23th November 2021

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League's Rules for the Conduct of Matches

Divisions 14 Teams entering the League Championships shall be allocated to divisions at the AGM.
Points 15 Points shall be awarded on the results of matches, being two for a win, one for a draw and nil for a loss. However, if any team fields any player or players who are not validly registered in accordance with rule 20, though the game result(s) shall stand for grading purposes, the Fixtures Secretary will impose a 4-0 penalty on the team that has fielded an ineligible player. If a dispute arises as to whether a player has been validly registered, the burden of proof will be on the Club in question to demonstrate that a player registration had been accepted by either the relevant League Officer or the League Committee (if they believe an initial refusal by the League Officer had been overturned on appeal) There is no dispensation from this penalty for a Club if the player in question might well have been deemed eligible to play had the proper procedures been followed, if they have not The only test is whether a valid registration for the player existed at the time of the match.
Championship 16 The League Champions shall be the team with the highest number of points scored in the division concerned. Teams on equal match-points shall be sorted by overall game-point difference. If match and game points difference are equal, the head to head score from the two matches between the teams will determine the League Champions. If these are also identical a play-off match will be utilised. These tie-break provisions will also be applied in this order to settle relegation tiebreaks.
League Season 17 All matches shall be completed by the end of April, except at the discretion of the Committee, which is likely to only be given in exceptional circumstances and must have been properly documented and agreed in advance The Committee can decline any requests for extensions beyond the end of April at its absolute discretion. Any games not played by the end of April, where an extension has not been agreed, will result in both teams being subject to a 0-4 default.
Register of Club Officers 18 Club secretaries shall inform the League Webmaster of the names, addresses and telephone numbers of their officers and team captains by the end of June. Before the start of the season, the Webmaster shall publish online a register of the officers and team captains of all clubs in membership of the League. Before the start of the season, the Webmaster shall publish online a register of the officers and team captains of all clubs in membership of the League.
Transfer of Players 19 A player shall not be eligible to play in the league matches for more than one club in any one season except with the consent of the League Committee.
Registration 20 To be eligible for a match, all players must have been registered with the League for the team they represent, except as allowed under these provisions regarding playing up and playing down. Each club must validly register a minimum of four players for each team and must retain this minimum number of eligible players for each team throughout the season. Initial registrations for all the teams which a club is fielding must be submitted 7 days before the first scheduled match involving any of the clubs teams. These registrations must be, in so far as practicable, in strength order such that the strongest players are in the strongest team and the remaining players are allocated to their respective teams in descending order of strength. A player is deemed to have played in a match if the player’s name is entered on the match card or it can be otherwise demonstrated that they have played in a game. A player who has been validly registered for a team, is entitled to play up for a higher team, but once having played for any combination of higher team(s) more than twice will be re-registered for the higher team. Playing up on bottom board for the team immediately above that which they are registered for, does not impact on a players quota of playing up games. No player may play for a lower team than that for which they have been registered. The designated responsible officer of the League must receive player registrations via email at least seven days before the first match of the season in which the player is going to participate – and a player is only eligible following subsequent confirmation from the relevant Officer that their eligibility request has been accepted by the League. The relevant League Official may refuse acceptance of any individual player’s registration, if he believes that a player has been registered for a higher or lower team than his playing strength justifies. Prior to the start of a new season, it is an expectation that Clubs will provide their proposed initial registrations for all their teams in one batch, to enable the League Official to best make this judgement – and the League Official may refuse to accept initial registrations until he has seen those for all teams from the Club – at his absolute discretion. If a Club disputes the relevant League Officials determination on registration, they may seek leave to appeal to the Committee. The League Chairman will determine whether an appeal shall be heard by the Committee – and a player will not be eligible until an appeal ruling has been determined. Appeals over multiple player registrations in the course of a season from the same club, are unlikely to be looked on favourably by the Committee. The League will maintain a list of approved player registrations for each team on the Website. In order to be eligible to play in the League’s Individual competitions, a player must first have had a registration accepted by the League for a team from the club they will represent in the KO competitions and must comply with the grading requirements for the tournament they wish to enter. In order to play in the League’s Team KO competitions, a player must be registered with the club and the player and team must be in compliance with all the team rules as set out in rule 34. If a club has more than one team entered in the League, then for eligibility purposes the teams shall be considered to be in rank order. I.e. if a club has 3 teams, A, B and C then the A team is considered to be the highest team and the C team the lowest, regardless of which divisions the teams are in. For clubs with teams in the same division both the home and away fixtures between those teams must be played by 31st January. If not complied with - such outstanding matches between the two teams shall be void and no match points gained by either side. Both teams will be penalised by 4 game points per each violation. Clubs will be penalised one match point for every four individual defaults that they accrue during the course of the season.
Number of Boards 21 The number of boards in each division shall be decided at the AGM.
Colours to be played 22 Visiting teams shall play white on odd numbered boards.
Equipment 23 The home team shall be responsible for the provision of sets and boards and for arranging for clocks to be made available. In Division 1 and the Open KO cup, digital chess clocks must be supplied by the home team and will be used. An analogue clock may only be used in Division 1 matches in exceptional circumstances, where no digital clock is available.
Results 24 As soon as possible after a match, both captains shall log on to the LDCL website and enter the result or check and confirm the result. Any disputed game result should be left blank until the League Committee has made its decision as per Rule 36.
Match start time 25 Matches shall commence at 7.30 p.m. prompt. If only one player is present at the time he shall start his opponent's clock. Any player not arriving by 8.30 p.m. shall forfeit the game.
Alterations to Fixtures 26 Both captains and the Fixtures Secretary shall agree any alterations of match dates. Any team wishing to postpone a match shall inform the opposing team captain at least ten days prior to the date of the match: exceptionally the League Committee may authorise a shorter period of notice. In the event of a postponement the home team shall, within ten days of the original date of the match, offer four dates excluding weekends during the fifty-six days following the match date. If the other team fails to accept one of these dates the match shall be lost by default. The Fixtures Secretary shall be notified of any altered match dates.
Team Cards 27 Captains shall exchange team cards simultaneously before the start of play.
Teams shall play in strength order and the “ten point rule” will be enforced, such that players can only play out of grading order if the variance is ten points or less, based on the ECF Grading list in force at the start of the season, including amendments and corrections, which will be used for all League competitions for the entirety of the season. Any breaches of this rule will be referred to the Committee and in the first instance an official warning will be issued. Any subsequent breaches will result in the match in question being void 0-4 for the purposes of the League Table. (Albeit all individual results will still be sent for grading, notwithstanding this.)
The ten point rule cannot be applied to ungraded players, who hence can play on a board consistent with their team’s assessment of their strength. However, if the ungraded player subsequently receives a grade in the January list, they will be bound by the ten point rule relative to this grade for the remainder of the season. If it is felt an ungraded player is manifestly not being played in an order consistent with their strength, this can be raised with the League Committee who will consider all the relevant evidence and make a ruling as to where the player should be playing board wise if need be.
  Junior players will not be bound by the ten point rule, as it is recognised that they could be improving rapidly and such a step could hinder their development. However, if it is felt a junior is manifestly being played on a board out of strength order this can be raised with the League Committee who will consider all the relevant evidence and make a ruling as to where the player should be playing board wise if need be.   If an ungraded or junior player were to be fielded in a board order that disregarded a League Committee determination, following the raising and upholding of an objection, those subsequent breaches would result in the application of the provisions for breach of the ten point rule.
Laws 28 All matches shall be played under the FIDE Laws of Chess, including Article III.6 of Guideline III 'Games without Increment including Quickplay Finishes' and (where pertinent) Appendix D 'Rules for play with Blind and Visually Handicapped Players'.
Score of the game 29 Each player shall keep a score of the game, as provided for by the Laws of Chess, until he has less than five minutes on the clock. After a time-control is reached a player with an incomplete score sheet shall then bring it up to date. Moves may not be recorded on a digital electronic device without the agreement of the opponent.
Time Limits 30 The time limit for all games will be 80 minutes for each player to complete the game, with a 10 second increment for every move. Where no digital clocks are provided/available, the time limit will instead be 90 minutes per player to complete all his (or her) moves. If a player exceeds this time limit the game is lost by that player. However, the game is drawn if the position is such that the opponent cannot checkmate the player's King by any possible series of legal moves.
Mobile Phones 31 Without the mutual consent of both captains, a player is forbidden to have a mobile phone or other electronic means of communication in the playing venue, unless they are completely switched off. If any such device produces a sound, the player shall lose the game. The opponent shall win. However, if the opponent cannot win the game by any legal series of moves, then he/she will get half a point, the offender zero. (This rule is mandatory and cannot be waived by a generous opponent.)
Team Withdrawal 32 If a club wishes to withdraw a team during the season, it will normally be the team in the lowest division in which the club has a team, and its results for any incomplete cycle of matches against all opponents shall be ignored in the final results table for that division.
Individual Championship 33 In games played in the Individual Championship the time limits shall be the same as in League matches. If the first and second games are drawn the result shall be decided by subsequent half-hour games. For the Open Rapid it is thirty minutes each in a best out of three competition. The higher graded player concedes 5 minutes for every 75 grading points up to a maximum of 20 minutes (based on the September grades). The conceded time is added to the lower graded player's time. The first player in the pairing is the home player. Players toss for colours.
Team Knockout Cups 34 In Team Knockout cups if the matches are drawn the result shall be decided by board elimination. Open and Under 8750 Team Knockout cups are five boards, Under 1600 is four.
Toss for colour in finals only.
To be eligible for the semi final and Final in the U-8750 and Open a player must have played in at least two ordinary league matches in the current season. Players are eligible for the U-1600 semi-finals simply if they are properly registered for the club and have a grade of U-1600. In the U8750 all players must have a grade less than 1865, the grade for ungraded players is taken to be 1750. Total grades must be less than 8750. Grades as in the ECF Grading list in force at the start of the season, including amendments and corrections for both the U8750 and the U1600. When a player has played for a club team in the club KOs, they cannot subsequently play for another team that the club may have entered within the same graded KO event during the course of the season
Stanley Gibbins Trophy 35 This will be awarded to the best performance in the league by an individual player. To qualify, a player must play in 75% of the games for any team in one division. Cup matches and games for higher or lower division teams than the player usually plays in will not count. Defaulted games don't count.
Disputes 36 Any disputes that cannot be resolved at the time by the team captains shall be recorded in detail and referred (with each of the captains making the case on behalf of their player) to the League Committee, whose decision shall be final. Any claim for a draw under the 'two-minute rule' of Article 10 and Appendix D must also be referred (supported by a copy of the final position and a complete score sheet where appropriate) to the League Committee whose decision shall be final.