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Wednesday, December 27, 2017

The 2018 Newsletter


The latest edition of the National Mah Jongg League newsletter has just arrived!  The newsletter details the activities of the League and keeps the membership informed of any updates. To receive the newsletter, you must be an active member of the League.  You become a member when you purchase a card either directly from the League (online or by mail) or you purchase your card from a Collector who submits your name and address to the League membership roster. 

The newsletter is informative, entertaining and performs several important functions.

  1. The President's report - Wherein Larry Unger, League President, reflects on the League's work for the year; card development, hurricane relief, and continuing contributions to worthy causes.
  2. The Mailbag - correspondence received by the League from charities who have received donations sent by the League on behalf of the membership.  From major hospitals to individual scholarships, it is gratifying to know that a portion of our membership dues (an unchanged $8 - $9) is being used to help others.  The mailbag this year also contains some whimsical poetry on the subject of mahjongg.
  3. The Q&A - Here is where we get our rules clarifications and updates.  These questions and answers reflect the most covered inquiries received by the League in phone calls and letters throughout the year.  These are the latest rulings by the League experts and get filtered down through the mahjongg community.  When people want to see it in writing, it is there in the newsletter.  Some of this year's updates include:
         - A player is committed to taking a tile from the wall if it has been moved in any way.
         
    - Tapping or clicking the tile is not racking
         - A hand is not officially dead until another player verifies that Mah Jongg cannot be made
         -You are committed to discarding a tile once it is fully named
         - It is recommended that a player never touch another player's tiles
         -A bettor may not speak even though they realize an error has been made
         - If a tile is taken from the wrong end and racked the player's hand is dead
  4. The 2018-2019 Membership Application - make sure to order your cards early to be sure you receive the 2018 card without delay upon release!  The label of the newsletter contains your membership number, which is necessary when ordering.
  5. Bits and Pieces and the Mah Jongg Store - This covers the products and services performed by the League, including the online game and tile matching service.  Important note:  A newly revised version of Mah Jongg Made Easy (the League's official rule book) is now available.
  6. The Honor Roll continues to grow - the last two pages of the Newsletter list all the Collector members (those who send in 35 or more membership applications) and their charities of choice.
I may not have been blogging much this year but I have been playing and teaching and seeing the excitement and interest that people have been showing as they learn this great game.  Mah Jongg has certainly enhanced my life and brought me into a community of fun, like-minded people from all over the world, all for the price of a mah jongg card.  So I would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone reading this a happy new year, and to thank the League once again for their hard work and dedication.

12 comments:

  1. Just had a question - I’ve read somewhere that it is common to rotate seats after each game as it levels or resets the playing field. Many times one player may go away upset because they didn’t get one single mahjong. The last time we played we rotated seats, that is to say, we moved clockwise. Everyone made one or two majongs and went home happy. What is your take on this. Would appreciate your comments. Thanks, linda

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    1. There is an old saying in mahjongg: "It isn't the seat, it's the tush," but some believe that it helps to change the seating arrangement so that you are not passing tiles to the same people all day. It's called the pivot, and it is done in a four-player game after every round, which is four games. (This does not apply when there is a fifth player or bettor.) When the dice come back to the original east, she gets up and switches seats with the player on her right. She takes the dice with her to become east in the new seat. Every time she is east she moves one seat to the right to switch things up. It may or may not have an affect on the picking, as luck always plays a big part.



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  2. Question for you. Let's say a player discards a tile by saying "Three bam" and placing it on the table. Immediately, she realizes her mistake as she needed the 3 bam for her hand. She knows that she cannot simply "undo" this move (having either named the tile aloud or touched the table) and return it to her rack. Instead, she CALLS the tile since the next player has not picked yet and no one else called for it. She then places it on top of her rack along with the rest of the exposure, and discards another tile.

    In short, can a discarder herself call for a tile if the next player has not yet picked/racked, no preceeding player calls for the tile, and she makes the resulting required exposure (basically following all the rules required of any calling player)?

    Denise

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    Replies
    1. According to "Mah Jongg Made Easy," published by the National Mah Jongg League and updated for 2018, (page 14), "As soon as the tile is discarded any of the other players wanting that tile for an exposure has the right to claim it..." The word "other" signifies that the player cannot call her own tile, so I think that answers the question. (Nice try, though!)

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  3. I am confused with this statement: If a tile is taken from the wrong end and racked the player's hand is dead.
    What does this mean?What is the wrong end?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It refers to the wrong end of the wall. If a player takes a tile from the wrong end of the wall and places it in her rack, the player's hand is dead.

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    2. This is a good reason for creating a "dragon tail" at the end of the wall being drawn from. This means turning the last two tiles perpendicular to the rest of the wall. This makes it easier to remember which end of the wall to draw from.

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    3. Many people are learning to do this. It's helpful, but it's not a requirement that it be done. If the walls are pushed out correctly, the end of the wall will be pointing toward the posts at the end of the rack and can be identified that way.

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  4. My MJ group has a question regarding the order of the tiles racked prior to a Mah Jongg being called. Does the partially completed hand need to be displayed in the same order as what the hand will look like once completed? For example, in the first hand under 2017, can the player display the partially completed hand as 111 222, or do they need to be displayed on the rack as 222 111? Thank you.

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    Replies
    1. There is no rule that states you must display your exposures in card order. However, when you declare mahjongg, you must, if requested, put the exposures in card order so mahjongg can be verified.

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  5. I ordered the 2018 cards for my group. Everyone in the group, including my sister who lives at the same address as me, received their cards over a week ago. This is not the fault of the post office - they were able to deliver my sister's card just fine. What gives?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The cards are sent out in batches and it is often the case that someone who lives in the same building will get a card when another person will not. There could be many reasons for this. If you ordered your card early it is mailed out the end of March. If you haven't gotten your card yet, contact the League to request a duplicate.

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