6. Conclusion

Eliminating, or at least greatly reducing, entry fees will open up backgammon tournaments to a wider potential audience. Some will be experienced online players who feel they couldn't afford to spend money each week at their local club. Others will be beginners who would not otherwise play because they would've viewed it as just throwing their money away. Others may be children whose parents are more likely to encourage playing if there is not so much money involved. And the elimination of prize money allows a national organization to operate with much less fear of litigation from players who feel they have been cheated somehow.

Once a national organization is formed with standardized national tournament rules, a national standings system can be established. The American Backgammon Tour and most local clubs already use a standings system based on cumulative points, so it has proven to be effective for over-the-board play.

All of these advantages serve a larger goal: to revitalize national interest in the game of backgammon. The popularity of backgammon in this country has been decreasing since its peak in the 1970's. A national league can help change the image of backgammon from a game that is played primarily in bars and casinos for money into a game that is more friendly and social but still has a serious competitive focus. A national organization can also eventually look for sponsors and use resources to specifically help promote the game through national promotions and media coverage, similar to what poker is doing today.

Your feedback is encouraged and appreciated. Please email your thoughts to Eric Barr. Thank you!

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