Bristol Grand Prix rules and formats

Rules for 2024

The Bristol Grand Prix is open to all players who enter any of the following monthly grand prix tournaments -- the four 20 entry Lesters Trophy tournaments, and the eight other monthly 10 tournaments.

All the tournaments are individual competitions in their own right. However, over the year, points will be accrued by all entrants based on their achievements in whichever of these events they enter.

An amount not exceeding 10% will be levied from each of the the entry fees of all the tournaments to cover the provision of year end prizes.
A similar percentage will also be levied for administration expenses. The remainder of the entry fee money goes on prizes for the individual tournaments.

The 20 Lesters Trophy events and the 10 tournaments will all be two flight straight knock-out affairs, provided there are at least seven entrants. All main flight matches will be to 7 points.

N.B: In all of the 20 and 10 knock-outs, players eliminated in their first match will be entered into a consolation flight, where matches will be to 5 points. These consolation flights will be subject to approximately 25% of the night's prize fund in the case of the 10 tournaments, and around 20% in the case of the 20 tournaments.

Should there be between four and six entrants, however, the format will change, with a round robin. All matches here will be to 7 points (if there are 4 players), or 5 points (if there are 5 or 6 players). Should the round robin finish with leaders having won the same number of matches, then each player's total points difference in the round robin will be the first level of tie-break. Should that fail to separate the players, then the results -- but not the scores -- of meetings of those players will decide; failing that, a short play-off will be ordered.
As from 2016, all matches in these tournaments have been subject to clock rules, with each player having a time bank of one minute and thirty seconds times the match length. There is a delay of twelve seconds before time banks start to be eroded.

NOTE: All the above events have associated with them two optional side pools. While these aspects of tournament night provide additional elements of entertainment, they have no bearing whatsoever on the BGP competition.

The BGP scoring system

for knock-outs
20 event
10 event
Win before

N.B: In the event of an odd number of entries to the main flight, it is possible that one player may gain entry to the consolation flight after losing his/her second match of the main flight. In which case that player would only benefit by his/her higher scoring flight.
for round robins
20 event
10 event
5- or 6-player
round robin
match win
round robin
match win
Round robin
win bonus

N.B: A round robin play-off win will not accrue any points, except for the round robin win bonus.

A player's best seven tournament points performances throughout the year will count towards his/her final total, thus anyone entering more than seven of the tournaments will discard low point scores.
In the event of a tie on total points, there will be four levels of tie-break: (1) fewest tournaments entered in total during the BGP season; (2) highest percentage of wins in all BGP matches throughout the year; (3) results of any meetings of the players in question during the BGP season; and (4) a play-off where necessary to separate significant positions. Otherwise, i.e. where the positions are not otherwise significant, such players will be deemed to have finished equal.
For general terms and conditions of entry to Bristol Backgammon tournaments, click here for knock-outs or here for round robins.

The rewards

The player finishing with the most BGP points at the end of the year is the BGP champion, and will hold the BGP Shield for twelve months.
The winner and runner-up receive engraved mementoes, and the top three receive small cash prizes.
Finishing positions will also be used to determine substitute entry into the annual Bristol Masters event, in the event of qualifiers for that competition not taking up their places.

Historical rule changes


The OGP and IGP replaced by the BGP, and a second side pool introduced.


Replacement of the Slow Play Penalty System by clock rules.


Abolition of "top ten" qualification for Premier Status, a further revision of round robin formats, and simplification of the Slow Play Penalty System.


This was the final year before the introduction of "slow play" penalty points and a revision of the round robin formats.


This was the final year where Lesters events did not have a Round Robin option for fewer than eight players.


This was the last year before the deduction of administration expenses.


Only year of inclusion of Handicap Knock-outs. Final year of single flight Lesters Trophy competitions, pending an experimental period.


Final year before introduction of Handicap Knock-outs to the OGP.
10 consolation win points were 5, 5 and 10, as opposed to the current 5, 10 and 15.


This was the last year when four of the "non-Lesters" events carried a 5 entry fee, the other four being 10.
And the number of Lesters Trophy events was raised from the traditional three to four.

2000 and 2001

The competition consisted only of eight designated OGP tournaments, with the best five scores counting for each player.
Five of these events were subject to a 5 entry fee. The other three were Lesters Trophy events, which cost 20 to enter.
Main flight matches were to 7 points (except for Lesters finals, which were to 11 points).
And only the top eight OGP finishers were allotted Premier Status.

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Current OGP positions
OGP history