Last Call for Standardizing Fair Play in 42 TournamentsThere seems to be two types of 42 competition: game-play with indicating, and game-play without. Tournament competition in today's playing environment seems to be a hybrid of both, and common indications are accepted as long as the methods are not prearranged.
Some traditional partnerships do not indicate at all. They follow traditional rules that say signaling between partners is against the rules. Some modern day players use indicating methods. The rules now say that privately prearranged indicating practices are cheating.
So how is indicating in 42 regulated? Except for rules against physical cues and prearranged signaling tactics, it is difficult to control subtle indications, visible to all at the table, but not having meaning to all, contrary to advocacy for some common indicating methods.
Some players have suggested that there be two types of 42 tournaments: one with indicating, and one without. Not sure how this would solve anything since there would be crossovers between the two, and the issue would still be unabated. So, what now?
Some players believe acceptable indicating practices should be defined in the rules. Others believe that would not work because every domino played indicates something, and opponents would be more likely to challenge discards they didn't understand.
So, where do we go from here? Bridge, a partnership card game with bidding, trick-taking, and trumps (derived from Whist, the same as 42), requires opposing partnerships to share their indicating methods. According to some, that would ruin the game of 42.
Looks to me that the rules in sanctioned 42 tournaments are about as good as they're going to get unless the leadership can come up with innovative ideas to address the issue. Standardized enhanced fair play rules would certainly be a plus in moving the game forward.
The alternative, of course, is to concede that indicating in 42 is indigenous to the game and trying to regulate it would be futile. Traditional players will then have to relax their "no signaling" ethics and join those who believe anything is fair if there are no specific rules stating otherwise.
Paul Proft, E-mail
visitors since 18 Jan 2020