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Changes that Do and Don't Gain Acceptance

Posted By: mamabear
Date: Sunday, 25 August 2013, at 12:35 a.m.

In Response To: 2 away 2 away Score -- Idea (Robert Wachtel)

I don't think the problem is that nobody will consider a change, nor that they fear it excessively. Good changes may not be adopted instantaneously, but they do gradually replace the old ways if people recognize that the positives outweigh the negatives. Examples:

Clocks became accepted when the technology was developed that made them suitable for backgammon--that is, the delay mechanism.

Legal moves are becoming accepted, in part I think because the backgammon culture has changed for the better regarding (less) tolerance of the kind of angle-shooters that can unrighteously profit from this change.

Main playing rooms at tournaments are now almost always non-smoking.

It's my view that the default has to be to keep things as they are especially when the proposed change strikes at the integrity of the game itself, which none of the above accepted changes do. In contrast, this proposed change in the 2A2A doubling rules would require patching all the online playing programs currently in use, patching in new defaults in backgammon playing software, and finally convincing the rest of the world that this change is of sufficient benefit that they should adopt it, too, keeping in mind that the gradient is steeper for a change that complicates rather than simplifies.* If they don't agree, we will have created a new confusion-causing variant, instead of doing what we've all been trying to do with the rules in general: make them uniform and consistent across national and federation boundaries.

*An example of a simplifying change that has been discussed in another thread here is elimination of the Jacoby rule in money play. I suspect that one has a much greater chance of success than adding a new rule to match play about the 2A2A score.

For more about getting people to accept change: HBR article, YMMV

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