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Covered in proposed rules

Posted By: Phil Simborg
Date: Sunday, 20 October 2013, at 4:20 p.m.

In Response To: Covered in proposed rules (Daniel Murphy)

In games where there are referee's that make the calls, like basketball and football, the ethics and the responsibilities of the players are very different than in games and sports where you have an ethical responsibility to be fair and honest. For example, in Golf, players are expected to call it on themselves if they ground their club in a trap, or accidentaly move or hit their ball, or mis-score a hole. And many have done just that.

In backgammon, as stated in the standards of ethics of the USBGF and in our proposed rules, players have a responsibility to hold themselves to the highest ethical standards and only then can they expect the same from their opponents.

If you clear were going to make a wrong play and a spectator alerted you, even if you could legally change your mind, if you do so, I continue to say, you are a cheater. Yes, you can legally do so and you can claim you would have found the play anyway, and I may not be able to prove you are a cheater, but you know you are. And the kind of person who would do this and think it is okay, is the same kind of person who might take advantage of many other kinds of situations that, although might be technically legal, are certainly not good sportsmanship.

If I were making a poor play and was honestly going to pick up my dice and someone alerted me, I could not live with myself if I corrected it. If I was honestly still looking at the play and was thinking about it and might well have made the correction, and then someone made a noise or motion, I would explain to my opponent that I was very sorry that happened but I would be sure he understood that I really was still looking at the play. If I had actually reached for the dice, and touched them or covered them, there is no way I would change the play...I would have done exactly what Rod did, and live up to my error. EVEN IF I was still thinking, I would rather lose the game than have someone think I took advantage of them that way.

We play this game for many years and we play with friends, and our reputation is all we have. If I want others to always be fair and honest with me, I must be that way with them. I do not believe I am unique in this feeling, as I have seen exceptional acts of good sportsmanship from most fine players in similar positions. The few "bad actors" we have in the game are well-known as either cheaters or "nasty people" and we all avoid them, we watch them closely, and we don't cut them any slack if they make the slightest error or infringement on the rules. They get what they deserve.

This is NOT just what I personally feel about my actions...this is how I believe any game or sport must be played when there is no official and the players are expected to govern themselves and each other throughout the competition.

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