National Inter-County League Finals (NICLF)
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We have had to The date of the 2024 Final to 2nd June.
Details otherwise unchanged.

Welcome to National Inter-County League Finals (NICLF)
  2024 Results

Following a TD ruling and appeal, the results are now final.

Congratulations to Yorkshire, who win the 'A' divsion title for the first time.

Hertfordshire 'B' and 'C' teams won their respective divisions, the latter doing so for the sixth time in the last eight finals.

Full results can be accessed via links on the right.

In addition to the prize money & (virtual) trophy, these teams qualify by right to defend their titles next year.
(Should they nevertheless win their regional leagues, then the second place team in that league will be invited to represent the region).

  About the Event

The Inter-County Leagues National Final was conceived by Graham Jepson, who ran the event for the first five years of its existence.  Up until 2020 (before Covid intervened) the event was run by Ian Mitchell in a personal capacity, but he decided that it needed the backing of a more official organisation, and Warwickshire CBA agreed to take on the reins.  Ian will nevertheless continue to be involved.

(n.b. although this is a "National Final", and 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).

Additionally, as of 2022, national champions in each division have been invited back to defend their trophies in the following year.

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.

Since lockdown, we have continued to hold the final online, on the Realbridge platform.

  Qualifiers 2024

Since 2022, we have decided to invite the reigning national champions to defend their titles.

  'A' Division 'B' Division 'C' Division
Title Holders Kent Warwickshire Northants**
North Yorkshire Yorkshire Manchester
Midlands Gloucestershire Oxfordshire Gloucestershire
East Hertfordshire Hertfordshire Hertfordshire
South East Sussex* Surrey Hants & I.o.W.
South West East Wales Dorset Avon

*qualified as runners up, the league winners having already qualified as champions.

**Northants are not able to play, so the 'C' division consists of only five teams this year.


  The Format and Schedule

The event will be held on the Realbridge platform.

Please note the earlier start that we introduced last year.  The precise format will depend on the number of participating teams, to ensure that every team plays 40 boards, regardless of whether there is a sitout.

Each county team of eight will consist of two teams of four, one in each section labelled by colour within each division:  Blue & Yellow in Division 1; Red & White in Division 2; Orange & Green in Division 3.
Each team of four will play a match against every other team of four within their section (colour), with a change of opponents at halfway in each match.

The schedule will be arranged so that teams-of-eight matches are "Head-to-head", i.e. all four pairs will play the same boards simultaneously against the same opposing county each round.  With an odd number of counties, this will necessarily involve a sitout.
Everyone will play 40 boards:  if there are six counties in the division, five 8-board matches; if there are five counties, each will play four 10-board matches, in addition to sitting out.  In the latter case, the event will take longer, but we will take a shorter break since teams will also be sitting out for 10 boards.

Approximate Schedule
(based on 6 teams in the division):

11:00 - 13:15   Session One (2 x 8-board matches)

13:15 - 14:15   Break

14:15 - 17:30   Session Two (3 x 8-board matches)

17:30   Estimated Finish

Alternative Schedule for groups of five teams
11:00 - 13:30   Session One (2 x 10-board matches)

13:30 - 14:00   Break

14:00 - 17:45   Session Two (3 x 10-board matches)

18:00   Estimated Finish

  Prizes and Master Points

There will be modest Green Points awards for each match won (as a team of eight) and bonus awards to the leading teams.

Cash prizes will be awarded to the leading two counties in each division:

1st place: £120 per team of eight
2nd place: £80 per team of eight

Should there be a tie for 1st place, standard EBU split-tie regulations will be applied only to determine the trophy winners.  Otherwise cash prizes & bonus master points will be shared between tied teams.

Additionally, the trophy winners will be invited to defend their title at next year's event, for which they will be offered half-price entry.


  Playing Conditions

Please note that the event is run under the auspices of Warwickshire CBA.  Their guidance and rules can be found here.

In particular, please note the following:

  1. Please self-alert and explain your own conventional calls, and any other calls that normally require an announcement or alert, by typing in the appropriate box prior to making the call
    If you forget, you can click on the call to make a late alert/explanation/amendment.
  2. UNDOs are permitted both in the auction and during play, for genuine misclicks only.  To undo, click on the UNDO button which is on the lower right of the screen.
    Please accept all requested UNDOs promptly (it saves time), but do seek help from a TD later if you are concerned that there may have been a change of mind.
    An UNDO granted, which later turns out to look very much like a change of mind will likely result in an adjusted score.
  3. Playing time is 7 minutes per board.  Please keep an eye on the clock, as slow play can be disruptive to the whole tournament.  Persistent slow play may result in boards being removed.

Where not otherwise stated, standard EBU regulations will apply.  

NICLF Division A
Scorer: Mitch
NICLF Division B
Scorer: Mitch
NICLF Division C
Scorer: Mitch