Please note that for season 2015-2016 we are introducing a trial format for the league teams of 8 matches :

A team can enter the league, beginning in division 2, that does not represent a specific club. i.e. the team will be independent but made up of ABU affiliated players. Any reserves during the season must not have played for another team in the league nor can they play for another team after playing for the independent team (it would be advisable to have a couple of reserves in mind before entering a team). Entry and hall rental will be as per the arrangements for clubs (team members should be made aware of this).  Any issues or unforseen circumstances will be ruled upon by the ABU council. Their decision will be final.



















1. Laws


Circumstances arising in connection with competitions and not specifically provided for by the following rules shall be dealt with by the application of the Laws of Duplicate Contract Bridge currently in force and the Scottish Bridge Union’s rulebook for competitions.   In any conflict between these two books and the Ayrshire rules the provisions of these books shall prevail.




2. Eligibility


  • ·         1.  With the exception of Honorary Members and Life Patrons every player entering an Ayrshire District competition must be a member of an Ayrshire District Club.   All such players are eligible to play in any heat of Ayrshire competitions whether held in clubs or in the Ayrshire Bridge Centre with the proviso that players may play in only one qualifying heat of the Ayrshire pairs and the Tourney Cup.   The Ann Galt is subject to the same rules as made for the SBU’s Easter and Autumn Pairs.
  • ·         2.   Where a player wishes to play in a heat of an Ayrshire competition in a club of which he/she is not a member he/she should inform the secretary of the club in advance and their application must be accepted except where there is no room for additional players.




3. Absence from competitions


Players unable to play in any stage of a competition for which they have qualified must notify the appropriate Match Secretary as soon as possible.   Failure to appear for a competition without notification can only be excused where a written explanation is submitted to the Match Secretary and that explanation is deemed adequate by the District Council.   Without such explanation the offending player(s) shall be barred from taking part in the competition in the following season. 




4. Reserves


  • ·        1.   In all first round heats of pairs and multiple teams competitions, the top half of each section will qualify to the next round (e.g. 6/12; 7/13).   The only reserves allowed will be those who lost a tie-break for the last qualifying place(s) in the section in which there has been a withdrawal.




  • ·        2.   In all other rounds of pairs and multiple teams competitions and in all rounds of individual competitions, the proportion of competitors qualifying will be the same for each section.   After the announced number of qualifying contestants are selected, all other contestants rank as reserves.   When the qualifiers are selected from the field at large, reserves rank in order of their qualifying scores.   When the original contestants are divided into several sections with a specified number to be qualified from each, the first vacancy in any section is filled by the next ranking contestant in that section.   Thus, each section has its own first reserve and they take the place of the first withdrawal from that section.
  • ·        3.   All first reserves rank ahead of any second reserve.   Thus, if there are two (or more) withdrawals from a section the first reserve from another section is called in ahead of the second reserve from the section involved.   The order of preference is:




a)      the section which produced the lowest proportion of qualifiers;  failing that




b)      the contestant with fewest points (in percentage terms) away from the lowest qualifying score in his section;  failing that




c)      the contestant with the highest percentage score;  failing that




d)     by random ballot




  • ·        4.   Only two reserves will be allowed from any one section
  • ·        5.   Unless otherwise specified in tournament regulations, a reserve takes the place of a contestant who has given notice of his intention to withdraw, save in a knock-out competition where a bye is introduced.




  • ·        6.   If a qualified contestant is not present at the advertised starting time, a reserve may act as a stand-by contestant.




  • ·        7.   One further pair/team may be brought in by the Match Secretary to assist the movement.   Normally this will be the non-qualifier with the highest percentage score.




5. Movements


      In all pairs events a 24 or more board movement must be used.   Acceptable movements for qualifying rounds include Howell, ¾ Howell, switched Mitchell (one winner) and Mitchell (two-winner treating NS and EW pairs as two separate fields).   At each round of the competition the number of boards played shall exceed the number played in the previous round.




6. Bidding Boxes


      Bidding boxes shall be used wherever possible.




7. Method of scoring


      In all pairs events the method of scoring shall be by Match Points.




8. Appeals Committee


      Where no appeals committee is available at an event appeals made in accordance with Laws 92 and 93 shall be submitted to the Tournament Committee of Ayrshire District.   A further appeal may be made according to Rule 6.2 of the SBU Rulebook.   The Tournament Director is responsible for the proper completion of the appeal form and for its submission to the Match Secretary.








  • ·         1.   In all events the home captain should provide a copy of these rules along with the books referred to in 1. above.






  • ·         2.   The home captain is the challenger and chooses the venue.   In a knock-out competition the name uppermost in the draw is the home team.




  • ·        3.   Dates of matches will be arranged at the League secretaries Meeting.   Team Captains will then have two weeks to consult team members for suitability and, if necessary, to change the dates of the fixtures.   After this two-week period dates are confirmed.   Therefore, failure to field a team because of holiday commitments will not constitute ‘just cause’.




  • ·        4.   The home captain must confirm the venue, date and starting time with the away captain one week before the agreed date.




  • ·        5.   Every effort must be made to play each match on the agreed date.   The inability to field the strongest team is not to be regarded as a reasonable excuse for postponing a match.   Reserves, however inexperienced, must be used.   A date may be changed only in exceptional circumstances and provided at least one week’s notice is given.   In this case both captains should strive to find a mutually suitable date.   Immediate steps should be taken to rearrange the match, which should be played within one month of the original date.   When difficulties arise the home captain shall nominate in writing, with a copy to the League Secretary, three dates within a period of two weeks on at least two different days of the week.   If no agreement can be reached Captains will be invited to appear at a Tournament Committee meeting to fix a date and if one team is still unable to play then the match will be awarded to the other team.




  • ·        6.   In the event of a match being cancelled with less than one week’s notice and without just cause, the match will automatically be awarded to the non-offending team.   However, the non-offending team may still exercise the option of rearranging the match.   Team Captains should make it clear at the time of the cancellation whether they intend to claim the match or rearrange it.   Should there be a dispute over what constitutes ‘just cause’ the matter will be referred to the Tournament Committee for arbitration.




  • ·        7.   Any change to an arranged date must be confirmed in writing by the home captain to the away captain and to the League secretary.




  • ·        8.   If a team arrives more than 30 minutes after the agreed starting time for any fixture, the non-offending team captain will be entitled to claim the match.




  • ·        9.   In any competition players may play for only one team with the exception of the League teams of eight where players from one team may be called upon as substitutes in another, subject always to rules 11.1, 11.2, 11.3.








10. Teams of Four




  • ·        1.   In Ayrshire district competitions, all four members of the team should be named on entry.   If necessary, up to 2 substitutes can be used in subsequent rounds, provided that the Match secretary has been informed and that the entry fees for the substitute(s) have been paid.




  • ·        2.   The Tourney Cup shall be scored in VPs.   Rounds will consist of at least 24 boards.




  • ·        3.   The Ayrshire cup shall be scored in IMPs.    Each round up to and including the semi-final shall consist of 24 boards.   The final shall consist of 32 boards.   Lots shall be drawn for position and the away team changes tables at half-time.




11.  Teams of Eight




  • ·        1.   A player may play for only one Ayrshire District Club in the Teams of Eight League during one season.    




  • ·        2.   If a club has more than one team in the same division, players cannot be interchanged between these teams.




  • ·        3.   Any player who plays more than twice for a team is not then allowed to play for any team in a lower division.   However, in exceptional circumstances a player will be allowed to substitute in a lower division after having played twice in a higher division under the following conditions:    1)  that it would not form a regular partnership  2)  that only one such substitute could play per match  




  • ·        4.   The home team shall sit NS at tables 1 and 3 and EW at tables 2 and 4.   All matches shall consist of 24 boards.   After 12 boards have been played EW 1 &3 and EW 2 &4 will change places, NS remaining in same seats




  • ·        5.   The scoring shall be by IMPs and VPs according to the team sheets issued.




  • ·        6.   When a match is not played the score assigned to the non-offending team shall be either 12VPs(+15 IMPs) or the average from matches played against the offending team, whichever is the greater, and zero VPs(-81 IMPs) to the offending team.




  • ·        7.   If a team withdraws after playing any matches the Tournament Committee shall decide how points, if any, shall be allocated within the division.




  • ·        8.   Captains shall exchange team sheets before the start of each match and such team sheets shall show the table number for each player.   On completion of the match both sheets shall be signed and the winning captain shall send them to the League Secretary after a period of correction of 72 hours after the match has been played.   




 12. Cups and Trophies


Cups and trophies won during the season shall be presented at the annual prize-giving.   Winners retain their award for one year and must return it to a member of Council at least three weeks before the next annual prize-giving.




13. Exceptional Cases


Any eventuality not covered by the foregoing will be decided by Ayrshire District Council.






Revised Jan 2015