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Director's action?

Posted By: Daniel Murphy
Date: Monday, 24 June 2013, at 2:47 p.m.

In Response To: Director's action? (Chuck Bower)

The TD has been informed of a possible irregularity in a match by a spectator, as spectators are requested to do under the US Backgammon Tournament Rules and Procedures.

I would think that players should want all matches scored correctly, that TD should want all matches scored correctly, and that TD should want all players to use scoresheets in all matches, as the rules require.

Nothing in the rules suggests to me that this particular "irregularity" is one that TD should ignore.

Therefore, I do not see why TD should not immediately approach the table and ask the players if the score on their scoreboard is correct. He should also remind the players that the rules allow the use of a scoreboard but not in place of a scoresheet.

If the players agree that the score is wrong, and agree to a correction of the score, then that should be done. If, however, they do not agree, I do not see that TD would have any basis for altering the score, given that the players' use of a scoreboard but no scoresheets makes reconstructing the progress of the match in light of conflicting memories all but impossible.

The US Backgammon Tournament Rules say that spectators "should" bring observed "improprieties" and "irregularities" to the attention of the tournament director.

The Simborg/Bower/Horton's Tournament Backgammon Rules and Standards Guide add that this applies to problems or irregularites "of any kind," that notification should be "immediate," and specifically names "one or both players have the wrong score" as an example of such a problem.

WBA Rules have a different attitude. Under them, spectators should always remain silent and refrain from comment, and only if spectators observe cheating "may" they inform the director.

US Backgammon Tournament Rules
1.7 SPECTATORS. Spectators shall remain silent while observing a match. Spectators have no right to draw attention to any misplays or comment on plays. Spectators who observe improprieties or irregularities during a match should discuss them in private with the Director. A player may request the Director to bar one or more spectators from viewing his match.
5.1 KEEPING SCORE. Each player shall keep a running match score and compare it to his opponent's score at the start of every game. In the event of a scoring dispute, a player not keeping a written log of the score will be at a disadvantage.
Tournament Backgammon Rules and Standards Guide
1.3.4. If a spectator sees a problem or irregularity of any kind, he should immediately notify the Tournament Director or staff. If, for example, a spectator sees that the cube has not been centered or that one or both players have the wrong score, the spectator should inform the Tournament Director and let him handle the situation.
5.13. Both players are required to keep a running, written score of the match, updating it after each game, and verbally agreeing upon the score before a new game begins. Scoreboards are allowed, but the written score takes precedence, as written scores provide a history of the scoring and are therefore more complete.
World Backgammon Association Rules
1.6.1. IN GENERAL. Spectators must observe the match in silence. Spectators may not direct attention to mistakes in the game nor comment on the game. In cases of cheating, spectators may alert the tournament director.
4.7 Both players must keep an ongoing record of the score of the match and announce to each other the score of the match before each game. Before the start of the Crawford game, the players must announce the fact that it is the Crawford game to each other. If the players agree to do so it is permitted to use a scoreboard that shows the length of the match, the score, the status of Crawford and such. Scoreboards must be used if the tournament director demands it. The players are still obligated to keep the score on individual scorecards when a scoreboard is in use. It is the duty of both players to double-check both score-sheets before start and after completion of each game. In case of non-resolvable dispute about the score, the score-sheet of the trailing player in the match will be valid.

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