Playing in a foreign country requires some preparation and, with our system, it takes us a lot more than our team mates. Firstly we all need the Alerting Regulations since they are different to Scotland (and England), but this rarely proves a problem since we are most likely to alert too much than too little. Announcements, popular in England but unused in Scotland, are fairly easy to cope with and the locals just have to stare at us intensely when we forget.
Then there is the ACBL Convention Card. At least they have an editor for it and I can just update system changes onto last year's card. We only play Mid-Chart and higher events which makes life somewhat simpler since we don't have to prepare a GCC card.
Then there is our Pre-Alert sheet and written description of our methods. I can get the pre-alerts into half a page but the methods take nine pages, even though I only cover the initial responses. I've only ever seen a Director be interested in the methods just to ensure we were complying with the regulations and I don't think they are of value to any opponent, so it does seem a waste of time.
Finally there are copies of the approved Mid-Chart defences. Most of our Mid-Chart methods are covered by the blanket 'constructive responses and rebids' section, but three of the two-level opening bids have defences in the Defense Database that we have to provide printed copies of.
I do think the ACBL is a little over-protective of its players since we don't play anything that anyone in Europe would worry about in at a normal club evening. But we are going to play in their events, play by their rules and so need to jump through the hoops.
I'll try to maintain a daily update while I'm there, something that the time difference helps with.
|I expect it will look like this.|