The English Bridge Union Master Points Scheme came into operation in September 1956 and it has been very popular with the players. Clubs have also appreciated the value of the scheme with its unique incentives in helping to promote and retain club membership. You can read about its origins here (part 1; part 2). Any player can obtain points from success in duplicate bridge competition, on a scale which varies according to the success itself, the size of the competition and its status. About the top one-third of players in a competition will be entitled to Master Points. The register of Master Points is kept at the offices of the English Bridge Union. Only members of the EBU may register their points and have their records maintained. A lapsed member may have valid Master Points registered on renewal of membership of the EBU. Members may see their record via My EBU, using their membership number and password. Lists of promotions between Master Point ranks are published and county ranking lists are made available to all members. Rank and category prizes are awarded every year based upon the total number of Master Points earned during the competition year, which runs from 1 January to 31 December.
The 2019 Master Point and Licensing Handbook is available here. The document:
- outlines the different types of organisations that can run Master Points award events.
- determines what type of Master Points and at what scale an organisation can award them for each event it runs.
- states the different types of event an organisation can run
- states how many events an organisation can run to include entries from non- members or unaffiliated clubs.
- sets out the type of events that require a licence.
Landmark promotions in the Master Point scheme are printed in every second issue of English Bridge, and a list of all promotions (sorted by county) can be seen on our website with a new list posted every month.
Four Landmark promotions
These are Master, Regional Master, Life Master and Grand Master. Promotions will be processed three times a year in line with English Bridge issues: April, August and December. The landmark promotions will be recorded in these issues of English Bridge. Members who have achieved one of the landmark promotions will receive a congratulation letter from the EBU Chairman and a certificate of rank attained, by post. Those achieving a landmark promotion to the rank of Master are entitled to free entry to the Masters Pairs - this may be used in the competition immediately following notification of their promotion, or deferred for one year (i.e. those notified in April 2016 can reclaim their free entry in the event in spring 2017 or spring 2018). Members achieving one of the other landmark promotions after 1st July 2016 will no longer receive a free entry to the Ranked Masters Pairs
All other promotions
We now only print some promotions in the magazine. Promotions are published instead on the EBU website, and members can see their Master Point history in My EBU, the Member’s personal area of the website.
There are four types of point. Local and Green Points accumulate to establish a player’s Master Point rank. Gold Points, which depreciate in value over a five-year period, provide a measure of form for more expert players.
Local (Black) Points:
These are awarded at any duplicate session, including club duplicates, complying with the normal rules and regulations of the Master Points scheme.
These are won in national events and are necessary for progress to the most senior ranks. The club heats of the National Pairs competition attract Green Points. The value of a Green Point is 100 Local Points (so 1½ Green Points = 150 Local Points and, since the advent of decimalised Green Points, 2.28 Green Points = 228 Local Points).
Gold Points are awarded for any performance, in a single EBU event, plus the BGB Gold Cup, which earns 5 Green Points or more. Gold Points are expressed to two decimal places, and devalue at the rate of 20% of their original value per annum. Gold Points are not used in determining a player’s Master Points rank but are an indicator of current form, and of performance at a high level.
The End of Year Annual Competition
This runs from January 1st to December 31st each year and all EBU members with a visible master point record are included. In addition to the main prizes, there is a club award that is awarded to three club champions drawn at random, as detailed below. We will publish the ranking lists on the EBU website and we will inform the Counties and Clubs when they are available to view. The National Awards are based on black, blue and green points won in the year, and then broken down into three categories: Category 1 - Life Masters and above Category 2 – National & Premier National Masters Category 3 – Regional and Premier Regional The "Sunday Telegraph" Salver and free entry to the Spring Bank Holiday Congress – will be presented to the player who has won the most points in the competition year. The County Awards are based on black, blue and green points won in the year and then broken down into three categories: Category 4 - Star, Tournament and Premier Masters Category 5 - County Masters, Masters, Advanced Masters Category 6 - Unranked, Local, Club, Area, District Masters The top player in each category in each county will receive a cash prize. This will be credited against the member's account. The Club Awards are based on black points won solely in a club’s own events. The player in each club who has won the most black points in that club’s events will be published on the EBU website and entered into an Annual Prize Draw, 1st prize £400, 2nd prize £200, 3rd prize £100.
Information on licensing.