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League Rules

1. Players shall be deemed to be registered for a Club by virtue of playing for that Club in any League or Knockout Competition Match in that season.
2a Players may transfer to another Club prior to the 31 December subject to the approval of the League Management Committee ( herein-after referred to as ‘the Committee’ )
2b Schoolteachers and schoolchildren may represent both their Club and their School teams provided that such teams do not play in the same division.
3. No person may play for more than one Club in the League Knockout Competition.
4. A player may register with one Club only in any season except as provided in Rule 2

Dates of Matches
5. The dates of matches shall be published in writing by the League Secretary not later then two weeks after the Annual General Meeting.
6. All League matches shall be played in the period 1st October to 31 May unless otherwise directed by the Committee.
6b. No Club shall be required to play separate matches by two adjacent teams on the same day.
7. All League games between teams from the same Club shall be completed by 31 January. Where such games have not been completed they will be defaulted by both teams.
8a. A team has the right to postpone a match in the following circumstances, provided an appropriate officer of the opposing club is notified at least 10 days before the appointed starting time:
The home team, if the premises will not be available
A school team , if a school event or holiday will interfere with the match or prevent them from fielding a full team.
8b. A team wishing to postpone a match for reasons not included in Rule 8(a) may ask an appropriate officer of the opposing Club for a postponement. The opposing team has the right to refuse.
8c. A team which has claimed a postponement under Rule 8(a), or requested a postponement to which the opponents agreed, shall notify the Fixtures Secretary in writing no later than one week after the original fixture date. The two Clubs shall ask the Fixtures Secretary for a new date. If the Clubs suggest a date it may be accepted.
8d. The Committee shall have the power to expel from the League any Club which fails to fulfil its League fixtures without good reason for doing so.
9. If a team fails to appear for any match at the appointed place and date within 30 minutes of the appointed starting time, it shall lose the match by default. The opponents shall report the non-appearance to the League Secretary in writing. If the non-appearance is due to circumstances outside the control of the defaulting Club the latter may appeal to the Committee, the appeal to be sent in writing to the League Secretary within one week. The Committee may confirm the default or decide that the match shall be played on another date. Inability to field a full team shall not be grounds for an appeal.

Composition of Teams
10. In League matches teams shall consist of FIVE players in the Open Division and of FOUR players in all other divisions. In the Challenge Cup teams shall comprise eight players minimum.
11. Teams shall play in order of recognised playing strength. Where a team blatantly contravenes this Rule the Committee may award the match to the opposing team by default. Any complaint under this Rule must be made to the League Secretary within seven days of the match.
12. Where Clubs enter two teams in the same division the Club shall name FOUR players who can play for one team, but not the other. They need not all be nominated for the same team, but would normally be top board(s). The players so named must be regularly picked for the team to which their names are attached. The Secretary of the Club is responsible for informing the Registration Secretary of the details of players and teams. When a designated player leaves the district or retires from active chess the Club Secretary shall contact the Registration Secretary and nominate a replacement. New players arriving at a Club might cause similar rearrangement of nominated players.
13. In the event of an ineligible player competing in a match, or in the event of any other contravention of Rule 12, the game played by the offending player shall be awarded to the opponent and one further point deducted from that team’s score.

14. All matches shall, unless otherwise agreed by both Captains, commence at the start time given in the Fixture List.
15. Chess clocks shall be used. If the ‘allegro’ finish option is not used, the rate of play in the first session shall be 42 moves in the first one and a half hours, and 28 moves per hour there-after.
16. Before the start of a match game either player may choose an ‘Allegro Finish’ as an additional option to Rule 15. If the ‘Allegro’ option is chosen, the time limits will be 35 moves in 75 minutes and there-after all remaining moves are to be completed in a further 15 minutes. Where the ‘Allegro’ option is chosen the game must be completed in a single session.
17. In the event of a player failing to arrive on time, his clock shall be started at the appointed time for the match. A player arriving 30 minutes after this time shall forfeit the game, but, until this time has elapsed, a replacement of similar or lesser strength may be nominated. For example, in matches due to start at 7:30 pm, games are forfeited under this rule at 8 pm irrespective of when the clocks start.

Uncompleted Games
18. Arrangements for adjudication or adjournments shall be made three hours after the commencement of the match.
19. When games are uncompleted after three hours play (in subsequent sessions a minimum of two hours or as agreed by the players) the player with the move shall seal a move and then stop the clock. No other action or discussion shall take place until this has been done.
20. The player who has sealed shall immediately declare whether he wishes to play on or to send the game for adjudication. If he declares for adjudication then the other player must immediately declare whether he wishes to play on. If either player wishes to play on then there can be no adjudication. The player who first chooses to play on shall ask his opponent (who has choice of venue) for three dates within a 21 day period, Monday to Friday inclusive. One of these dates must be accepted with 72 hours of the match either by post or telephone. The time of the postmark shall apply for this rule. The game shall be completed with 21 days of the original fixture. A player failing to appear on the agreed date shall forfeit the game.
21. If both players agree to an adjudication the sealed move shall be disregarded. The Captains may seek to agree a result, failing which each team shall forward the position with the team’s claim to the League Secretary for submission to a League adjudicator. An adjudication fee of £2 must accompany the claim and will be returned to the successful claimant. Positions for adjudicatoin must be submitted within seven days of the match. An appeal against an adjudication shall be regulated by the following conditions.
[a] The League Secretary, having dated the adjudicator’s decision, and informed the two Clubs, shall be told, by phone, of any appeal within 7 days of the date which he put on the adjudication.
[b] The Secretary shall immediately inform the other Club by phone.
[c] Written notification of the appeal, with payment, and any analysis offered for the appeal judge, shall be received by the Secretary within 14 days of the date of this second phone call otherwise no appeal shall be allowed.
[d] The charge for the appeal shall be £4, returnable if the appeal is successful.

Results of Matches
22. It is the responsibility of the home captain to complete a matchcard using the web-based system provided by the League and accessible through the League’s website at This must be done within 24 hours of completion of the match. The website must be updated with the results of any uncompleted games as soon as they are available. For each breach of this rule the Committee may, at its discretion, penalize the offending team by the deduction of no more than one League table point. Those captains choosing not to use the web-based system must send match cards to the Registration Secretary by post in accordance with the above stipulations regarding timescales.
23. Teams shall score 2 points for a win and 1 point for a drawn match.
24. At the conclusion of the season tied teams shall be separated by board difference. If the scores remain equal, no further attempt will be made to separate the teams.
25. Drawn Cup matches will be resolved by board count and then by elimination of the lowest board(s).

Structure of the League
26. The number of divisions, the number of teams and the grading limits shall be decided by the Committee each year.

Conduct of matches
26a. The number of games in any division will be TEN or as near TEN as possible. The Committee will decide how best to achieve this.
27. The international rules of chess will apply. However ‘local’ arrangements, which have been approved by the Committee, may supersede those provided by FIDE. It is permitted to bring electronic devices (e.g. mobile phones) into the playing venue, however they should be switched off/in silent mode. Unless alternative arrangements have been formally agreed by both match captains, should an electronic device disturb an opponent (e.g. the ‘ringing’ of a mobile phone) then the player using that device forfeits their game.  
28. Any dispute between players or teams shall be resolved in the first instance by the team Captains only.
29. Any Club, team or player willfully disobeying the Rules of the League shall be reported to the Committee, who shall decide upon any action which may be considered necessary.
30. The Committee shall be the final arbiter in the interpretation of the Rules and shall have the power to decide on any matters not specifically provided for in the Rules.
31. During matches no smoking shall be allowed over the board.

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