Forum Archive : Rulings

Crawford game double

From:   Raccoon
Date:   30 September 2003
Subject:   Crawford Rule news
Forum:   GammOnLine

The Danish Backgammon Federation's Tournament Committee has published
an interpretation of the federation's Crawford Rule.

Paragraph: 4.4.4 4 The Crawford rule applies in all matches. In the
first game in which one player needs point to win the match, neither
player may double. If a player nevertheless doubles, the doubling is
annulled. In following games, if any, the doubling cube may again be

Interpretation: Doubling in the Crawford game is illegal, no matter
whether the leading or trailing player doubles. Any doubling is
annulled so long as the next game has not begun or, when the game in
which the doubling occurred ended the match, so long as the result has
not been recorded by the tournament leader. The tournament leader is
obligated to intervene, if he becomes aware of a doubling in the
Crawford game, and annul the doubling. When the doubling is annulled
in an ongoing game, the players shall continue the game without using
the doubling cube. When the doubling is annulled (1) between two
games, or (2) after the game in which the illegal doubling occurred
ended the match, but before the result has been recorded by the
tournament leader, the players' scorecards shall be corrected, such
that the number of points gained is that number which would have been
gained if there had been no doubling.

Th translation here is mine.

Steve Mellen  writes:

This situation comes up more often than some might think. I like the
Danish interpretation and think it makes the most sense. If the
players don't realize it was the Crawford game until afterwards when
they try to score the game - which is the most common time for this
error to be discovered - just score the game as if the cube had not
been turned, and move on. If someone wants to say they would have
played differently had they known the cube was on 1, tough rocks.

Albert Silver  writes:

What if the game cannot continue after an improper double/pass as the
pieces were reset? Is the wrong win erased, and a new Crawford game

Chuck Bower  writes:

In other words: "do two wrongs make a right?"

A director could use his/her discretion here. If match leader should
know better and is possibly trying to pull one over on a novice
opponent, I would expect the ruling to be "restart the game; cube is
dead." If between two novices, neither knowing better, still probably
the correct ruling.

Raccoon  writes:

> What if the game cannot continue after an improper double/pass as
> the pieces were reset? Is the wrong win erased, and a new Crawford
> game started

I asked one of the Committee members, and his offhand opinion was that
the point should count. Which is reasonable, if not consistent.
There's a limit, generally, to how much ought to be undone to correct
an illegality -- an error in setup stands if not corrected before the
Nth roll; an illegal play stands if not corrected before the next
roll. Replaying an entire, completed game is quite different from a
simple adjustment to the score. I think I'd tend to agree with Chuck,
though (if this is what he thinks), that (1) having the game be
replayed might often be fairer, that (2) the decision might best be
left to the director.
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