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Rules Issues

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Outstanding Rules Issues being dealt with by the Rules Committee.

See Official Tournament Rules for the rules currently in effect for NASPA tournaments and clubs.

Outstanding Issues (Never Discussed)

  1. IV.D. Slivka - Should we put a reference in IV.D. (Board Etiquette) to IV.C.1. (Keeping tiles on the rack)? Also, should we add an index item "Board (used as a physical working area)" to refer to IV.C.1.?
  2. IV.E.2.a.(4). Mills - Should we remove the unnecessary phrase "to verify the count"?
  3. IV.L. Edley - Should the rules penalize a player who draws tiles while the other player is absent on a bathroom break?
  4. I.D. Slivka - Should the rules have a general conduct rule that players be quiet between games, during adjudication, and at other times when games are in progress?
  5. IV.K.5. T.K.Rau – Change first part of this rule to “If you lose a turn because a manual adjudication was erroneous…” (Add the word “manual”.) Otherwise, the rule could be taken out of context and misinterpreted as meaning that a self-adjudication error could result in compensation via adding points to one’s cumulative score.
  6. IV.G.1. & IV.D. Jeffrey Nelson – wording to make sure the board can turn freely before your turn ends, or that the base of the board may not be moved after a game starts.
  7. V.G.1.a. Chew 2011-07-17 "After your opponent’s last play, record the cumulative score. (May be waived if bag is empty.)" needs to be clarified: "if the bag was empty before the last play" or "if the bag was empty after the last play".
  8. V.H. Jeffrey Nelson – wording to specifically outlaw “punitive” or frivolous recounts?
  9. I.D. Me – Should we mention cell phones (or penalize their ringing)?
  10. V.J. Cree (5/09) – What should the penalty points be for a forfeit caused by refusal to have one’s game annotated? (200? 100?)
  11. III.A.3. Dixon (5/09) – Should we lower small Sam travel clocks on our clock-preference list?
  12. IV.F.2.a. Jim Hughes (5/09) – Should we change the header of this rule from “On the Play Immediately Following the Blank Play” to something like “Before and During the Play Immediately Following the Blank Play”? This makes clear that the blank designation is not binding at the time the blank is played as well as during the play which follows that play.
  13. IV.F.2., V.A., etc. Jim Hughes (5/09) – Should flow charts be added (in the rules or in the Director’s Manual) to help with blank designation problems, missing tiles near the end of the game, and other complicated situations? (Jim has offered to do groundwork.)

Issues Discussed But Still Unresolved:

  1. Director-Shortened Games - should we use a complex procedure, or simply state that the Director should attempt to give the 2nd player the last turn?
  2. Underdrawing in the Endgame and Complications Thereof - Should V.A.4. and II.B. be changed to clarify possible problems? Only 2 players have expressed opinions, and they differ. (Note from 4/05: Forwarded to adjunct committee.)
  3. Although we decided in Q2-2009 that the opponent of a forfeiter shall continue to receive 50 spread points, we were split on whether or not the forfeiter should be penalized 100 points (versus the current 50).
  4. Should we mention in V.J.1. that it is unethical to forfeit a game to insure winning a prize. (NASPA has advised that we should not mention that prize money will be disallowed.)
  5. IV.C.2. Should the info in IV.B.1. (opening hand and not holding tiles in the other hand before drawing tiles) also be included in the rule on counting tiles (IV.C.2.)?
  6. Should director be required to give a warning before stopping a recount?
  7. Should players continue to be required to surrender their scoresheets to the other players during recounts?
  8. Whether or not to change IV.F.2.a. to allow restarting opp’s clock only if the blank was not designated in writing. Currently it can be restarted if not designated in writing AND designated verbally.
  9. THE TILES STANDARDS ISSUE (what to do about tiles which are slightly braillable or which give visual clues).
  10. THE DISCONNECTED PLAYS ISSUE – how to recount them, whether or not the opponent has the option of accepting them, etc.

Resolved Issues

2009 (Quarter 2)


  1. Rule IV.F.2.b. (On All Plays Thereafter): The phrase “50 spread points” was replaced by the phrase “50 tournament spread points” for slightly improved clarity.
  2. Rule IV.B.5. (Drawing Out of Order): The wording was changed to clarify that total tile mixing time for an entire draw is 10 seconds and to clarify that one may draw tiles individually rather than all at once. The word “directly” was also dropped to avoid any misconception that a drawn tile may not be transferred to the other hand before being placed on one’s rack.
  3. Rule V.C.2. (Final Play): The exception at the beginning of the game to the “six-scores-of-zero-and-the-game-is-over” rule was removed. The game can now end with no tiles on the board.
  4. Rules I. (Conduct), I.A. (Cheating), and I.C. (Abusive or Disruptive Behavior): References are made to the NASPA Code of Conduct, effective 7/1/09, which governs conduct at NASPA tournaments.

Not adopted

  1. We decided that when playing blind people we will not require the tiles to be face down on a flat surface (as opposed to drawing from a bag).
  2. We agreed that directors should not be involved in recounts (beyond settling a single score). No change will be made to V.H. in this regard.
  3. We determined we will not disallow prize money to a player who deliberately forfeits the last game (as we were instructed by NASPA).
  4. We decided not to bar an unexcused forfeiter from the rest of the tournament.
  5. We decided we will not change the 50 point spread given to the opponent of a forfeiter.

2009 (Quarter 1)


  1. Rule III.A.2. (Tiles): Braillable tiles are now specifically allowed for blind players. Also, the wording of what tiles are preferred has been changed slightly (but not substantively).
  2. Rule III.B (Confirming the Number of Tiles): A cross-reference to Rule IV.C.2. (Tiles from an Adjacent Game) has been added.
  3. Rule IV.H.1. (Verifying the Play Score): Referring to objections to wrongly announced scores, part of the last sentence was changed from “after three such objections” to “after three such valid objections.”
  4. Rule IV.H.3. (Willfully Fostering Incorrect Scores): The phrase “It is unethical” has been change to “It is considered cheating” (to willfully announce/verify incorrect scores).
  5. Rule V.D. (Neutralizing the Clock on the Out Play): The old role stated that the clock should not be touched until tally sheets are signed. The revised rule states that neither the clock nor the tiles should be touched.

Not adopted

  1. We decided not to reinstate the rule requiring manual word judges to turn their backs when judging.
  2. We decided not to change the order of steps in completing a turn to put “record your play if desired” before “record your cumulative.”
  3. We decided not to enter language prohibiting computer assigned 1sts & 2nds.
  4. We decided not to change the 10 point penalty for incorrect computer word lookups.
  5. We decided not to specifically add language which prohibits a director from declaring that players should draw for 1st & 2ns for every game. (The rule already prohibits this sufficiently.)