( Constituent  member of the English Bridge Union )













1.1          For the Bridge Leagues, the county will be split into regions which will be determined in order to minimise travelling.   New regional leagues may be created at the discretion of the League Secretary.



1.2          Each regional league will have a number of divisions, which will be determined by the number of entries. Each division may have up to a maximum of eight teams unless agreed otherwise by the County Committee.   The season will run from September to April.







2.1          Bridge clubs or groups of players may enter one or several teams-of-four for inclusion in the appropriate regional league.



2.2          Where a team is made up from players who qualify to play in different regional leagues, the league in which the team will be included shall be determined by the home venue of the team.



2.3         Where there is no league in an area, teams from that area may enter in the league of their choice, provided they travel to all matches.



2.4          Newcomers to the leagues will be placed in the lowest division, unless known form (such as Master Points holdings or results in County competitions) warrants otherwise.   Where a higher division is justified this can only be implemented if a suitable vacancy exists.  



2.5          Arrangement of matches;

(a) The home team will be expected to provide accommodation, equipment and simple refreshments, free of charge, for the visiting team.

(b) The away captain should offer at least two different weekdays.   Captains cannot insist on playing matches on a Saturday or Sunday.

2.5(c) The away team captain should contact the home captain at least two weeks before the first of the month in which the match has to be played (i.e. the match is scheduled for November, contact must be made by 18th October). Any difficulty should be reported to the league secretary.

All matches must be played no later than six weeks after the first day of the month scheduled, (i.e. November match must be played by 14th December)

 (d) If a team which has been drawn away gives the home team reasonable notice (say 10 days) that it includes a disabled player with special requirements then the home team shall be requested to provide a venue which is able to accommodate those special requirements.   If the home team is unable to do so then the venue of the match shall be switched to one provided by the away team at its’ own expense.

(e) Matches may only be played within the area of the regional leagues.









2.6               (a) Provided there are not less than six teams in a division, two teams shall be promoted and two teams shall be relegated from that division. If however, under Guideline 2.4 an extra team is added to a division, other than the lowest division, then an extra team may be relegated from that division at the end of the season.


(b) Where there are less than eight teams in a division, or teams do not re-enter the following season, the league may be restructured by promoting additional teams or by such action as the League Secretary deems appropriate.



2.7          Re-Entry: Where less than three members of a team apply to play in the same division of the league in which they had played in the previous year, the League Secretary may, at his discretion, accept such an application but may not do so without very good reasons. Where the application is refused, the players may play in the division immediately below that in which they participated in the previous year.



2.8          Local Points will be awarded to players for each match won or drawn in accordance with the EBU Master Points Handbook, District Scale.   Points will be credited directly.

(a) Additional ranking points will be awarded to the top third of the field, (e.g. for eight teams in a division, the top two teams qualify for ranking points).

(b) Team members must play one third of the matches to qualify for ranking points.



2.9          Trophies and prizes will be presented at the Annual General Meeting of the Essex Contract Bridge Association.



2.10        Bidding boxes: Bidding boxes should be used whenever possible.   Bidding boxes may be borrowed from the League Secretary.  




3.    RULES


3.1          Players or teams contravening the rules are liable to disqualification, relegation or loss of points.



3.2          The Laws and Ethics of Duplicate Contract Bridge as issued by the EBU shall apply.



3.3          An entry fee will be fixed annually to cover all expenses.



3.4          Team Members: At least 4 players should be registered at the beginning of the season.


         3.4.1    During the season a team of four may register two additional players. A maximum of six players per team, per season is permitted.  Rule 3.14 applies when a team plays more than six players.


         3.4.2    Registration of new team members, either as permanent members or as substitutes, closes on the 31st of March in each league year. In the event of an unregistered player, playing for a team after this date, then rule 3.14 applies.


         3.4.3. A team playing an unregistered player is deemed to have played an ineligible player and rule 3.14 applies.



3.5          No player may be registered to play for more than one club or group in any one season, or in more than one Regional league.



3.6          Where a team has only four members and because, for example, of the indisposition of a team member, they would be otherwise precluded from playing the fixture, which could not conveniently be rearranged, a substitute player may be included.   Such substitute shall not during the season in question;

                (a) have played in a different Regional league.

                (b) have played in the same or a higher division of the Regional league in question.








3.7          If a substitute player plays two or more matches for a team, that player shall not be eligible to play as a member of, or as substitute for a player in a team belonging to the same or a lower division.




3.8          Players’ Eligibility


3.8.1       In accordance with the ECBA constitution, players are deemed eligible to play in the leagues if they have FULL or DUAL Essex County membership.   In a change to previous practice, it has been agreed that players who are not registered with the ECBA may play for two seasons in the Novices Division.


                3.8.2       Players who do not qualify under rule 3.8.1 may not participate in the South East/West Essex leagues.


                3.8.3       Team captains are responsible for ensuring eligibility of players before each match. Rule 3.14 applies when a team plays an ineligible player.


                3.8.4       Players who have allowed their Essex County membership to lapse are deemed to be “ineligible”.


                3.8.5       Waiver - only under exceptional circumstances and with prior notification, the League Secretary may permit an ineligible, (rule 3.8.4.), player to play one match. The player’s membership subscriptions must be paid within seven days, after which rule 3.14 applies.



3.9          Fixtures: A fixture list will be published at the start of the season.   Matches should not lapse by more than one month.  If there are problems in arranging the nominated match, then captains should try to arrange an alternative fixture to avoid end of season congestion.   Teams have an obligation to help in the smooth running and fair competition in the Leagues.   The closing date for the season will be notified to all team captains.   Matches may be played after this date and up to 7 days before the AGM provided the League Secretary has been notified in advance and has agreed.   In those cases where there is no good reason for the extension the teams involved will be penalised 2VPs. 



3.10        Boards: Matches will consist of 24 boards to be played in groups of 12, each pair to play 12 boards against each opposing pair. The scores shall be compared after the first 12 boards, when there shall be a short interval for refreshments. The right to place in the first half is decided by a toss of a coin, with the visiting team changing seats and positions after the interval.   In any one match, a team may only be represented by four players.


                In the Novices Division, matches will consist of 20 boards played in groups of 10.



3.11        Scoring will be by International Match Points (IMPs) converted into Victory Points (VPs) as amended in 2014
































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League points will be awarded on the Victory Point scale.



3.12        Claiming Matches: Every effort should be made to rearrange matches and not cancel them. Should this be impossible, the following method of scoring will apply:

                (a) The offending team shall receive zero points.

                (b) The team claiming the points may either:-

                                (i) Claim 12 Victory Points immediately or

(ii) Claim an average (to the nearest whole number) of their points at the end of the season, or an average of the points scored against their opponents at the end of the season, whichever is the higher.


                                 Example: Claimants team     ---     72 Victory Points from seven matches. Average is 10.


                                 ORGANISATION - GUIDELINES - RULES






  Offending team    ---     78 Victory Points scored against them from six matches. Average is 13.


                                   The claimant would therefore take 13.


                (c) Where a match is claimed, or treated as “cancelled”, master points are not awarded.

(d) When claiming a match a letter should be sent to the League Secretary giving reasons for the claim. If the League Secretary thinks the claim is justified, a copy of the letter will be forwarded to the opposing team captain. If the opposing team does not agree to the claim, they should reply in writing giving their reasons. The League Secretary will then consider both cases and advise each captain of the decision.





3.13        Rule 3.12 does not apply to matches against any team which drops out after less than four or half the allocated matches. The results of matches played against a team so doing are declared null and void, and the defaulting team’s record is expunged.   In the event of applying to re-join the league, no team having withdrawn the previous year can be guaranteed to return to the same division. 



3.14        If an ineligible player is played in a match, the non-offending team may:

                (a) Require the match to be replayed

                (b) Require the match to be treated as “cancelled” and dealt with under rule 3.12



3.15        Results:

                All results are to be submitted to the English Bridge Union. Captains, or their nominated representative, will submit the result. Captains have been notified of the procedure.  

                Any problem s should be notified to the league secretaryessexbridgeleagues@btconnect.com  



3.16        Disputes and Interpretations: Where there is dispute or doubt about the meaning or interpretation of these rules, the matter should be referred to the League Secretary.   If there is an appeal the ECBA Committee’s decision shall be binding and final.



3.17        Resolution of Ties: In the event of a tie in VPs, the tie shall be resolved using the following methods - in order of precedence:

                (a) Result in IMPs of the match played by the teams in question.

                (b) Number of matches won and drawn by each team.

                (c) Net IMPs.

                (d) Total IMPs.