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New Rules in LA--What is the verdict?

Posted By: Phil Simborg
Date: Sunday, 16 June 2013, at 2:27 p.m.

In Response To: New Rules in LA--What is the verdict? (Igor)

The ABT has it's own set of rules. They are pretty good, but many rules are not completely clear and many don't state what happens if violated, and some are interpreted differently by different directors.

Some Federations, such as Denmark, have created their rules. Some tournament organizers, like Chiva, have their own rules. Biba has a set of rules. Individual clubs have their own rules. I even have a separate set of rules to apply to Chouettes in Chicago.

I had hoped the USBGF would establish a set of rules, and I took the chairmanship of the Rules Committee when the organization was established, but the board only allowed us to come up with a Standards of Ethical Practice, which is a great step in the right direction, but even that was diluted by committee and the board. And the USBGF has no authority over tournaments.

So, in answer to your question, there is no ruling body.

My vision was to show the world that it is possible to have clear rules that are not ambiguous and that answer most of the problems. I believe Jeb and Chuck and I did that, and the feedback has been quite positive. Of course not everyone agrees with legal moves and some of the wording of a couple of the rules, and there are a few I would like to change myself, but overall, we illustrated why the current rules are not adequate for high-level tournament play and that these work.

Our hope is that all the major federations around the world would form an international rules committee and all agree on one set of rules and ask everyone in the world to use them. If an individual director wanted to use the rules but insisted on non-legal moves, fine...at least all the rest would be the same. Or if someone wanted to allow dice on top of checkers to be allowed, fine, but at least all the rest would be the same.

The leaders of federations, in their wisdom, did not agree with my suggestion of forming an international committee. Instead, each federation is looking at our rules and deciding how they should be changed or improved and then, hopefully, they will come together and work out their differences.

My hope is that some day there will be an International Backgammon Federation, and each country would affiliate, and then we can not only coordinate the rules, but marketing and PR and overall coordination of the game and tournaments.

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