Match Play

Forum Archive : Match Play

Crawford rule--history

From:   Michael Strato
Date:   20 January 2001
Subject:   Re: History of the Crawford rule?
Google:   Pima6.14837$

Hi Jason,

The Crawford rule was invented by John Crawford.

Here I quote a paragraph from "The Backgammon Book" by Oswald Jacoby and
John R. Crawford. Copyright 1970 by Oswald Jacoby and John R. Crawford.
Viking Press ISBN 670144096:

"The Crawford Rule

At the Bahamas and Las Vegas tournaments it was felt that this doubling
privilege was unfair. One proposed solution was to forbid doubles once a
player got within one point of victory, but it was agreed that this might
lead to an interminable series of dull single games in the event that one
man had something like a twenty-to-ten lead in a twenty-one-point match.

John Crawford, who is always chairman of the tournament committee at these
events, devised a rule providing that once a player gets within one point
of victory, there can be no double in the first game after that; however,
doubling would be allowed in the match from then on. This gives the player
who has come so close to victory a one-game safety in which his opponent
cannot double immediately and then happen to win a lucky gammon or
backgammon to snatch away the victory."

<end quote>

There's your answer Jason. Kind of interesting to note that we often hear
people suggesting rules or variants that would reduce the luck factor in
Backgammon. It appears that this is one that does just that. I say if the
leading player was lucky or skillful enough to get so close to victory then
he doesn't need this advantage. I think it is fair that the trailing player
should maintain the right to double for he is the one that could do with
some leverage at this point in the match.

Did you find the information in this article useful?          

Do you have any comments you'd like to add?     


Match Play

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Match play 101  (Max Urban+, Oct 2009) 
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Post-crawford doubling  (Scott Steiner+, Feb 2004) 
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