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Conditions Of Contest

Knockout Teams

For Regional and Lower Rated Events


These Conditions of Contest may not be changed at any level of play during the course of this event.

Lack of knowledge does not constitute cause for exemption. Sponsoring organizations may, with ACBL approval only, amend these conditions for a specific event.

  1. Each event is open to teams of four, five or six players. Except that Compact Knockouts are only open to teams of four players.

  2. An event with entry restricted by masterpoint holding, age, sex or any combination thereof will be publicized as such in the ACBL Bulletin and/or in the Daily Bulletin at the NABC.

  3. An unexpectedly large number of entrants may cause an event to be randomly divided into two equal (or nearly equal) separate events.

  4. Each team must select a captain, playing or non-playing, who will be responsible for all official representations to the Director or Committee. The captain or his/her designee must enter the team prior to game time or prior to the official closing time for entries, whichever is earlier, as publicized in the ACBL Bulletin and/or in the Daily Bulletin at the NABC. At that time, the completed entry must include a number indicating how many players are on the team, a listing of their names, home cities, states, player numbers, masterpoint holding if requested and a notation as to who is captain. No player may be added after the official closing time. A team may designate a new captain (playing or non-playing) at any stage of the event by submitting a written request, signed by the previously designated captain.

  5. The Director may accept a late entry if in his/her opinion the inclusion of another team enhances the play structure of the event and does not inconvenience timely entrants.



  1. To fulfill the participation requirement, a player must meet EACH of the following conditions as appropriate:

    1. For any given overall award, a player must play at least 50% of all boards (excluding play-off boards) played by the team at the time the award is earned. No contestant may play any match after it has become mathematically impossible for him/her to play at least 50% of the boards (excluding play-off boards) played by his/her team.

    2. For any given overall award, a player must have played 50% of the boards in the match in which the team earned that award.

    3. In order to be entitled to the first place award, a player must also play at least 50% of the combined boards in the semi-final and final matches.

  2. A player who fails to maintain participation eligibility in an event receives match awards only and is not entitled to honors or recognition for further achievements of his/her teammates in the event. Additionally, a player who was, but no longer is entered on a team in a knockout event may not participate in a concurrent championship event (two or more sessions) while the team is still competing in the KO event.

  3. If it is determined by the Director-in-Charge that a player(s) or team withdrew from a knockout for emergency reason(s), the player(s) or team will receive all masterpoints earned to that point. (i.e., team wins round of eight the player receives MPS for 3/4)

  4. An ineligible player is disqualified. The ineligible player's team will be disqualified unless the Director-in-Charge determines that teammates were unknowledgeable about the deficiency of the disqualified member. Any team reduced to fewer than three original members due to disqualification of ineligible players is disqualified. When a team is disqualified after the correction period for the event has ended because the deficiency was discovered then, the disqualified team's position remains vacant. If the deficiency is discovered prior to a match starting, the result of the preceding match is changed; or, if discovered during a match, that match may be forfeit. The result of no other match is altered.



Bracket designators must be based on the average masterpoint holding of all members of each team.


  1. Round-robins (with one or two survivors) may be held in the early rounds so as to avoid byes.

  2. Each team will be assigned an opponent or into a round-robin by random draw each round either without regard for meetings in previous round-robins or with the exception that a team will not be paired against a previous opponent until as late a round as possible -- at sponsor's option.



  1. The ACBL General Convention Chart governs bidding and carding methods permitted, restricted, or not permitted in KO events.

  2. The ACBL Mid-Chart or SuperChart may be permitted by sponsors. The Mid-Chart is permitted at NABCs in unrestricted Flight A KOs and any bracket of a bracketed KO where the bracket designator for the lowest ranking team is 1000 or more masterpoints.



  1. Each event is a single elimination knockout with any fraction of an IMP constituting a win. (For three-way matches, see #11 following.)

  2. Net IMPs won and lost will be used to determine the winner of each match and the survivor(s) of each round-robin. A team's net IMPs won is the gross IMPs won in play less any tardiness or slow play penalties assessed that team. A team's net IMPs lost is the gross IMPs lost in play less any tardiness or slow play penalties assessed the opponents.

  3. A round-robin tardiness penalty is assessed in the affected match(es).

  4. Each team's captain must report the net IMPs won and the net IMPs lost to the director responsible for the bracket sheet as soon as the result is determined.

  5. Matches will be 24 boards in length, but at sponsor option may be longer. Compact Knockout matches are generally 12 boards in length, but at sponsor option may be longer.

  6. Head-to-head matches and round-robins will be divided into two sessions.

  7. The time allowed will be seven and one-half minutes per board. The Director may allow extra time when bidding boxes are in use.

  8. Should any head-to-head match end in a tie, a 4 board play-off will be played. Should the first play-off end in a tie, continuing 2 board play-offs will be played until the tie is resolved.

  9. Play-offs will take place immediately following the session in which a tie occurs. If time does not permit an immediate play-off following a morning session, the play-off will be played immediately following the afternoon session of that day.

  10. The play-off boards will not count toward any player requirements to qualify for masterpoint awards or additional rights. Play will begin after a short intermission to recheck scores.

  11. The team(s) eliminated from a round-robin shall be determined as follows: at the completion of play of any round-robin, each team will be credited with 1 for each match in which it is leading, 1/2 for each match in which it is tied, and 0 for each match in which it is trailing, and:

    1. the team(s) with the lowest cumulative total(s) is(are) eliminated.

    2. if two teams are tied for one surviving position, continuing 4-board matches will be played by the tied teams until the tie is broken.

    3. if all three teams are tied, an IMP quotient (the sum of the net IMPs won in all pairings divided by the sum of the net IMPs lost in all pairings, see 2 above) will be determined for each tied team, and:

      1. the team(s) with the lowest IMP quotient(s) is(are) eliminated.

      2. If two teams are tied for the lowest IMP quotient, a four board play-off will be played. Should the first play-off end in a tie, continuing 4 board play-offs will be played until the time is broken.

      3. If all three quotients are equal, continuing 6 board round?-robins(3 boards against each other team) will be played (with no carry-over) until the tie is resolved.

    4. A partnership is responsible for knowing when their methods apply in probable (to be expected) auctions. A pair may be entitled to redress if their opponents did not originally have a clear understanding of when and how to use a convention that was employed.



  1. There are no seeding rights. Should a seating disagreement arise, each captain will submit a geographic line-up for his/her team.

  2. No change in seating may be made after the auction has started at either table except on instructions from the Director.

  3. "Playbacks" are permitted.


Smoking shall not be permitted in the playing area at NABCs.


  1. Substitutes are subject to the discretion of the director and may not appreciably strengthen a team. No more than two substitutes will be permitted for any team at one time.

  2. A substitute is not allowed if a fifth or sixth member of a team is available.



A team reduced to three members will be permitted, for cause, a replacement at the discretion of the Director-in-Charge. A replacement for the finals receives match awards only - a replacement at any other time receives the same overall award as other members of the team. No more than one replacement is permitted.



A participant who kibitzes must be at least two tables removed from each table of his/her own team's match.



The score correction period for player and scorer errors expires thirty minutes after the completion of the segment, at the start of play at either table of a playoff, or at the announced starting time of the next match, whichever is earlier.

The appeal period for or of a director's ruling expires thirty minutes after the completion of the segment, at the start of play at either table in the next segment, or at the start of play at either table of a playoff, whichever is earlier.

A segment of a match is completed when the teams have agreed upon a score.



  1. The opposing team may not waive any penalties assessed their opponents for tardiness or slow play.

  2. The penalty for failure to seat a complete team at announced game time (tardiness) will be:

    1. first 10 minutes - no penalty

    2. more than 10 minutes, up to 15 minutes - 1 IMP,

    3. more than 15 minutes, up to 20 minutes - 3 IMPs,

    4. more than 20 minutes, up to 25 minutes - 6 IMPs,

    5. more than 25 minutes, up to 30 minutes - 9 IMPs,

    6. more than 30 minutes, up to 35 minutes - 12 IMPs,

    7. more than 35 minutes, up to 40 minutes - 15 IMPs.

  3. The match will be curtailed one board, up to a maximum of four boards, for each 7 1/2 minutes or fraction thereof of tardiness after the first ten minutes. Three IMPs per board curtailed will be awarded to the non-offending team in addition to the penalty of 2. above.

  4. If play has not commenced (with or without a substitute) forty minutes after announced game time, the match will be declared forfeit.

  5. The Director may, at any time, seat a substitute until a missing player arrives. The Director may later apply or waive the provisions of paragraphs 2, 3 or 4 if compelling reasons exist.

  6. When a table exceeds the time allowed for play, the pair(s) responsible will receive a warning.

  7. When a pair exceeds the time allowed a second time in the event, they will appear before the Appeals Committee for review.

  8. Cases of excessive slow play will be referred to the Appeals Committee for review regardless of previous warnings.

Regarding any of the above, the decision of the Director-in-Charge shall be final.

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