League Competition Rules for season 2007/8


This scheme aims to allow clubs to place their teams within the structure where they deem best. It also features a new approach to reserving. It was used for season 2006/7 on an experimental basis, and it has been decided to extend the experiment for a further year. They have since been adopted until such time as proposals for further change are adopted.

New Rules

Sections in italics are my comments
  1. Except where they are inconsistent with the rules below, the previous regulations shall continue to apply.
    Saves restating the 15 point rule etc., which are retained

  2. There shall be an Open league (division 1) for 5 board teams.
    Three grade limited sections shall be established with team grade limits of at most 650, at most 440 and at most 360 for respectively 5, 4 and 4 board teams and known as divisions 2, 3 and 4 respectively.
    These limits apply to the team fielded in each match.
    When calculating a teams total grade minimum counting grades of 100, 80, 60 will apply respectively to the 3 grade limited divisions - any player with a lower grade will be counted as having the minimum counting grade, as will defaults.

    A fifth division for 4 board teams with a limit of 280 and minimum counting grade of 40 was introduced in season 2008/9. Following changes in the national grading system the divisional limits for 2009/10 were changed to 725, 520, 460 an 400 with minimum counting grades of 120, 105, 90, and 75 respectively.

    There are no grading restraints in the Open section.

    The individual divisions constitute separate competitions. Clubs decide their own entry for each division.

  3. There are no constraints on the use of players who are graded at least 10 points below the average grade limit in divisions 2 to 4, or less than 120 in division 1. No other player may play in more than one team in a division, but may play without constraint in as many sections as they choose.

    Average grade limit for the division means the grade limit divided by the number of boards in a team. So for Division 3 this is 440/4 = 110.

    This is an ammendment of an amendment, and as often happens in such cases the wording can appear a little unclear at first sight. This rule replaces the reserving rules and amounts to:
    You become a member of a team when you first play for them. You may not become a member of two teams in the same division if your grade is higher than the average grade limit for that division, minus 10. Other than that you may be a member of as many teams that represent your club as you wish, and play as many games for each of these teams as you like, subject only to the overriding need to keep the teams total grade within the appropriate limits.

  4. As far as possible matches in divisions 1 and 3 will be arranged for different weeks than those in divisions 2 and 4 sections.

    Not so much a rule as a statement of intent by the fixture secretary. There are not enough weeks in the season to keep strictly to this and have weeks set aside for cup and Rapidplay league matches.

  5. An ineligible side is one that breaches the grading limit for the competition. The penalty for fielding an ineligible side is that the lowest board whose grade exceeds the minimum counting grade by at least the teams excess over the limit has their game automatically scored to the opposition.

    In effect look for a board that could be defaulted to make the team legal, and default it.

    (NB this is for match score purposes only. For grading the result of the game as played stands.)

    If no such player exists two points are deducted from the teams match score.

    This rule will be applied automatically and cannot be waived by the non-offending team. We are of course hoping that this rule will turn out to be redundant.
    The lack of clarity here is all my own work. The following examples may help:

    1. A team with grades 130, 120, 115, 90 play in that order in division 3.
      The teams total grade (455) exceeds the divisional limit (440) by 15. The minimum counting grade for divsion 3 is 80, so we look for a player graded at least 95 (80 + 15) to score to the opposition. Board 3.

    2. As above, but the players line up in order 130, 115, 120, 90.
      Again it will be board three, in this case the 120 player, who has their game scored to the opposition.

    3. The line up is 180, 130, 110, 90.
      Total grade is 510, 70 points over the top. Look for a player graded at least 80 + 70 = 150. Top board.

    4. The line up is four players graded 125.
      Total grade is 500, 60 over the top. Look for a player graded at least 80 + 60 = 140. No such player exists, so deduct 2 points from the team score.
      This may seem harsh, but can the captain really claim to have tried to obey the limits of an average grade of under 110?
    Unfortunately there are always a few people who will look at the rules and if they are prepared to accept the penalties will choose to ignore the rules. Consequently, although it was not discussed, I think the committee must have the right to impose additional punitive penalties as they see fit if they believe that a particular team or club is making no real attempt to abide by the rules.

  6. Ungraded players for whom the grading officer is unable to give a provisional grade shall be given an estimated grade by their club.

    The grading officer has access to unpublished as well as published grades over a considerable number of years. If a new member admits to having played competitive chess before the grading officer should be contacted.
    For genuinely ungraded players of a clearly modest standard it is acceptable to estimate them as Under 60.

    Should an ungraded player later be assigned a grade, or a graded player given a corrected grade, the new grade will not be applied to games already played for the purposes of deciding eligibility of teams.