Covered by the Tournament Rules:

Any person physically present at a tournament and not in any other category above is a spectator. Spectators are responsible for remaining silent and passive during matches and other official tournament sections in which players are also required to be silent. If spectators believe they have observed a rules or policy violation, they are encouraged to alert a judge as soon as possible. At Regular or Competitive REL, spectators are permitted to ask the players to pause the match while they alert a judge. At Professional REL, spectators must not interfere with the match directly.

(Emphasis mine)

  • 1
    So they're encouraged to, but not required to? Dec 17, 2013 at 18:57
  • 3
    Yep - probably to dodge the question of "how do you punish a spectator?" Dec 17, 2013 at 19:10
  • Yes, that's what it says. But that shouldn't be a surprise; the same goes at any other kind of event, and even in society in general. Requiring spectators (or bystanders) to report errors (or crimes) creates a slew of problems. It's best to let moral and societal pressures encourage it.
    – ikegami
    Dec 17, 2013 at 19:16
  • 1
    In contrast, the Laws of Duplicate {Tournament] Bridge specifically forbid kibitzers from any interaction with the players at all during the play of a round, unless at the behest of a Tournament Director (Law 76 B, page 93): acbl.org/assets/documents/play/Laws-of-Duplicate-Bridge.pdf Dec 17, 2013 at 22:12

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