Official Tournament Rules and Procedures

Rules & Conditions of Entry & Play

1.0 Proprieties

  • 1.1 Organizers

    United States Backgammon Federation

    Japanese Backgammon League

    French Backgammon Federation

  • 1.2 Scope

    Except where otherwise specified, the commonly accepted rules of backgammon apply, in addition to those that are particular to GridGammon, the online site selected by the organizers for the tournament.
    These rules are obligatory for all parties concerned.
    No agreements may be made between participants to the contrary.

  • 1.3 Interpretation

    Players are required to be conversant with the standard rules governing match play. Tournament rules do not cover all possible situations that can arise during a match.
    The Tournament Director and the Tournament Committee are solely responsible for the interpretation of rules of play, including standards of conduct that apply to particular situations.

  • 1.4 Etiquette

    Tournament players are expected to behave in the spirit of the game and show generous sportsmanship and considerate behavior.

  • 1.5 Official Language and Time Zone

    Official tournament language is English.
    While a match is in progress, players are not permitted to speak any language other than the official language.
    The Official time zone used for tournament scheduling purposes is official GridGammon
    time called “GridGammon time” (GGT) which is Coordinated Universal Time (UTC +00:00).

  • 1.6 Staff

    The Tournament Director is Tara Mendicino. The assistant Tournament Director is Leonardo Jerkovic. The Directors are responsible for implementing the Rules and Conditions.
    The Tournament Committee is composed of 3 members: Bill Riles (U.S. Backgammon Federation), Masayuki Mochizuki (Japanese Backgammon League), and Scarlett Serrero (French Backgammon Federation). Tournament Committee decisions are determined by majority vote.

  • 1.7 Participation

    The International Backgammon Championship is open to enrollment of 1 to 16 players from the same country who have qualified via their national Federations / Organizations.
    Each Federation / Organization taking part in this tournament, will a provide a list of qualified players containing real name (first, last), player email, phone number and GridGammon account nickname. The list must be submitted to the Tournament Director and Committee prior to the start of the tournament.

  • 1.8 Format

    The Tournament format will be single elimination with early rounds played as a series of best 2-out-of-3 matches for 11 points. The semifinal and final rounds will be played as a series of best 2-out-of-3 matches for 13 points and 15 points, respectively.

  • 1.9 Spectators

    Spectators must observe the match in silence. Spectators may not direct attention to mistakes in the game or comment on the game, except to report cheating to the Director.
    A spectator may state their observations only if requested to do so by the Director. A player receiving unsolicited advice from a spectator must summon the Director at once. Online watchers may not make any comments in chat.

  • 1.10 Aids

    When a match is in progress, a player is not permitted to use electronic, mechanical, written, or other aids.

  • 1.11 Mandatory Match Logs

    ALL players are to submit their match logs upon reporting their series wins at the Report Win form. Therefore, ALL players are on notice that they MUST learn to record, save, and upload matches BEFORE they start their match.

    Instructions on how to save your Gridgammon match logs may be found here: How To Save GridGammon Match Files.

    Any player whose match(es) or series may be under investigation for violations of Rule 1.10 Aids, and who has not submitted ALL their match logs for the duration of the event, will be at a SUBSTANTIAL disadvantage under a ruling by the Committee.

    The Committee retains the right to forfeit anyone who does not comply with this and all rules stipulated for participation in this Event.

  • 1.12 Match Publishing, Photographs, and Other Publicity

    As a condition of entry in this event, all players agree to permit their matches, or any portion thereof, to be recorded, made public, and possibly published, without any compensation in return. Players also agree to cooperate in granting interviews, photographs, or videos without compensation.

  • 1.13 Prizes

    Individual Competition:

    The individual winner will receive 50% of the prize fund, the finalist 25%, and each semi-finalist 12.5%, plus medals.

    Country Prize:

    Points will be awarded to players’ respective countries for each match win within a round. A single (1) point gain will be awarded for winning one match of the best 2-out-of-3 series. A double (2) point gain will be awarded for winning two matches of the best 2-out-of-3 series. A medal will be presented to the country which has amassed the most points.

2.0 Regulations

  • 2.1 Playing Venue

    All matches will be played via the internet on the GridGammon server. The semifinals and final will be proctored and may be played live upon the decision of the Tournament Committee, at a venue to be determined.

  • 2.2 Draw

    The Draw will be random with the exception that players from the same Federation/ Organization will not be paired unless such pairing is unavoidable. The Draw will be made Tuesday, October 2nd. The Drawsheet will be announced and posted later the same day.

  • 2.3 Round Duration

    Every round shall last 2 weeks. Players are responsible for keeping up with all published round deadlines posted at the top of each bracket.

  • 2.4 Scheduling

    When pairings are announced, each player will write a scheduling message, via the Schedule Match Form, to his opponent clearly stating his preferred times and days. Players are required to reply to match scheduling attempts within 3 days. ALL match scheduling correspondence MUST be copied to the Directors.

    Players are on notice that any scheduling attempts made outside of the Schedule Match Form and not copied to the Directors, may risk not being counted in case of a decision of forfeit. Therefore, please DO NOT use Gridgammon messaging, phone calls, or any other sort of messaging to schedule your match without copying the Director by email.

    Recommended match scheduling message format:

    Dear opponent,

    For our International Backgammon Championship match, I suggest the following days

    ______, ______, or ______


    ______ GGT (UTC +00:00) until ______ GGT (UTC +00:00).

    Please, send me your confirmation for the date and time, or feel free to suggest other options.

    Thanks, Your name.

    Please keep in mind this is a worldwide tournament comprised of players from different time zones. Players should avoid attempting to schedule a series to be played after midnight, in the opponent’s time zone.
    If players cannot reach a mutually agreeable day and time for series completion during the first week, the Tournament Director will designate the date and time of play.

  • 2.5 Start Times and Breaks

    All matches will have a scheduled start time.
    Each player may take a maximum of two 5 minute breaks (between games) during a match.
    All matches in the best 2-out-of-3 series may be played on the same day. If players agree to additional days of play, this must be stipulated in their email scheduling agreement and forwarded to the Tournament Director.
    A 30 minute break between matches is allowed.

  • 2.6 Slow Play

    Players are expected to play at a reasonable pace and at regular tournament speed. On his own initiative, or at the request of a player or proctor, the Director may monitor a match for slow play. The Director shall warn an unduly slow player after the first notable offense. For each subsequent offense, the Director shall, at his discretion, impose 1 penalty point on the slow player.

  • 2.7 Disconnections and Server Crash

    If a player loses internet connection (not due to server crash), he is required to re-establish connection within 20 minutes. Otherwise, the game in progress must be rescheduled for resumption at the position of disconnection within 2 days, but must be resumed and completed prior to any published round deadlines. Should an agreement not be able to be reached for resumption, the Director will designate the resumption date and time.

    In the case of a server crash, the game being played must be resumed upon reconnection with the server. Players must allow a minimum of 30 minutes for the server to come back online and to allow connections. After 30 minutes have elapsed, the players must reschedule resumption of the game within 2 days of the occurrence. Should an agreement not be able to be reached for resumption, the Director will designate the resumption date and time.

  • 2.8 Settlements

    All games and matches must be played to completion, unless concluded by the pass of a double with the following exception: A player having a no-contact position may offer to give up a single point, a gammon, or a backgammon, if the position at hand is likely to result in this outcome. Under all other conditions, players are not allowed to settle upon the outcome of points, of a game, of a match, or of a series. All matches must be played to the appointed number of points. Violation of this rule may result in disqualification of one or both players.

3.0 Contentions

  • 3.0 Disputes

    Adjudication of any dispute or infringement of rules that take place, as well as any breach in the standards of behavior required of players and spectators, are the responsibility of the Tournament Director and the Tournament Committee.
    When a dispute arises, play must stop while the Director is summoned by the proctor.
    Violations of this requirement by a player are considered serious and create a presumption in favor of the opponent. The Tournament Director will make a ruling when a dispute arises. If one of the parties to the dispute wishes to appeal, the Tournament Committee will convene to consider the appeal. In
    the event of a dispute, the decision of the Tournament Committee is final.

  • 3.1 Appeals

    Players may appeal the decision of the Tournament Director to the Tournament Committee, however, this option must be exercised prior to the resumption of play. The Tournament Committee may reverse the decision of the Tournament Director by a simple majority. The Tournament Committee action exhausts the player’s right to further appeals.

  • 3.2 Testimonies

    The Tournament Director, in addition to the Tournament Committee, will hear the testimony of the parties to a dispute and have the right, at their discretion, to collect other relevant evidence or testimony.
    All parties to the dispute are entitled to explain their views within the time frame allotted for this purpose, which will be at the determination of the Tournament Director or Committee.
    Spectators, except to report cheating, may only testify if requested by the officials.

U.S. Backgammon Federation | Japanese Backgammon League | French Backgammon Federation