The function of the EBU is to promote duplicate bridge in England. Licensing procedures are designed to regulate all duplicate events for the benefit of all, by

  1. helping organisers comply with the Law, EBU bye-laws, and other bridge regulations
  2. protecting the interests of EBU members, and
  3. co-ordinating bridge events to avoid clashes

Licensing EBU events to counties

Clashes of Dates

The EBU licensing department seeks to avoid clashes of dates wherever possible between two events in close proximity (roughly defined as being within an hour’s drive of each other). If a licence application is received for an event that may adversely affect another event already licensed, then approval will be sought from the event organiser concerned. A licensed commercial venture receives no such protection. Organisers are encouraged to apply early for licences in order to avoid inconvenience.

How to apply for a licence

For a normal Open tournament, written applications should be made using the Open competition licence application (word version) form provided. For leagues or county knockout events, please use the League/County KO licence application form. For other types of events, e.g. Simultaneous Pairs, novice/beginner type events, please send applications in writing to

Additional Blue Point competitions for clubs

Blue Points were introduced at the start of 2013 and clubs were given an allowance of two events per annum in which they could award them. Following a trial event in 2017 to increase the number of Blue Point events, all clubs may now hold two blue-pointed events per annum, and larger clubs may hold an additional two for every 10,000 player sessions they have submitted in the previous year, subject to them having their county’s agreement. We will usually agree to such applications unless there is a potential conflict in the calendar with another club or organisation. Applications should be made to

Master Point Awards

(a) Single venue events The licence fee covers the cost of issuing Master Points. It is the responsibility of the licence holder to award the appropriate Master Points and submit the appropriate result files to the EBU.
The status at which Master Points may be awarded depends on two factors: whether the event is restricted to EBU members, and whether a significant proportion of the entry is expected from outside the local area.
An established congress of at least four sessions may apply to be considered for ‘Major Congress’ status if it satisfies both these conditions, and if it averages at least 50 tables per session over its best four sessions.

  EBU members only: Open to non-members:
Local players only: District Status Club Status
Non-local players: County Status District Status
Major Congress: Regional Status n/a

(b) Multi Venue Events The low rate for multi-venue events is offered on the assumption that Master Points are issued at all venues (on the basis of local results) under normal P2P arrangements at the cost of the clubs concerned. Further Master Points may be issued by the organiser based on global results provided they are submitted to the EBU in an appropriate format. 

(c) Other events (e.g. leagues) Please refer to the Master Points and Licensing Handbook for full details. 

Full details on how to award Master Points can be found in the Master Points and Licensing Handbook.

Issuing Master Points

For events that do not fall in the ‘Pay to Play category, Master Points should be submitted in the form of a spreadsheet (Excel or csv format), e-mailed as an attachment to the EBU. The spreadsheet should contain one line for each player, with seven columns containing (in this order): EBU Number; Surname; Forename; Local Points; Blue Points; Green Points; Gold-eligible Points; Net Points. Even though the last column, at least, should always be zero, it would be helpful if they were filled in as such regardless.  The spreadsheet should therefore look like the following:

106680 Mitchell Ian 125 0 0 0 0
402908 Clark Michael 320 0 0 0 0
417780 Durrell Karen 60 0 0 0 0

Non-members of the EBU If no EBU numbers are supplied, then master points will not be registered.  Nor will they be kept on file just in case. Please encourage your participants to supply numbers if they are members – if they don't do so, and you are unable to identify them, then they will lose their points. Other Home Unions If players are primary members of the WBU, SBU or NIBU, and they provide their membership number for that union, then we will forward their points to that union.

What events require a licence?

All Open events run by Counties or Clubs require a licence unless specifically exempted through the general provisions detailed in the Licensing and Master Point Handbook, or through a written authority from the EBU.

Changes to arrangements for Green Pointed events

Please note: Following decisions made at the AGM in November 2022, we would like to remind counties that they are no longer allowed to run their One-Day Green-Pointed events online. They may however run Blue-Pointed events online in their place if they wish.

This is to reduce clashes between counties and is in line with the principle that counties run regional events and the EBU runs national events - since online events of this type are effectively national in reach.

Current Fees

Licence fees are charged per table per session for single venue events, and per English venue for multi-venue (e.g. simultaneous) events. Fees should be sent to the EBU within one calendar month of the conclusion of the event Current Licence Fees for 2023/24 and New Fees for 2024/25: Unless stated otherwise all prices are per table per session (p.t.p.s)

  2023/2024 2024/25
Events run by an affiliated club/county    
Licensed Club and County Events £2.40 £2.44
Licensed Charity Events (including multi-venue) £2.12 £2.16
Blue Point events £3.04 £3.08
County Green-Pointed Events £8.44 £8.52
Beginner/Improver Events £0.88 £0.92
Events run by non-affiliated organisations    
(e.g. Bridge Holidays) £2.92 £3.00
Annual licence for tour operators £58 £59
Multi-Venue (Simultaneous) Events1    
Charity - Affiliated clubs £2.081  
Non-charity - Affiliated clubs £6.601 £6.701
  1. Multi Venue Licence Fee = per venue fee payable by event organiser. Normal Universal Membership rates and organisers entry fee apply at club levels. Exception: Children in Need is Universal Membership exempt.
  2. County events and all leagues have been subject to a Universal Membership subscription charge at 50% of the national rate, but this will no longer apply for any events that start after 1st April 2020.
  3. 50p surcharge for players participating at un-affiliated clubs.

Licencing Information for Commercial Organisations

How to contact us for more information

Please write to the address below: Licensing Secretary The English Bridge Union Broadfields, Bicester Road Aylesbury HP19 8AZ Tel: 01296 317211 E-mail