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ACBL Tech File
Pairs Conditions of Contest


This document is provided courtesy of the
American Contract Bridge League

2990 Airways Blvd. S Memphis TN 381163847
S Fax 9013987754

     NOTE: to view the latest revision of the handbook,
download the latest version of ACBLScore

     Rev.(12/03)                                  CCPRS.033 (PAGE 1) 



     These Conditions of Contest may not be changed at any level of play

     during the course of this event.


     Lack of knowledge does not constitute cause for exemption.


     These conditions apply to all pair events. At the North American

     Bridge Championships, there may be additional specific conditions. In

     such cases the specific conditions will supersede the general ones.

     These conditions must be posted. Sponsoring organizations may amend

     these conditions for specific events but such amendments must appear

     in all printed tournament schedules. Furthermore they must be posted

     prior to the start of event.


     Sponsoring organizations may, with ACBL approval only, amend these

     conditions for a specific event.


     The final decision on any item in these conditions shall be made by

     the Director-in-Charge. Furthermore, any issue not specifically

     covered will be resolved by the Director-in-Charge.



     1. Each partnership will consist of two players. In events which have

        a masterpoint restriction the partnership's entry will be based on

        the player with the higher masterpoint holding.  However, Life

        Master events require that both members of a pair be ACBL Life

        Masters or its equivalent.


     2. Each player must play at least seventy percent of the boards,

        played by the partnership to be eligible for either session or

        overall masterpoint awards.



     1. Sponsoring organizations must announce in advance the type of

        event scheduled. Options include open, Life Master, events

        restricted by either an upper or lower masterpoint limitation,

        flighted, stratified or strati-flighted. In addition each event

        may be segregated by requiring pairs to be both men, both women or

        mixed (i.e one man and one woman).


         In flighted events groups are segregated by masterpoint totals

         (i.e A is Open, B is restricted to players with less than 1000

         MP's and C for players with less than 300 MP's).


         In stratified events the three groups play together but are ranked

         both collectively and separately (i.e a C player can win points by

         ranking in A, B or C).


         In strati-flighted events at least one group is segregated and

         another stratified (i.e A is Open, B is stratified with the top

         group 300 - 1000 and the second group 0 - 300).



                                                        CCPRS.033 (PAGE 2) 



     2. Events may be run from one to six sessions and may have cuts in

        the size of the field after specified sessions. Consolation events

        may be run concurrently with the final session(s) at the

        discretion of the Sponsoring Organization.


     3. A Side Game Series (Continuous Pairs) may be run at sectionals or

        regionals. There must be at least three sessions. Individual

        sessions may be stratified and give overall and section awards

        based on side game rating. Players compete as individuals and

        overall placing will be determined by the player with the best sum

        of percentages of his two best sessions. Any player still entered

        in another championship event (such as a sitout in a Knockout or a

        player who has withdrawn from another event) may play in the Side

        Game Series (Continuous Pairs) but that session will not count

        towards his overall ranking nor will gold points be awarded for a

        section top at regionals or NABCs.


     4. Management, at it's discretion, may authorize barometer scoring

        with publication of previous rounds' results during a session for

        any matchpoint event for which ACBL is the sponsoring

        organization. The present IMP pairs event may not be run using

        barometer scoring if the results are made public during the



     5. A partnership is responsible for knowing when their methods apply

        in probable (to be expected) auctions. A pair may be entitled to

        redress if their opponents did not originally have a clear

        understanding of when and how to use a convention that was




     The ACBL General Convention Chart will govern bidding and playing

     methods unless the Sponsoring Organization has announced in writing to

     the contrary.



     Every effort should be made to seed all sections of the field in both

     directions.  In general, each pair should play against the same

     strength field each session. (Note: This is usually accomplished by

     making random adjustments in the starting position of one of the

     seeded fields each session.) While the Sponsoring Organization may

     provide assistance the final decision in all matters relating to

     seeding the event will rest with the Director-in-Charge. 



     1. Events of two or more sessions may be run as some number of

        qualifying sessions and some number of final sessions. Consolation

        events may be scheduled for non-qualifiers at the discretion of

        the Sponsoring Organization. Conditions regarding the number of

        pairs to be qualified must be announced as early as possible

        during the qualifying session(s).



                                                        CCPRS.033 (PAGE 3) 



     2. In order for a partnership to qualify for the finals both members

        must be present. If not an alternate qualifier will be selected.

        From among available pairs the one with the highest score in the

        qualifying session(s) will be selected.


     3. A carryover will be calculated based on scores in the qualifying

        session(s). The maximum spread between highest and lowest

        carryover will be equal to the number of sessions in the events

        times top in the final session(s). For six session events with two

        cuts, the maximum spread for the middle two rounds will be only

        two and one half times top in the semi-final sessions.


     4. Carryovers will be based on the following formula -

         C = (M - m) [ (Q/E)(AxBxQ)/S)] where


         C = carryover                                   

         B = number of boards played in qualifying session(s)

         S = sum of the scores of all qualifiers

         M = matchpoints of a given pair

         m = matchpoints of lowest qualifying pair

         E = pairs entered in the event

         Q = pairs to be qualified

         A = average on each board in the final session(s)


     If the formula determines the high carryover to be above the allowable

     limits then the formula is abandoned and the following procedure is

     followed.  Subtract the low qualifying score from the high qualifying

     score and divide this number into the maximum allowable carryover.

     The resulting factor is multiplied by the difference of a score and

     the low qualifying score.  Thus the low qualifier will have a

     carryover of zero and the high qualifier will have the maximum

     allowable carryover.


     5. Ties for the final qualifying position will be broken as follows:

        a. Considering only boards played in common, a pair will receive

           one point for each board played in common on which it outscores

           the other tied pair(s) and one half point for each tied board.

           In addition on boards not played in common a pair will receive

           one point for a score above average and one half point for a

           score of average.

        b. If the above does not break the tie or in cases where the pairs

           played no boards in common, compare matchpoints on all boards

           against average. Award a pair one for each score above average

           and one half for each score of average.



                                                        CCPRS.033 (PAGE 4) 



     1. Substitutes are subject to the discretion of the Director-in-

        Charge or his designee and may not appreciably strengthen the



     2. A qualified pair which fails to seat both members of the

        partnership ten minutes after the announced starting time of a

        finals will be replaced by the highest available alternate




     1. The score correction period for player errors expires at the

        completion of play of the session following the one in which the

        error occurred.


     2. For director errors the correction period expires twenty four

        hours after the completion of the event or thirty minutes after

        completion of the last event of the tournament, whichever is



     3. For qualifying events  the score correction period for both player

        and director errors expires one hour before the announced starting

        time of the first final session.


     4. The appeal period of or for a Director's ruling expires one half

        hour after the completion of a session or the starting time of the

        next session whichever is earlier.


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