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ACBL Tech File
Swiss Teams 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)                                    CCSWS.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 Swiss team events.  At the North

     American Bridge Championships additional conditions, specific to a

     particular event, will be appended as necessary.  The specific

     conditions supersede the general.


     Sponsoring organizations may, with ACBL approval only, amend these

     conditions for a specific event.


     Whenever these, or other related conditions, refer to a match, this

     "match" conforms to the definition of "session" in the Laws of

     Duplicate Contract Bridge.  Whenever these or other related conditions

     refer to a session, this "session" refers to a group of matches played

     in prompt succession.  Similarly, references to the Director are to

     the DIC of the Tournament except that he/she may delegate authority,

     partially or entirely, to one or more of the other Directors.



     1. Each team may consist of four, five or six players.  After the

        start of the first match no player may be added or replaced

        without the permission of the DIC.


     2. Each team's entry must list all the members of that team and must

        indicate which player is the team captain.  (A non-playing captain

        is not permitted.)  The team captain will be responsible for all

        official representations to the Director or committees.


     3. A player must play at least fifty percent of the matches in the

        event in order to be eligible for overall masterpoint awards or

        other privileges due his/her team. As exceptions, a player will be

        deemed to have played fifty percent and be eligible for overall

        awards or other privileges in the following two cases:

        a. Playing the last 50% of the matches rounded down in a 7 match

           Swiss. (For example, a player must play a minimum of any four

           matches or the last three matches in order to receive overall


        b. Playing the three-match session of a two-session Swiss

           consisting of  8 matches, if the three-match session is the

           final session.


     4  a. Two-Session Events

           Provided that he/she has met all the eligibility requirements of

           the conditions of contest, each player on a five or six player

           team shall receive a percentage of the overall award (per

           player) earned by the team directly proportional to the number

           of matches in which he/she played, or the sum of the match

           awards earned by playing in matches won by the team, whichever

           is greater.



                                                        CCSWS.033 (PAGE 2) 


     b. Events of More than Two Sessions:

         Provided that he/she has met all the eligibility requirements of

         the conditions of contest, each player on a five or six player

         team shall receive the full amount (100%) of the overall

         masterpoint award (per player) earned by the team, or the sum of

         the match awards earned by playing in matches won by the team,

         whichever is greater.


     5. A team may withdraw from the event at the conclusion of a session,

        but only after having complied with the requirements for

        withdrawal.  A Director may permit a team to withdraw at another

        time if in his/her judgment the withdrawal does not adversely

        affect the contest.  No money will be refunded to a withdrawing

        team, and entry into another event, if permitted, will be upon

        payment of the applicable entry fee.


     6. An ineligible player is disqualified. The ineligible player's

        team will be disqualified unless the Director-in-Charge determines

        that teammates were unknowledgeable about the deficiency of the

        disqualified member. Any team reduced to fewer than three original

        members due to disqualification of ineligible players is



         When a team is disqualified after the correction period for the

         event has ended because the deficiency was discovered then, the

         disqualified team's position remains vacant.  If the deficiency is

         discovered prior to a match starting, the result of the preceding

         match is changed; or, if discovered during a match, that match may

         be forfeit. The result of no other match is altered.



     1. Each board of each match shall be scored by International Match

        Points (IMPs).


     2. The IMP result of each match shall be converted to either win-loss

        or victory points as required. See Appendix J for win-loss and

        victory point scales.


     3. The captain of the winning team (both captains in case of a tie)

        must report the result of the match in IMPs as soon as it is

        known, by bringing both his/her reporting form and the one filled

        out by the opposing captain to the reporting station.


     4. The sum of the results accumulated by a team through the scoring

        method in use will determine overall ranking.  Ties will not be

        broken for the purpose of awarding masterpoints. The sponsoring

        organization may break ties for the purpose of awarding prizes. At

        victory point scoring, any fraction of a victory point shall be

        the margin of separation necessary for both qualification and

        ranking.  At win-loss scoring, any difference shall be a margin of

        separation for both qualification and ranking.



                                                        CCSWS.033 (PAGE 3) 



     1. For the first match of the event, entries will be sold by random

        draw (The sponsoring organization may elect to seed the first

        match.*).  If teams remain without opponents at game time these

        teams will be matched as follows:   the team with the highest team

        number will be reassigned to play the team with the lowest team

        number and so on as necessary. When only one such team remains,

        that team will play in a three-way match including the two teams

        with the nearest team numbers. * This includes, for the first

        match, pairing A strat vs A strat, etc. as possible.


     2. For each subsequent match, pairings will be assigned (within

        groups of teams) such that:   a)  no two teams shall meet twice in

        the event, and, b) 1. each team shall meet a team whose current

        record is as close to its own as possible, or 2. for an event with

        an even number of entries ONLY (i.e., no three-way matches):

        randomly pair teams for their second round match. For the

        remainder of the first session or one-half the total number

        matches (rounded down)each team shall meet a team whose record

        after the previous match is as close to its own as possible.

        Current record must be used for the final session or for the last

        one-half of the total number of matches (rounded up).


     3. If only one team is leading, random draw shall determine which of

        its equally eligible opponents it meets.  With teams tied for the

        lead, pairings shall be such that as many of the tied teams play

        each other as possible.  This procedure shall be repeated for all

        teams still eligible to finish in the overall ranking.



     1. The ACBL General Convention Chart applies unless the Sponsoring

        Organization has, by request at the time of sanction application,

        and by on-site posting chosen to permit the use of additional

        methods. In such cases, the pre-alert requirements and other

        conditions, as noted on the ACBL MidChart or SuperChart, also

        apply. See the specific NABC General Conditions of Contest for

        Swiss Team Events held at North American Bridge Championships for

        information concerning permitted charts other than the General

        Convention Chart.


     2. Partnerships may be changed between matches. Once play of any

        match has begun partnerships may only be changed upon instruction

        of the Director.


     3. A substitute will be permitted only with the permission of the

        Director. No substitute will be permitted when four team members

        are available to play.


     4. The captain of a five or six player team must write the name(s) of

        the player(s) sitting out that match on the front of the reporting

        form provided.



                                                        CCSWS.033 (PAGE 4) 



     5. A kibitzing team member must sit at least two tables away from

        each table of his/her team's match and may not kibitz at any table

        playing duplicated boards also being played by his/her team.


     6. There are no seating rights.  If a disagreement cannot be resolved

        by the captains involved, there shall be a coin-flip. The team

        losing the coin flip will seat its pairs first. The team winning

        the coin flip will then seat its pairs.


     7. The time allotted is seven and one-half minutes per board. Players

        will be informed if a Sponsoring Organization varies this time



     8. A board which was not scheduled for play in a particular match

        will not be counted towards the result of that match even if

        played at both tables. The determination of which boards were

        scheduled for play in any match rests with the Director.


     9. When a table fails to complete play within the allotted time, the

        Director will issue a warning to the responsible player(s).  A

        second late finish will result in a penalty of 10% of the maximum

        score possible in a match (at the form of scoring in use) being

        deducted from the team's cumulative record for the event.  The

        amount deducted for third and subsequent late finishes will be

        double the previous penalty (20%, 40%, etc.).  More than two late

        finishes in the event and any excessively late finish may be

        subject to disciplinary penalty (in addition to the procedural

        penalties outlined above) and may be referred to a committee for 

        possible further action.


    10. When any table fails to complete play of all the boards of a

        match, either on their own or with Director intervention, only

        those boards played at both tables will count towards the result

        of that match.  If the Director determines one side to be at

        fault, he/she may act to protect the non-offending side.  Such

        action is usually, but is not restricted to, the awarding of three

        IMPs per board (not played) to the non-offending side.


    11. It is the duty of each team captain to ensure that one of his

        pairs is playing N-S and the other E-W, regardless of table

        assignment method in use. If teams fail to achieve a match result

        because of incorrect placement of players, each such team will

        receive zero, whichever scoring method is in use. For pairing

        purposes, these teams have not yet played each other.


    12. If the result of a last match of the event is not received, both

        teams will be credited with zero, whichever scoring method is in



    13. Teams are obligated to play to win each match.  Players who do not

        shall be disqualified from the event and subject to further

        disciplinary action.



                                                        CCSWS.033 (PAGE 5) 



    14. 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




     1. A team which fails to seat four players within ten minutes of the

        start of a match will be penalized 10% of the maximum score

        possible in a match at the form of scoring in use.  In addition,

        one board shall be removed from play eight minutes after the start

        of the match and another board removed seven minutes thereafter.

        Three IMPs will be awarded the non-offending team for each board

        so removed.  The record of a team whose opponents incur a penalty

        will not be affected (improved).


     2. If four players are not seated when one-third of the time allotted

        for the match has expired, that team shall forfeit the match.  At

        any method of scoring, the teams are assigned a result as though

        the non-offending team had won by 3 IMPs and the loser is assigned

        0.  At victory point scoring, the total of the non-offending team

        is adjusted at the conclusion of the event (or of a two session

        qualifying stage) such that it receives the highest of: a) the

        temporary assignment; b) the average per match of the victory

        points they accumulated in the matches actually played in that

        period; or, c) the average per match of the victory points scored

        against the offending team in the matches actually played in that

        period (fractions of VPs are rounded to the nearest tenth).


     3. The Director may, at any time, seat a substitute until a missing

        player arrives.  The Director may later apply or waive the

        provisions of paragraph 1. or 2. if compelling reasons exist.




     No increase in score will be granted unless the Director's attention

     is called to the error prior to the announced starting time of the

     next match or thirty minutes after the completion of the match

     whichever is earlier.



     Decrease in score due to players' errors and mis-reporting the agreed

     result of a match:

     Expires one hour prior to the announced starting time for play on the

     next day of the same event, twenty-four hours after completion of the

     event, or thirty minutes after completion of the last event of the

     tournament, whichever is earlier.  Notwithstanding the foregoing, the

     TD may decline to amend the overall rankings if the team could have

     known at the time that one or more pairings were made based on an

     incorrect cumulative total.  In any case, all matches played prior to

     correction of an error stand as played.



                                                        CCSWS.033 (PAGE 6) 



     The appeal period for or of a director's ruling expires thirty minutes

     after the completion of the match or at the start of play in the next

     match, whichever is earlier.  When an appeal will not be heard prior

     to the playing of one or  more matches, each of the teams will be

     credited, for pairing purposes, with a score reflecting a favorable



     A match ends for a pair when all boards scheduled for play are

     completed and they leave the table or meet with their teammates.



     1. In a two session Swiss team event there is generally a "cut" after

        half the matches have been played.  At win-loss scoring, teams

        with a record of fifty percent or better, and at victory point

        scoring, a certain percentage of the field, continue play in the

        finals with records intact. The remaining teams form the

        consolation, all starting with zero carry-over.


     2. A sponsoring organization may elect to hold a play-through event.

        An event advertized as qualifying may be played as play-through


     3. A team which does not "qualify" to play in the finals may elect to

        play in the finals anyhow.  The sponsoring organization may elect

        to permit "qualifying" teams to choose to play in the consolation

        or may allow teams to determine for themselves whether to

        "qualify" or not regardless of their record at decision time.


     4. When one or both of the finals and the consolation consist of an

        odd number of teams, the Director may:

         a)  Add a new team to either or both fields;

         b)  Set up a three-team round-robin in either or both fields;

         c)  Allow a qualifying team to play in the consolation; or,

         d)  Move a team from the consolation to the finals, adjusting its

             record to equal that of the team with the lowest record

             required to play in the finals.


     5. Players on two or more consolation teams may, with the permission

        of the Director, rearrange themselves into one or more different



     6. If two teams are leading the consolation with one match to play,

        they must play each other unless they have played previously in

        the consolation, (i.e., they may have met in the qualifying

        matches) because insufficient entries exist to justify a cut.



     1. Sponsoring organizations may determine the conditions governing

        smoking in the playing area or during play.


     2. At North American Bridge Championships no smoking is permitted in

        the playing area(s).

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