Overview

  1. The SBU is establishing the National League as its premier competition. It is open to all teams, regardless of standard, and is an event in its own right. The winners will receive a trophy and there will be a first prize of £1000 (subject to at least twelve teams entering). The winners of the Second Division will win free entry to the 2015 Winter Foursomes.
  2. For the 2014 season the winning team will be invited to represent Scotland in the first weekend in the Camrose Trophy of the 2015 Home International Series (subject to meeting the playing requirements).
  3. The Selection Committee will select the team for the second weekend of the Camrose Trophy, and additional pairs for the first weekend when needed, from pairs who participated in the First Division that fulfilled the playing requirements.
  4. The first Camrose weekend is 9-11 January 2015 in Edinburgh, Scotland.
  5. The second Camrose weekend is 6-8 March 2015 in Northern Ireland.

Authority

  1. This Conditions of Contest is supplementary to the General Conditions of Contest for the Scottish National League and SBU Trials and is established by the Selection Committee ("Committee") of the Scottish Bridge Union.

Scope of the League

  1. The National League is a trial for the Open Series of the 2015 Home International Series. The winners of the First Division in principle earn selection, on a part or wholly self-funded basis, to represent Scotland in the first weekend.
  2. The two weekends of the National League will comprise a double round-robin in every division. Based on an entry of approximately sixteen teams, eight teams will be placed in the First Division and remaining teams in the Second Division.
  3. Based on divisions of approximately eight teams each, the winners and runners up of the Second Division shall earn promotion to the First Division. The bottom two teams in the First Division shall be relegated to the Second Division. Lower divisions, if any, will function similarly.
  4. The Committee reserve the right to alter the number of teams promoted or relegated in the event that the size of the league is fewer or greater than eight teams. Notification of any such alteration will be given in advance of the commencement of the League. In the event of a First Division team withdrawing at the end of the 2014 season, the Selection Committee will determine which team should replace them.

Eligibility

  1. All players must be members of the Scottish Bridge Union in good standing.
  2. All players must qualify, by 1 January 2015, to represent Scotland under the current international regulations of the World Bridge Federation, the European Bridge League, Bridge Great Britain, and the Scottish Bridge Union.

Entry

  1. Entries from teams of four to six players should be sent to the Secretary of the Selection Committee, Anne Perkins, email . The closing date for entries is 30 April 2014. Subsequent changes to the composition of a team will be subject to the Committee’s discretion.
  2. The Committee reserves the right to accept further entries at its absolute discretion.
  3. All entries should be accompanied by the full entry fee. Entries are not confirmed until the entry fee has been paid. The Secretary will provide the SBU bank details to facilitate electronic transfers.
  4. The entry fee for 2014 is £240 per team. This includes table money for all weekends.
  5. Entry fees for Scottish junior players will be reduced in accordance with standard SBU competition policy, that is, half-price for U25s.

Registered players

  1. If a team loses one or more members as a result of death, serious incapacity or other exceptional circumstance, including the loss of good standing or eligibility, then that team may apply for a permanent replacement player or pair.
  2. A registered team of less than six players may add players at any point before or during the season subject to rules on general eligibility.
  3. If a player leaves one team to join another after the closing date, and this affects either team’s automatic place in the First Division, such teams would be subject to selection review unless they were automatic both before and after the change.
  4. The Committee shall have absolute discretion with regard to applications for team changes, and may grant it subject to such conditions as it thinks fit.

Substitutes

  1. A team which is unable to field four players may apply to the Committee for authorisation of a substitute. The Committee shall have absolute discretion with regard to any such application and, in particular, may attach such conditions as it thinks fit relating to the use of a substitute.
  2. The Director in Charge may authorise an emergency substitution on the day itself, in which case a full report shall be made to the Committee. The Committee will have an absolute discretion to decide the extent (if any) to which the results of the match(es) affected should be allowed to stand and whether the team in question will be allowed to continue in the League.

Withdrawal

  1. Teams are required to participate in both weekends and to complete all their matches. Failure to comply with these requirements without reasonable excuse may jeopardise participation in the League or selection to represent Scotland in future years.
  2. Details of the impact of a team withdrawal are in Appendix C.

Playing requirements

  1. To be a qualified player for the title of National League or Division champion, the player must play at least 50% of the boards (rounded down in the case of a fraction).
  2. To be automatically eligible for selection a player must be in a partnership that has played at least 50% of the boards. In the event of a player being in two partnerships who have played 50% of the boards then the player must choose a preferred partnership.
  3. To be automatically eligible for selection a pair must play against every team.
  4. If the selected team contains fewer than three pairs who have met the minimum playing requirements, then the Committee shall, in consultation with the team, select pair(s) to fill the remaining places from amongst players who have competed in the League.

Timetable and format

  1. The two weekends will comprise a double round-robin of participating teams. Based on an entry of nineteen teams in two divisions, each match will be fourteen boards.

    Weekend 1: 25-26 October, 2014
    Venue: St Andrew Bridge Club, 2 Woodside Crescent, Charing Cross, Glasgow G3 7UL
    Telephone: 0141 387 6608
    Format:

    First Division: Nine rounds of 14-board matches. Teams sit out one round.
    Saturday: 10.00-11.55, 12.05-2.00, 2.45-4.40, 4.50-6.45, 7.00-8.55
    Sunday: 10.00-11.55, 12.05-2.00, 2.45-4.40, 4.50-6.45

    Second Division: Nine rounds of 14-board matches. No sit outs.
    Saturday: 10.00-11.45, 11.50-1.35, 2.20-4.05, 4.10-5.55, 6.00-7.45
    Sunday: 10.00-11.45, 11.50-1.35, 2.20-4.05, 4.10-5.55

    Weekend 2: 22-23 November, 2014
    Venue: New Melville Bridge Club, 1 Pinkhill, Edinburgh EH12 7BA
    Telephone: 0131 334 4467
    Format: As Weekend 1.

  2. Regulations concerning seating rights are contained in Appendix A.

Scoring

  1. Scoring will be by IMP, converted to Victory Points on the WBF 20-point continuous victory point scale.
  2. Cross-imping of all matches will be done and these results may be used as a guide for selection.

Composition of future divisions and team continuity

  1. Promotion and relegation at the end of the 2014 season will be two up/three down, based on the First Division containing nine teams.
  2. To maintain team continuity from one season to the next, any of the following is sufficient. A player is qualified if he satisfied the playing requirements for the previous season, and satisfies all the general conditions of eligibility.
    • Three qualified players from a team of four or five qualified players
    • Four qualified players from a team of six qualified players
  3. If a team has such a quorum it may add any further players it chooses to form its 2014 team without restriction (the maximum total number of players on a team remains six). There is no absolute requirement for the core 2013 qualified players to play any minimum number of boards during the 2014 season.
  4. Any remaining First Division places will be decided by the Committee at its discretion, considering the number of qualified players on the teams, and the teams’ bridge merit as judged by the Committee.

Systems and conventions

  1. This is a Category 1 SBU competition.
  2. There is a limit of four convention cards per team.

Miscellaneous

  1. Screens will be used in the First Division (whenever possible).
  2. Penalties for late arrival will be assessed in accordance with Appendix B.

Communications

  1. Any notices to be given to, or communications for, the Committee should be emailed to the Secretary of the Committee.
  2. The Committee can be contacted at .

Appendix A: Seating rights

  1. The TD will prepare a movement in which each team is the home team in one of the two matches against every other team.
  2. The order of opponents and the choice of home or away will be pre-ordained by reference to team number.
  3. The home team has the right to seat its players after the away team has seated theirs.
  4. Separate regulations apply when HUM systems are in use (or may be in use) by one team only (see Appendix A of the General Conditions of Contest).

Appendix B: Late arrival or fouled match/stanza

  1. A team is late if one or more playing members of that team is not seated and ready to play at the advertised starting time. Warnings and penalties apply to the team as a whole rather than to any individual or to any partnership within a team.
  2. The penalties described below apply to each separate match. Warnings and penalties issued during one match are not carried over to the next.
  3. A team warned or penalised for late arrival retains the full time in which to play that stanza, that is, the starting time for that table is officially delayed.
  4. Penalties for late arrival are as follows:-
    5.0+ - 12 minutes late: ½ VP penalty save that a warning will be issued in lieu of a penalty for the first offence of no more than 4 minutes of lateness.
    Thereafter, for each portion of 8 minutes late or part thereof, up to 1 hour late, an additional ½ VP penalty and 1-board is removed from the match and scored as +/- 3 IMP.
    Example: 53 minutes late would be a penalty of 3½ VP and would cause 6 boards to be removed from the match (18 IMP in total).
  5. If a team is more than 60 minutes late for a stanza, then that stanza will normally be abandoned and scored as +/- 20 IMP. Additionally, the offending team will be penalised 4 VP.
  6. The warnings and penalties contained in this Appendix may be expunged for cause either in part or in whole for late arrival for the start of a weekend. A team which feels that it can demonstrate good cause for late arrival for the start of a weekend may apply to the Committee for a waiver or relaxation of these penalties.
  7. A stanza is fouled if teams sit in the same direction in both rooms and the error is not discovered until the end of the stanza (or near to the end of the stanza). Were this to arise, the stanza is abandoned and scored as 0 IMP to both teams. Additionally, both teams shall be penalised 1½ VP. Note: this is a relatively modest penalty, as it assumes a degree of responsibility on behalf of the organisation as well as on the players themselves. In aggravated circumstances this penalty may be increased at the sole discretion of the Committee.

Appendix C: Consequences of withdrawal

  1. If a team does not complete the first weekend and withdraws from the event, then all scores will be expunged. If a team does not complete the second weekend, then all second weekend scores are expunged but the first weekend results will be retained.
  2. Otherwise, any unplayed matches will provisionally be scored 12-0 VP in favour of the non-offending team, save that at the end of the season the average number of VP scored per match actually played will be taken into account if this is for the benefit of the non-offending team (if not, then the 12-0 score will stand). This would only apply in the event of a short-lived indisposition or emergency that affects two matches or fewer.
  3. If the non-offending team has a match average which is more than 2 VP better than the offending team (the 12 VP provisionally awarded being 2 VP more than average), then its score will be increased by the corresponding amount, up to a maximum score of 20-0.
  4. However, the IMP difference for both teams (should it be needed to resolve a tie) shall be deemed to be 0 IMP regardless of the actual assigned VP score.
    Example: Team A (non-offending) has scored 85.00 VP from 6 matches (average of 14.17). Team B (offending) has scored 50.00 VP from 6 matches (average of 8.33). The difference in average is 5.84. The match is therefore re-scored as 15.84-0.
  5. Boards played by the non-offending team in a match subsequently cancelled under paragraph 1 shall still count for the purpose of assessing the playing requirements described.
  6. In the case of an unplayed match or stanza, the non-offending team may nominate which of its players would have played in each such stanza in order to assess the playing requirements.

24 September 2014 - updated Second Division timings 

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