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The Cheltenham Congress and the Ross-on-Wye GP Weekend are both cancelled for 2020

The latest GCBA Newsletter is available click: GCBA Newsletter  Jun20

Minutes from the 2019 AGM now published.   2020 AGM postponed.


Somerset is running a full congress during 26 Sep - 4 Oct.  Details here.

North Wales is running a Swiss Pairs on Satruday 10th October. Details here.

Wiltshire is running a Green Point Swiss Teams on Sunday 18th October. Details here.

County Leagues


  • MONDAY : Div OneDiv Two
  • CLEVERLY TEAMS : Div One,   Div Two is run as Swiss Teams and is on the results menu



17 Sep 20 : minutes of the September committee meeting (our fifth online meeting)

12 Sep 20 : latest newsletter (by Garry Watson) - Sep 2020 

11 Aug 20 : notes from meeting of club representatives : 02 Aug 2020

20 May 20 : Financial Report and Accounts for the year ending March 2020

05 Nov 19 : Selection Guidelines of the REC published (see Representative Events tab)

23 May 19 : minutes of the 2019 AGM have published.

Representation Management
The Representative Events Committee

Membership: Richard Butland (Chairman), Paul Denning, Lesley Harrison, Roy Collard and Roger Schofield.

Contact the committee at

                                                                                                                                   GCBA Selection Guideline

Purpose of GCBA Selection Guideline

This document sets out the competition results and other factors that are considered in selecting pairs and teams to represent the county, mainly in the Midland Counties League (MCL). It is intended to be a means of enabling county members to understand the selection process and their own suitability for selection.


a) MCL results

The single best predictor of performance in a particular league i.e. the Dawes, Porter or Markham in a forthcoming MCL match is the performance of that pair over the previous 12 months within that league; this is because in each match you have played the same 32 boards against a particular set of 4 opposition pairs. Comparison with pairs in the other 2 leagues lacks this advantage but has the strength of increasing the number of scores and thus should reduce random variation. Historically, results in the Markham league may be more variable than in the Porter or Dawes divisions.

b) Other county team events and Cheltenham Club Pairs league (based on teams scoring)

The weakness of producing Butler imps for the county league, knockout and Swiss teams and the Cheltenham Club Pairs League is that the figures are not comparable as the opposition is different.  Nevertheless, the ranking and scores at the end of the season is useful. 

c)The National Grading System.

There are 3 advantages of the NGS:

  1. Its big advantage is that is based on a more substantial body of data than any other available.
  2. It provides data on all EBU recognised competitions nationally.
  3. It provides information on pairs from the whole of Gloucestershire, not just Cheltenham or county nights
  4.  NGS performance takes into account the (NGS) strength of the opposition.

The major disadvantage is that it is mainly match points rather than IMPs.

Some pairs perform better in local events where they know the opposition who are playing a familiar system than against pairs from outside the county who may be playing unfamiliar systems. Thus, the selection committee gives greater weight to good results outside the county than within the county. Pairs are welcome to report their successes to the Chairman of the Representative Events Committee and for posting on the GCBA website (

Objectives: Following discussion in both the Representative Events Committee and the GCBA Executive Committee, it is agreed that the primary aim is to select teams most likely to win the Dawes, Porter and Markham leagues.   

The REC may select a pair in which it sees potential in order to assist their long term development by providing experience of the level of competition involved. In practice, this latter situation does not commonly arise.

Tollemache Cup: Select the team most likely to qualify and to win the Final.

Selection Guideline

The selection committee takes into account:

  1. MCL – comparison within teams over the past 12 months (and also comparisons across teams).
  2. Past record.
  3. The selection of regular partnerships.
  4. Results in national events
  5. The National Grading System.
  6. Results in: a) County league

                        b) County K.O.

                        c) Cheltenham Club Pairs League

g) Squad Training and Practice

Historically, in the Midland Counties League, teams have been selected a month at a time to allow assessment to include performance in the previous match.  The committee does not consider it appropriate to reassess the ability of a pair based on a single performance in preference to large quantities of other available data.  It was decided to pick teams for the first three matches of the season and then to select the team for December after September`s match.  Selection for matches 2-3 months beforehand seems to have increased availability of players.


The REC uses the relative scores within a team. The relative score derives the match score in a league by adding together the 4 Gloucestershire pairs` Butler IMP scores. A pair`s score is compared with 25% of this derived match score i.e. with the average score of our team in a particular division eg if you play well in a tough match but end up scoring -10 IMPs because teammates are not performing to their usual high standard (their match scores are: - 15, -35 and -40), then the teams total Butler IMPs is -100 IMPS, giving an average of -25 IMPs per pair. As you were only -10 IMPS, your relative score is + 15 IMPs (& your teammates are +10, -10 & -15 IMPs). Occasionally Butler Imps are not available. Half the X-IMP score is used.

The relative scores for a particular match are displayed on the GCBA website as “Rel scores for REC”. On the GCBA home page, find the “Results” column towards the right hand side and click on the match in which you are interested. 

Cumulative relative scores are also displayed. On the left hand side of the GCBA Home Page, left click on the Representative Events tab, then Midland Leagues followed by “Statistics” for the longer term average relative scores of each player.

Drafted by The Representative Events Committee   17 Oct. 2019  Approved by the GCBA EC 4.11.19

The REC Terms of Reference

                                                           Terms of Reference of the Representative Events Committee (REC)

Status: The REC is a committee established by the Gloucestershire County Bridge Association executive committee (GCBA EC). 

Structure: The Chairman is elected by the GCBA. The Chairman nominates 4-6 GCBA members for approval by the GCBA EC to sit on the REC. The Chairman shall have a casting as well as a deliberative vote. A minimum of 3 selectors is needed to form a quorum for any particular decision. For effective communication and functioning between the GCBA committee and the REC, the chair of the REC is an ex-officio member of the GCBA committee.

Authority: The REC is responsible for forming initiatives and policies on selection and training for representative events on behalf of the GCBA. Issues of concern to the GCBA executive committee that are within the REC`s remit will be referred to the REC for discussion. The REC will usually pass back those decisions/policies to the GCBA committee for approval or a request to reconsider.

Role and Responsibilities:

  1. to formulate policies on the principles of selection of county teams and to select teams/pairs based on those principles.

  1. to determine the criteria by which players will be selected and to publish those criteria

  1. the REC is responsible for the training of players that represent GCBA

  1. the successful management of inter-county events

Current Selection Policies

Tollemache Cup: Select the team most likely to qualify and to win the Final

Midland Counties League: The primary aim is to select teams most likely to win the Dawes, Porter and Markham leagues.   

The REC may select a pair in which it sees potential in order to assist their long term development by providing experience of the level of competition involved. In practice, this  situation does not commonly arise.

Midland Counties Bowl: To invite entries and select the 2 teams most likely to win the Bowl.

Edgar Foster Cups: To invite entries and select the 4 pairs most likely to win the Cups..

These roles and selection policies will be reviewed as required.

Drafted by the REC 30.7.18                                           Amended by the GCBA EC   6.8.18

Amended by the REC 14.10.19                                     Approved by the GCBA EC 4.11.19