Tournament Committee Update
by Andrew Petrie
Since the last Tournament Focus in November there has been only one Tournament Committee (TC) meeting, but there is still quite a lot to report.
National Women's Teams
As mentioned in the November edition of Tournament Focus, the National Women's Teams competition has struggled over a number of years, and the TC took the decision to discontinue the event in its present form run out of Aylesbury. It was decided to offer this event to counties in the Midlands to run on the EBU's behalf. Warwickshire have offered to do this, and the TC has accepted this offer. Therefore the event will take place in 2011, and further details will be available shortly following discussions between Warwickshire and Aylesbury.
EBU Autumn Congress
The Autumn Congress will be held at the Holiday Inn Stratford-upon-Avon from 21 to 23 October 2011. There will be an early finish (around 7:00 pm) on the Saturday evening to enable players to enjoy the facilities of this very pleasant location.
There will be two significant changes to the National Pairs in season 2011/12:
- Charging structure
To encourage more clubs and members to enter, the charging structure of this event will be changed. The EBU entry fee to the club heats will be more than halved, the fee for the Regional Finals increased slightly and the fee for the National Finals increased significantly to bring it in line with similar events such as the Corwen.
- "A" Final and "B" Final
There will be two 50-pair National Finals running side-by-side. The "A" Final will be open to the top 50 Regional qualifiers as now. The "B" Final will be open to the top 50 pairs who have at most one Life Master (and no higher ranked players) in the partnership and no person in the top 60 of the Gold Point ranking list. Pairs qualifying for both the "A" and "B" Finals will have the choice of which to play in.
For season 2011/12 the following conditions and arrangements will apply to the NICKO.
- Strong teams (i.e. those with 2 or more players ranked Grand Master or above or ranked in the top 40 of the EBU Gold Point Scheme at the end August) will be excluded to Round 2 or 3. In principle it will be the latter but a final definition will not be made until Aylesbury have seen the composition of the entries and the impact of these on travelling times.
- Strong teams are not eligible for the NICKO Plate.
- People who are eligible to enter should:
- Be members of an affiliated club; AND
- Have been members of the club for at least 3 months before they first represent the club; AND
- Play regularly at the club or for the club or contribute regularly in some other way to the club OR: have met these criteria in previous years and are unable to currently do so through personal circumstances (e.g. illness, work, childcare, etc.)
- It will be left to individual clubs themselves to decide who meets the criteria in #3 and is therefore eligible to represent them. Examples will be provided on the website of what the EBU believes is good practice in this area. Any complaints that a team does not meet the criteria in #3 will be referred to the club that entered the team.
Easter Festival — North
This event will return to the calendar at Easter 2012, run in York on behalf of the EBU by Yorkshire.
The Masters Pairs (for Premier Masters and below) will be played at a number of regional venues on Sunday 4 March 2012.