USBGF Statement on the COVID-19 Pandemic

The U.S. Backgammon Federation is concerned for the health and safety of the backgammon community in light of the spread of the novel coronavirus throughout the U.S. Backgammon is by nature a mind-sport with close personal interaction and sharing of backgammon equipment. As such, tournaments pose special risks for contracting COVID-19. Backgammon players constantly weigh risks and rewards. Today’s public health challenges do pose risks, and each player, club, and ABT tournament event will have to decide how to weigh those against continuing to play in-person the game we love.

The U.S. Backgammon Federation expresses support for national and local tournament directors. We stand ready to work with ABT national and local tournament directors, whether they decide to cancel, postpone, or continue with their events using risk-mitigation strategies, and to make that information widely known to the backgammon community.

We ask that all directors keep us informed of their plans. The Ohio State Championship” is proceeding as scheduled on March 19-22 with the provision of hand sanitizers and gloves. As of today, the Atlanta Spring Classic tournament has been postponed to August 20-23, 2020. The LA Open is scheduled to take place as planned June 4-7 and has released a detailed statement on steps the LA airport, LAX Hilton hotel, and the LA Open tournament are taking to help attendees be safe.

In the throes of a pandemic, there is much that is either unknown or incomplete. The situation is very fluid and each community across the U.S. is unique. We urge you to keep up-to-date and follow the official recommendations in your community. Individual players, local club directors, and ABT directors and organizers should assess the risks in their area and take appropriate measures. We urge all directors to understand and comply with public health official policies including those regarding mass gatherings. Directors may find information on available data on the prevalence of reported cases and deaths in their area at

We will identify effective risk-mitigation strategies and share those with tournament directors on our website and the USBGF Facebook page. We ask particularly that ABT directors advise us of steps they are taking to ensure a sanitized playing environment. We will share information about director practices, experiences, and strategies.

We will be flexible in modifying USBGF policies and procedures in response to emerging information with the help of input from members as well as organizers.

We ask that all players experiencing COVID-19 symptoms impose self-isolation and do not attend live backgammon events. We ask all players, regardless of the presence of symptoms, to wash hands with soap before every match and sanitize their playing equipment regularly.

Until further notice, the USBGF is suspending its rule regarding minimum attendance requirements for ABT tournaments.

The USBGF is expanding its online tournament circuit. Among others, it anticipates launching shortly the 2020 USBGF Online Championship and 2020 USBGF Club Team Championship events. Details to follow. Please check out the Online Circuit at Online Tournaments for information on tournaments now open to members.

We thank all national and local directors for their leadership during this pandemic. And we thank our members not only for their understanding and support of director decisions but also for abstaining from live events when they have symptoms and following safe sanitizing procedures when they play in live events.


  1. Karl Sours Karl Sours says:

    Any word on the U.S. Open in Las Vegas- 4-1-20 ?

  2. Leyla Zaloutskaya says:

    Please update this information since the Cleveland tournament has been cancelled, rightfully so

  3. Frank Ley Frank Ley says:

    I think it is a mistake to have live events until more is known. That being said, I pray there is no negative effects.

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