2023 Wild West Shootout!
Welcome to 2023. Last year was a great year and our club continued to grow with some of the finest people I have had the privilege to meet. We had over a dozen new players join the Colorado Backgammon Club. Those new members have added additional depth to our organization; bringing kindness, humor and skill.
Last year our club made a great showing at many national events of the American Backgammon Tour (ABT) as well as a few international tour events. With all that said, I am looking forward to 2023 as our club continues to grow even stronger. Additional clinics will be offered for those newer to the game, as well as new and unique tournament events, in addition to possibly some intermural play.
Colorado Backgammon (Prime Club)
League play is every Wednesday at one of two venues – The Dam Grile on the 1st and 3rd Wednesday, and Hangar 101 on the 2nd, 4th and 5th Wednesday (league play begins at 7:00pm). Additional venues will be chosen for monthly events, which are typically either the last Saturday or Sunday of the month.
There is usually something for everyone during league night, including a chance to participate in a Chouette (usually before, during and after league play). If you haven’t participated in a Chou, it’s a great opportunity to learn and play with some of the best players in the state.
You must be a member of the U.S. Backgammon Federation to play in club tournaments. Basic USBGF membership is $45 per year (donation). However, if this is your first time, please join us without registration. If you enjoyed the event, please speak to a Director and they will assist you in becoming a USBGF member: http://usbgf.org/membership/join/
MeetUp is our primary tool for communication, so I encourage you to check out the upcoming dates and locations. Also, please indicate if you plan to attend. This allows others to know how many players are likely for a given week – if it’s a long drive, they at least have an expectation.
Colorado players had a fantastic showing once again at the 2022 Wild West Shootout. Check out the results HERE. We’ve already started with the preparations for the 2023 Wild West Shootout October 4-8, which will again include a chance to participate in the BMAB (http://bgmastersab.com/) – The Wild West Shootout is the only ABT tournament in the Rocky Mountain region (https://denverbg.org/).
It’s Just a Game
As many players return to live play, I’d like to take a moment and remind everyone that BACKGAMMON IS JUST A GAME. However, it is a game with very specific rules, and the tournament director (TD) is there to help guide you through those rules should there be a misplay, question, conflict, or just poor sportsmanship. Most plays or rule clarifications go without the need for a TD, but if there is doubt, pause the clock and call for the TD.
Backgammon is a game of honor and respect, and we try to maintain a high standard of fair play at our club. So, please leave the drama at home. I’m not sure if Lynda Clay (current member and past director) originally coined the following phrase, but I like it – Win with Grace / Lose with Class / Play with Passion. We should all be playing with this phrase in mind. Yes, you will get some bad rolls. Yes, you will get some good rolls. Yes, you will lose a game or match that you should have won. And yes, you will win a game or match that you should have lost…That’s backgammon and it’s just a game!
If you are new (or a seasoned player), below are some basic USBGF rules to keep in mind – some may be new to you, but these rules are the standard by which we play:
If you are an observer, there is absolutely no talking or kibitzing during a match. If you see an illegal play, notify the TD only, unless BOTH players request your observations.
Only one set of dice are to be used between the two players.
To maintain the speed of tournament play, Colorado Backgammon requires all players to play with a clock.
Either player may use a baffle box (dice scrambler) or dice cup to roll. If you use a dice cup (per the rules), “… the dice must be vigorously shaken at least twice up and down and rolled together freely on the right-hand side of the bar from a minimum height of 2.5cm/1”, and the cup should not touch the playing field.
If dice land on checkers, the roll counts, as long as the dice are flat on the surface (concave checkers are considered a flat surface).
If the dice are rolled and are not flat, they may be considered to be cocked. If either player is unsure, pause the clock and call the TD.
Never touch your dice once they are rolled (except to move them for checker play). Once you’ve indicated you have completed your move (typically by hitting your clock), the other player may pick up your roll.
If you’re unsure about anything, pause the clock and call the TD.
Legal moves are observed, which means if either player sees an illegal move, it is your obligation to call it out, regardless of if it favors you or not. That’s the honor side of backgammon.
If an illegal play has been made, just be calm and indicate the illegal move. If the move is not corrected, pause the clock and call the TD.
Check out the following links for information regarding basic play and detailed USBGF rules for Tournament Backgammon.
The Colorado Backgammon Club supports the USBGF initiatives and the focus on growing the game. As such, we will continue to strive to be a club with 100% membership. With as little as a $45 a year donation to the USBGF, you can enjoy many resources and events the USBGF provides.
New USBGF and Supported Initiatives
Kids Backgammon Club
Women in Backgammon
Your donation helps fund programs like “Kids Backgammon Club“, “Backgammon 101” and “Women in Backgammon“. Additionally, the USBGF has a fantastic new website, including a whole new online member tournament section. This is an automated management system to play in multiple tournament events against other members for monthly points, custom backgammon boards or specialty events. This is a small part of the all new USBGF website.
There is much to look forward to in 2023. And as always, be safe and I hope to see you across a backgammon board!
Please spend a moment and check out these websites – DenverBG.org and USBGF.org. Again, the Colorado Backgammon club uses Meetup for all venue information as well as updated tournament details. We play using the Crawford rule and legal moves.
*All Staff are strictly volunteer. Please contact us if you would like to help.
**100% of any and all donations and / or proceeds go towards maintaining the Colorado and Denver Backgammon programs, websites, MeetUp, and member benefits.
Win with Grace / Lose with Class / Play with Passion