Bracknell Bridge League

THE LEAGUE RULES

(SEE ALSO SECTION 7 OF THE BBL CONSTITUTION)

Rules dated 8th June 2017

Changes from previous version: Rules 4 and 5 amended to take account of the EBU League Management System.

Contents
1 The Season
2 Players
3 Teams
4 Match Programme
5 Re-arrangement of matches
6 Match confirmation
7 Match starting time
8 Penalties for late arrival
9 Matches
10 Conversion to Victory Points
11 Result Cards
12 Disputes
13 League Tables
14 Withdrawals
15 Final League positions
16 Trophies
17 Promotion and relegation

1. The Season
 1.1  The League season shall run from about mid-September to mid-April.
 1.2  Entries for the season must be made via email to the League Secretary by the end of June (the actual closing date will be announced during the League AGM each year). The appropriate fee should be sent direct to the Treasurer at the same time as the entry is submitted. The home night for each team must be specified.
 1.3  As soon as possible after the End of Season Pairs competition, the League Secretary shall notify all League Clubs of the results of the previous season and the consequent provisional promotions and relegations for the following season.
 1.4  New Teams applying to join the League.
  1.4.1  A new team applying to join the League will normally be entered into the lowest Division for the following season.
  1.4.2  At the discretion of the Committee, who shall particularly take into account the proven playing ability of the new team members, the new team may be entered into a higher Division subject only to the caveat that any teams directly affected agree to the positioning of the new team. An example of a 'directly affected' team could be where a team was not promoted in order to accommodate the new team.
 1.5  At the discretion of the Committee, who shall particularly take into account the proven playing ability of the likely team members for the next season, an EXISTING team who are demonstrably better or worse than the standard of the Division they would normally be playing in next season may be fast tracked to a higher or lower Division as appropriate, subject only to the caveat that any teams directly affected agree to the re-positioning of the existing team. An example of a 'directly affected' team could be where a team was not promoted in order to accommodate the fast tracked team.
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2. Players
 2.1  A player shall be eligible to play for any Club provided he/she has not played for any other Club in the League in the current season.
 2.2  In exceptional circumstances the Committee may permit a player to cease playing for one Club and become eligible to play for another Club in the same season. Applications to the Committee under this rule shall be made in writing and state the circumstances in detail. The Committee shall give a ruling within 28 days of receiving the application.
 2.3  During each season, a player may play in the total number of matches equal to the number of matches played by his/her team in that season, with the caveat that not more than half of the matches may be played for teams in other Divisions. If a player was scheduled to appear in a match that was subsequently logged as 'unfulfilled', this would not count in the total number of matches that he/she can play.
 2.4  Any team that plays a player that is not eligible shall be deemed to have forfeited the match.
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3. Teams
For any match a team shall consist of four players.
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4. Match Programme
 4.1  The match programme shall be arranged so that:
  (i)  in all divisions except the lowest, each team plays every other team in their division twice per season.
  (ii)  The Committee decision under paragraph 6.4.1 of the BBL Constitution will determine the number of matches to be played in the lowest division during each season.
  (iii)  Matches between teams from the same club in the same Division should be played in the first half of each half of the season.
 4.2  The Fixtures Secretary shall compile a list of match nights as early as possible and not later than 1st August and post the match programme on LMS by 1st September.
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5. Re-arrangement of matches
 5.1  Teams should make reasonable endeavours to play matches on the originally scheduled dates.
 5.2  The team captains may negotiate if necessary with any opposing captain to change dates which are not suitable and record the new date on LMS.
 5.3  All matches must be completed by the end of the first full week of April each year (or such later date as the Committee may decree).
 5.4  If teams agree to change around their home and away fixtures, it is the responsibility of the Home team captain according to the original match schedule to change LMS.
 5.5  The Committee shall take appropriate action to prevent teams from the same club playing in the same Division, re-arranging a fixture which could affect promotion or relegation to near the end of the season.
 5.6  Unfulfilled scheduled matches
Any team failing to fulfil a scheduled match will be deemed to have forfeited that match. The IMPs/VPs awarded are defined in Rule 14.4
 5.7  In the event that a forfeited match in the second half of the season affects the end of season placings, the Committee has the right to insist that the match is played.
 5.8  If a match is started but a team is unable to complete it, that team may be deemed to have forfeited the match. The IMPs/VPs awarded are defined in Rule 14.4
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6. Match confirmation
 6.1  The team contact of the home Club shall get in touch with the team contact of the away Club at least three days before the date in the match programme to:
  (i)  confirm the match venue and the starting time and
  (ii)  advise the away team of any delays in reaching the match location, e.g. security requirements.
 6.2  Failure to arrange contact between the teams prior to a match may lead to the forfeiture of a match at the discretion of the Committee. The away team contact has a responsibility to the home team contact under rule 6.1.
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7. Match starting time
 7.1  The four players of a team shall be in position at the tables by the agreed starting time. The default starting time is 19.30 hours but the captains can agree an alternative starting time.
 7.2  Should a team not be in position at the default time or other agreed starting time, the delay, in minutes, shall be notified to the Results Secretary with an indication of the offending team.
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8. Penalties for late arrival
 8.1  The penalties for teams regularly arriving late are to be determined by the Committee.
 8.2  If a team is not ready to start a match by thirty minutes after the starting time previously agreed by the two captains, the non-offending captain may opt to claim the match by forfeit. The score will be calculated as in Rule 14.4.
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9. Matches
 9.1  Except at the mutual agreement of the two captains concerned, matches shall be played on weekday evenings, that is Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday evenings.
 9.2  Each match shall normally consist of twenty four boards. In the event of a late start or slow play the captains may agree to play fewer boards (minimum twenty). Both captains shall be responsible for ensuring that the players are seated at the correct polarity at both tables.
 9.3  Except at the mutual agreement of the two captains concerned, the match location shall be within a ten mile radius of the site of Bracknell Railway Station. This area includes the following places:
Ascot, Bagshot, Blackwater, Bracknell, Camberley, Crowthorne, Finchampstead, Holyport, Jealotts Hill, Sandhurst, Sunningdale, Sunninghill, Winnersh, Wokingham and Yateley.
 9.4  In the event of a disagreement over the legality of a proposed match venue, the dispute shall be settled by the Committee.
 9.5  In matches played in a private house, the standard arrangement is that smoking is prohibited at the playing tables throughout the match. However, the match host shall provide an area away from the playing tables, which may be outside the house, where smoking is permitted during scoring breaks. Team captains may wish to discuss smoking arrangements when arranging a match and the standard arrangement may be varied by mutual agreement. (Vide the EBU Competitions Handbook)
 9.6  Matches will be played in accordance with English Bridge Union (EBU) rules and regulations in force at the time. From 1998, the EBU has defined various categories of permitted conventions. Only those systems and conventions listed as falling within the category defined as level 4 may be used in league matches and competitions.
 9.7  In all matches the away team has seating rights - viz the home team pairs take their places and the away team chooses where they will sit. In the second half, the home team pairs must play the other opposition pair.
 9.8  Pre-dealt boards, including computer dealt boards, may be used for matches with the prior agreement of both captains. Hand records may be provided after the event if required.
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10. Conversion to Victory Points
The overall points score for each board shall be converted to International Match Points (IMP) in the usual way, and the overall (24 board) IMP margin converted to Victory Points (VP) according to the EBU scale currently in force. Please refer to the EBU White Book - note that VP scales vary according to the number of boards played.
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11. Result Submission
 11.1  The match result must reach the Results Secretary by the end of the week following the match date in the match programme, or by the end of the week following an agreed re-arranged date notified to the Results Secretary. If this doesn't happen, then the home team may, at the discretion of the Committee, have two Victory Points deducted from their League Victory Point total. This penalty will normally only be applied for repeated late notifications.
 11.2  The default method for reporting results is via the BBL website. Other methods may be utilised provided that the following information is supplied:
  (i)  the names of the two teams,
  (ii)  the number of the division,
  (iii)  the full names of the players (in capital letters), ie forename & surname,
  (iv)  the International Match Point scores.
 11.3  A late start or any dispute should be notified to the Results Secretary, preferably via email, within the timeframe specified in 11.1.
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12. Disputes
In the event of a dispute, an agreed statement of facts should be submitted to the Results Secretary by one captain, copy the other, or both captains if there is a dispute over the facts. The Committee shall resolve the dispute, contacting an EBU director if necessary for a ruling and send a copy of such resolution to both captains within seven days of receiving it. Any appeal against this ruling must be received within fourteen days of the dispatch of the ruling by the Results Secretary to the team captains. The appeal must be accompanied by the fee required at that time by the EBU.
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13. League Tables
 13.1  The Results Secretary shall maintain a League Table for each division.
 13.2  Results and League tables will be published and updated weekly on the BBL website where possible.
 13.3  The League tables shall be passed to the local press at the end of each half season.
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14. Withdrawals
 14.1  Standard (all play all twice) Divisions
  a)  If there are two or more other teams in the Division which the withdrawing team has failed to play at all, then all the withdrawing team's results are cancelled.
  b)  If a team withdraws having played all but one of the other teams twice then all its results stand. Results will be awarded for any unfulfilled matches (see 14.4 below).
  c)  Where neither a) nor b) applies, the withdrawing team's first result against each of the other teams will stand. A single awarded result will be given against any team it failed to play at all. The second result against any team they managed to play twice will be cancelled.
 14.2  Conference Divisions
  a)  In a Conference Division teams play members of the same Conference twice and members of other Conference(s) once only.
  b)  If there are two or more other teams in the same Conference, or two or more teams in other Conferences, which the withdrawing team has failed to play at all, then all the withdrawing team's results are cancelled.
  c)  Where b) does not apply but the team has failed to play both its matches against two or more other teams in the same Conference then its first result against each of the other teams will stand. A single awarded result will be given against any teams it has failed to play at all. The second result against any team they have managed to play twice will be cancelled.
  d)  Where neither b) or c) applies, all the withdrawing team's results will stand. Results will be awarded for any unfulfilled matches (see 14.4 below).
 14.3  Multiple withdrawals
If more than one team withdraws from the same Division, including a Conference Division, the above Rules are applied to the first team to withdraw. This team is then excluded for the purpose of applying the Rules to the second and any subsequent teams to withdraw.
 14.4  Results of Unfulfilled matches
  (a)  calculate the difference in average net IMPs between the teams
  (b)  if, according to this calculation, the non-offending team won the match, add the net IMP difference to their aggregate. Otherwise deduct the net IMP difference from their aggregate.
  (c)  award VPs to the non-offending team using the normal conversion table from IMPs to VPs
  (d)  the offending side scores zero VPs and IMPs
  (e)  In exceptional circumstances the Executive Committee shall be empowered to award an adjusted match result.
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15. Final League positions
 15.1  The final League positions shall be determined by the Victory Points totals of the teams. However, should there be a tie in Victory Points, the League positions shall be decided by consideration of the match results between the teams concerned, taking account firstly of the Victory Points gained and then, if these are equal, by consideration of the International Match Points gained.
 15.2  Promotion from the Conference Sections (NB - this rule only applies when the lowest Division is divided into two Sections).
  15.2.1  The final league positions in each Section shall be determined by the Victory Points (VPs) totals of the teams, and both Section winners will normally be promoted.
  15.2.2  The Division winners will be the Section winners with the higher average VP total. In the event of a tie on VPs, the Division winners will be the Section winners that scored more IMPs in their head to head match.
  15.2.3  In the event that it is necessary to promote a third team from this Division, the procedure detailed in 15.2.2 above will be applied to the runners-up in each Section to determine the third placed team.
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16. Trophies
 16.1  Trophies shall be provided for the winners of each division. These shall be presented at the end of the season and held for one year.
 16.2  Trophies shall be returned to the Secretary before the presentation ceremony for the following season.
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17. Promotion and relegation
 17.1  Save in exceptional circumstances (to be determined by the Committee) at the end of each season the bottom two teams in each division (except the lowest) shall be relegated to the next lower division and the top two teams in each division (except Division 1) shall be promoted to the next higher division.
 17.2  In order to maintain the structure of the league the Committee may, in the event of a team withdrawing from the league, promote more than two teams although two teams will always be relegated, one of whom shall be the team that withdrew.
 17.3  In the event of the lowest division being temporarily divided into two Conferences, the Committee shall decide, at the start of the season, the rules for that season governing promotion and relegation between these Conferences and the next higher division.
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Issue 6 dated 8th June 2017