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Tournament Rules and Guidelines

Posted By: Strato
Date: Saturday, 1 December 2012, at 12:54 p.m.

In Response To: Tournament Rules and Guidelines (Phil Simborg)

Hi Phil,

I did not say you didn't have great input, I said back then, the DBgF were the ones that had done the most research. I just want to make that clear so you don't take it the wrong way.

I do admire and appreciate all the effort you and your group have put into this. I do understand these are only your suggestions. I do think your study will be considered by others if there are ever plans to create a universal set of rules that all international tournament organizers agree to use.

The only way we can have a unified set of backgammon tournament rules is to first involve all federations and associations and get them to agree beforehand that each rule will be discussed and then voted on and that the vote must be respected by all parties – I think that will be a stumbling block, it was for me when I tried to do this some 10 years ago.

Many tournament organizers have for decades, used rules that fit their particular set of circumstances and that their players prefer, and are not easily willing to accept major changes. Yes, they say they would adapt some changes but that won’t give us a universal set of rules.

If we all play the same game, when I go to a tournament I want to play with the same rules here as I do over there. Otherwise, I have to read the rules of each tournament organization, every time I go to a different tournament, and make sure I have figured out what the differences are in this tournament’s set of rules than the one I attended of another organization last month. It is not fair to the players to have to remember and understand the differences, they should be able to read the rules once and know it is the same everywhere – this is especially confusing and discouraging to newcomers to tournament play.

At this time you have important players saying things like, if there’s no clocks I don’t play. Other players support the important players and that creates discussion and affects attendance as we have seen in the past. There are many advantages to having clocks but if a tournament is running on time why should a perfectly great competition between two players, who have both given their all, be lost by one of them on a few seconds of time. To me the real winner was never determined and it goes against the spirit of our game. We played tournament backgammon without clocks for more than three decades; clocks have advantages but take away from the game as well.

Now I hear talk about allowing, as a legal roll, dice that land on top of checkers and I see that some players are in favour of it and others against it. I think that allowing this is problematic. If a die lands on a dimpled checker it has not landed flatly. If a die lands on a checker but is hanging on the edge of the checker it could fall off when the board is touched to make the play, and then maybe one player will say it was a 4 and the other that it was a 5. The same when the die lands on a checker that will be used in the move, the die has to be taken off the checker and placed on the board and that could cause similar incidents as well. I do understand that these things can happen now anyway, even without this new rule, but by allowing this new rule we’re only creating more chances of dice discussions to occur. The dice must land flatly on the surface of the board – what’s wrong with that? Surely the new rules is because of clocks.



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