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The following proposed Rule Changes are intended to take effect at the 2014 National SCRABBLE Championship. Changed text is underlined.
The player who is supposed to go first should draw tiles first. However, if the player who was supposed to go second mistakenly draws tiles first, and the player who was supposed to go first does not catch this until s/he has also drawn tiles, then the player who was supposed to go first still plays first. If, however, the player who was supposed to go first then starts his/her opponent’s clock, s/he is considered to have passed his/her turn and will be charged with going first.
If tiles accidentally spill out while drawing from or setting down the bag, they should be returned to the bag without penalty. If one player has seen the face of a loose tile, then it should also be shown to the other player before being returned to the bag.
However, if any tiles are exposed when there are fewer than 7 tiles in the bag by the player WHOSE TURN IT IS TO MAKE A PLAY, see "IV.B.8, Exposing Tiles when Fewer than 7 Tiles in the Bag" on page 14 or maybe 15.
If a loose tile (or tiles) is discovered on or near the table, both players are responsible for thoroughly checking the board to make sure that it (and/or any other tiles) was not dislodged from or moved on the board. If so, these tiles should be put back into place. If both players agree that it did not come from the board, the tile will be returned to the bag. (If the bag is empty when a loose tile is discovered, see “V.C. Finding Missing Tiles Near the End of the Game” on page 25.) If it is determined later in the game that the tile had in fact come from the board, refer to “IV.B.4. Played Tiles Gone Missing” on page 12.
If it is discovered that a previously played tile is missing from the board, and cannot be located in the playing area—excluding racks—call the Director. The Director will put a placeholder (a tile from another set or a facsimile) in that spot.
If the missing tile is subsequently found, it will not be replaced.
In a recount, however, the original score is counted as if the tile were still in place, but only for those plays that were made when the tile was in place.
Rule deleted, content mostly moved to IV.B.8.
Changes marked with respect to former rule IV.B.5.c.3.
When a player’s erroneous drawing or otherwise exposing tiles occurs when it is that player’s turn, and there are fewer than 7 tiles in the bag, the following penalty is applied: Let X = the number of tiles drawn or exposed. . 1. If the offender has not combined new tiles with the old tiles: the non-offender combines X tiles with the non-offenders tiles, and then the non-offender returns X tiles, of his/her choosing from his/her rack, to the bag without revealing them to the offender.
2. If the offender has combined new tiles with the old tiles: the non-offender looks at all of the offender’s tiles; the non-offender then chooses seven tiles to go onto the offender’s rack; the non-offender then combines the remaining X tiles with the non-offender’s own tiles; the non-offender then returns X tiles, of his/her choosing from his/her rack, to the bag without revealing them to the offender.
e. If the blank is not designated in writing at the time of the play, or if the written designation is determined by the Director to be unclear, an unadjudicated challenge involving the blank may be withdrawn. The Director should restart the clock of the blank player, requesting a clearly written designation. The challenger will then have the option of withdrawing the challenge, or of challenging ANY word formed by the blank.
All blank designation disputes shall be resolved by the Director.
If a game has proceeded without a proper blank designation, and that blank is involved in a challenged play later in the game, the Director should restart the clock of the blank player, requesting a clearly written designation. Should his/her opponent dispute the designation, the Director should then reasonably designate the blank. The challenger will then have the option of withdrawing the challenge, or of challenging ANY word formed on the current play.
The Director should also be called if a player refuses a request to record the blank designation. See also Rule IV.F.1. How to Designate the Blank, p. 17.
[Reorder items h through m as follows.]
h. Computer adjudication is final unless either player feels the computer or program is flawed (and requests a manual adjudication) or feels a word may not have been entered correctly (and chooses to repeat the procedure).
i. The adjudication result is marked on the challenge slip.
j. Both players return to their board without speaking or disturbing others.
k. The appropriate player loses his/her turn.
l. If the player losing the challenge had already drawn tiles, those tiles are shown to the opponent and returned to the bag. If the drawn tiles have been combined with unplayed tiles, see Rule IV.I.2. Holding the Play, p. 20.
m. The clock may only be restarted after both players are seated, all face down tiles have been reracked, any successfully challenged play removed from the board, any blank designation involving a successfully challenged word crossed out or erased, and (in the case of an unsuccessful challenge) the drawer has seen the face of at least one replenishment tile. If either player delays these processes, the appropriate clock may be restarted immediately. Note: Recording the cumulative score and/or play before drawing replenishment tiles is not a delay of game.