1. Arranging Matches


When the initial draw is made for the Teams of Four championship and the Switch (early June) the knockout organiser will decide when each round has to be played. 


The captains should get in touch with each other as soon as possible after they receive notification of the draw to begin negotiating a date to play the match.


In the first instance the away captain has the right to offer at least four dates to the home team which should be done within three weeks of receiving notification of the draw. Of these dates no more than two shall fall in any seven day period and they must contain at least two different days of the week. 


If the away team does not offer any dates within the three weeks then the home team will now have the right to offer at least four dates to the away team using the same rules as above. 


Captains should make every effort to find an alternative date if none of the dates in the first offer can be agreed.


If a match is not played by the date set by the knockout organiser (no extensions will be allowed) one or both teams will be eliminated according to the following:


1.   If the away team offered the dates as defined by the above the home team will be eliminated.


2.   If the away team hadn’t offered dates but the home team had offered dates according to the above the away team will be eliminated.


3.   If neither team had offered any dates then both teams will be eliminated.


If a match consists of 48-boards, weekend dates must be offered. In the event that the dates offered for a 48-board match do not include at least two weekend dates, the home team may require the away team to offer additional dates which shall make up a total of two weekend dates. As an alternative, a 48 board or longer match can be split over two evenings.


Captains are required to confirm a starting time when agreeing a date. Breaking an agreement as to starting time is equivalent to breaking an agreement as to the date.



2. Late Arrivals


Should a team arrive 30 minutes late or more, its opponents have the following rights:-


a) After 45 minutes of un-notified late arrival or one and a half hours of notified late arrival, the match is awarded to the non-offending side. [Note that one member of a team being present within 45 minutes of the scheduled starting time is an indication of the intention of the team as a whole to arrive, and thus constitutes ‘notification’ within the

meaning of this clause.]


b) After 30 minutes of late arrival (whether notified or not). The match is to be reduced by two boards. For each further complete 15-minute period of notified late arrival, further sets of two boards are removed. The non-offending side is awarded 3 IMPs per board removed (100 aggregate points per board in the Switch Cup). The maximum number of boards which can be removed is eight as more than this implies rule a) above applies.


c) Where boards are removed from a match which does not involve a compulsory change of opponents (e.g. Teams of 4) a short stanza is to be played first, removing board one onwards, in order to produce stanzas of the pre-scheduled number of boards thereafter. In the case of matches that involve a compulsory change of opponents, (e.g Switch Cup), as equal a number of boards as possible should be removed from all stanzas; if one or more stanzas must be one board shorter than the others, then the ‘short’ stanza(s) shall be played first. The match shall begin with board no. 1, and finish with the highest numbered board now scheduled to be played.


d)  If both teams are late, the above regulations apply from the time that the first complete team (i.e. at least 4 members) is present. Thus, for example, the other team has 45 minutes (un-notified) or 90 minutes (notified) in which to arrive from that time.



3) Miscellaneous General Regulations


It is the responsibility of the home team to provide a suitable venue.


a) Smoking


The standard arrangement is that all smoking is prohibited at the playing table throughout the match, including the use of electronic cigarettes. Team captains may discuss smoking arrangements when arranging the match and vary the standard arrangement by mutual consent.


b) Mobile phones & other electronic communication equipment


Players should not telephone, email, or text from the playing room, and should not leave the room during a hand to do so.


c) Disabled access and other special requirements


Should the away team give sufficient notice that one of its members has special requirements, including due to allergies, the home captain is required to provide a suitable venue to accommodate them. If he is unable to comply, then the away team may elect to play the match at a venue provided by and paid for by them (which specifically includes the option to play the match at their own home venue). The away captain retains the right to offer dates as described in section 4.


If the proposed venue for a home match is at a club when there is a club session in play and the match is longer than the club session the away team may elect to play the match at a venue provided by them as per above.


d) Refreshments


In return for not having to travel, the home team is expected to provide refreshments to both teams. The scale on which this is provided should take into account the length of the match and the distance travelled by the away team.


f) Dealing of Boards


Boards should be shuffled and dealt at the table at the start of each set. A player of each side must be present at the dealing of every board. Any player in doubt may require a board to be re-dealt before it is first played. Alternatively, team captains may agree to another means of board dealing (e.g. via a ‘Duplimate’ machine) subject to satisfactory security arrangements being in place.


g) Submission of Match Result


The winning captain should enter the result via the EBUKnockout Management System  within 48 hours. (or notify a member of the ECBA Committee if this is not possible). Both team captains should record which members of their team played and how many boards each team member played. This is important for the allocation on masterpoints.

Either captain has the right to lodge an appeal against a ruling already received (see below). Subject to this, when both captains have agreed the result it is final.



4) Rulings in Matches Played Privately


In a match played privately, the regulations and directives of the EBU Laws & Ethics Committee shall apply as contained in the current EBU Laws of Duplicate Bridge and ‘Blue Book’ as published on the EBU website.


i) Clarification of factors affecting application of the laws and regulations with respect to matches played privately.


The following clarification of the factors affecting the application of law and regulations is issued in the light of the Laws of Duplicate Bridge, sections 9B1(a) and 92B, with respect to matches played privately.


            a ‘End of Round’ (Law 8B)

            A ‘round’ in a match played privately comprises a number of boards played           without an interval in which scores may be compared. A pair who meet their     colleagues and compare scores have already completed the round in which they    have been engaged.


            b ‘Calling the Director’ (Law 9B)

            The equivalent of summoning the Director in accordance with Law 9B1 is to         inform one’s opponents at the table that one wishes to have a ruling. The request             for a ruling must be specific and should be made before the protesting side calls         on the next board, or the end of the round, whichever is the sooner.


            c Drawing attention to a possible irregularity

            Any comment at the table which points to the possibility of an irregularity draws   attention to the irregularity within the meaning of Law 9B1(a). If no request for a   ruling is then stated the players are in the position generally of players when     attention is drawn to an irregularity and the Director is not immediately             summoned. (Reservation of Rights under Law 16A1 does not override this   condition if the request for a ruling is not then made within the specified time         limit).


ii) Calling for a ruling


If you think an irregularity has occurred which has damaged your side, you should proceed as follows:


            a. Raise the matter (by, say, reserving your rights) at the time, preferably before     the board has finished, but certainly before you remove your cards from the next board.


            b Confirm your wish to have a ruling before your opponents have left the table to score up that set of boards; if after scoring you withdraw your request that would         be an end of the matter.


A failure to take these steps puts you in the same position as a player in a public competition who fails to call the Tournament Director at the appropriate time. You may still request a ruling as long as you do it within twenty minutes of the end of the match. However, the longer the time lapse, the more difficult it is to establish the facts and Directors, like Tournament Directors in public competitions, may be less inclined to find damage which the player did not appear to be aware of at the time. However, a player who could not have known an irregularity had occurred will be in a stronger position than one who could or should have noticed but did not mention it at the time.


iii) When a ruling of the first instance is required


If a ruling of the first instance is required, the procedures outlined below should be followed:


            a. Captains agree upon an outcome.

            b. Captains contact a suitably qualified director if one is known to be available to   

                ask for a ruling in the first instance (as opposed to an appeal against a ruling        

                already given) (A list of directors willing to be contacted will be provided to                      team captains)

            c. Captains agree upon, and contact, a suitable arbiter.


If no agreement or ruling can be agreed at the time of the match then


            d. Captains submit the case in writing to a member of the ECBA committee who   will forward the request to a suitably qualified director.


iv) Means of obtaining a ruling of the first instance


Under the above, captains may decide to forward details of the question with the match result for arbitration. In that case, or when it proves impossible to obtain a ruling, please ensure that full details are supplied (along with such statements as the players and captains wish to make).


The match result should be endorsed ‘Subject to ruling on board….’ and both captains should confirm their agreement with the details forwarded.


Teams should be aware, if they chose to request a ruling in this way, that a decision based on Law 12C1(c) could result in a tied match. In a knockout match they should play additional boards at the time (as prescribed in paragraph 9) to cover this eventuality.


v) Effect of a ruling of the first instance


Any decision obtained by the procedures above is a binding ruling to be acted upon (but see also the section below relating to appeals). If a score adjustment is awarded on the board no substitute board is played. A ruling that a board shall be cancelled, if known by the captains prior to the start of the last set of boards, allows a replacement to be added to the next set to be played (with identical dealer and vulnerability); such a decision becoming known later than this means that no replacement board should be played. A substitute board may need to be played even if a procedural penalty (normally 3 IMPs, or 100 aggregate points in the case of the Switch Cup, but occasionally more) has been issued.


vi) Appeals Procedures


A ruling made under the provisions of iii) b, c, or d above may be appealed by either captain.. Notification of the intention to appeal a ruling already received must be made within 48 hours of receiving the ruling.


Appeals should be dealt with by writing to a member of the ECBA committee who will make arrangements for an appeal to be considered by a panel which will not include the person who made the original ruling, in accordance with normal  EBU procedures for dealing with an appeal.


To submit such an appeal, write down:



The ECBA will be responsible for arrangements to determine the appeal, and for altering the match score, should this be required in the outcome and may require a deposit to be paid which will be returned as long as the appeal is not judged to be frivolous.


Teams should be aware if they choose to appeal a ruling in this way, that a decision based on Law 12C1(c) could result in a tied match. They should play additional boards at the time (as prescribed in paragraph 9) to cover this eventuality.

Rules Specific to Teams of 4



No of Boards


Rounds prior to the semi-final will consist of 32 boards played in 4 stanzas of 8 boards.


The semi final will consist of 48  boards played in 6 stanzas of 8 boards


The Final will consist of 64 boards played in 8 stanzas of 8 boards.


Captains may agree a lesser number of boards for the semi-final and final.


This is a level-4 competition throughout.




Scoring is by IMPs. In the event of a tie in any of those competitions, additional boards will be played equal to one-eighth of the original scheduled number of boards in the match (e.g. four boards in a match of 25-32 boards). This process is to be repeated until the tie is broken. There are no seating rights during a tiebreak. If necessary, captains should exchange written declarations of the placing of their teams.


Seating Rights


 Seating rights operate as follows:


The captain who wins the toss may take the first choice or may pass that choice to his opponent.


Choices are made as follows:


(a) Matches of four stanzas – 1st choice: the captain selects one stanza in which he will have seating rights (i.e. how to place his own pairs after opponents have nominated their line-up), 2nd choice: the other captain next selects two of the remaining three stanzas in which he will have seating rights, and the remaining stanza is then taken by the captain who had first choice.


(b) Matches of six stanzas – 1st choice: the captain selects two stanzas, which may not be both stanzas 5 & 6 (but may be one or the other of these), in which he will have seating rights (i.e. how to place his own pairs after opponents have nominated their line-up): 2nd choice: the other captain next selects three of the remaining four stanzas in which he will have seating rights. The remaining stanza is then taken by the captain who had first choice.

. Rules Specific to the Switch Cup


  1. The contest will be a knock–out and four players only will play in any one match.
  2. Each match will consist of 30 boards of duplicate bridge with aggregate scoring, scoring honours provided they are claimed before the start of the next hand or the end of the stanza.
  3. Each player must play with each other member of the team for an equal number of boards.
  4. The captains play against each other for the whole match.
  5. The team captains will be notified of the draw and play-by dates once the draw has been made.
  6. The final will be a match of 48 boards, each member of the team playing 16 boards with each other. Captains may agree a lesser number.