Ken Larsen's web site - Examples of cocked die in backgammon

      

The U.S. Backgammon Federation (USBGF) is considering overhauling the rules of backgammon.  One of their new rules treats dice which land flat on top of checkers as "not cocked".  The current rule treat such dice as cocked.  I think that the current rule should remain as is. 

 

Here a few pictures:

 

This is cocked per the current rules.

According to USBGF president Bill Riles, it's cocked, also, by the proposed new USBGF rules ... because it's touching the side board, but I couldn't find anything in the new rules which substantiates that.  (October 9, 2016) Dorn Bishop agrees that it is cocked per the new rules.

 


Read more here: http://www.newsobserver.com/news/local/community/chapel-hill-news/chn-opinion/article75832727.html#storylink=cpy
   
This is cocked per the current rules.

It's fairly flat, so I think it's not cocked per the new rules.

(October 9, 2016) Dorn Bishop posted two responses on the BGonline forum.  In his first note he said it's not cocked.  His second note said that it was cocked.  Such confusion is one reason why I don't like the new rule.  My second reason is because the new rule represents yet another bifurcation between USBGF rules and rules in Europe.  There needs to be global standardization of backgammon rules, and this is moving the U.S. in the opposite direction.  That's not good.
   
This is cocked per the current rules.

It's not flat enough, so I think it's cocked per the new rules.  (October 9, 2016) Dorn Bishop agrees with my assessment.
   
Below are close-ups of pictures 2 and 3:  
 

The new rule was created to appease people who were running low on clock time and felt swindled out of clock time when one of their dice landed on top of a checker.  Those people need to learn how to play faster so that they don't run out of clock time in the first place.  We shouldn't be introducing new convoluted rules to try to rescue them.

I won't be adopting the new USBGF rules for use at my club.  I'm adamantly against this "dice on top of checkers" rule.  It needs to be jettisoned.

Other issues that I have with the new USBGF rules are:

  1. They're 29 pages long (23 pages plus a six page appendix).  The existing rules are only 2 pages long.  Having a lengthy rules document imposes a burden on tournament directors and participants.  KISS (Keep it simple, Stupid) needs to be followed; otherwise people will be ill-inclined to serve as directors ... or even enter tournaments. 
  2. The USBGF should have gone the direction of golf.  In golf there are two documents.  One document is rules.  The second document is "decisions".  It elaborates the rules by citing specific situations.  Most of the new USBGF rules would go in the decisions document. 
  3. The rank and file membership of the USBGF was never asked for review and approval.  I'm a member of the USBGF who is also a local club director.  I was never asked for feedback.  The new rules should be stamped "DRAFT" until approval is attained.
  4. There was no effort made to achieve worldwide standardization of backgammon rules.  There needs to be, but the USBGF decided to go its own way and then expect the rest of the world to follow.  That's pretty arrogant.  If backgammon rules are to made by any one organization, we should follow the rules used by countries who have enormously high tournament attendance ... like the European countries (e.g. the Nordic Open).
  5. I have a small issue with the dice shaking rule.  It stipulates that the dice be shaken vigorously, but then follows with a few words that say that one's hands should not touch the dice.  "Shaken vigorously" generally means that one places a hand over the opening of the dice cup and shake the dice up and down three times.  However, if you do that, your hand is touching the dice.

 

Ken Larsen's home page