Various proposed rules changes, as listed in the newletter, were debated at the ETwA rules meeting on 27 October 2001.

The following is a summary of the decisions taken.

(The former version of the rules is available.)

Proposal 1. Unsupported mat rule

The proposal was approved with a minor wording modification.

Rule 3: The first two paragraphs of rule 3 have been replaced with:
Games should be played on rectangular mats measuring 6 feet by 3 feet. The mat should be placed on a hard smooth horizontal surface so that the whole of the mat's surface is itself horizontal. If there is no such surface available, the players may agree to play on a less satisfactory surface. At each corner of the mat are straight lines drawn at right angles to the mat's diagonals at a point 3 feet from the centre of the mat. These are called baselines, and they and the edges of the playable surface (that is, that part of the mat vertically above the underlying surface) constitute the boundaries of the field of play. Nothing but winks and the pot may be placed on the field of play. This does not preclude a player from resting on the mat in order to play a shot.

Proposal 2. Free Turns

The proposed changes to rules 11(a) and 11(b) were approved.
The proposed change to rule 11(c) was defeated.

The new wording of rules 11(a) and 11(b) now reads:

11. Free Turns

(a) When all the unpotted winks of one partnership are squopped, the opposing partnership is entitled to a number of "free turns". The number of free turns is one more than the number of unpotted winks on the field of play which are neither squopping nor squopped at the point when this rule is invoked. Free turns are shared between the two colours in normal rotation, even if one of these colours cannot play at a particular turn (due to having no unsquopped winks or the forfeiture of a shot according to Rule 7(a)). At or before the end of the last free turn, a freeing shot must be played.

(b) A "freeing shot" is a shot which leaves an opponent's wink unsquopped, one which pots the sixth wink of any colour (after which Rule 8 applies) or a shot which terminates the game according to Rule 6(b). A freeing shot must be played during free turns, except when the number of free turns is one. In this case, the first member of the squopping partnership able to play must play a freeing shot during his turn.

Proposal 3. The Boundary

The proposal was approved with a minor wording modification.

Rule 7(a) now reads:

(a) External.

If in any turn a player plays a shot which causes one or more winks of his correct colour wholly or partially to leave the field of play, the next shot due to be played with that colour is forfeited. Any wink wholly or partially leaving the field of play is immediately replaced on the field of play 22 mm from the boundary. The wink should be placed as near as possible to the point at which it crossed the boundary, but should not be placed closer than 10 cm to any other wink (nor closer than 10 cm to any baseline with unplayed winks behind it).

Proposal 4. The Mat

This was approved with a minor wording modification.

Rule 3 should now contain the sentence:

Whenever possible mats approved by National Associations and made of a felt-like non-pile material should be used.

Proposal 5. Metrication of Units

This proposal was defeated.

Proposal 6. Deciding tournaments by points or games?

This was approved.

Rule 1(c) has been deleted.

Proposal 7. Winks leaning against the pot

This was approved with a minor wording modification.

Rule 7(b) second paragraph now reads:

If a wink comes to rest in a position where it is neither squopping nor squopped but supported by the pot (except as provided by rule 5(c)) so that part of the wink is higher than the rest, it is moved to lie touching the pot but no longer supported by it. It squops any wink within the range of its required movement. If any wink comes to rest in a position where it is both supported by the pot and either squopping or squopped, it is left as it lies. If it subsequently becomes neither squopping nor squopped but remains supported by the pot, it is moved as above. To move a wink under this rule does not constitute a shot.

Proposal 8. Playing out of turn in rounds

The proposed changes were approved.

Rule 9(b) now reads:

(b) When the time limit has expired, play continues up to and including the colour that won the squidge-off, after which five further rounds are played, each ending with the turn of the colour that won the squidge-off. The only exceptions to this are the special cases detailed in rule 8, at the end of Rule 11(d), in Rule 11(e) and in Rule 12(b)(ii); if the order of play is disrupted due to an out-of-turn shot (Rule 12(b)(ii)), the counting of rounds should be adjusted so that each colour has at most one turn (excluding out-of-turn shots) in any round. For the purposes of the time limit, a turn is deemed to begin at the moment when its first shot is played. If the time limit expires between two shots of the same turn, it is deemed to have expired at the end of that turn. Once the game is ended, the score is then calculated according to Rule 10(b).

Proposal 9. Partner called away from the game

The proposed change was approved.

Rule 9(a) now contains the sentence:

Time elapsing while a wink or winks are lost, or when a player due to play (or his partner if consultation is required) is called away from the game, is not counted as part of the game.

Proposal 10. Zero free turns

This proposal was not approved.

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