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A definitive answer

Posted By: Phil Simborg
Date: Thursday, 25 December 2014, at 4:20 p.m.

In Response To: Not reminding your opponent to press the clock (Timothy Chow)

Here are the Standards of Ethical Practice written by the USBGF Rules Committee when I was Chairman. Rule No. 4 clearly covers this area. These standards, in my opinion, should be posted or made available to the players at every tournament and should be a guide for behavior to be used by the players and TD's.

In addition to the basic rules of the game, whenever there is a competition where there is generally not an assigned official or referee, we believe the competitors must be required to maintain a high level of sportsmanship and ethics. For the benefit of all concerned, the following Standards are expected of all participants and spectators at backgammon competitions.

1. The Golden Rule is clearly a proper concept. Treat your opponents as you would expect them to treat you: with courtesy and fairness.

2. Since there is no official or referee, you are obligated to strictly enforce the rules and penalties against yourself. You should not ask for, expect, or even accept leniency. If you break a rule, whether intentionally or by accident, you should insist that the appropriate penalty be applied.

3. In keeping with the above two concepts, when your opponent breaks a rule you should also insist that he accepts the appropriate penalty.

4. The concepts of fair play and good sportsmanship shall take precedence, and players should not take advantage of their opponent due to a technicality or accidental occurrence. (e.g. there is an external disturbance and a player neglects to take his turn, hit his clock, or move a checker off the bar).

5. Foul language, threatening language, insulting remarks, deceptive statements or actions, are subject to punitive response by the tournament director. Said response may include a warning, to a point deduction or penalty in the current or future matches, or expulsion from the competition.

6. Spectators have an obligation to help maintain good sportsmanship and fair play and may not cheer for a player during a match nor may they offer any comments or advice relative to the match until the match is completed.

7. All competitors and spectators are expected to maintain a friendly, positive spirit at all times. Complaining, berating staff or opponents, or spreading of bad will at any time during the competition is not acceptable and can result in punitive action by the staff. * * *

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