Can spectators hold players' cards?

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Can anyone point me towards a rule, if it exists, that says spectators may not hold other players' hands?  And by hands I mean their cards in hand, not literally their hands (although that would be weird too).  At my last prerelease, one of my opponents would hand his cards to his friend sitting next to him, and I told him I didn't think that was allowed.  He asked why not, and I said it could be construed as coaching.  I didn't want to come right out and say "Because it looks like cheating."  Thanks.
Can anyone point me towards a rule, if it exists, that says spectators may not hold other players' hands?  And by hands I mean their cards in hand, not literally their hands (although that would be weird too).  At my last prerelease, one of my opponents would hand his cards to his friend sitting next to him, and I told him I didn't think that was allowed.  He asked why not, and I said it could be construed as coaching.  I didn't want to come right out and say "Because it looks like cheating."  Thanks.



The closest at can find at the moment is this:

"Spectators are responsible for remaining silent and passive during matches" 
 
It seems that if they are holding the player's cards, then they are no longer being passive.

If you ever have any questions during a tournament, you should call a judge.  That's what they're there for.
 
Spectators are allowed to hold player's cards.

The most pertinent example would be a player with MS or some other disability that would prevent him from holding his own cards.

However, the example you cited could certainly be treated suspiciously and the fact that they may be allowed to do so does not necessarily exclude the possibility of cheating. If there's any doubt, call a judge.

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Spectators are allowed to hold player's cards.

The most pertinent example would be a player with MS or some other disability that would prevent him from holding his own cards.

However, the example you cited could certainly be treated suspiciously and the fact that they may be allowed to do so does not necessarily exclude the possibility of cheating. If there's any doubt, call a judge.




That seems pretty sketchy, but it already seems to have been covered. I never would have guessed things like this happened.  

This sounds sketchy, unless the first person has a disability and needs help with the basic motions involved in playing the game. As far as I can see, it doesn't directly violate a rule if the second person has the first's consent, but the opportunities for cheating increase exponentially if this kind of thing is going on. Certainly it's well within the realm of things a judge can reasonably instruct players not to do.

I certainly wouldn't allow it as a judge or be comfortable with it as a player if the second person were also a player in the tournament. Barring that, I'd watch the situation closely and be extra-vigilant about reporting (as a player) or clamping down quickly on (as a judge) anything that looked out of place.
Jeff Heikkinen DCI Rules Advisor since Dec 25, 2011
Thanks for the replies.  The player had no disabilities, a circumstance that I'd certainly make allowances for.  It was more of a "Look what cool cards I have!" type of thing and I don't believe there was any intention to coach or cheat.  But I could see where a spectator could slightly elevate a card or make some other subtle move that would coach the player towards what to play next.  Wasn't a huge deal, just made me uncomfortable.  Thank you again.
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