League Rules

About the Cambridge Backgammon League

The aim is to give Cambridgeshire and East of England players experience of playing live 11-point matches and the excitement of League Backgammon. Matches are UKBGF rated and follow UKBGF rules.

Detailed rules below, which were originally based on those developed by Richard Biddle for the London Players Backgammon League.

How it works

  • Players complete in small divisions, typically comprising 4-6 players, playing two 11 point matches against all other players in their division (often they will play both 11 point matches against a particular opponent on the same occasion). At the end of the season there is promotion and relegation.
  • Each season lasts four months. Usuall they end at midnight on the following dates: 30/4, 31/8, 31/12 and commence again on the first day of the following month.
  • Only matches played and reported by season deadline count towards point’s total. The deadline will not be altered.
  • Only fully completed matches count towards your total.
  • It is not permissible to play a single league match and count it as two results.
  • League Points are as described on the UKBGF Cambridge League Tables page; 3 points for winning both matches against an opponent, 2 points for winning one and losing one, 1 point for losing both.
  • Winning scores are truncated to 11 points.

Rules of play

UKBGF Rules.

Scheduling and reporting matches 

It is both players’ responsibility to organise matches.  If both players can’t work it out between them over a three month period, they both lose out.
Forfeited matches are not awarded.

Players must be able to play in Cambridgeshire, but can arrange matches at any venues and times of their choice.  In all cases it is up to the individual players to arrange their matches.

All completed match scores to be reported as soon as possible to Neil Foston by email, with both players copied in. It is the responsibility of the winner to report the result (though either is fine). Please specify the date as this is used when reporting the match to UKBGF.

League tables and UKBGF rating will be updated promptly, usually within a few days and at worst a week. This is a manual process so please be patient, but do let us know about any mistakes or forgettings.

In exceptional circumstances, matches may be played online, but only as a last resort and if both players agree. In this case the match will not be UKBGF rated. Please do not abuse this rule, it is intended for cases where both players have made reasonable attempts to schedule a match, and not playing it would unfairly affect promotion or relegation.

Inactivity and Consideration

Players are required to:

  • Respond to emails in a timely manner
  • Schedule, i.e. agree dates, for their matches in a timely manner
  • Not cancel unreasonably late
  • Turn up for agreed matches on time, not unreasonably late
  • Play all their matches
  • Not leave it till the end of the season to play all their matches. At a minimum, at least 2 matches should be  played before the last month of the season

These rules are for the fairness and consideration of other players in the league. Failure to comply may result in penalties to guarantee this fairness and consideration, which will be at the discretion of the League Committee. For example:

  • A player’s matches for the season may be removed from the table, eg if they haven’t played all their matches and the missing matches unfairly affect promotion or relegation.
  • A player that is very inactive, or consistently inactive, may be removed from the league. They may be allowed to rejoin after a season (at the bottom of the league), although conistent offenders may be permanently banned.

If there is a reason a player cannot complete their matches, they should immediately let the league organiser and their competitors know. We don’t want to penalise anyone who is in difficult circumstances so will try not to, though fairness to other players will still be the main consideration.

Promotion, Relegation, and Division Size

Typically the divisions comprise 4-6 players. A particular division size is not guaranteed and may change as players join or leave the league, or improvements are made to the structure.

Usually, players are promoted from each division (except the top), and relegated from each division (except the bottom).

League balancing may be neccesary as players join and leave, which may affect promotion and relegation. This will be done in a way that is fair and reduces impact; where possible, players that were going to be promoted will still be promoted, and we will try to avoid extra relegations. Generally, reduced relegation will be favoured over increased promtion. But in the case of the bottom division, increased promotion may be favoured (as it is possible to get a logjam of new players moving up).

League tiebreakers 

If two or more players are equal on league points on completion of the divisional matches, the following criteria are applied to determine the rankings (in descending order). Note these may differ from those described on the UKBGF Cambridge League Tables page, due to limitations in its features.

a) Match difference (This only makes a difference if not all the matches are played);

b) Head to head result;

c) Superior score difference from all divisional matches played;​

d) Higher current UK Rating

How to join

Email Neil Foston.

Newcomers join the lowest division.

​All players will need to provide an email address. This will be sent to each division’s respective players at the start of each season.

Players must be able and willing to play live matches in the Cambridgeshire area (though they can of course play elsewhere if their opponent agrees).

What else should I know?

League Committee is Peter Booth, Julia Hayward and Neil Foston (Committee will be allowed to play in the League).  They will rule on any incidents not involving themselves.  If an incident involves a member of the committee they will be replaced by an individual nominated by the non-involved committee.  Any decisions by the committee will be made in the interest of sportsmanship over gamesmanship.

League Committee can change the rules and format of the league competition without notice.  This would only ever be done to evolve the competition to everyone’s benefit and no-one will be purposely disadvantaged by these changes.