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Thursday, January 2, 2020

2020 is here!


It's that time again!

The 2019 newsletter has arrived from the National Mah Jongg League, signifying the opening of the card ordering season.  To read about the proper way to order your card, click HERE.  

The most important rule is to be sure you order from the League itself, either by ordering individually at www.nationalmahjonggleague.org or by ordering it from a collector on behalf of a charitable organization.  This assures that you will get your card on time and you will get a bulletin, and, most importantly, your $8 or $9 order will be part of the charitable contributions made by the League.

I was very impressed this year by the diversity of charities listed in the mailbag; charities large and small.  From Habitats for Humanity to Curt's Cafe and Dress for Success, the League, through its members, helps so many.  The full list of collectors takes almost four pages of small print, and add to that the hundreds of thousands of individual card purchasers.  It's awe-inspiring that such largesse is derived from the game that keeps on giving.  This is what sets the League apart from all other variations of mahjongg, and it's a formula that has worked spectacularly well for 83 years.  It's easy to forget this when we play, but this is the heart and soul of the National Mah Jongg League, and we all make it happen.

The newsletter had a few updates worth noting.  The "You Asked Us" section states that the Committee works from August to November to test the new card, meaning the 2020 card is complete and waiting in the wings.  Once the card is complete, the collectors start taking orders, and on January 1 orders are open to the membership.  Reminder:  If you want to receive your card in the first mailing, your order must be in by February 21.  Don't be late or you will regret it!  

The Q and A selection reflects member concerns throughout the year.  Many seasoned players find the Q and A can be repetitive, but for new players, the questions are pressing and urgent.  If enough calls come in on a particular issue, it is addressed in the newsletter.  This year's questions cover the issue of two players wanting the same tile - the League has clarified that if one player has properly called and exposed their tiles, the player next in turn is too late.  Racing to put up one's exposure, however, is discouraged as being poor sportsmanship.  But if two players want the same tile; one for exposure and one for Mah Jongg, the Mah Jongg declarer gets preference even if the other player has exposed.

A slight rule change is noted.  If there is a dispute over whether a hand is dead or not, the play continues.  Whichever player was incorrect at the time of the challenge pays the other player 50 cents (previously 25 cents).

One last note:  If you want to order 2019 cards, please call the League as all website orders are for 2020.   

All right, now go back to playing.  You still have three months to mark off all the hands on the card!

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