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General Conditions Of Contest

Pair 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.

These conditions apply to all pair events. At the North American Bridge Championships, there may be additional specific conditions. In such cases the specific conditions will supersede the general ones. These conditions must be posted. Sponsoring organizations may amend these conditions for specific events but such amendments must appear in all printed tournament schedules. Furthermore they must be posted prior to the start of event.

Sponsoring organizations may, with ACBL approval only, amend these conditions for a specific event.

The final decision on any item in these conditions shall be made by the Director in Charge. Furthermore, any issue not specifically covered will be resolved by the Director in Charge.



  1. Each partnership will consist of two players. In events which have a masterpoint restriction the partnership's entry will be based on the player with the higher masterpoint holding. However, Life Master events require that both members of a pair be ACBL Life Masters or its equivalent.

  2. Each player must play at least seventy percent of the boards, played by the partnership to be eligible for either session or overall masterpoint awards.



  1. Sponsoring organizations must announce in advance the type of event scheduled. Options include open, Life Master, events restricted by either an upper or lower masterpoint limitation, flighted, stratified or strati-flighted. In addition each event may be segregated by requiring pairs to be both men, both women or mixed (i.e. one man and one woman). In flighted events groups are segregated by masterpoint totals (i.e. A is Open, B is restricted to players with less than 1000 MP's and C for players with less than 300 MP's).

  2. In stratified events the three groups play together but are ranked both collectively and separately (i.e. a C player can win points by ranking in A, B or C).

    In strati-flighted events at least one group is segregated and another stratified (i.e. A is Open, B is stratified with the top group 300 - 1000 and the second group 0 - 300)..

  3. Events may be run from one to six sessions and may have cuts in the size of the field after specified sessions. Consolation events may be run concurrently with the final session(s) at the discretion of the Sponsoring Organization.

  4. A Continuous Pairs may be run at sectionals or regionals. There must be at least three sessions. Individual sessions may be stratified and give overall and section awards based on side game rating. Players compete as individuals and overall placing will be determined by the player with the best sum of percentages of his two best sessions. Any player still entered in another championship event (such as a sit-out in a Knockout or a player who has withdrawn from another event) may play in the Continuous Pairs but that session will not count towards his overall ranking nor will gold points be awarded for a section top at regionals or NABC's.

  5. Management, at its discretion, may authorize barometer scoring with publication of previous rounds' results during a session for any matchpoint event for which ACBL is the sponsoring organization. The present IMP pairs event may not be run using barometer scoring if the results are made public during the session.

  6. 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



The ACBL General Convention Chart will govern bidding and playing methods unless the Sponsoring Organization has announced in writing to the contrary.



Every effort should be made to seed all sections of the field in both directions. In general, each pair should play against the same strength field each session. (Note: This is usually accomplished by making random adjustments in the starting position of one of the seeded fields each session.) While the Sponsoring Organization may provide assistance the final decision in all matters relating to seeding the event will rest with the Director-in-Charge.



  1. Events of two or more sessions may be run as some number of qualifying sessions and some number of final sessions. Consolation events may be scheduled for non-qualifiers at the discretion of the Sponsoring Organization. Conditions regarding the number of pairs to be qualified must be announced as early as possible during the qualifying session(s).

  2. In order for a partnership to qualify for the finals both members must be present. If not an alternate qualifier will be selected. From among available pairs the one with the highest score in the qualifying session(s) will be selected.

  3. A carryover will be calculated based on scores in the qualifying session(s). The maximum spread between highest and lowest carryover will be equal to the number of sessions in the events times top in the final session(s). For six session events with two cuts, the maximum spread for the middle two rounds will be only two and one half times top in the semi-final sessions.

  4. Carryovers will be based on the following formula -

    C = (M - m) [ (Q/E)(AxBxQ)/S)] where C = carryover B = number of boards played in qualifying session(s) S = sum of the scores of all qualifiers M = matchpoints of a given pair m = matchpoints of lowest qualifying pair E = pairs entered in the event Q = pairs to be qualified A = average on each board in the final session(s)

  5. Ties for the final qualifying position will be broken as follows:

    1. Considering only boards played in common, a pair will receive one point for each board played in common on which it outscores the other tied pair(s) and one half point for each tied board. In addition on boards not played in common a pair will receive one point for a score above average and one half point for a score of average.

    2. If the above does not break the tie or in cases where the pairs played no boards in common, compare matchpoints on all boards against average. Award a pair one for each score above average and one half for each score of average.



  1. Substitutes are subject to the discretion of the Director in Charge or his designee and may not appreciably strengthen the partnership.

  2. A qualified pair which fails to seat both members of the partnership ten minutes after the announced starting time of a finals will be replaced by the highest available alternate qualifier.



  1. The score correction period for player errors expires at the completion of play of the session following the one in which the error occurred.

  2. For director errors the correction period expires twenty four hours after the completion of the event or thirty minutes after completion of the last event of the tournament, whichever is earlier.

  3. For qualifying events the score correction period for both player and director errors expires one hour before the announced starting time of the first final session.

  4. The appeal period of or for a Director's ruling expires one half hour after the completion of a session or the starting time of the next session whichever is earlier.

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