BIBA Backgammon
Rules and Procedures

May 2003

 1.1 Interpretation.  The Tournament Rules and Procedures cannot, and should not, regulate all possible situations that may arise during a game. No set of rules should deprive the Director of his freedom of judgement and prevent him from finding the solution dictated by fairness and compatible with the circumstances of a particular case.
 1.2 Scope.  Except where otherwise specified, the commonly accepted rules of backgammon apply.
 1.3 Staff.  At each BIBA tournament the Director shall be Michael Crane or others appointed by him, having had similar experience.
 1.4 Entries.  All entries are subject to the approval of the Director.
 1.5 Aids.  Once a match is in progress, neither player may use mechanical or written aids except to keep score, or record matches. Players may forbid opponents from wearing headphones.
 1.6 Language.  The official tournament language is English. Speech in any other language will not be permitted at any time between players and/or spectators whilst a match is in progress.
 1.7 Spectators.  Spectators should remain silent while observing a match. They have no right to draw attention to any misplays or comment on plays but have the right to report cheating to the Director (Rule 6.2). Players may request the Director to bar any spectator without reason. With proof of cheating or signalling between a player and spectator(s), all parties will be disqualified from the tournament, and banned from all the playing areas. Furthermore they will lose all and any claims to prize money, prizes, trophies and any form of remuneration.
 1.8 Match Recording.  Players may record their own matches either with pen and paper or video camera as long as the method used is unobtrusive and does not interfere with the playing of the game. BIBA reserves the right to record matches of its choice and to market such matches at its discretion.
 1.9 Code Of Behaviour.  The organiser will not brook bad behaviour and any player deemed guilty of such (in the opinion of the organiser and/or fellow members) may be barred from the tournament losing all and any claims to prize money, prizes, trophies and any form of remuneration including refunds of membership or entry fees. (6.3 Appeals)
 2.1 Place.  All matches to be played in areas agreed by the Director. Any player missing from the main playing room when called out in the draw shall incur the first penalty point after an absence of 5 minutes from the start of the match unless they are absent with the Director's permission.
 2.2 Time.  Matches shall start promptly at the appointed time. Three 5-minute recesses only are allowed per 11-point match. Players must use their breaks at the same time.
 2.3 Penalty points.  Penalty points will be awarded against latecomers and absentees at the rate of one per five minutes late, the first point being awarded 5 minutes after the appointed starting time. When the total of penalty points amount to more than 50% of the total points to win the match the absent player shall forfeit the match.
 2.4 Slow play.  Players are expected to play at a reasonable pace. If, in the Director's opinion a match is not progressing at a reasonable pace a warning may be given. If slow play continues the Director can either award penalty points or issue clocks accordance with BIBA Clock Rules. The Director's decision is final. NB. For reference see A Guide to Match Score and Time document.
 2.5 Monitors.  The Director may appoint a monitor to observe a match on his own initiative or at the request of any player. The Monitor shall have full powers to protect each player from an opponent's irregularities.
 3.1 Equipment.  Either player may demand that both use when available and approved by the Director, precision dice (over any others), and/or lipped cups or baffle boxes, 21" tournament sized boards. After the start of a match, equipment can only be changed by the Director. NB: When playing space is restricted, boards greater than 21" will not be allowed in the main playing room.
 3.2 Preferences.  If necessary, the direction of play, equipment, choice of checker colour and seat location shall be decided by the roll of the highest die prior to the commencement of play.
 3.3 Dice.  Either player may demand a mixing of the dice prior to the start of any game. The demanding player shakes and rolls all four dice then each selects a die in turn.
 4.1 Random rolls.  A legal roll consists of both dice being placed into the cup and shaken vigorously before rolling simultaneously to the right of the bar. They are to be thrown from a discernible height and be seen to bounce and roll freely across the board.
 4.2 Valid rolls.  Both dice must come to rest flat (not cocked) on the playing surface to the right of the bar; otherwise they must be rolled again.
 4.3 Moving.  Players should move clearly, using only one hand to play the checkers. Players shall re-enter any checker on the bar before moving any other checker. No player shall move any checkers during an opponent's turn. Deviations from proper moving procedure may result in an adverse ruling in cases of dispute.
 4.4 Checker handling.  Checkers that have been hit must be kept on the bar pending re-entry. Checkers that have been borne off must be kept off the entire playing surface for the rest of the game. Failure to observe these procedures may result in an adverse ruling in any case of dispute or redress to an opponent harmed thereby.
 4.5 Lifting dice.  Players conclude their turn by lifting either or both dice. With notice to the opponent the player may reposition the dice on the playing surface to facilitate the moving of checkers. After the player has lifted both of the dice the move can only be changed upon an opponent's demand to replay an illegal move.
 4.6 Premature action.  All premature actions, (dice rolls or cube action), shall stand if otherwise valid. An opponent, who has yet to complete his turn or act upon the cube, may then do so with the foreknowledge of the premature roller's dice throw or cube action.
 4.7 Error in set-up.  An incorrect starting position must be corrected prior to the fifth roll of the game. The set-up thereafter becomes official. Players starting with less than fifteen checkers can still be gammoned or backgammoned.
 4.8 Illegal moves.  Upon drawing attention to an illegal move the player may condone it or demand that the full roll be played legally. An illegal move is condoned by the opponent rolling their own dice or turning the cube.
 4.9 Completion.  Games must be rolled to completion unless ended by a pass of a double or redouble, or conceded in no-contact positions, single game, gammon or backgammon losses, or where it is mathematically impossible for an opponent to win or save a gammon or backgammon. No game may be cancelled, replayed or settled. Matches must be played the appointed length or as decided by the Director. Non-adherence may lead to disqualification of one or both players, and result in the loss of all and any claims to prize money, prizes, trophies and any form of remuneration.
 5.1 Keeping score.  Each player shall keep a running match score and compare it with the opponent's at the start of each game. In the event of a scoring dispute the player not keeping score will be at a disadvantage.
 5.2 Cube set-up.  It is the responsibility of both players to ensure that the cube is in the middle of the board and that the 64 face is showing at the start of every game. In the event of a dispute, current position and level of the cube will strongly affect the Director's ruling. The cube should be removed during the Crawford game only. (5.5 Crawford Rule)
 5.3 Cube rules.  Gammons and backgammons will count at all times. It is not necessary to double an opponent in order to win a gammon or backgammon.
 5.4 Cube handling.  Players may only double when it is their turn to roll and must do so before rolling, (cocked dice are deemed "rolling" dice). To offer a double or redouble, move the cube towards the opponent at the higher level saying clearly, "double" or similar. To take, draw the cube towards oneself and say "take," or similar, placing the cube on your side of the board. Both players should ensure that the correct level is displayed. To reject the cube, one says "pass" or "drop" and the game is concluded. Care should be exercised when handling the cube as either verbal or physical acts might be interpreted as cube actions by an opponent.
 5.5 Crawford rule.  The Crawford Rule will apply to all matches. When a player reaches match point, the cube cannot be used by either player for that one game and should be removed from the board for this one game only. Use of the cube will not be recognised if any player doubles during the Crawford game. Spectators must report any such use to the Director. In any subsequent games the cube should be replaced on the board and can be used prior to any legal throw, except the opening roll. (5.2 Cube Set-Up).
 5.6 Score result.  The final score should be reported to the Director or someone appointed by him, by the winner immediately upon completion of the match. It is the winner's responsibility to check that the correct result is recorded and posted. In the eventuality of an incorrect result being posted, this may only be corrected if neither player has started playing the next round.
 6.1 Disputes.  When a dispute arises, both players must leave dice, checkers, cube and score-sheet unchanged while the Director is summoned. Violations in this area by either player are most serious and create a presumption in favour of the opponent.
 6.2 Testimony.  Any player may argue issues of fact or rule. Spectators, except to report cheating, testify only at the Director's request. Spectators are required to report any suspected cheating, collusion or faulty equipment directly to a tournament official and not to the players involved.
 6.3 Appeals.  A player may appeal against the Director's ruling but must do so promptly, while timely redress may be obtained. To resolve an appeal, the Director shall convene a committee of three knowledgeable and disinterested players who shall hear the testimony and all relevant arguments from all parties and may overturn the Director's ruling by a unanimous vote. The committee's decision is final and thus exhausts the right to appeal.

From:  Backgammon Galore : Tournaments