Updated 13 Jun 2019

Analogy of Sports to Texas 42

NFL rules are specific. Boundaries, legal formations, passes, laterals, fumbles, and other pertinent criteria are specifically defined with clarity. NFL fans and sandlot players do not have to be professional players to know the rules and play by them. Same with the NBA and other sports.

The game of 42 is not a sport, but the analogy to professional sports and sandlot players nevertheless serves to demonstrate how non-tournament 42 players can know the rules, play the game, and have valid opinions about fair play in formal competition.

The issue, however, is not the rules so much as their clarity in defining fair play. No “signaling” or “talking across the table” or "cheating of any kind" is vague, at best, and subject to individual interpretation. More specific criteria is needed to enhance the rules governing fair play in formal 42 competition.

True, 42 is a non-physical game of recreation and fellowship; however, when large cash prizes and prestige are at stake, more definitive rules are appropriate to regulate questionable playing practices, e.g., privately agreed methods to indicate doubles (or lack of) and misuse of optional placement of dominos after the shuffle and draw.

There’s no doubt that most tournament players have integrity and do not knowingly violate the rules of fair play as defined in the current rules. Polling, however, reveals there is a small percentage of players (15%) who believe questionable privately agreed indicating practices are fair play. This is enough to tip the balance in their favor during competition.

Just like the NFL is not an extension to sandlot football, 42 tournament play is not an extension of social 42. Statewide 42 tournaments provide a forum for social players from diversified locations to come together and play by the same standardized fair play rules applicable to all contestants, regardless of their cultural backgrounds and local social playing practices.

My question: What are the standardized rules?

Paul Proft, webmaster

visitors since 19 Jun 2018
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