A little bit of personal success:
The Inter-County Leagues National Final was conceived by Graham Jepson, who ran the event for the first five years of its existence. We are very grateful for the work he has put in during these years, but he has now decided to pass on the reins. I have undertaken this responsibility in a personal capacity (i.e. although sanctioned by the English Bridge Union, the organisation of this event has nothing to do with the EBU).
The event is a one-day teams-of-eight event open to the champion counties of each division of the five Regional Inter-County League Teams-of-Eight events:
The Northern Bridge League;
The Midland Counties League;
The Eastern Counties League;
The Western League (South West);
The Metropolitan Cup (South Eastern Counties).
Each of these regional events has a slightly different format, but the common feature is that they all consist of three divisions, with every county generally having one team in each division (i.e. there is no promotion / relegation, but every county ‘A’ team competes in Division 1, etc.)
The National Final consists of three events (divisions). Division 1 (or 'A' Division) is contested by the five champion teams of the respective 1st divisions of the Regional Leagues. Similarly the five Division 2 champions (county ‘B’ teams) and the Division 3 champions (county ‘C’ teams) compete within their own categories.
The 2019 finals will take place on 16th June at Coventry Bridge Club
(Coventry & North Warwickshire Sports Club, Binley Road CV3 1HB)
12.00 – Coffee and tea
12.30 – Session One (24 boards)
15.30 – Meal
16.30 – Session Two (24 boards)
19.30 – Finish
The entry fee is £180 per team of eight. This includes Tea / Coffee on arrival and the meal in the interval.
(for latest standings in each league, please look at "Regional Leagues" on the Menu to the left)
Each Division will be divided into two sections, e.g. "Red" & "White" in the 'A' Division. Counties have one team-of-four in each section, a North-South pair and an East-West pair. North-South pairs will be stationary throughout the day.
In each session a full American-Whist-type movement will be run within each section, with four six-board rounds; i.e. each county will play six boards against each other county. After the interval, the two East-West pairs in each team-of-eight swap sections, so that by the end of the day every pair will have met eight different opposing pairs, two from each county. Counties will have completed a 12-board match against each other county.
(The numbers above assume full attendance of five teams in each division. Should teams not be able to attend, and no substitutes found, a similar format for four teams will be followed).
Since 2015, by popular demand, we have used the 'Cross-IMPs' method of scoring, converted to Victory Points:
Each N/S pair compares their scores with both of their E/W team-mates. Thus on each board there are four IMP comparisons. The IMP scores are added together for each 12-board match, and converted to VPs using the latest VP scale recommended by the EBU (the WBF 'discrete' scale).
As of 2016, this event is fully Green-Pointed, with awards for matches won as well as a bonus to the leading team(s).
In addition to the trophy for the overall winners in each division, modest prizes will be awarded to the top two teams.
The entry fee is £180 per team of eight.
(County treasurers, please note that, although sanctioned by the EBU, this is not an EBU event. If paying by cheque, please make it out to me, Ian Mitchell, NOT to the EBU. If you wish to pay by bank transfer, I will happily provide the details.)
The event is intended to be a non-profit-making venture (except inasmuch as the TDs on the day are paid at 'Union Rates'). Any surplus will be set aside to guard against future losses, and to postpone, as far as possible, the need to put up the entry fee.
The 2017 event made a loss, as expected, arising from the fact that there was no Metropolitan Cup to act as a qualifier, and therefore fewer entrants. Sufficient profit had been made in 2016 to cover this.