7Fouls and penalties

7.1Types of penalties

Not penalized — For trivial offences.
Repeated cases or refusal to follow requests may lead to obstruction penalty at the referee’s discretion.

Point penalty — For minor offences or particular cases.
The points are removed from the offending player's overall score. They are not added to the opponents' scores. It doesn't change the table's score.
(1 overall score point is equivalent to 1,000 points at the table.)

E.g. if a player ends the first hanchan with a table score of 40,000 points and is the best ranked at the table, his hanchan score will be 25.
Since it's the first hanchan, his overall score will also be 25 for now.
He will start the second with a table score of 30,000 points (new hanchan) and an overall score of 25.
If he's calling with a dead hand, he gets a 20 points penalty to his overall score. After the penalty he will still have a table score of 30,000 points, but an overall score of only 5.

Dead hand — When the offending player's hand cannot continue normally.
The offending player can no longer make a chow, pung, kong, declare riichi nor win during this hand. This includes the interdiction to declare a concealed kong. If the player has not declared riichi, he can still choose the tiles he discards. The hand is noten.

Chonbo — When other players' hands cannot continue normally.
20 points penalty and the hand is re-dealt. The point penalty is handled as described in the point penalty section.
Riichi bets are returned to the players who declared riichi. No continuance counter is placed, and the dealer does not rotate. There is no "mangan payment".
• If a chonbo occurs simultaneously with a win, the chonbo is voided: the offending player is not penalized, the winning hand is scored, and the seat rotation is resolved normally.
• If a chonbo occurs simultaneously with an exhaustive draw, there is no noten payment and no continuance counters are added. The hand is re-dealt.

Disqualification — When the tournament cannot continue normally.
The offending player is not allowed to play anymore for the whole tournament.
He will not be listed in the ranking.
Relevant organizations, like the national federation he depends on, will be informed.


Empty call:
A player making a call, including riichi and concealed kong declarations, but being unable to perform the claimed action will be penalized for "empty call".
• Empty call for a chow, pung or kong:Not penalized
• Empty concealed kong declaration:Not penalized
• Empty riichi declaration:Not penalized
• Empty call for a win, if the hand is still concealed:Dead hand
• Empty call for a win, if the hand has been shown:Chonbo

Swap-calling is determined when the player discards, and results in a dead hand. The melded group and the discarded tile cannot be changed.

Invalid group:
Melding a group that is neither a chow, pung nor kong, or declaring a false concealed kong, results in a dead hand. After discarding, the invalid group cannot be changed.
The player can correct his mistake as long as he hasn't discarded. If he makes the claimed group, he will not be penalized. If he retracts the call, it will be treated as an empty call.

Changing a call:
Calls cannot be changed. If the player is unable to perform the first call, he will be penalized for "empty call". He cannot do the second call.
However, a player can correct himself if he used an incorrect word. The correction must immediately follow the call.
For example:
- A player saying "chii, no! I mean pon" have successfully corrected himself: he can make the pung and won't be penalized.
- Saying "ron", taking time, then saying "pon" will be considered as changing a call: the player must do the ron, or be penalized for "empty call". If he melds the pung, he will have to take it back.

Wrong word:
The valid terms for calling a chow are:"chii".
The valid terms for calling a pung are:"pon".
The valid terms for calling or declaring a kong are:"kan".
The valid terms for declaring riichi are:"riichi", "reach".
The valid terms for winning on a claimed tile are:"ron".
The valid terms for winning on a self-drawn tile are:"tsumo".

Players are encouraged to use the valid terms.
Using alternative terms is not penalized, as long as the player makes clear what he is intending to do.

Calling with a dead hand (including concealed kong and riichi declaration):
• If the hand was not formally declared to be dead:Not penalized, the call is voided.
• If the hand was formally declared to be dead:20 points penalty, the game continues.

Wrong tile count:
• Not taking a claimed tile before the next two players have made a discard: Dead hand
• Having too many or too few tiles: Dead hand

Wrongly revealing or picking tiles:
• Few tiles:Not penalized
• If the game cannot fairly continue:Chonbo
• During dealing, if it's a problem:re-deal, no penalty

Wrongly revealed or picked tiles are placed back where they came from.
The penalty for wrongly revealing tiles does not apply while building the walls, before the dice are thrown to break the wall.

Wrong riichi declaration:
• Not placing the 1,000 points bet:Not penalized, the mistake should be corrected.
• Not saying "riichi" or "reach":Not penalized.
• Not rotating the discard:Not penalized, the mistake should be corrected.
• Declaring riichi on an open hand:Not penalized, the riichi declaration is voided.
• Declaring riichi on a noten hand (noten riichi):Chonbo. ※
• Invalid concealed kong after having declared riichi:Chonbo.

In case a player forgets to rotate his discard and if the tile to rotate is unknown, the earliest discarded tile among the supposed ones is chosen regarding furiten.

When a riichi declaration is voided, the player takes back his riichi bet and will not get a noten riichi penalty.
Cases of noten riichi and invalid kong are only determined if the player wins or if there is an exhaustive draw.

※ The noten riichi penalty does not apply if the player's hand is noten solely due to a dead hand penalty occurring after the riichi declaration. To prove this, the player will have to show his hand, else he would be penalized normally for noten riichi. The player still pays for being noten, and if he's East the deal rotates.

Passing information:
Penalty at the referee discretion. Minor cases would not be penalized.
It is permissible to correct a player who is about to commit a minor irregularity or etiquette error.
It is permissible to make it clear if a player has a dead hand.

A player caught cheating will be disqualified immediately.

Penalty at the referee discretion.
Repeated obstructive behaviour can result in disqualification.
Don't abuse the rules.
Don't exploit loop-holes in the rules.

Fault due to another player's fault:
In case a player commits a fault due to another player's fault, the suitable penalty is at the referee's discretion.

Phone ringing:
Point penalty at the referee's discretion, depending on the level of disturbance.

Using an electronic device (walkman, ...):
Penalty at the referee's discretion.

Being late for a hanchan:
• Being late by one to ten minutes:One (1) point penalty per minute.
• Being late by more than ten minutes:Replacement by a substitute player for the hanchan.

Missing a hanchan and substitute players:
Substitute players are scored normally and then not included in the ranking.

The player missing the hanchan doesn't get any point and will have a 30 points penalty.
This penalty is not cumulative with the 10 points penalty for being late ten minutes. A player who is late by ten minutes and is substituted will only have a 30 points penalty for missing the hanchan.

At the head referee discretion, a player intentionally missing a hanchan without good reason can be disqualified for obstruction; especially if he leaves the table when his score is below the penalty, or if the penalty doesn't make a real difference regarding his current overall score.