Rules for Online Play

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American Backgammon Tour (ABT) Online Rules


In case of a dispute or inquiry, participants must be truthful and forthcoming when questioned by the tournament director (Director), who shall determine the most appropriate course of action in circumstances not expressly addressed by the Rules. Based on the circumstances of a case, the Director may find the solution as dictated by fairness or make narrowly tailored exceptions. The Director may impose penalties for serious or repeated rule violations or for unacceptable behavior. Both players must promptly point out any violation of a mandatory rule and must correct it unless the Rules explicitly allow the opponent to condone the infraction.


Tournament staff and players must engage in good sportsmanship and fair play and comply with the Standards of Ethical Practice. Players should speak and play in a clear and unambiguous manner and avoid the appearance of impropriety or they will be at a disadvantage if a ruling is needed. Players must respect a request to limit conversation or distraction.


Only English or other official tournament language may be spoken by players and spectators while a match is in progress, except between consulting doubles partners.


Spectators must not communicate with players during a match, except when asked by the Director or both players during a dispute. Spectators observing other irregularities should immediately notify tournament staff. Signaling between a spectator and a player is forbidden. A player may request that the Director bar a spectator from watching their match.


Required: use is required, no player choice;

Preferred: either player may insist on use;

If Agreed: use only if both players agree.


Players are required to maintain an audio connection with their opponent while playing ABT online! main event matches. Directors may also impose a requirement to record this audio and/or add a video connection. The connection should remain active for the entire match. If recorded, the director may require that the file be submitted for review.


Tournament matches must be played on an approved playing site. The Director will provide a list of approved sites before the tournament begins. There will be a single default playing site. Players will be required to play on the default site if another option cannot be mutually agreed upon. Pip count and point numbering should be on. Dice must be of a normal distribution (1/6 of rolls are doubles). Match recording must be on.


Players are responsible for their computer, internet connection, and all other technologies to be used for each event. Any assistance or accommodations to this technology must be requested prior to the start of the tournament. The director will do their best to assist with technology during the event. The continuity of the event will take precedence over the individual. Participants may have to resign if a technology issue prevents them from finishing the match.


Players are required to send the match file to the Director upon match completion.


Players must not use any aids during a match, including breaks, except to keep score. Use of personal electronic devices is restricted to playing the match, communicating with the opponent, and scorekeeping. Pip count and point numbering should be turned on. Players may not use or reference backgammon materials or software during matches, including breaks. This includes, but is not limited to, match equity tables, reference positions, doubling cube take points, doubling cube gammon values, eXtreme Gammon, GNU, Snowie, Jellyfish, or other backgammon notes/books.


Matches must start, or resume following a scheduled suspension, at the designated time and take place on the proper backgammon playing site. Unscheduled matches shall have a designated start time 10 minutes after both preceding matches have been completed. Unless a later start time is posted for a player’s next match, they must have the Director’s consent before going offline and being unreachable for more than 10 minutes. Each player is entitled to breaks between games, in general not to exceed 6 minutes per hour elapsed since the start or resume time. Breaks during the first such hour should be limited to urgent need only. The Director shall strictly assess penalty points against any player who fails to start or resume a match on time, or who takes excessive break time. A player shall be assessed one penalty point after causing a cumulative match delay of 10 minutes, and one additional penalty point for every 5 minutes delay thereafter. A player shall be forfeited when the total penalty points assessed exceeds half the posted match length. Stricter policies may apply when times are posted in advance.


Should the need arise to correct the score of a match (incorrect resignation, software failure, ect.), the players must do so before continuing the match. Score corrections should be accomplished using the doubling cube on the first rolls of the game.


All moves, games, and matches must be played to completion unless ended either by the pass of a valid double, by the expiration of a player’s game clock reserve time, or in non-contact positions by the resignation or valid claim of a single game, gammon, or backgammon. A resignation may be accepted even if continued play could result in a different outcome. Positions that can only result in a single outcome (gin positions) must be resolved for their proper value.


Both players should keep their own running, written match score. In any scoring dispute, if only one player has so maintained a written score, then it shall take precedence absent any undisputed evidence to the contrary.


Both players are responsible for immediately reporting their match result and verifying that the correct result has been posted on the Tournament draw sheet. Notify the Director immediately if an incorrect result is posted; it may be corrected even if the next match has started.


Both players must verify the posted length of their match and must not knowingly play to another score. Upon discovery that the match length used is wrong, any game in progress shall be completed. The player having the higher score shall be declared the match winner if they have reached either the correct or wrong match length. If both players so qualify due to a tie, they shall play one more game to decide the match. Otherwise, the match shall continue to the correct match length. Clocks may be adjusted by the Director.


Any players that produce PR results <5 and/or significantly outperform their known live skill level may be asked to demonstrate their skill level by playing live or monitored matches, giving references, etc. By registering and playing an ABT Online! event you agree to participate in this review and understand that being asked to prove your skill level is not an accusation or assumption that foul play has occurred. In addition, any players that do not satisfy the review requirements will not be paid prizes, receive ABT Online! points or be allowed to play in additional online events.


If a dispute arises, players should pause play and contact the Director immediately. An aggrieved player may promptly appeal any ruling and intended corrective action by the Director, except for disqualification or expulsion from the tournament area. The Director shall convene a ruling committee of qualified and disinterested players to independently consider evidence and argument, and vote to uphold, reverse, or modify the Director’s ruling. The Director may then cast a vote or decline to do so. An absolute majority of votes cast is required to change the Director’s ruling.