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SBU Online Bronze League

1st September 2023



These Conditions of Contest relate to the SBU established Team of Four Leagues for Bronze Members of the SBU.

Teams of Four may consist 4 to 8 Members of the SBU. At most one member of the team may be a Silver member of the SBU. Gold Members will not be allowed to participate in the Bronze League.

Participants are expected to arrange their own team, although, if the organizers are notified of a pair, then the organizers will endeavour to put that pair in touch with a pair of similar Mempad standing.

The league will be scheduled to be played on BBO every Wednesday evening. The default starting time is 6:30pm. However, Team Captains can agree to start at a different date and start time. It is the responsibility of the team captains to inform their players of any change of date or start time that has been agreed with the opposing captain. Players are requested to be online at least 5 minutes before the start of the match. 

Depending on how many teams enter, where possible, each division of the league will consist of 8, 9 or 10 teams. 10 teams in a division will be the default. Each League will therefore be scheduled to run for a period of 7 or 9 weeks. In the event of there not being a multiple of 8 or 10 teams entered, some divisions in the league will be allocated 9 teams, with teams sitting out 1 week.

In the Bronze Leagues, the divisions are organized into divisions of teams based on their performance and promotion criteria achieved in previous Bronze Leagues, with some new teams inserted into appropriate lower divisions based on their MEMPAD Masterpoint records. For this Bronze League, all new teams entering this league will be placed in the bottom 2 or 3 divisions, depending on the Convener's assessment of the teams experience. Progress to higher divisions for a subsequent Bronze League  will be by results achieved. This is to normalize the Bronze League to allow the award of higher levels of Masterpoints for a win in this and subsequent iterations of the league. 

The Bronze League awards prizes of Cash or M&S vouchers, and will be awarded to the top two teams in each division. Masterpoint awards will also be made for winning a match - Ranging from 67 local points for a win in division 1 down to 24 points for a win in the bottom division. 

An existing team will be classed as a NEW Team if more than 50% of the players are replaced. For example, if two members of a team of four remain, it can still be an existing team, but if two members of a team of 5 or 6 remain, then it will be classed as a NEW Team for division placement purposes. 

Promotions and Relegations will take place after each iteration of the league. At present, the top 3 teams in a division will be promoted, and the bottom 3 teams relegated. This may be varied by the organizers where the number of teams returning to a subsequent iteration of the league is increased or lowered. Teams may only be promoted or relegated 1 division.  

Captains will be responsible for organizing their team, and a designated Host will be identified and have the responsibility of setting up each match on BBO (please see the excellent description and YouTube Video created by Paul Gipson later in this document).  In this iteration of the Bronze League, Team Captains may agree to play the match as two 8-board matches, with the Away team members changing position for the second 8 board match. If either captain disagrees, the match will be played as one 16 board match

Still Interested? – Then please enter your team for the league using the Web Form linked to from the Home Page of this site.

Applications will be checked to ensure the conditions of all Bronze Players and at most one Silver Member are met. ALL Players must have logged their BBO name on MEMPAD before completing entry. Any application to join from a team where not all members have their BBO Name on MEMPAD will be rejected. 

Further to a recent directive from the SBU Tournament Committee, players who do not domicile their Master Points with the SBU are no longer able to participate in the Bronze League. Any SBU member who is unsure of their MP status, after checking their entry in the latest Ranking List on the SBU website, should contact "membership - at -". 

Once a team entry is checked for completeness, details of how a Single payment of the entry fee can be made to the SBU will be provided to the Team Captain. Each team MUST make one single payment of their participation fee to the SBU account. This cost will be calculated as £10 for each match to be played in the iteration, which will therefore be between £70 and £90 per team. This accommodates the winning of prizes and the higher levels of masterpoints. When payment has been received then, and only then, will a team application be fully accepted.

Once an application has been fully accepted, A schedule will be produced for each division, and the team captains will be informed. Team captains may agree amongst themselves to reschedule matches to a different date or time. In this case Howard should be informed of the change. Any match result not entered by 9pm on Wednesday evening, may not be included in the weekly update of the website, and may be held over to the following week. 

After each match, the Winning team captain will be responsible for providing both the result and the identity of the players of the winning team on the web page that is available to enter the results. In order to be included in the weekly update, results must be entered no later than 9pm on the Wednesday evening. Although the organizers can download the results of the match, if the Winning or Drawing Team Captains fail to enter their result and participants on the web, then NO Masterpoints will be awarded to the team for winning or drawing that match.  

Where space is still available, New teams will be able to enter after the start and will receive a score of 9VP for any match missed. No new entries will be allowed after round 1 has been completed but not after round 2 has started. 

A key principle of the event is to provide everyone with bridge and this is reflected in the conditions of contest. In the case of a dispute, the organisers decision will be final.


Conditions of contest

  • The full draw for all rounds of each iteration of the league will be published no later than 10pm on the Sunday before the first round of the league.

  • Initially, Hosts for each round of an iteration will be appointed on the Sunday at the start of the League. Final confirmation of Host will be completed by Sunday of each week of the League. 

  • Any update (for new teams, etc) for each round will be notified to team captains, no later than 10pm on Tuesday, the day before the round.

  • By default, matches will be played on BBO on Wednesday evenings starting between 6:30pm and 6:45pm, subject to the agreement of the captains (who can, by agreement with the Host, to opt for a different day or time).

  • Captains are responsible for ensuring that they have a competent host for the match (contact Howard if you need help).

  • Teams of four, with up to four substitutions allowed. Substitutes can play for more than one team.

  • 16-board matches played as one 16 board match with no change of opponents, or IF BOTH TEAM CAPTAINS AGREE, played as two 8 board matches with a change of the away team positions after the first 8 boards. The IMP result will be converted to victory points on the WBF continuous scale. The winning team captain will enter the IMP Score on this website, and the organizers will convert the result to the WBF Continuous VP Scale.

  • The home captain has seating rights.

  • The BBO Team Match Settings when Masterpoints are being awarded are 1) kibitzers are not allowed, 2) undos on (but for bidding mis-clicks only). If you change your mind about what your bid should have been, and having had your Undo accepted, your new bid is clearly a change of mind, then your opponents have a right to ask you to revert to your original bid. They also have the right to raise the issue with Howard, as there is clearly unauthorized information being passed within the offending partnership. The game should not stop, but after play, Howard may adjudicate on a revision of the score based on the seriousness of the unauthorized information, and how it might have been used. Remember, you should not request an Undo for a change of mind. Under SBU direction, it is not allowed. Undos are not to be allowed during play.

  • At the insistence of the Masterpoint Policy Committee (MPPC) spot checks on some of the Matches to ensure Kibitzers is OFF will be conducted in the Bronze League, to ensure minimal opportunity for cheating. The results of any Match discovered to have Kibitzers turned on will be penalize the Host team, declare the result void, and award a win of 12-0 to the non-offending team.  

  • Barometers should be "Off", but may be set to "On" IF BOTH TEAM CAPTAINS AGREE.

  • Please use ‘SBUBL <home team> <away team>” as the match title.

  • If one captain cannot field a team, the match will be scored as 12-0 in favour of the non-offending team. Extenuating circumstances will be considered.

  • As the divisions were initially graded in the first few iterations into players of similar experience, if you have to replace a member of your team after the start of any iteration of the league, the new participant should of a similar experience level to the replaced player. The decision of the organisers on accepting or rejecting a new participant is final. 

  • The WINNING Team Captain is responsible for submitting the result and the BBO Names of their team using the form on the website. In the event of a DRAWN Match, BOTH Team Captains are responsible for entering the DRAW result and the BBO Names of the players from their team. It is now a requirement that the 4 players who participated in the match are logged, even if your team only has 4 members. The LOSING Team Captain is responsible for checking the IMP result on the website on Thursday morning.

  • Finally, in response to complaints about slow play in any match, a team captain may raise an issue of slow play by the opponents if the match takes more than 2 hours and 15 minutes from Start to Finish to play 16 boards. Such time should not include time for player disconnections as these are beyond the control of the teams. Such raising of a slow play issue must be made within 24 hours of the conclusion of the match, so that the time taken can be checked on the BBO logs. Teams receiving multiple issues raised by the opponents, will be subject to a 1VP deduction for a first offense, raising to 3 VPs for a second offense, etc. Teams should also be aware that any issue of slow play raised by one team may well result in a reciprocal statement of slow play by the other team, and that given the limitations of information on BBO, the organizers have no way of distinguishing who is at fault. Therefore both issues of slow play will have to be logged.


Hosting a team match on BBO (Useful information from Paul Gipson). 

Watch these videos:

  1. Creating a team match:

  2. Substitutions and cancelling a match:

  3. Three common mistakes when starting team matches and how to avoid them: 

Common problems

Assuming you have eight players, the biggest problem seen is a "you have exceeded your limit" error when trying to create the team match.

I suspect what has happened is that you have double clicked the Create team match button and inadvertently tried to start two matches, hence the error message. Or you have clicked once and not waited for that to complete/fail before clicking again.

If you are getting messages with people wanting to join your team match, this means that you have created a team match without entering eights players. In essence, you have created a team match with empty seats. Everyone looking at team matches on BBO will see these and presume that you are looking for players, so they try and jump into a seat and this creates the invitation request you are seeing.

Rather than try and explain how to resolve this, it's quicker to watch my video at You will see me create a match without players and then see me panic as I try to cancel the match with seating requests pouring in.

Once you have cancelled the inadvertent match you will be able to start the proper one.

When you cancel a match, all records are lost. So it is not a good way to finish a match early because your match is scheduled for 32 boards rather than 24 (you should get everyone to pass out the last 8 hands).

Your match is scheduled for 32 boards because you did not notice that BBO erroneously puts a 3 in the boards field when you delete the standard 8 boards, so BBO is asked to run a 324-board match and reduces this to 32. This is a BBO bug which is why you need to take care changing the number of boards.

If you run into trouble when a team match is running and you are playing, then you can chat to your friends but they will not be able to reply. Go to the Director tab, click on the tournament (team match) and Edit tournament. Then either add a friend who can help as a co-director or permit kibitzers to chat to the players.

We are seeing a new error message, “Error - too many teams”, after everyone has accepted. This is happening at peak times (7-8pm) and we’ve just hit a BBO limit, not a personal limit. My advice is to try and restart the team match and hopefully it will start. It may take a number of attempts.