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Great Idea--Let's make all rules Optional

Posted By: phil simborg
Date: Tuesday, 4 March 2014, at 2:07 p.m.

In Response To: Non-biased Legal vs. non-legal moves poll (Art Grater)

As you suggest, let the players "roll for it" to decide what rule to play. Some tables will play one way, and some another. I am sure no one will every forget or disagree was to what was decided. When there is a dispute, I am sure TD's will have no problem if both players disagree on which rule was agreed to.

Why don't we let the players negotiate or roll for every rule? That certainly would be the libertarian approach.

That is not the way a tournament or game of any kind, in a formal competition is or should be played! You are supposed to sit down, and everyone at every table should be playing by the same rules to ensure a level playing field and to minimize misunderstandings and to make it easier for officials to make fair rulings if there is a dispute. You play by the rules, and if you don't like it, don't play or learn to accept it.

I don't like it, but I prefer to play rather than stay away from the game I love just because I don't like some of the rules. When I hear someone say that might not come to a tournament because they don't like Legal Moves, or any other single reason like this, I know they either don't love the game enough or they are going way too far just to prove a point. There is no way in hell to please everyone, and if you have to have every single rule the way you like it in order for you to come to an event, I feel very sorry for you or anyone who is that way.

The thing to do if you don't like the rules is exactly what we are doing here: try to influence whoever you can to help get people in charge to change the rules to make them the way you feel is better for the game. I have been lobbying for Legal Moves for 25 years, and I am thrilled that I finally have enough people listening and supporting the idea. I am sure it is because people are hearing both sides and see the problems we have been having for many years with the old rules and realize how much better a game it is with LM, but also because people like Neil and Mochy and Chuck Bower and Jeb and respected tournaments directors like Chiva and Pat Gibson and Rory (that was not easy for me to add, by the way) have gone to Legal Moves and find that the players at the tournament applaud and thank them for doing it (not all, but most).

If there were an international ruling body for Backgammon, which there certainly should be some day (virtually every other legitimate game or sport has it), we would have one set of rules for the world, and that would be a good thing. And those rules would certainly include Legal Moves.

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