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A definitive answer

Posted By: Phil Simborg
Date: Thursday, 25 December 2014, at 11:49 p.m.

In Response To: A definitive answer (Bob Koca)

1. Whether he taps the checker or not, if a legal move puts that checker on the bar, then it must go on the bar, and with legal moves it is both player's responsibility to point it out.

2. If the player tapped the checker but didn't pick it up and the play could have been made legally without hitting, then I don't believe there is a conflict at all--at least not for me. He clearly meant to hit, he indicated he was hitting, and the intent of the rules is to be a good sport and give him the opportunity to place the checker on the bar.

Now, someone else might not believe that kind of sportsmanship is necessary, and they are free to make that decision. I am certain that there will always be gray areas and I think this is one of them. I don't think the TD can or should penalize someone for not being a good sport in this situation. For me, however, it would not be a gray area--he indicated a hit and I will give it to him because when the area is gray, I would rather err on the "golden rule" side.

Now, if he did not indicate that he was hitting, it is quite possible that he simply missed the hit, and I have no problem denying him the right to pick up the checker after he picked up his dice or hit the clock, even if he said he really meant to hit. That is where I draw the line, but I am not going to say that everyone else must draw the line where I do...everyone has to live with their own conscious when it is a gray area, and I might also add that I am not perfect and might well make a mistake. This actually happened in our Chouette. MCG and I were in the box against a bunch of people and Albert rolled a joker that hit us, made the move and picked up his dice without picking up the checker. He did not tap the checker or indicate a hit. I don't have to tell you it was not a pleasant discussion afterwards. Every experienced player there knows the rules and knows that checker was not hit. And I also knew that if the situation were reversed and I picked up the dice without hitting, there would not have been any argument at all. I would take the medicine I deserve quietly and not blame my opponent or anyone else, nor would I even ask for mercy. Albert, and others on his side, not only asked for mercy, but demanded it, which made both me and MCG even more adamant and put us in a tough position even though we did not cause the problem. We ended up compromising and settling in a way the other side did not get hurt as much as they would have, and even then some walked away mad at me and MCG. They were clearly wrong, and one or two of them even admitted it later. Had Albert tapped the checker, I would have let him pick it up. I can't speak for MCG, but he and Carter and Taki were all there and can verify that this is exactly what happened. I will say that Carter was on the other side and he was one of the players experienced and fair enough not to be yelling and screaming, but of course, when we offered a friendly compromise in the interest of peace, he was the first to take it.

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