I’m usually not much of a stickler for rules. I don’t remember ever once reading through the entire rules section on Toucanet (I might have read the whole of it before, but in parts). I did, however, take some time to read the WESPA rules (version 1.1) which will be used in the upcoming Causeway tourney (now updated with last year’s standings!), since I’m after all going to play 45 internationally-rated games for a chance at quite decent prize money. Anyway, these rules caught my eye (comments in italics):
3.8 Declaring a Blank
(a) A player who plays a blank tile must clearly announce which letter it
represents. It is acceptable, in addition, to point to the relevant letter if it
is on the board or to clarify the blank’s identity through use of the
phonetic alphabet or similar. It is not acceptable to pronounce the word in
which the blank appears.
(b) It is in both players’ interests to be able to prevent the blank’s identity
being subsequently contested. Therefore:
(i) the player who plays the blank must, before completing the turn,
record the blank’s identity on a neutral sheet of paper such as the
game result sheet; and
(ii) the opponent must ensure that this is done, neutralising the timer if
(c) If the blank’s identity is recorded in accordance with subsection (b), that
record is determinative. A record on a player’s personal score sheet is not
(d) If the blank’s identity is not recorded in accordance with subsection (b)
and a dispute subsequently arises, the player on move may redesignate
the blank. All words formed by the redesignation are taken to be words
played in that player’s next turn, and may therefore be challenged.
(e) If and only if subsection (b) is fully complied with, then the Tournament
Director has the discretion to permit a move based on a misapprehension
of the blank’s identity to be replayed.
(f) The Tournament Director may override subsection (d) if he or she
believes that doing so is in the interests of fairness.
I’d better remember to record the blanks’ identities on a separate piece of paper. This rule sounds a little ambiguous especially when it comes to subsections (d), (e) and (f) – better to avoid any unnecessary trouble.
3.9.1 Bag Position
When drawing from the bag, a player must:
(a) hold the bag so that the rim of the bag is at or above eye level;
(b) avert his or her eyes from the bag; and
(c) keep the bag in full view of the opponent.
I suppose part (c) precludes drawing from behind one’s back, which I think is pretty much a cheat-proof method of drawing.
(d) Replacement tiles must be drawn with reasonable speed.
5.1.2 Actions to be Taken Upon ‘Playing Out’
A player who is attempting to play out must neutralise the timer, rather than
starting the timer of the opponent. The opponent must then either:
(a) accept the turn by revealing his or her unplayed tiles;
(b) challenge the turn.
5.1.3 Right to Restart Timer
(a) If a player has attempted to play out, and the opponent performs neither
of the actions given in Rule 5.1.2 within approximately five seconds, then
the player is entitled to restart the opponent’s timer while awaiting the
(b) If an opponent’s timer is started under subsection (a), the opponent must
neutralise the timer after deciding either to accept the play or to
Not sure how the “5 seconds rule” would work – seems possible that it could be abused to create or increase time penalties.
In addition to these rules, of course, are “notorious” rules like the one about Overdrawing (Opponent Notices), which does affect a number of other rules. There are of course many differences from Singapore’s rules, and I suspect I will be drawing multiple tiles at a time during the tournament, unlike what I usually practise. Do give the rules a read if you haven’t done so yet!