ANZBGF Tournament Rules
Adapted from the WBGF rules, with permission.
1.1 INTERPRETATION AND SCOPE
These tournament rules (the “Rules”) as approved by the Committee of the Australia and New Zealand Backgammon Federation (“ANZBGF”) on 22 May 2021 and may be amended or restated from time to time, shall apply to all tournaments sanctioned or otherwise approved by ANZBGF (each a “Tournament” and together or generally “Tournaments”) and no rules other than these Rules may be used. The Rules are a statement of generally accepted principles of best practice for the enjoyment of tournament backgammon by all participants. However, the Rules are not intended to cover every possible situation that might arise in the course of a Tournament and accordingly are no substitute for the Tournament Director’s judgement and discretion to determine the most appropriate resolution in any particular set of circumstances.
Any references to players or opponents shall be deemed to include references to teams as appropriate.
1.1.2 ANZBGF Variations
These rules differ from the original in three specific areas: premature rolls (rule 4.1.5 (a)); doubling actions (rule 4.4.2) and premature cubing (rule 4.4.5). The aim is to remove ambiguity, speed up play and allow tournament directors to apply sanctions when unsporting behaviour is reported to them.
The WGBF has advised that there are plans to harmonise rules across international federations – ANZBGF will review these rules as soon as possible after this happens.
Tournament directors and players are expected to behave in the spirit of the game which is to show generous sportsmanship and fair and considerate behaviour.
1.2.2 Handling of Equipment
Players must handle the equipment in a suitable manner.
A player in breach of section 1.2, subsections (i) to (ii) may be disqualified and excluded from the Tournament. In exceptional circumstances the player may be temporarily barred from future Tournaments. A Tournament Director in breach of section 1.2, subsection (i) may be barred from acting as a Federation approved Tournament Director.
1.3.1 Tournament Directors
Tournaments must be supervised by one or more skilled and impartial tournament directors (each a “Tournament Director”). References herein to Tournament Directors shall, where appropriate, be deemed to include any staff appointed to assist such Tournament Directors.
1.3.2 Ruling Committee
A dispute ruling committee (the “Ruling Committee”) shall be formed as necessary pursuant to sections 5.1 or 5.2. If formed pursuant to section 5.1, the Ruling Committee shall comprise either three or five knowledgeable and impartial persons who are readily available, selected jointly by the players in dispute. If formed pursuant to section 5.2, the Ruling Committee shall comprise either three or five knowledgeable and impartial persons who are readily available, selected by the Tournament Director at their sole discretion. A Tournament Director connected to the Tournament is not permitted to be a member of a Ruling Committee.
The Tournament Director may on their own initiative, or at the request of a player, appoint a monitor for any match. The monitor has the authority to draw attention to illegal actions and protect the players from questionable or unfair behaviour. The Tournament Director has the right to charge a fee from the player requesting the monitor, or otherwise from all involved players, when such monitor is appointed.
All players that sign up for a Tournament must be approved by the Tournament Director. A player may be excluded at the sole discretion of the Tournament Director and in such instance an explanation of such decision shall be provided to such player.
1.4.2 Assignment to Higher Flights
In Tournaments with more than one flight, a player may, at the sole discretion of the Tournament Director, be barred from a lower flight and offered a place in a higher flight.
Where a Tournament Director refuses entry to a player in accordance with section 1.4, subsection (i), or places a player in a higher flight in accordance with section 1.4, subsection (ii), this fact must be reported to the Federation by the Tournament Director as soon as reasonably possible after the completion of the Tournament. The report must explain the reasons for the ruling.
1.5 OFFICIAL LANGUAGES
The official languages (the “Official Languages”) of Tournaments shall be English and any official or predominant language of the country in which the Tournament is taking place. While a match is in progress players and spectators are not permitted to speak in any language other than the Official Languages. Repeated transgressions by a player or spectator in breach of this provision may result firstly in a warning, and subsequently in penalty points, disqualification or exclusion from the Tournament.
For the avoidance of doubt and notwithstanding anything to the contrary above, players on a team are permitted to speak with each other in a language other than the Official Languages.
Spectators should generally observe Tournament backgammon as quietly and unobtrusively as reasonably possible. Spectators must not direct attention to mistakes or illegal actions in a game nor should they comment on a game which includes asking the score during a match. However, a spectator may discreetly alert the Tournament Director to any matters of concern, which may include but are not limited to: cheating; when a player’s time has run out; mistakes as to clock activation pursuant to section 4.3, subsection (iv); and mistakes as to invalid doubles pursuant to section 4.4 subsections (iv), (vi), (vii) or (viii).
1.6.2 Signalling and Other Forms of Outside Help
While a match is in progress, spectators are not permitted to signal or help the players in any way.
Breach of section 1.6, subsections (i) to (ii) may result in expulsion of the spectators involved. In exceptional circumstances such spectators may be temporarily or permanently barred from participating in future Tournaments.
A player may make a request with a supporting explanation to the Tournament Director that one or more spectators be barred from watching the match.
Where a Tournament Director has expelled a spectator in accordance with section 1.6, subsection (iii), the fact must be reported to the Federation by the Tournament Director as soon as reasonably possible after the completion of the Tournament. The report must explain the reasons for the ruling.
1.7 GENERAL, RECORDING, STREAMING, HEADPHONES, MOBILE PHONES, SIGNALLING and OTHER FORMS of OUTSIDE HELP
While a match is in progress, a player is not permitted to use electronic, mechanical, written, or other aids other than those necessary to keep score.
1.7.2 Recording and Streaming
Whether to record, stream or both, a match or any part thereof, including individual positions, a player is permitted to use any equipment reasonably deemed necessary and appropriate, including position cards, computer, video or camera equipment (whether in the form of a mobile phone or otherwise), if the opponent accepts this in each instance, such acceptance not to be unreasonably withheld. The Tournament Director may revoke such acceptance at any time. In matches played without the use of a game clock, position recording must be undertaken after the end of the player’s turn. In matches played with a game clock, position recording must be undertaken only during the player’s own time or in between games.
While a match is in progress, a player is permitted to use headphones if the opponent accepts this, such acceptance not to be unreasonably withheld. The Tournament Director may revoke such acceptance at any time.
1.7.4 Mobile Phones
While a match is in progress and apart from during a break or for recording purposes as otherwise specified herein, a player is not permitted to use a mobile phone unless the opponent accepts this in each instance. The Tournament Director may revoke such acceptance at any time.
1.7.5 Signalling and Other Forms of Outside Help
When a match is in progress, players are not permitted to receive signals or help in any other way from spectators.
Any breach of section 1.7, subsections (i) to (v) may result in a warning, penalty points, disqualification or expulsion of the player concerned. In exceptional circumstances the player may be temporarily or permanently barred from participation in future Tournaments.
A player may make a request to the Tournament Director that a monitor be appointed for the remainder of the match in accordance with section 1.3, subsection (iii).
When a Tournament Director has disqualified and/or expelled a player in accordance with section 1.7, subsection (v), the fact must be reported to the Federation by the Tournament Director as soon as reasonably possible after the completion of the Tournament. The report must explain the reasons for the ruling.
All matches must be played in the tournament area designated by the Tournament Director. A player may insist that a match is played in a non-smoking area.
2.2 STARTING TIMES and BREAKS
2.2.1 Starting Times
All matches must begin at the scheduled times or as otherwise specified by the Tournament Director.
A player is entitled to a number of 5 minute breaks as follows:
– In matches up to 15 points: one break
– In matches of more than 15 points: two breaks
Breaks may only be taken in between games. Breaks may be taken consecutively. This may be done either by one player combining two or more of their permitted breaks or by both players combining their breaks. Any situation where a player leaves the board is considered to be a break unless doing so is a necessary part of the game. When playing best of three matches, breaks are only permitted between matches.
In certain circumstances the Tournament Director (TD) may make an exception to section 2.2, subsections (i) to (ii) if particular concerns to one or both players warrant this, if the TD deems the match to be of special significance or if the TD has devised an alternative break and/or time structure for the tournament or any particular match.
Any breach of the rules for starting times and breaks may result in penalty points. If a player is not present and has not started the match 5 minutes after the starting time or after the end of the permitted break, one penalty point may be awarded. Subsequently a further penalty point may be awarded for each subsequent 5 minute delay. When a player has been awarded penalty points corresponding to more than half of the length of the match, such player shall be deemed to have won the match.
2.3 SLOW PLAY
At any time, if the Tournament Director considers that a match is being played at an unreasonably slow pace, either or both of the following sanctions may be imposed:
(a) a warning shall be given that if slow play persists, penalty points may be awarded; or
(b) the remainder of the match shall be played using a game clock. See section 3.5, subsection (vi).
A player may make a request to the Tournament Director that the remainder of the match is played using a game clock, or that a monitor is appointed to observe the match.
2.4 RANDOM and VALID DICE
If the Tournament Director considers a player to be in breach of section 4.1, subsection (i) or section 4.1, subsection (iv) (a), the TD may rule that the remainder of the match is to be played using a baffle box.
A player may make a request to the Tournament Director that the remainder of the match is played using a baffle box provided that one is available, or that a match monitor is appointed.
3.1 THE BOARD
Subject to availability, a player may insist that the board, when opened, is a minimum of 44 cm by 55 cm and a maximum of 66 cm by 88 cm. If such a board is only available after the match has started, a player may insist that the board is replaced at that time. The board may only be replaced between games. All dice and doubling cubes not in use should be removed from the board before the start of the match.
Subject to availability, a player may insist that cups with an interior lip are used in preference to those without an interior lip. If cups with an interior lip are not available at the start of a match, a player may insist that the cups in use are replaced as soon as lipped cups become available, even if this is during a game.
3.3 THE DICE
3.3.1 In General
If they are available a player may insist that precision dice are used in preference to other dice. If precision dice are not available at the start of a match, a player may insist that the dice in use are replaced as soon as precision dice become available even if this is during a game.
3.3.2 In Matches Played Without the Use of a Game Clock
The players must select four dice. These must be used for the entire match, except for situations as described in section 3.3, subsection (i) and section 3.7, subsection (i). Each player must use two dice.
3.3.3 In Matches Played With the Use of a Game Clock
The players must select four dice. These must be used for the entire match, except for situations as described in section 3.3, subsection (i) and section 3.7, subsection (i). Only two dice are in use in each game. Four dice must be present at the board however, so that a change of dice is possible.
3.4 BAFFLE BOX
The use of a baffle box may occur as an option, preference, obligation, or imposition:
(a) Option. In any Tournament the players may choose to play the match using a baffle box if they are in agreement;
(b) Preference. A player may insist that the match is played using baffle box, if it is announced in the Tournament invitation that the Tournament, or part thereof, is to be held with a preference for baffle boxes;
(c) Obligation. Players shall be obliged to play the match using a baffle box, if it is announced in the Tournament invitation that the Tournament, or part thereof, is to be held with an obligation to use baffle boxes; and
(d) Imposition. In any Tournament the players are obliged to play the remainder of a match in progress using a baffle box, if a baffle box is available and the Tournament Director makes such a ruling in accordance with section 2.4, subsection (i).
In certain circumstances the Tournament Director may make an exception from section 3.4, subsection (i) (b) and (c), if special concerns to one or both players warrant such exception.
3.4.3 Construction and Approval
The baffle box must be properly constructed. If a player requests that the baffle box be approved by the Tournament Director, it must be approved before the match may be started or continued.
Where a baffle box is in use, it must be placed opposite the home boards of the players.
3.5 GAME CLOCKS
The use of a game clock may occur as an option, preference, obligation, or imposition:
(a) Option. In any Tournament the players may choose to play the match using a game clock if they are in agreement;
(b) Preference. A player may insist that the match is played using a game clock (provided that one is readily available) if it is announced in the Tournament invitation that the Tournament, or part thereof, is held with a preference for game clocks;
(c) Obligation. Players are obliged to play the match using game clocks if it is announced in the Tournament invitation that the Tournament, or part thereof, is held with an obligation for game clocks;
(d) Imposition. In any Tournament the players are obliged to play the remainder of a match in progress using a game clock, if a game clock is available and the Tournament Director makes such a ruling in accordance with section 2.3; and
(e) The Tournament Director may request that a match is played using a game clock at any time provided that a game clock is available.
In certain circumstances the Tournament Director may make an exception to section 3.5, subsection (i) (b) and (c), if special concerns to one or both players warrant such exception.
3.5.3 Construction and Approval
The game clock must be properly constructed. If a player requests that the game clock be approved by the Tournament Director, it must be approved before the match is started.
If a game clock is in use, it must be placed on the same side as the home boards of the players.
3.5.5 Setting the Game Clock
All matches played using game clocks must use the time delay method known as ‘Simple Delay’ and for the avoidance of doubt described as follows: each player is allotted a certain specified time per point of the match (match time). In addition to this each player is permitted a certain specified time delay per move before the match time commences (delay time). The delay time does not accumulate. In standard singles matches the match time is two (2) minutes and the delay time is twelve (12) seconds, or as otherwise specified by the Tournament Director. For doubles matches and any other non-standard matches, the Tournament Director shall specify the applicable match time and delay time. For the avoidance of doubt, the Tournament Director may devise an alternative break and/or time structure for the tournament or any particular match.
3.5.6 Time Control
In a match played using game clocks in situations such as those referred to in section 3.5, subsection (i) (a) to (d) each player is allotted a certain number of minutes according to the length of the match. The number of minutes allotted is calculated as ((RA+RB)/2)*match time, where RA is the number of points required for player A to win the match and RB is the number of points required for player B to win the match.
If necessary, preferences such as seating, direction of play, choice of board, checkers, dice, baffle box or game clock shall be determined by the roll of dice, or as otherwise agreed by the parties concerned, before the start of the match.
3.7 CHANGE of EQUIPMENT
3.7.1 In General
The Tournament Director may change the equipment being used at any time. The players are only permitted to change the equipment in use in a match in progress if the equipment is defective or if they are in agreement or under the provisions of section 3.1, section 3.2 or section 3.3, subsection (i).
3.7.2 Particularly for Game Clocks
A game clock with obvious errors must be replaced immediately. The Tournament Director shall set the time on the substitute game clock according to their best estimate.
3.8 BOARD, STREAMING and RECORDING
The Tournament Director may require any match (including an online match) to be played on a particular board or online site. The Tournament Director or the Federation shall have the right to insist that any given match be recorded or observed in any manner which they deem appropriate. This will allow the results and the error rates of both players to be documented and analysed. The Tournament Director or the Federation shall have the right to request that they be sent the match summary and analysis of any match that has been played in an online tournament, if such match summary and analysis exists. The Tournament Director or the Federation may use the results of the analysis of the match in any manner which they deem appropriate. The Tournament Director or the Federation reserve the right to take any action which they deem appropriate if someone does not comply with this Rule.
Amended with effect 1 November 2021 – no retrospective application
4 THE GAME
4.1 DICE and ROLLS
4.1.1 Random Dice
The use of dice is a means of obtaining random numbers ranging from 1 to 6. Any other use of the dice is a breach of the rules and the spirit of backgammon.
4.1.2 Handling of the Dice
The dice may not be touched while they are live. The dice are deemed to be live where the turn in progress has not been completed. When necessary however, a player may slide their own dice across the surface of the board to make room for moving the checkers.
4.1.3 Change of Dice
A player may demand that all four dice are mixed before any game of the match. In that case the player demanding the mixing must shake all four dice in a cup and roll them. The players then take turns selecting dice, starting with the player that did not demand such mixing.
4.1.4 Valid Rolls
Generally, all rolls must be made on the right hand side of the bar.
(a) In matches played without a baffle box a valid roll consists of the dice being shaken vigorously, but not excessively, in a cup and then rolled out of the cup and across the playing surface of the board. As the dice are being rolled they should not touch the player’s hand and the cup should not touch the board. The dice must roll freely and come to rest lying flat on the playing surface of the board to the roller’s right of the bar. If this is not the case, the roll is deemed invalid and must be retaken. If the opponent has given their permission, the dice may be rolled to the roller’s left of the bar. Permission to roll to the left of the bar expires when the opponent withdraws such permission, the player begins to roll to the right of the bar once again or when that particular game ends. For the avoidance of doubt, dice that do not lie flat due solely to inherent fluctuations of the surface of the board shall constitute a valid roll.
(b) In matches played using a baffle box a valid roll consists of the dice being dropped by hand or out of the cup into the baffle box. The dice must come to rest lying flat on the playing surface of the half of the board adjacent to the baffle box. If this is not the case, the roll is deemed invalid and must be retaken. For the avoidance of doubt, dice that do not lie flat due solely to inherent fluctuations of the surface of the board shall constitute a valid roll.
4.1.5 Premature Action
(a) If a player rolls the dice before the opponent has finished their turn, the roll shall be deemed invalid. The player must re-roll the dice once the opponent has finished playing their moves legally.
(b) In matches played using a game clock. If their opponent picks up the dice before the player has ended their turn, then the player may pause the game clock and complete their turn before activating the opponent’s time once again and the opponent shall forfeit the delay time on their next turn. In such circumstances, the player shall summon the Tournament Director to claim the time penalty, unless both players agree to accept it. On the next turn, the opponent shall wait until the delay time has expired before commencing their turn.
4.1.6 End of Turn
(a) In matches played without using a game clock a player ends their turn by lifting either or both of their dice.
(b) In matches played using a game clock a player ends their turn by activating the opponent’s time. If the opponent is not able to make a valid move or offer a valid double, the player must still end their turn by activating the opponent’s time and wait for the opponent to activate the player’s time.
4.2 CHECKERS and MOVES
Players must move clearly and use only one hand to move the checkers. Checkers on the bar must be re-entered into play before any other checker may be moved. Repeated transgressions by a player in breach of this provision may result firstly in a warning, and subsequently in penalty points.
4.2.2 Handling of Checkers
A player should not touch their own checkers or the opponent’s checkers during an opponent’s turn. Checkers that have been hit must remain on the bar until they are able to be re-entered into the game in a legal manner. Checkers borne off must be kept away from the playing surface of the board until the end of the game. Repeated transgressions by a player in breach of this provision may result firstly in a warning, and subsequently in penalty points.
4.2.3 Illegal Moves
(a) If an illegal move is noticed by either player before their opponent has made a valid roll or offered a valid double, it must be corrected. Only the players, the Tournament Director and any official match monitors are required to point out an illegal move unless the players have clearly stated an intention to the contrary to observers including any match annotator. An illegal move will stand once the opponent has made a valid roll or offered a valid double.
(b) UNDOING OF ILLEGAL MOVES IN MATCHES PLAYED WITHOUT THE USE OF A GAME CLOCK
Demands for undoing are made by presenting the opponent with the fact. Once the opponent has accepted the fact, the dice must be replaced on the board showing the correct value and the move must be replayed legally.
(c) UNDOING OF ILLEGAL MOVES IN MATCHES PLAYED WITH A GAME CLOCK
Demands for undoing are made by pausing the game clock and presenting the opponent with the fact. Once the opponent has accepted the fact, the opponent’s time must be restarted on the game clock. When the delay time has run out, the opponent may make a legal move.
(d) Repeated illegal moves may result firstly in a warning, and subsequently in penalty points.
4.2.4 Errors in the Starting Position
If an error in the starting position is noticed after the player starting the game has commenced their second turn by making a valid roll or offering a valid double, the starting position is valid in spite of the error. An error noticed before the player starting the game has commenced their second turn by making a valid roll or offering a valid double must be corrected in accordance with the correct starting position. For the avoidance of doubt, a player starting with fewer than 15 checkers may still lose a gammon or backgammon.
4.2.5 Checker Shuffling
Players should not, in an uncontrolled manner, shuffle their checkers back and forth across the board in order to test new positions. Repeated transgressions by a player in breach of this provision may result firstly in a warning, and subsequently in penalty points.
4.3 GAME CLOCKS
4.3.1 Handling of the Game Clock
During a game, players must activate the game clock with the same hand used for moving the checkers. Repeated transgressions by a player in breach of this provision may result firstly in a warning, and subsequently in penalty points.
4.3.2 Pausing the Game Clock
Pausing the game clock is only permitted in the following seven situations:
(a) when a game has been played to conclusion;
(b) during breaks. If one or both players are leaving the game table, both players must note down the times on the game clock on their scorecards. If the players have not noted the times on the game clock and the game clock has been activated during the break, the Tournament Director must be called immediately. The Tournament Director shall then set the time on the game clock according to their best estimate;
(c) when the Tournament Director is called or when the Tournament Director requests it;
(d) when a player has picked up the dice before the opponent has ended their turn in accordance with section 4.1, subsection (v) (b);
(e) when a player has picked up the dice and activated the opponent’s time;
(f) when a player demands that an illegal move or presumed illegal move is remade in accordance with section 4.2, subsection (iii) (c); and
(g) when a player believes that the game is settled. If their opponent concurs, the players note down the result of the game and the next game may be started. If the opponent disagrees, the game clock is restarted if it has been paused and the game is played to conclusion.
4.3.3 Time Has Run Out
Time is deemed to have run out when one of the players, or the Tournament Director, realises that it has run out and declares the fact. If the time of one of the players has run out the Tournament Director must be notified. The player whose time has run out has lost the match. If the time has run out for both players and it is not possible to determine which of the players first ran out of time, the remainder of the match must be played without the use of the game clock, except where a player is otherwise certain to win the match (the “gin” situation) in which case such player shall be declared the winner of the match.
4.3.4 Mistake as to Clock Activation
Where a player notices (or in the opinion of the Tournament Director it is obvious that they have or should have noticed) that their opponent has made a mistake such that the opponent’s time is activated without him being aware of it then the player is under a duty to inform their opponent of the fact. Failure to do so may result in addition back of the time so lost, a warning to such player, penalty points against such player, loss of the game by such player, loss of the match by such player or disqualification from the Tournament of such player. In exceptional circumstances the player involved may be temporarily or permanently barred from future Tournaments.
4.3.5 Invalid Rolls
Notwithstanding anything to the contrary herein, where an invalid roll occurs and in order not to adversely prejudice the player on roll, either player may pause the clock and/or restart the delay time as reasonably deemed appropriate. Where there is disagreement as to the validity of the roll, the clock may be paused by either player until the disagreement is resolved.
4.4 DOUBLING CUBE
4.4.1 Placing of the Doubling Cube
It is the responsibility of both players to ensure that at the start of each game the doubling cube is placed in the centre between the two players with the ‘1’ or ‘64’ facing up. If the doubling cube has not been placed in the centre, it must be placed in the centre as soon as the players notice the error. An exception to this is the Crawford game, when the doubling cube should be removed from the board entirely.
The players may use the doubling cube only on their turn. It must be used before any attempt to roll the dice however, and therefore cannot be used after an invalid roll. A player must double by turning the doubling cube and placing it on the board, so that the cube is showing the doubling level directly above the previous level (the physical act) and saying the words “I double” or the like (the verbal act). In matches played using a game clock, the player must also activate their opponent’s time. Where both players agree, either: (i) the verbal act or the physical act on their own; or (ii) the demonstration of an intention to double including by reaching for, pointing at, touching or picking up the doubling cube, can be accepted as a valid double.
4.4.3 Accepting/Passing a Double
Players should generally accept a double by moving the doubling cube to their side of the board (the physical act) and saying “I take” or the like (the verbal act). The doubling cube must then be placed within the limits of the board, visible to both players, on the side of the player being doubled. The double is generally passed by centring the doubling cube with the ‘1’ or ‘64’ facing up (the physical act) and saying “I pass” or the like (the verbal act). In matches played using a game clock, where a player is accepting the double they must also activate the opponent’s time. In matches played using a game clock, where a player is passing the double they should also pause the game clock. However, where both players agree, either the verbal act or the physical act on their own may be interpreted as a take or a pass as appropriate.
4.4.4 Crawford Rule
The Crawford rule applies to all matches. In the first game in which one of the players is exactly one point away from winning the match (the Crawford game), neither of the players may use the doubling cube. For the avoidance of doubt, a player who notices that their opponent has doubled during the Crawford game must point this out and failure to do so may result in such player’s loss of the match and possible disqualification from the remainder of the Tournament. If a player doubles in the Crawford game, the double is annulled in the following situations:
(a) if the game is in progress. When a double is annulled in a game in progress, the game is continued without the use of the doubling cube;
(b) if the game has ended, but the next game has not yet started. When a double is annulled between games the scorecards of the players are corrected so that the points totals equal the number of points that would have been correct without the use of the doubling cube; and
(c) if the game in which the double was made was the last game of the match. When a double is annulled after the end of the match the scorecards of the players are corrected so that the points totals equal the number of points that would have been correct without the use of the doubling cube and the match is resumed. The Tournament Director is obliged to intervene if they are informed that a Crawford game has been doubled so that the double may be annulled.
4.4.5 Premature Action
If a player doubles before the end of the opponent’s turn, the double will be deemed invalid (see 4.4.2 above); the player may still make a valid double when it is their turn.
4.4.6 Doubles to Wrong Levels
If a player validly doubles or accepts or passes a double but at a wrong level, the double or acceptance or pass is still valid, but the level of the doubling cube must be corrected, so that it is consistent with the level of a correct double.
4.4.7 Doubling When the Cube is Dead
If a player holds a cube at a level that would be sufficient for that player to win the match, the doubling cube is deemed to be ‘dead’ meaning that it is no longer available for further cube action by such player. If in these circumstances the player mistakenly doubles such cube action is deemed invalid. In such circumstances the double may be annulled in the same three situations as apply to the annulment of an incorrect double in the Crawford game (section 4.4, subsection (iv) (a) to (c)) save that the prior (dead) cube value shall determine the number of points scored.
4.4.8 Automatic Doubles, Beavers and the Jacoby Rule
For the avoidance of doubt, automatic doubles, beavers and the Jacoby Rule are strictly money game concepts only and accordingly are not permitted in tournament backgammon.
4.4.9 Disputes as to Value of a Doubling Cube
Players should endeavour to ensure on an ongoing basis that the positioning and value of the doubling cube is correct. In case of dispute, the general presumption shall be that such positioning and value are correct and it will be for the player disputing this to demonstrate otherwise.
All games and matches must be played to completion unless brought to an end by the pass of a double or, if the match is played using a game clock, by a player running out of time. However if no contact remains or it is otherwise impossible for any other result to occur, a player may accept the loss of a single game, a gammon or backgammon, as appropriate. Otherwise, the players are not permitted to agree on the outcome of points, of a game or a match. All matches must be played to the correctly specified number of points. Breach of this rule may result in disqualification of one or both players. In exceptional circumstances the players involved may be temporarily or permanently barred from future Federation approved Tournaments.
4.6 REPORTING of RESULTS
The winner must report the result of the match to the Tournament Director as soon as reasonably possible after the end of the match. The Tournament Director shall verify the result and announce it on the Tournament board. If an incorrect result has been announced it may be corrected as long as the correction is made within a reasonable time even if either of the players has started a subsequent match in the Tournament.
Both players are encouraged to keep an ongoing record of the score of the match and announce to each other the score of the match before each game. Before the start of a Crawford game, the players must announce the fact that it is the Crawford game to each other. If the players agree to do so it is permitted to use a scoreboard that shows the length of the match, the score and the status of Crawford. Scoreboards must be used if the Tournament Director demands it. The players should still endeavour to keep the score on individual scorecards even when a scoreboard is in use. In case of dispute, the score-sheet of the trailing player in the match shall be deemed conclusive, providing it is clear and unambiguous. If only one player has kept a score-sheet then in the case of dispute such score-sheet shall be deemed conclusive.
4.8 INCORRECT MATCH LENGTH
Where a match has been played and concluded to an incorrect match length such result shall stand. Otherwise, where a match is being played to an incorrect match length, any game in progress shall not be affected but the match length shall be corrected at the beginning of the next game if possible. If the match is concluded to the incorrect score as a result of such game in progress then a correction is not deemed possible and such result shall stand.
A proposed correction to the match length is also not deemed possible where the correct match length is shorter than the incorrect match length and such proposed correction would result in a concluded match. In such circumstances the match shall continue to conclusion to the incorrect match length and such result shall stand.
If a dispute arises as between players, they must leave dice, checkers, doubling cube, scorecards and all other relevant items untouched, while calling for the Tournament Director to settle the dispute. If one of the players is also a Tournament Director, the dispute must be settled by another Tournament Director attached to the Tournament. If no other Tournament Director is attached to the Tournament, the dispute must be resolved by a Ruling Committee.
The decision of the Tournament Director may be appealed, but such appeal must be requested as soon as reasonably possible. Following such request, a Ruling Committee must be formed and the appeal dealt with as soon as reasonably possible. The Ruling Committee may, by a simple majority, either uphold the original decision, reverse it or pronounce an alternative decision.
5.3 AVAILABLE INFORMATION
The Tournament Director and/or the Ruling Committee may request any available information, including from any person, which they deem necessary in their sole discretion. A player involved in the dispute in any direct way shall be entitled to make relevant representations to the Tournament Director and/or the Ruling Committee. Spectators may not make any representations except at the request of the Tournament Director and/or the Ruling Committee.
5.4 REPORTING RIGHTS FOLLOWING OFFICIAL DECISIONS
Any person may report any decision of the Tournament Director or the Ruling Committee to ANZBGF, according to established guidelines, in order for a principle ruling to be made and a precedent on the matter to be established. ANZBGF may impose sanctions by authority of the current Tournament Rules or otherwise.
5.5 REPORTING DUTIES of the TOURNAMENT DIRECTOR and the RULING COMMITTEE
(a) Any decision in a dispute must be reported to ANZBGF as soon as reasonably possible after the completion of the Tournament. The report must contain a description of the matter in dispute and the reasons for the ruling.
(b) All match results must be reported to ANZBGF and/or input into any relevant database or ranking system as necessary as soon as reasonably possible after the completion of the Tournament.
ANZBGF Online Rules
Many thanks to Cindy Belonogoff of Warpgammon for permission to adapt her rules. These ANZBGF Rules for Online Tournaments encompass the existing ANZBGF Rules with the addition of the following.
All matches should be completed. Players who repeatedly fail to complete matches may be excluded from future online tournaments.
Players may enter a tournament using only one player name. Players who enter a tournament more than once will be disqualified.
Matches may be played at any venue, agreed by both players, that offers true random dice. Acceptable sites include Backgammon Galaxy, Safe Harbor Games, Backgammon Studio Heroes, and GridGammon.
Matches must be played before the deadline for the round. The Tournament Director must be notified promptly if an extension is required. The Tournament Director may allow an extension but is under no obligation to do so.
Players should attempt to schedule their matches via email, phone or text message soon after the match or round announcement in order to give the opponent time to respond.
Match results must be reported to the Tournament Director (or other appointed person) via email, by the winner, as soon as practicable. The match log should be attached. The losing player may, but is not required to, also submit the match result. Misreported results must be pointed out to the Tournament Director as soon as noticed so that they may be corrected.
It is illegal to ‘give’ a win to another player if the match has not been played. Unplayed matches may not be reported.
If either player cannot play their match prior to the deadline, they must notify the tournament director of this as soon as possible.
A match is considered started when both players click the dice. Once started, the match should be played to completion unless there is a prior agreement between players or there is an unforeseen emergency or interruption to the internet. Matches should not be interrupted on trivial grounds as this seriously inconveniences players.
If players have more than one match of the same length to play in different events, they must agree on which match is being played before starting. Note that the same match result cannot be used to post in more than one event. Each match must be independently played.
Each game must be rolled to completion, unless ended by passing a double or redouble, or conceding a no-contact position as a single game, gammon or backgammon loss. Neither matches nor games may be canceled, replayed or settled without the approval of the Tournament Director.
Help and advice to players by other persons or by any device is strictly forbidden.
The default clock settings for a match will be NORMAL CLOCKS unless both players agree to play at any other setting, or without clocks. Or the Tournament Director may choose an alternative clock setting.
Auto Double must be set to “OFF”. The Crawford Rule applies to all matches.
All games must be completed unless it is clear that one side cannot win. It is considered unethical and cheating to resign a single game when a gammon is overwhelmingly likely.
If there is a disconnect or internet problem and the clock runs down or the match cannot be resumed in a timely manner, players have the option to either restart the match from scratch or adjust the score to what it was at the disconnect. Both players must agree. To adjust the score on restarting, resign games or give and drop cubes if it’s a high score. A screenshot of the board as it was when the disconnect occurred should be captured, if possible. A player who disconnects should wait at least 10 minutes before rescheduling. Disputes should be directed to the tournament director.
If a player is late to a match, the opponent should wait at least 10 minutes after the scheduled start time and then immediately reschedule the match. Failure to play scheduled matches, or not showing at all, is very disruptive to the tournament and indicates poor sportsmanship. Regular transgressors may be precluded from entering tournaments for a period of time.
Neither player may set NO KIBITZERS or block any individual player from kibitzing. All players have the right to watch (and learn from) other players’ matches, provided they do not disturb the play. A player may, upon notifying his opponent, set the table settings to SILENCE or IGNORE.
All matches must be played to the posted match length. Match results reported to any other length are deemed invalid. The Tournament Director will determine the course of further action.
Where a player unintentionally accepts a double that obviously should not have been accepted, or unintentionally resigns, the opponent should be immediately alerted. While the opponent is not obliged to correct the error, it is considered unethical to capitalise on unintentional errors.
Players are expected to play their matches in a cordial and sportsmanlike manner. Abusive comments, comments about the opponent’s luck or other derogatory comments will not be tolerated either in the lobby, at the table or in emails. Repeated occurrences of such behaviour will lead to a suspension. Further occurrences will result in a permanent ban from events.
All matches must be played in compliance with the rules of the game site. If players violate the site’s rules they may be disqualified from ANZBGF sanctioned tournaments.
If there is a software malfunction in a game that prevents a player from obtaining a valid result, the player may settle with the opponent in any mutually agreeable way. If a settlement cannot be agreed upon, the match should be paused and the Tournament Director contacted. The Tournament Director will determine a settlement which, as closely as possible, gives each player the match-winning chances they would have had if the irregularity had not occurred.
All disputes should be immediately brought to the attention of the Tournament Director. Disputes will be heard by the ANZBGF Ethics Committee if appropriate.
TOURNAMENT DIRECTOR AUTHORITY
The Tournament Director has full authority to resolve all disputes and may, where a situation presents itself, modify or depart from the published rules to resolve situations that may compromise the integrity of the event. This will occur only in the cases of unanticipated situations, peculiarities pertaining to internet backgammon play, or where a variation would be manifestly fairer to a large number of players.
Where a decision involves the Tournament Director, or such decision is challenged, it may, should the interested parties prefer, be resolved by the ANZBGF Ethics Committee.