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Rules of Competition
WCBA Rules of Competition - August 2019

1 Membership Requirements

To play in the following events entrants must be Player Members of the EBU and have primary allegiance with the WCBA:-

County Championship Knockout Teams
County Championship Pairs

To play in the following events entrants must be Player Members of the EBU and either have primary allegiance with the WCBA or be dual members of the WCBA :-

Ladies/Men’s Pairs
Mixed Pairs
Mixed Teams
Seniors & Veterans Pairs (Players must be at least 60 years old and must be at least 70 years old to qualify for the Veterans Trophy)
Open League

To play in the following events entrants must be bona fide members of a Club affiliated to the WCBA :-

Garden Cities Qualifier (Ron Allen Cup)
Club Representative Pairs
Healey Cup (Teams are also invited from Clubs affiliated to the Herefordshire BA)

There are no membership requirements to play in the following events :-

Chairman's Cup (Must have learnt to play bridge within the previous 5 years.)
Irene Allen Non-Expert Swiss Pairs
No-Fear, Newcomers and Beginners League (However if a player is a member of the EBU then he/she must also be a member of the WCBA.)
Christmas Charity Swiss Teams

2 Events

2.1 Healey Cup

This is a Inter-Club Swiss Teams competition for Clubs affiliated to either the WCBA or the HBA. There is no restriction on the number of teams that each affiliated Club can enter but all players must be bona fide members of the same affiliated club.

2.2 Mixed Teams

If practicable, this will be a single session, all-play-all, multiple teams event with one change of partner. Each team of four must contain at least one man and at least one woman. In the case of 11 and 12 teams this will involve a mixture of 2 & 3 board matches. Specifically for 11 teams 3 boards will be put out on each table and 4 3-board matches played and then the 3rd board in each set will be removed and 6 2-board matches played. For 12 teams a Stagger movement will be used playing 6 2-board matches and 5 3-board matches.

If there are more than 15 teams then the field will be split into two sections played as above. The winners will then play a private 24-board match with captains tossing a coin for the choice of venue. The home team must offer three dates to the away team with at least two alternative days of the week being offered. The final shall be over 24 boards. Captains must toss a coin before the start of the match and the winning captain can choose whether to have choice of opponents for the first or second set of boards. Substitutes will only be allowed in exceptional circumstances by prior approval of one of the following :- Chief Tournament Director, Chairman, Secretary who is not an interested party. Substitutes may not already have played for another team in the competition.

2.3 Irene Allen Swiss Pairs

Open to players whose rank is below Regional Master in the EBU system of rankings who also have no more than 25,000 Masterpoints. Non-members or lapsed members (providing they confirm to the above proviso) from this and neighbouring Counties are also permitted to enter. At the end of each Master Points year (31st December) the EBU produces a set of current rankings and the most recent such list is used to define a player's rank.

2.4 Phillipps Competition

Some County Nights throughout the year are identified as qualifying events for the Phillipps competition. Pairs are ranked by calculating the average percentage of their best 8 scores during the qualifying season. The pair with the highest score wins the Phillipps Qualifier Cup. There are also prizes for the pairs with the highest average of their best 4 results in heats 4-9 & 10-15 this year.

2.5 Master Point Competition

The Wormald Cup is awarded to the player who earns the most Master Points at Monday evening events from the beginning of May until the end of April. Only Master Points issued by the WCBA count towards this, so for Simultaneous Pairs events any National awards are not included.

2.6 County Championship Knockout Teams

Teams can consist of up to six players, if additional players are added to a team at a later stage they must be full members of the WCBA before they play and they must not have played for any other team in this year’s competition.

There is no qualifying event for this competition.

A random draw will be made with the finalists from the previous year being seeded; they will be placed in opposite halves of the draw and they will also benefit from any first round byes that may be required. If more than 12 teams enter then the losing semi-finalists will also have seeding rights meaning that they will not play another seed in the first round and may also benefit from first round byes.

Each captain shall be sent a copy of the draw together with dates that matches must be played by and other regulations. The first named team in each match is the home team who must organise the venue, which must be within Worcestershire. The home team shall offer the away team four dates, at least two alternative days of the week must be offered and the dates must include one Saturday or Sunday. For the semi-finals if teams have qualified without having to play a quarter final match the the first named team is the home team. Otherwise if both teams were the home team or both teams were the away team in their quarter-finals then they will toss to decide who is the home team. If one team was the home team and one was the away team in their quarter-finals then they shall swap so that the team that was the away team for their quarter-final will become the home team for the semi-final. For the final the two Captains will toss to decide who is the home team with the Captain winning the toss having the choice of home or away.

Each match shall consist of 32 boards unless the captains both agree to reduce the number of boards to 28 or 24. The final shall be 48 boards or 32 by agreement. The boards are to be played in four equal sets, six sets in the final, with scoring after each set. Seating rights shall be decided by the toss of a coin, with the options of having choice of opponents in either odd numbered sets or the even numbered sets.

In the case of one team arriving late, the match is to be reduced by two boards for each completed 15 minutes delay with the non-offending side being awarded three IMPs per board lost. The match commences with a short set. After one hour of unnotified late arrival or two hours of notified late arrival the match is awarded to the non-offending side. If both teams are late then the match shall be curtailed according to the time of the latest arrival but the difference in arrival times shall be used to calculate any penalty.

In the event of a tie after the agreed number of boards, four further boards will be played. if there is still a tie, further sets of four boards will be played until a result is achieved.

There will be a Plate Competition for teams who lose their first match. Early matches in the Plate Competition should be of 24 boards and the Plate Final should be 32 boards or 24 by agreement.

2.7 County Championship Pairs

This is played as a 2-session event. If practical it will be all-play-all otherwise pairs will play as many other pairs as possible. There is a prize for the pair who rises the most places in the 2nd session and does not finish in the top 3 places.

The top 3 pairs in the Championship Pairs Final qualify to play in the Corwen Trophy. If any of these pairs are unable to play then substitutes are allowed and are invited on a next-in-line basis provided that they scored more than 50% in the Championship Pairs Final. The highest placed 4 pairs who do not play in the Corwen are invited to play in the Edgar Foster Cups. If any of these pairs are unable to play then substitutes are invited in order of their position provided that they scored at least 50%. In the event that 4 pairs cannot be found who are available to play in the Edgar Foster Cups from the Championship Pairs finalists then the selectors can invite any other pairs to make up the numbers.

2.8 Pairs Ladder

There will be two divisions. The First Division will be made up to a 5 table full Howell movement of 3 boards per round, provided that the Second Division contains at least 5 tables.

If the Second Division would consist of less than 5 tables then it will be merged with the First Division. A Howell movement will be played whenever possible to ensure that participants play against as many oppenents as possible and their will be a random draw for seating positions.

Pairs will be required to be seated by 7.15 p.m. otherwise their status will be lost if the director has already promoted another pair into their place.

Each division will be scored separately using average cross-imps and then the total IMP scores for each pair converted to victory points using the appropriate scale from the table below. Non-integer scores will be rounded to nearest whole number of IMPs with fractions of precisely 1/2 being rounded up.

There will be no automatic promotion or demotion each month, instead the event will be run strictly on a ladder basis using each pair's average score in the event to determine their position, as long as they have played at least twice. Specifically the average of up to the last 4 scores for each pair is used to calculate their average but only scores from the previous 10 events are included in this calculation. If pairs have only played once in the previous 10 events their average is deemed to be 0. The top 10 pairs play in Division 1 and the remainder play in Division 2. If there is a tie for 10th place then it is split in favour of the pair who has played the highest number of events in the current season or if there is still a tie the pair with the highest best score.

If new pairs are formed during the season then until they have played together twice their position in the ladder will be the lower of their average scores with their regular partners, this being 0 if they have not played before. Thus if two County players participate in mid-season they are likely to play in Division 1 but two new players will play in Division 2.

The overall winners will be determined using the total of each pair's best n results where n is half the number of qualifying heats plus 1, rounded down.

Victory Points Scales

  Division 1 Division 1 & 2 Division 2
20 44 & up 58 & up 65 & up
19 38 to 43 51 to 57 58 to 64
18 32 to 37 44 to 50 51 to 57
17 27 to 31 38 to 43 44 to 50
16 22 to 26 32 to 37 38 to 43
15 17 to 21 27 to 31 32 to 37
14 13 to 16 22 to 26 27 to 31
13 9 to 12 17 to 21 22 to 26
12 5 to 8 13 to 16 17 to 21
11 2 to 4 9 to 12 13 to 16
10 -1 to 1 5 to 8 9 to 12
9 -4 to -2 2 to 4 5 to 8
8 -8 to -5 -1 to 1 2 to 4
7 -12 to -9 -4 to -2 -1 to 1
6 -16 to -13 -8 to -5 -4 to -2
5 -21 to -17 -12 to -9 -8 to -5
4 -26 to -22 -16 to -13 -12 to -9
3 -31 to -27 -21 to -17 -16 to -13
2 -37 to -32 -26 to -22 -21 to -17
1 -43 to -38 -31 to -27 -26 to -22
0 -44 & down -32 & down -27 & down


2.9 League

Regulations for this competition are issued separately to all teams by the League Sub Committee.

2.10 Grand Prix Teams

This is a multiple teams competition with 7 heats held over the year. The IMPs total of each Team is converted to VPs using the standard EBU scale for 24 board matches (see below). Teams must consist of between 4 & 6 players but can use as many substitutes as they need. Those players who were selected for or played for the County in the Tollemache Cup in the previous year are defined as Tollemache Players. They can be members of teams but at most 2 Tollemache Players are allowed to represent a team in any particular heat. At least 2 members of a Team must be present for the score to count. A team’s final score is the sum of their best 5 results and if they play in more than 5 heats they can drop their worst scores. In the event of a tie at the end of the event the team scoring highest in the last event will win. If there is still a tie then the head to head score in the last event and then the head to head over whole event will be used to split the tie.

20 66 & up
19 54 to 65
18 44 to 53
17 35 to 43
16 28 to 34
15 22 to 27
14 16 to 21
13 11 to 15
12 6 to 10
11 2 to 5
10 -1 to 1
9 -5 to -2
8 -10 to -6
7 -15 to -11
6 -21 to -16
5 -27 to -22
4 -34 to -28
3 -43 to -35
2 -53 to -44
1 -65 to -54
0 -66 & down


2.11 Garden Cities Qualifier

This is a teams-of-8 competition for Clubs affiliated to the WCBA. There is no restriction on the number of teams that each Affiliated Club can enter but all players must be bona fide members of that Club and satisfy the EBU requirements for representing their Club. The winning team will be awarded the Ron Allen Cup and be entitled to represent Worcestershire in the Regional Final of the Garden Cities Competition. Substitutes are allowed to play in both the Regional & National Finals although such players cannot have represented a different Club in the qualifying event. Substitutes from other teams who represented the same Club in the qualifying are allowed.

3 General Regulation

3.1 Splitting of Ties

Ties are only split to :-

1. Determine winners of trophy events.

2. Determine qualifiers for trophy events.

Ties are split broadly in line with EBU guidelines; note however that special conditions in 2.6 (Closed teams), 2.9 (Pairs Ladder) and 2.10 (GP teams) prevail over this general principle.

3.2 VP Scales

Recommended EBU victory point scales are to be used in all competitions apart from the League, which has its own scales. Where matches consist of less than 5 boards straight IMP scoring will be used.

3.3 Protest Times

Monday Evening Competitions - The results will be posted on the notice board at the next Monday meeting. Players shall then have until 9.00pm on that evening to notify any errors in the results to the scorer, Chief Tournament Director or Director in charge.

Saturday/Sunday Competitions - Results will be announced as soon as possible after the end of play. These results are provisional only. Players then have until 9.00pm on the Monday meeting immediately following the competition to notify any errors in the results.

Errors in the result shall be notified to the TD of the competition, or if not available, the Chief TD of WCBA. If neither are available then to the following in order: Secretary, Chairman, Vice Chairman and Committee member. If no errors are notified within the protest time stated, the results will stand and no corrections will be permitted.

3.4 Scoring

All pairs events will be scored in accordance with EBU regulations, in particular, all boards will be factored to a common top.

3.5 Licensing

In the majority of competitions level 4 systems and conventions are permitted.

In the Chairman's Cup only Level 2 systems and conventions may be played.

The Worcestershire League Regulations define the licensing level for each section.