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European Mahjong Association

EMA Riichi Referee Seminar 2016

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EMA Riichi Referee Seminar
Farnham, Surrey, UK, 6 October 2016


There are two main purposes:
· To certify EMA referees
· In the longer term to create a common European standard for refereeing at official EMA certified competitions


The content is split into 3 major parts:
· Rules and regulations, clarification and motivation of the rules and regulations used by EMA
· Behaviour, how to act as referee in a different situations, and how to interact with the players
· Certification, an individual written test to examine if the participant has grasped the key points, a certain score is needed for the certification to be granted

The content is focused on RCR, but some is also relevant for MCR.


The participants are expected to show interest for:
· Understanding and exercising the rules and fair play
· Being a referee and help players with clarifications and guidance
· Making sure EMA certified tournaments are refereed in a proper and orderly manner


The participants are expected to read the rules carefully within the last couple of weeks before the seminar:
· Riichi – Rules for Japanese Mahjong, from EMA, 1 April 2016

Practical info

The expected time table on 6 October is 10am-5pm. Schedule and venue to be confirmed.
The seminar and test will be in English.
The registration is £35, incl. lunch.


The material for the referee seminar has been produced and will be presented by:
· Tina Christensen, author of the official (English) EMA Riichi Rules
· Morten Andersen, head referee European Riichi Championship 2008
· Henrik Leth, referee at several Copenhagen riichi tournaments

The material will be distributed latest at the seminar.

Last Updated on Sunday, 05 June 2016 12:36

EMA requirements and guidelines

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A number of documents describes the requirements of EMA member organizations and requirements and guidelines for MERS certified tournaments.

Application form for certification of MERS tournaments
Applications forms for MERS certificaion of tournaments must be submitted to the board of EMA by the board member of the applicant country. After approval the tournament is announced on the calendar.

EMA requirements for member organizations
Each member organisation has an obligation to be active, reporting activities to the EMA General Assembly and organising at least one MERS tournament each year.

The Mahjong Europea Ranking System (MERS)
This document outlines the number of tournaments that can be certified and the requirement of the national organisation to list its players with unique EMA ID numbers.

EMA requirements and guidelines for MERS tournaments
This document outlines the certification procedure and severeal tournament requirements and guidelines e.g. on referees, substitute players and EMA observer.


Applications for membership of EMA

Applications should be sent to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it and should contain:

  1. Name of organization and legal status.
  2. Name and email address of the president.
  3. Name and email address of the EMA board member. We will add the email address to the mailinglist for the Board of EMA for sending and receiving info.
  4. Home page link, if you have one.
  5. Description of the organization including how many members, what rule sets are practised, what activities are undertaken.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 30 March 2016 15:16

Revised EMA riichi rules come into effect April 1, 2016

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EMA Riichi Rules 2016 frontpageThe main changes since the 2012 edition are listed here:

Red fives have been removed
Tanyao (All Simples) can be an open hand
Renho (Blessing of Man) is a mangan, not a yakuman
Dai suushii (Big Four Winds) is a yakuman, not a double yakuman
A hand with 13+ fan is scored as a sanbaiman, not a yakuman
The 3 second timing rule is removed
Swap-calling is not allowed
Temporary furiten ends when the player draws or claims a tile
Five counters implies two yaku: the rule is removed
Abortive draws are not allowed
Nagashi Mangan is not allowed
Uma is changed to 15,000/5,000/-5,000/-15,000
Chombo penalty in a tournament is 20,000 points deduction after uma
Penalty rules are slightly more lenient in some cases

Differences to World Championship Rules 2015
Multiple winners are allowed
4-30 is not rounded to mangan payment
Timing rules differ; EMA: pung takes predence over chow
Riichi bets at game end go to the winner

Motivation for the rule changes is to be in line with modern style riichi as it played in competion riichi in Japan and the World Riichi Championship 2015 rules have been the main inspiration.

The devaluation of Renhou and 13+ han hand is for the same reason as previous removal of accumulative and double yakuman: hands that are very valuable skew tournament results from skill towards luck, and should be avoided in tournament play.

The chombo payment of 20,000 *after* uma is quite close to paying a reverse mangan to the opponents immediately, maybe event sligthly cheaper. The reverse mangan would often equivalate dropping one or even two positions at the table, that's at least 10,000 points on top of the 8,000 or 12,000 paid for the mangan. The reverse mangan is paid to the opponents who benefit from the mistake, and the dealer gets a larger benefit. This is now avoided.

The abortive draws and Nagashi Mangan were the most difficult rules to consider. People have strong feeling both for and against Nagashi Mangan in particular. It seemed the split for/against were very close to 50/50, and in the end we just had to make a decision. These decisions cannot be strictly objective and well-argued, because in the end it comes down to preferences. In the stalemate circumstances I suggested to use the WRC rules as a guideline.


Last Updated on Monday, 04 April 2016 16:03

ERMC 2016 : Official website open

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The official site of the next European Riichi Championships 2016 is open

Upcoming European Championships

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Riichi European Championship 2016 will take place in the United Kingdom.

100 players will compete through ten hanchans over three days for the title of Riichi European Champion. The venue and the exact dates are not settled yet. The organizing team has experience from several succesful national championships. Two players have wild card seats for the event: Martin Diviš, Czech Republic, European Champion 2013 and John Duckworth, United Kingdom, best European player in World Riichi Championship 2014. The non-European quota will be announced in early October, and after that the dynamical quotas for the EMA countries can be monitored on the ranking pages on this site.


Open European Mahjong Championship 2017 will take place in Portugal

The OEMC 2017 will seat 216 players, including 16 players from China, 12 players from Japan and 8 players from "the rest of the world". The dates and venue are not decided yet, but it is decided that the next EMA General Assembly will take place in the connection with the OEMC 2017. The organizer has experience from several succesful national championships. Two players have wild card seats for the event: the best European player in OEMC 2014, Michael Zahradnik from Germany, and the best European player in the upcoming WMC 2015 in Korea. The European country quotas will be settled on January 1st 2017. The dynamical quotas can be monitored on the ranking pages on this site.

Last Updated on Thursday, 21 January 2016 14:20

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