Club Management Focus: Summer 2014

NICKO and National Pairs

National Inter Club Knock Out (NICKO)

The NICKO, as it is affectionately acronymed, is open to all fully affiliated EBU bridge clubs, and is probably the most popular of all tournaments with around 300 teams entering annually.

It is played as a knockout throughout, with the draw regionalised so as to reduce travelling. The early rounds are of just 24 boards, increasing to 32 boards for the quarter-finals and semi-finals and 48 boards for the final.

Each club can enter an unlimited number of teams, to be referred to as teams A, B, C, etc. in no particular order of preference. Each team can be four, five or six players. At least four of the players must be nominated on the entry form at the time that the entry is submitted.

Club secretaries will be sent an entry form, and it can also be downloaded from our website. Entries should be submitted by the affiliated Club Secretary, who should be satisfied of the credentials of the players. Details of the qualification requirements are available on the event webpage

The closing date for entries is 18th September. We hope you will encourage the members of your club to form a team – or a few teams.

National Pairs Qualifying

The qualifying period has begun for the 2015 National Pairs, and any clubs wishing to host a heat can do so now. Most clubs will choose to host their heat in the Autumn so you should consider adding this to your diary soon.

The event begins with qualifying rounds played at clubs around the country. There are then Regional Finals on 15th March, followed by a National Final in West Bromwich on 18th-19th April.

The competition is also part of the Championship Series, in which points can be earned towards the Player of the Year Championship .

Clubs intending to run heats are requested to contact us as soon as possible with the details so that we can add you to the list of participating clubs.

Heats should take place before the start of February.

Organising a club heat

Heat organisers may combine a National Pairs heat with a normal club game, in which case qualification and Blue Point awards apply in relation to the number of pairs who declare in advance that they are competing in the National Pairs and who pay the corresponding entry fee. The preferred method, however, is to arrange a special National Pairs qualifying night. In either case there must be a minimum of at least 3 full tables (6 pairs) and single winner movements (i.e. Howell or arrow-switched Mitchell type) must be used.

Information on submitting a result which contains people who do not wish to qualify

No player may compete in more than one heat. Players need not be EBU members in order to play in the club qualifying stage, but must become members in order to proceed to the Regional Finals or beyond.

Qualifying results should be submitted only on the official return form from the EBU. This will be available on the event website, and copies can also be emailed on request. Please also submit the result in the usual manner so that it can be processed for magazine points, NGS grading, etc.

For information on the number of qualifiers from a heat of a particular size, please see the event website .

Fees at club heats are at the discretion of the heat organizers, who are required to remit £1 per player to the EBU. The fee only applies to those attempting to qualify, and should be submitted separately (it will not be collected automatically).