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LCP and GUR


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#31 Sawgrass

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Posted 28 July 2013 - 05:20 AM

View PostColin L, on 28 July 2013 - 04:07 AM, said:

View PostMr. Bean, on 27 July 2013 - 11:24 PM, said:

Afa respect for the Rules is concerned, the Rules keep changing all the time. Having respect does not mean agreeing with the principle, and as in this case the Committee has two choices, both which may be justified. We feel it is more fair to have all the players play in the same conditions than changing conditions for a number of players.

I see what Mr Bean is saying.  The Decision gives the Committee the freedom to determine an area to be GUR in the middle of a competition.  He and his fellow referees do not agree that this freedom should be provided and  choose not to exercise it. It is a principled choice based on their perception of fairness to the whole field.

I see what he is saying too, I just don't agree that on the whole it is principled. The decision says that a committee would be justified in granting the second player to come across the GUR relief. To fail to provide that clearly sanctioned relief is the greater of two evils IMO. That's exactly what "justified" means to me.

And let's not forget that this all started with his position that a small committee governing a small competition should not be allowed to do so since it might provide inconsistent guidance to other unrelated groups that day (as described in his quote excerpt below).  IMO neither of these positions shows respect for the subject decision's clear point of view. It would have been easy enough for the RB's to say, "not justified" if thats what they felt.

" . . . Now, two players enter the course and start to play a handicap round. They face an area that (in their opinion) should be marked as GUR and they decide it indeed is to be handled as GUR. So they take a free drop and move on. As it happens another group of three has already passed that point also playing a handicap round and they all played their balls from that area without taking a free drop. Also a group behind them did the same.

So, are these three groups treated equally? No, not at all, as all three groups had a different committee to decide upon things. Thus I challenge the response Sawgrass got from USGA as it slaps on the face the players who play the course as they find it against those who think they have the power to decide upon GURs. In a competition GURs are equal to all contenders, why should it be different to players playing a handicap round during the same day?

Players are not a committee for themselves nor to any other player. That is what the Club Committee is there for.

EDIT: Once you are playing a social round not affecting your handicap you can play however you want. But any round affecting your handicap must be played by the Rules and equally to all other players on that course on that particular day."


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#32 Mr. Bean

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Posted 28 July 2013 - 06:18 AM

View PostSawgrass, on 28 July 2013 - 05:20 AM, said:

View PostColin L, on 28 July 2013 - 04:07 AM, said:

View PostMr. Bean, on 27 July 2013 - 11:24 PM, said:

Afa respect for the Rules is concerned, the Rules keep changing all the time. Having respect does not mean agreeing with the principle, and as in this case the Committee has two choices, both which may be justified. We feel it is more fair to have all the players play in the same conditions than changing conditions for a number of players.

I see what Mr Bean is saying.  The Decision gives the Committee the freedom to determine an area to be GUR in the middle of a competition.  He and his fellow referees do not agree that this freedom should be provided and  choose not to exercise it. It is a principled choice based on their perception of fairness to the whole field.

I see what he is saying too, I just don't agree that on the whole it is principled. The decision says that a committee would be justified in granting the second player to come across the GUR relief. To fail to provide that clearly sanctioned relief is the greater of two evils IMO. That's exactly what "justified" means to me.

And let's not forget that this all started with his position that a small committee governing a small competition should not be allowed to do so since it might provide inconsistent guidance to other unrelated groups that day (as described in his quote excerpt below).  IMO neither of these positions shows respect for the subject decision's clear point of view. It would have been easy enough for the RB's to say, "not justified" if thats what they felt.


They could also have written '... the Committee should mark the area as GUR...', which they did not. So in my eyes they are giving the Committee two options.

I can live with both options but today we try to mark the courses for competitions so thoroughly on our national level competitions thus avoiding the need of marking GURs during any single round. On club level the situation is different and there I see that players are not in a position to act as a Committee on their own but to play the course as they find it. IMO any other way would not be fair to all players, whether it is a weekly competition or a handicap round.

So, in the very end, the Committee should be alert and do its job instead of putting players in a position where they need to form a Commiittee of their own.

#33 Colin L

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Posted 28 July 2013 - 06:18 AM

I suspect we are having some difficulties here because of fundamental differences between handicapping systems.  The system operating in the UK which I'm familiar with (CONGU)  and the European Golf Association system which  Mr Bean's country operates  are slightly different but have this in common: a score that is to count towards  handicapping adjustments must be returned in a qualifying competition.  A qualifying competition must be organised by a club affiliated to the handicapping authority, or by a regional or national association and it is played strictly under competition rules. The "Committee" in all qualifying rounds is therefore the Committee of the club, regional or national association.  

I understand the USA system involves returning scores of social games which I assume means two or three players can just go out for a game and return their scores.  Hence, if I've got it right,  the idea of those three players forming a "committee" and deciding on matters like making an area GUR.  

So the idea of  a small group of players forming a committee is completely alien to us (and as you might remember from another thread caused me much difficulty).  It just cannot happen here.  No group in a qualifying round can make local decisions because the competition is governed by the club/regional/national committee.

In the context your handicapping system, I am beginning to  understand the USGA reply that 2 players can form a committee but I would put money on it (well virtual money that is!) that you would not get the same reply  if the question was asked in the context of our system.

Anyway, that's how I see some of the difficulties arising in our mutual understanding: our perspectives differ because the handicapping systems are so different.  It reminds me of the story of two women, each at the window of her apartment  on opposite sides of the street, shouting across the road in a fierce argument.  "I see," said a passer-by,  "these ladies will never agree.  They are arguing from different premises."

#34 Mr. Bean

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Posted 28 July 2013 - 01:20 PM

View PostColin L, on 28 July 2013 - 06:18 AM, said:

I suspect we are having some difficulties here because of fundamental differences between handicapping systems.  The system operating in the UK which I'm familiar with (CONGU)  and the European Golf Association system which  Mr Bean's country operates  are slightly different but have this in common: a score that is to count towards  handicapping adjustments must be returned in a qualifying competition.

Colin, I'm afraid you've got that one slightly wrong.

In EGA handicapping system there are six levels of handicap groups of which level 1 (hcp <4,5) may only return a hcp round from a competition. In other levels all rounds previously announced qualify as hcp rounds. So, in essence, hcp qualilfying rounds may be played on one single course any day and any time.

However, this does not change the situation. The way I see it the essential question here is whether all players should have equal conditions (as much man can have influence, i.e. excluding weather and such) or not on one single day of golf.

Well, I think this is as far as we can get. There is disagreement on the subject and that is fine. Things can only develop if there is no consensus all the time.

Edited by Mr. Bean, 28 July 2013 - 01:26 PM.


#35 Colin L

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Posted 28 July 2013 - 04:24 PM

View PostMr. Bean, on 28 July 2013 - 01:20 PM, said:

View PostColin L, on 28 July 2013 - 06:18 AM, said:

I suspect we are having some difficulties here because of fundamental differences between handicapping systems.  The system operating in the UK which I'm familiar with (CONGU)  and the European Golf Association system which  Mr Bean's country operates  are slightly different but have this in common: a score that is to count towards  handicapping adjustments must be returned in a qualifying competition.

Colin, I'm afraid you've got that one slightly wrong.

In EGA handicapping system there are six levels of handicap groups of which level 1 (hcp <4,5) may only return a hcp round from a competition. In other levels all rounds previously announced qualify as hcp rounds. So, in essence, hcp qualilfying rounds may be played on one single course any day and any time.


Thanks for that.  I did look quickly through the EGA manual regarding qualifying competitions but did not pick up about the different categories.  I now see the clauses about Extra Day Scores which sound very much like Supplementary Scores in the UK whereby a player can submit a score for handicap  outwith  competition rounds   by formally stating that   he is going to do so (usually to the club pro).  Such a score must be made under competition conditions, recorded by a marker and played to the rules including the local rules put in place by his club's Committee.  We cannot use scores in informal social golf for handicapping.  There is no way in which two players engaged in a Supplementary Score round could be considered a committee and make decisions about GUR or anything like that.    Since 2011,   the facility to submit Supplementary Scores has been extended here to Category 1 players ( handicaps up to and including 5).  We have 5 categories.

I  have the impression our systems in Europe are much stricter and more controlled than the USA one.  Does it come across like that to you, Sawgrass?

Edited by Colin L, 28 July 2013 - 04:33 PM.


#36 Sawgrass

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Posted 28 July 2013 - 04:45 PM

Yes Colin, objectively speaking certainly more controlled by authority.  There are parts of your system that I like very much, the most obvious being that I'd have to assume that players in Europe probably have far fewer "fake" scores as part of their handicap, and as we've been talking about here, the courses are probably far better marked on those days.  One thing that I don't like though is my presumption that your system wouldn't work very well for people like me (who play in just a couple of formal tournaments a year) for whom their handicap is likely far out of touch with their current game.

Nevertheless, while I agree with your earlier post that we in the US are probably more sensitive to poorly marked courses given their reflections in our handicaps, I don't really think that this is at the heart of our disagreement in this thread.  Forgetting handicaps at all, I still see both the R&A and USGA as having provided a decision that in my mind implies that a player should be given relief from GUR if the ground is in such condition -- irrespective of previous players in a tournament or irrespective of random other players on that particular day.  IMO four guys out on a Saturday competing with each other strictly by the rules and playing straight up without handicaps should, for instance, be allowed to grant one of their fellow competitors relief from ground that's clearly under repair.  And beyond that, I still can't imagine that the RBs intended by this decision to not provide any guidance at all for tournament committees.  Yes, they said "would be justified" in granting relief and not "must grant relief", but IMO "would be justified" meant "if the conditions warrant" and not a suggestion that individual refs randomly choose to do as they wish.

I do agree with Mr. Bean that this discussion has gone as far as it can with each side understanding the other -- unless perhaps one of you would be motivated to see if your respective governing bodies would care to offer an opinion.  Thanks for the thorough exchange, it was/is most interesting.

#37 Colin L

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Posted 28 July 2013 - 05:27 PM

The possibility of playing the CONGU system to gain an inflated handicap certainly exists - it's known here as "building a handicap".  Although your handicap only increases by 0.1 each time you submit a high enough score, there are enough competitions,  plus these Supplementary Scores to allow a player deliberately to increase their handicap in order to gain an advantage in match play competitions.   For some reason it doesn't seem to happen the other way round. :)  Handicap secretaries are supposed to be alert to this kind of manipulation.

As to that Decision, if the situation occurred in a competition at my  club, would I determine the area in question to be GUR?  I'm sorry but I will resort to those dreadful words, "It depends".  That is, I would want to take into account the stage of the competition.  If the majority of games had already passed through the hole before someone requested the area be made GUR, I would be more inclined to say no than if it were early in the day and considerably fewer games had gone through.  I think the openness of the Decision is useful  for that kind of consideration to be made.

(By the way, the facility to submit  Supplementary Scores is designed precisely for someone  who plays few competitions as it allows you to put in a score for handicapping at any time of your own choosing.)

Edited by Colin L, 28 July 2013 - 05:30 PM.


#38 sui generis

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Posted 28 July 2013 - 06:29 PM

View PostColin L, on 28 July 2013 - 05:27 PM, said:

The possibility of playing the CONGU system to gain an inflated handicap certainly exists - it's known here as "building a handicap".  Although your handicap only increases by 0.1 each time you submit a high enough score, there are enough competitions,  plus these Supplementary Scores to allow a player deliberately to increase their handicap in order to gain an advantage in match play competitions.   For some reason it doesn't seem to happen the other way round. :)  Handicap secretaries are supposed to be alert to this kind of manipulation.

As to that Decision, if the situation occurred in a competition at my  club, would I determine the area in question to be GUR?  I'm sorry but I will resort to those dreadful words, "It depends".  That is, I would want to take into account the stage of the competition.  If the majority of games had already passed through the hole before someone requested the area be made GUR, I would be more inclined to say no than if it were early in the day and considerably fewer games had gone through.  I think the openness of the Decision is useful  for that kind of consideration to be made.

(By the way, the facility to submit  Supplementary Scores is designed precisely for someone  who plays few competitions as it allows you to put in a score for handicapping at any time of your own choosing.)

Colin, I don't see that you or any RO out on the course need allow themselves to be put in that position. My inclination would be to suggest a 3-3 and let the Scorer sort it out ... who knows, perhaps other players have chosen the 3-3 route already. On the other hand, if this has been your hole all day, then you might be the best judge and the field would receive equal treatment.
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#39 Colin L

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Posted 29 July 2013 - 03:34 AM

View Postsui generis, on 28 July 2013 - 06:29 PM, said:


Colin, I don't see that you or any RO out on the course need allow themselves to be put in that position. ...

Making a ruling is  what an RO is there to do!

#40 sui generis

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Posted 29 July 2013 - 06:47 AM

View PostColin L, on 29 July 2013 - 03:34 AM, said:

View Postsui generis, on 28 July 2013 - 06:29 PM, said:

Colin, I don't see that you or any RO out on the course need allow themselves to be put in that position. ...

Making a ruling is  what an RO is there to do!

Where I work the RO's job is to see that the Rules are complied with, assist the players, and keep it moving. Potentially contentious rulings are never made without help; routine rulings are easy and done solo all of the time. With big fields and split tee starts we'll have at least 8 to 10 qualified ROs on site. (Once or twice a day the radio can get busy.)

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#41 teejaywhy

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Posted 29 July 2013 - 03:12 PM

View PostImp, on 25 July 2013 - 10:17 AM, said:

View Postteejaywhy, on 25 July 2013 - 09:13 AM, said:

I just play the ball down.  To me that's the normal way to play golf..

It seems the modern golf game has evolved to where fluffing the ball is normal and expected.
That's your choice if you choose to not make use of allowed local rules.


But isn't the question is about taking relief from unmarked GUR and playing LCP when no LCP has been announced.

#42 Mr. Bean

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Posted 29 July 2013 - 03:52 PM

View PostSawgrass, on 28 July 2013 - 04:45 PM, said:

I do agree with Mr. Bean that this discussion has gone as far as it can with each side understanding the other -- unless perhaps one of you would be motivated to see if your respective governing bodies would care to offer an opinion.  Thanks for the thorough exchange, it was/is most interesting.

I thank You, Sawgrass.

As always, it has been a joy and a priviledge to have a discussion (almost, but ONLY almost a debate..) with You. Our mutual path towards perfect understanding of the Rules needs discussions such as this one, where princinples and wordings are frequently questioned.

#43 Mr. Bean

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Posted 29 July 2013 - 04:04 PM

View Postsui generis, on 29 July 2013 - 06:47 AM, said:

Where I work the RO's job is to see that the Rules are complied with, assist the players, and keep it moving. Potentially contentious rulings are never made without help; routine rulings are easy and done solo all of the time. With big fields and split tee starts we'll have at least 8 to 10 qualified ROs on site. (Once or twice a day the radio can get busy.)

Wow! We tend to manage with less than five, normally with 2 to 3. With that number of referees we try to keep ourselves busy instead of the radio :cheesy:

#44 sui generis

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Posted 29 July 2013 - 04:18 PM

View PostMr. Bean, on 29 July 2013 - 04:04 PM, said:

View Postsui generis, on 29 July 2013 - 06:47 AM, said:

Where I work the RO's job is to see that the Rules are complied with, assist the players, and keep it moving. Potentially contentious rulings are never made without help; routine rulings are easy and done solo all of the time. With big fields and split tee starts we'll have at least 8 to 10 qualified ROs on site. (Once or twice a day the radio can get busy.)

Wow! We tend to manage with less than five, normally with 2 to 3. With that number of referees we try to keep ourselves busy instead of the radio :cheesy:

Our last big event was a state amateur championship with a field of 140+ played over five days. Two days of stroke play to cut to 32 and then 36 holes of match play each day for the next three days. Sunrise to sunset (a mere 15 hours here - not 23 like you might see!) for a bunch of old guys was wearing. Throughout the five days we used at least 30 rules officials, not all at once, of course, but at least a dozen at any given time for the first four days.

Then last week was a US Amateur Qualifier with 80 players and 36 holes of stroke play all in one day. That was manned by eight of us. The work was easy with such skilled players and a really well marked course.
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#45 Sawgrass

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Posted 29 July 2013 - 05:12 PM

View Postsui generis, on 29 July 2013 - 04:18 PM, said:

View PostMr. Bean, on 29 July 2013 - 04:04 PM, said:

View Postsui generis, on 29 July 2013 - 06:47 AM, said:

Where I work the RO's job is to see that the Rules are complied with, assist the players, and keep it moving. Potentially contentious rulings are never made without help; routine rulings are easy and done solo all of the time. With big fields and split tee starts we'll have at least 8 to 10 qualified ROs on site. (Once or twice a day the radio can get busy.)

Wow! We tend to manage with less than five, normally with 2 to 3. With that number of referees we try to keep ourselves busy instead of the radio :cheesy:

Our last big event was a state amateur championship with a field of 140+ played over five days. Two days of stroke play to cut to 32 and then 36 holes of match play each day for the next three days. Sunrise to sunset (a mere 15 hours here - not 23 like you might see!) for a bunch of old guys was wearing. Throughout the five days we used at least 30 rules officials, not all at once, of course, but at least a dozen at any given time for the first four days.

Then last week was a US Amateur Qualifier with 80 players and 36 holes of stroke play all in one day. That was manned by eight of us. The work was easy with such skilled players and a really well marked course.

This seems like a good time to mention what a privilege it is to explore the rules with you folks and the others here like Newby and Kevin Carter (who pretty much mentored my experience here though his example) who are actually part time or full time officials.  I spend a great deal of time and effort reading and considering the Rules, looking to find the broader fabric so as to improve my "intuition" about challenging situations that may not yet be adequately described in the Rules, or to simply remind myself of what I should already know.  But the opportunity to supplement that academic perspective with your real-world experiences and formal training is greatly appreciated by me.

Here's to our mutual love of the details that are so irrelevant to so many!


#46 kevcarter

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Posted 29 July 2013 - 05:17 PM

View PostSawgrass, on 29 July 2013 - 05:12 PM, said:

This seems like a good time to mention what a privilege it is to explore the rules with you folks and the others here like Newby and Kevin Carter (who pretty much mentored my experience here though his example) who are actually part time or full time officials.  I spend a great deal of time and effort reading and considering the Rules, looking to find the broader fabric so as to improve my "intuition" about challenging situations that may not yet be adequately described in the Rules, or to simply remind myself of what I should already know.  But the opportunity to supplement that academic perspective with your real-world experiences and formal training is greatly appreciated by me.

Here's to our mutual love of the details that are so irrelevant to so many!

Thank you for including me Sawgrass. Right or wrong, we always try to find the truth.

Kevin
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#47 Sawgrass

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Posted 29 July 2013 - 05:20 PM

View Postkevcarter, on 29 July 2013 - 05:17 PM, said:

Right or wrong, we always try to find the truth.


And there lies the beauty, visible to all who are humble enough to embrace it.

#48 sui generis

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Posted 29 July 2013 - 06:15 PM

View PostSawgrass, on 29 July 2013 - 05:12 PM, said:

View Postsui generis, on 29 July 2013 - 04:18 PM, said:

View PostMr. Bean, on 29 July 2013 - 04:04 PM, said:

View Postsui generis, on 29 July 2013 - 06:47 AM, said:

Where I work the RO's job is to see that the Rules are complied with, assist the players, and keep it moving. Potentially contentious rulings are never made without help; routine rulings are easy and done solo all of the time. With big fields and split tee starts we'll have at least 8 to 10 qualified ROs on site. (Once or twice a day the radio can get busy.)

Wow! We tend to manage with less than five, normally with 2 to 3. With that number of referees we try to keep ourselves busy instead of the radio :cheesy:

Our last big event was a state amateur championship with a field of 140+ played over five days. Two days of stroke play to cut to 32 and then 36 holes of match play each day for the next three days. Sunrise to sunset (a mere 15 hours here - not 23 like you might see!) for a bunch of old guys was wearing. Throughout the five days we used at least 30 rules officials, not all at once, of course, but at least a dozen at any given time for the first four days.

Then last week was a US Amateur Qualifier with 80 players and 36 holes of stroke play all in one day. That was manned by eight of us. The work was easy with such skilled players and a really well marked course.

This seems like a good time to mention what a privilege it is to explore the rules with you folks and the others here like Newby and Kevin Carter (who pretty much mentored my experience here though his example) who are actually part time or full time officials.  I spend a great deal of time and effort reading and considering the Rules, looking to find the broader fabric so as to improve my "intuition" about challenging situations that may not yet be adequately described in the Rules, or to simply remind myself of what I should already know.  But the opportunity to supplement that academic perspective with your real-world experiences and formal training is greatly appreciated by me.

Here's to our mutual love of the details that are so irrelevant to so many!

I agree that it's a rich experience to talk about the Rules. They are so beautiful! I learn something everyday.
Knowledge of the Rules is part of the
applied skill set which a player must
use to play a round of competitive golf.

#49 Mr. Bean

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Posted 30 July 2013 - 04:03 AM

View Postsui generis, on 29 July 2013 - 04:18 PM, said:

View PostMr. Bean, on 29 July 2013 - 04:04 PM, said:

View Postsui generis, on 29 July 2013 - 06:47 AM, said:

Where I work the RO's job is to see that the Rules are complied with, assist the players, and keep it moving. Potentially contentious rulings are never made without help; routine rulings are easy and done solo all of the time. With big fields and split tee starts we'll have at least 8 to 10 qualified ROs on site. (Once or twice a day the radio can get busy.)

Wow! We tend to manage with less than five, normally with 2 to 3. With that number of referees we try to keep ourselves busy instead of the radio :cheesy:

Our last big event was a state amateur championship with a field of 140+ played over five days. Two days of stroke play to cut to 32 and then 36 holes of match play each day for the next three days. Sunrise to sunset (a mere 15 hours here - not 23 like you might see!) for a bunch of old guys was wearing. Throughout the five days we used at least 30 rules officials, not all at once, of course, but at least a dozen at any given time for the first four days.

Then last week was a US Amateur Qualifier with 80 players and 36 holes of stroke play all in one day. That was manned by eight of us. The work was easy with such skilled players and a really well marked course.

On the highest level national tour we have only two assigned referees (a 3-day competition + 1-2 days of preparations) but most often there are some voluntary referees present to ease up the workload. In the open championships there are three and in the international competitions there are four assigned referees. Obviously it is a question of money as assigned referees cost the national assosiation a bundle of dough.

Furthermore, we train our becoming national level referees in these competitions (they only get free meals, no fee). Had we 5-6 assigned referees already present there would be no smart tasks for the trainees.

Edited by Mr. Bean, 30 July 2013 - 04:04 AM.





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