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Good ruling/Bad Rule

Posted By: Bob Koca
Date: Sunday, 1 September 2013, at 6:47 p.m.

In Response To: Good ruling/Bad Rule (David Rockwell)

I am confused about the relevance of "the delay allows time to perform the mechanics of the move" here in saying the rule is fine as is. After the clock was rehit he got 12 seconds for the 54 play instead of the 9 or so he would have had if he had rolled the dice fresh so there is three free seconds right there. Also it may be unlikely but it is entirely possible that the thinking done for one play can help with another play. He may have done a quick pipcount for example. Maybe the key choice was whether to hit or not with one number and then the other illegally played number is the next consideration. Getting a new 12 seconds could definitely be useful there. At another score the player may even have thought about cubing for several seconds first in which case the allowing time for mechanics of the move idea falls completely apart.

I agree that with the rules as they are the only reasonable ruling was indeed made but disagree strongly that the rules here are fine.

A few other comments:

i) If there is disagreement about whether the move is legal or not as might occur if a checker is moved a pip too far the players need to actually agree that an illegality had actually occurred right? So does hitting the clock indeed put pressure on the player to find the error?

ii) Incorrect clams of illegal play have been made. Last night player A claimed a play was illegal (without saying more than that) and rehit the clock. Player B had some confusion at first nd asked where the moved checker came from and as it turns out the play was actually legal. No harm except that the 12 second delay and a few seconds of B's pool time had run off. I suspect player B was going to say something about it but decided not to. This argues for centering the clock instead of just hitting it.

iii) When is it legitimate to claim an illegal move and when should one sportingly do so? Note that in some sense a play is not illegal until the clock has been hit. What if there is a 65 and it is a forced play involving moving a certain 5 so the 6 may be played. The opponent looks around at other 5's to play. Is it o.k. to let him waste his time like that? If a player is required to point that type of mistake out quickly it is almost like he is required to help the opponent. Let's say that he let's opponent flounder a bit. Is it ok then to say illegal move before opponent hits the clock? That prevents him getting the delay back.

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