2001 saw the birth of a new Bristol Backgammon league, the Conference.
This was open to all players who had not been assigned "Premier Status" by the end of 2000.
Entries received totalled 26, which resulted in a split into two divisions, Red Division and Blue Division (13 players each).
This format was seen not to be working well in some respects, so the decision was taken on April 24th to amalgamate the two divisions into a single league, with results obtained thus far being consolidated into a single league table.
In 2002 the Conference was run along similar lines, i.e. a single league, but with new entrants allowed to join at any time throughout the season, and this general pattern has been followed for subsequent years.
The PRE-REQUISITES for joining the Conference are:
- Absence from the Premier Status list;
- The commitment to arrange and play as many (or as few) opponents as you wish in 11-point matches between January and November. N.B: In this league (unlike in the Premier League), if you fail to complete all your fixtures, there are no repercussions;
- The willingness to pay the entry fee (£10, due on completion of your first match), and abide by the rules of the competition.
The REWARDS are:
- FOR THE WINNER -- the privilege of holding the Bristol Conference Trophy for 12 months, and guaranteed entry into the following year's Bristol Masters event, provided the 20 points barrier has been breached at some stage during the season;
- FOR THE WINNER AND RUNNER-UP -- a small engraved memento to keep;
- FOR THE TOP FEW (precise number dependent on the number of entries) -- some prize money;
- FOR SOME HIGH FINISHERS -- the assignment of "Premier Status", enabling entry, if desired, to the lowest division of the following year's Premier League. From 2009 this applied to all players finishing with 20 points or more. (In previous years the number of players to gain Premier Status was dependent on a formula based on the number of contestants completing a specified number of matches). There was a slight amendment to the 2009 change in 2010, where any player reaching 20 points at any stage of the season would attain Premier Status, even if subsequently slipping below that mark.
- FOR EVERYONE WHO ENTERS -- the benefit of match-play experience over and above Thursday tournaments which are already available, and the pleasure of getting to know the other competitors.
Find out more about the Bristol Conference by clicking on any of the following links:
Rules and formats
Previous years' history
Premier Status list
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