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General Conditions of Contest

Swiss Teams


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 Swiss team events. At the North American Bridge Championships additional conditions, specific to a particular event, will be appended as necessary. The specific conditions supersede the general.

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

Whenever these, or other related conditions, refer to a match, this "match" conforms to the definition of "session" in the Laws of Duplicate Contract Bridge. Whenever these or other related conditions refer to a session, this "session" refers to a group of matches played in prompt succession. Similarly, references to the Director are to the DIC of the Tournament except that he/she may delegate authority, partially or entirely, to one or more of the other Directors.



  1. Each team may consist of four, five or six players. After the start of the first match no player may be added or replaced without the permission of the DIC.

  2. Each team's entry must list all the members of that team and must indicate which player is the team captain. (A non-playing captain is not permitted.) The team captain will be responsible for all official representations to the Director or committees.

  3. A player must play at least fifty percent of the matches in the event in order to be eligible for overall masterpoint awards or other privileges due his/her team. As exceptions, a player will be deemed to have played fifty percent and be eligible for overall awards or other privileges in the following two cases:

    1. a. Playing 40% of the boards in a play thru Swiss.

    2. b. Playing the three match session of a two-session Swiss consisting of 7 or 8 matches.

    In events of more than two sessions with a qualifying stage(s), a player must play at least half the matches in a stage in order to be eligible to play in the succeeding stage and to be eligible for overall awards and other recognition.

  4. Multi-Session Events

    1. Two-Session Events

    2. Provided that he/she has met all the eligibility requirements of the conditions of contest, each player on a five or six player team shall receive a percentage of the overall award (per player) earned by the team directly proportional to the number of matches in which he/she played, or the sum of the match awards earned by playing in matches won by the team, whichever is greater.

    3. Events of More than Two Sessions:

    4. Provided that he/she has met all the eligibility requirements of the conditions of contest, each player on a five or six player team shall receive the full amount (100%) of the overall masterpoint award (per player) earned by the team, or the sum of the match awards earned by playing in matches won by the team, whichever is greater.

  5. A team may withdraw from the event at the conclusion of a session, but only after having complied with the requirements for withdrawal. A Director may permit a team to withdraw at another time if in his/her judgment the withdrawal does not adversely affect the contest. No money will be refunded to a withdrawing team, and entry into another event, if permitted, will be upon payment of the applicable entry fee.

  6. 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.



  1. Each board of each match shall be scored by International Match Points (IMPs).

  2. The IMP result of each match shall be converted to either win-loss or victory points as required. See Appendix J for win-loss and victory point scales.

  3. The captain of the winning team (both captains in case of a tie) must report the result of the match in IMPs as soon as it is known, by bringing both his/her reporting form and the one filled out by the opposing captain to the reporting station.

  4. The sum of the results accumulated by a team through the scoring method in use will determine overall ranking. Ties will not be broken for the purpose of awarding masterpoints. The sponsoring organization may break ties for the purpose of awarding prizes. At victory point scoring, any fraction of a victory point shall be the margin of separation necessary for both qualification and ranking. At win-loss scoring, any difference shall be a margin of separation for both qualification and ranking.



  1. For the first match of the event, entries will be sold by random draw (The sponsoring organization may elect to seed the first match*. If teams remain without opponents at game time these teams will be matched as follows: the team with the highest team number will be reassigned to play the team with the lowest team number and so on as necessary. When only one such team remains, that team will play in a three-way match including the two teams with the nearest team numbers.

    * This includes, for the first match, pairing A strat vs A strat, etc. as possible.

  2. For each subsequent match, pairings will be assigned (within groups of teams) such that:

    1. no two teams shall meet twice in the event, and,

      1. each team shall meet a team whose current record is as close to its own as possible, or

      2. randomly pair teams for their second round match. Until the last two matches each team shall meet a team whose record after the previous match is as close to its own as possible. Current record must be used for the final two rounds.

  3. If only one team is leading, random draw shall determine which of its equally eligible opponents it meets. With teams tied for the lead, pairings shall be such that as many of the tied teams play each other as possible. This procedure shall be repeated for all teams still eligible to finish in the overall ranking.



  1. The ACBL General Convention Chart applies unless the Sponsoring Organization has, by request at the time of sanction application, and by on-site posting chosen to permit the use of additional methods. In such cases, the pre-alert requirements and other conditions, as noted on the ACBL Mid-Chart or SuperChart, also apply.
    See the specific NABC General Conditions of Contest for Swiss Team Events held at North American Bridge Championships for information concerning permitted charts other than the General Convention Chart.

  2. Partnerships may be changed between matches. Once play of any match has begun partnerships may only be changed upon instruction of the Director.

  3. A substitute will be permitted only with the permission of the Director. No substitute will be permitted when four team members are available to play.

  4. The captain of a five or six player team must write the name(s) of the player(s) sitting out that match on the front of the reporting form provided.

  5. A kibitzing team member must sit at least two tables away from each table of his/her team's match and may not kibitz at any table playing duplicated boards also being played by his/her team.

  6. There are no seating rights. If a disagreement cannot be resolved by the captains involved, each captain shall submit a written geographic line-up.

  7. The time allotted is seven and one-half minutes per board. Players will be informed if a Sponsoring Organization varies this time limit.

  8. A board which was not scheduled for play in a particular match will not be counted towards the result of that match even if played at both tables. The determination of which boards were scheduled for play in any match rests with the Director.

  9. When a table fails to complete play within the allotted time, the Director will issue a warning to the responsible player(s). A second late finish will result in a penalty of 10% of the maximum score possible in a match (at the form of scoring in use) being deducted from the team's cumulative record for the event. The amount deducted for third and subsequent late finishes will be double the previous penalty (20%, 40%, etc.). More than two late finishes in the event and any excessively late finish may be subject to disciplinary penalty (in addition to the procedural penalties outlined above) and may be referred to a committee for possible further action.

  10. When any table fails to complete play of all the boards of a match, either on their own or with Director intervention, only those boards played at both tables will count towards the result of that match. If the Director determines one side to be at fault, he/she may act to protect the non-offending side. Such action is usually, but is not restricted to, the awarding of three IMPs per board (not played) to the non-offending side.

  11. It is the duty of each team captain to ensure that one of his pairs is playing N-S and the other E-W, regardless of table assignment method in use. If teams fail to achieve a match result because of incorrect placement of players, each such team will receive zero, whichever scoring method is in use; unless, the Director-in-Charge (DIC) arranges to have the match replayed prior to the start of the next session of the event (e.g., between sessions) such an arrangement is at the discretion of the DIC only. For pairing purposes, these teams have not yet played each other.

  12. If the result of a last match of the event is not received, both teams will be credited with zero, whichever scoring method is in use.

  13. Teams are obligated to play to win each match. Players who do not shall be disqualified from the event and subject to further disciplinary action.

  14. 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. A team which fails to seat four players within ten minutes of the start of a match will be penalized 10% of the maximum score possible in a match at the form of scoring in use. In addition, one board shall be removed from play eight minutes after the start of the match and another board removed seven minutes thereafter. Three IMPs will be awarded the non-offending team for each board so removed. The record of a team whose opponents incur a penalty will not be affected (improved).

  2. If four players are not seated when one-third of the time allotted for the match has expired, that team shall forfeit the match. At any method of scoring, the teams are assigned a result as though the non-offending team had won by 3 IMPs and the loser is assigned 0. At victory point scoring, the total of the non-offending team is adjusted at the conclusion of the event (or of a two session qualifying stage) such that it receives the highest of: a) the temporary assignment; b) the average per match of the victory points they accumulated in the matches actually played in that period; or, c) the average per match of the victory points scored against the offending team in the matches actually played in that period (fractions of VPs are rounded to the nearest tenth).

  3. The Director may, at any time, seat a substitute until a missing player arrives. The Director may later apply or waive the provisions of paragraph 1. or 2. if compelling reasons exist.




No increase in score will be granted unless the Director's attention is called to the error prior to the announced starting time of the next match or thirty minutes after the completion of the match whichever is earlier.


Decrease in score due to players' errors and mis-reporting the agreed result of a match:

Expires one hour prior to the announced starting time for play on the next day of the same event, twenty-four hours after completion of the event, or thirty minutes after completion of the last event of the tournament, whichever is earlier. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the TD may decline to amend the overall rankings if the team could have known at the time that one or more pairings were made based on an incorrect cumulative total. In any case, all matches played prior to correction of an error stand as played.

The appeal period for or of a director's ruling expires thirty minutes after the completion of the match or at the start of play in the next match, whichever is earlier. When an appeal will not be heard prior to the playing of one or more matches, each of the teams will be credited, for pairing purposes, with a score reflecting a favorable ruling.A match ends for a pair when all boards scheduled for play are completed and they leave the table or meet with their teammates.



  1. In a two session Swiss team event there is generally a "cut" after half the matches have been played. At win-loss scoring, teams with a record of fifty percent or better, and at victory point scoring, a certain percentage of the field, continue play in the finals with records intact. The remaining teams form the consolation, all starting with zero carry-over.

  2. A sponsoring organization may elect to hold a play-through event. An event advertised as qualifying may be played as play-through

  3. A team which does not "qualify" to play in the finals may elect to play in the finals anyhow. The sponsoring organization may elect to permit "qualifying" teams to choose to play in the consolation or may allow teams to determine for themselves whether to "qualify" or not regardless of their record at decision time.

  4. When one or both of the finals and the consolation consist of an odd number of teams, the Director may:

    1. Add a new team to either or both fields;

    2. Set up a three-team round-robin in either or both fields;

    3. Allow a qualifying team to play in the consolation; or,

    4. Move a team from the consolation to the finals, adjusting its record to equal that of the team with the lowest record required to play in the finals.

  5. Players on two or more consolation teams may, with the permission of the Director, rearrange themselves into one or more different teams.

  6. If two teams are leading the consolation with one match to play, they must play each other unless they have played previously in the consolation, (i.e., they may have met in the qualifying matches) because insufficient entries exist to justify a cut.



  1. Sponsoring organizations may determine the conditions governing smoking in the playing area or during play.

  2. At North American Bridge Championships no smoking is permitted in the playing area(s).

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