Tournament Committee Update
by Andrew Petrie

As usual there have been quite a lot of interesting issues that have been dealt with by the Tournament Committee since the last edition of Tournament Focus.

NICKO and Garden Cities

The National Inter Club Knock Out Competition is specifically aimed at EBU affiliated clubs, and we want to ensure that the competition is truly representative of clubs and their players. In the past eight years, however, there has been a substantial decline in NICKO entries. The Committee believes this is because the competition's main ethos of attracting bona fide club players has become clouded. In order to reverse the trend we are looking at a proposal (starting season 2011/12) to ensure that any player who represents a club has played in that club a certain number of times in the preceding year.

The EBU Tournament Committee has suggested that players who represent a club should have played 12 times in the preceding year. However, we have already had representations from clubs that understand the reasoning behind this proposal but feel that the suggested number of 12 is too high. We will not be making a decision about this until October at the earliest when we will have a better idea of playing patterns and when various stakeholders will have had time to tell us their views.

If you wish to contribute to the debate, please email and give us your views.

Artificial 1H and 1S Openings

Following representations made to the Committee by various members and after consultation with the Law & Ethics Committee, it has been agreed that at Level 4 and below, an opening of 1H/1S must show this suit and artificial 1H/1S openings will only be allowed at Level 5. Level 5 will apply to the following events: All other events currently at Level 4 will remain so. Counties will of course continue to be free to determine which level to apply to their events, although the Committee would recommend very careful consideration before Level 5 was chosen for this purpose. The L&E will be issuing amendments to the Orange and Tangerine Books in due course and this change will become effective on 1 August 2010. Also from that date the WBF convention card will be allowed in all Level 5 events but not at Level 4 and below.

National Women's Teams

Following representation from many of the competitors in this year's Women's trials, the Selection Committee has decided that this year's National Women's Teams (4/5 September) will not be a trial for the Lady Milne.

National Pairs

A number of representations had been made regarding club heats of the National Pairs. It was too late to make any changes for season 2010/11 but the Committee felt the whole event needed a significant review and the Chief Tournament Director was asked to submit proposals for the October meeting.

Operating Guidelines on Hotel Venues in England and on Overseas Congresses

Following a significant number of inputs on UK Hotel venues and on Overseas Congresses, I have asked for the operating guidelines we use on these two issues to be put on the EBU website. You will be able to get to them from the Competitions page.

Andrew Petrie
EBU Tournament Committee Chairman