BackgammonAyr League - Format and Rules

The season

There shall be two 6-monthly seasons per year. The first season will start in January running until June 21st, and the second starting in July running until December 18th. All matches in a season are to be completed by the end of the season.


In the first season, players will pay an entry fee of £2. Future seasons will have increased entry fees in order to finance money prizes to league winners and runners-up. New members of BackgammonAyr can join the league competition at any time in the first two months of the league season. Members joining later will have to wait for the next league season to begin.


Initially and only for the first season there will be two divisions (called Red and Blue) comprised randomly of players entering the league tournament. The tournament director will make every effort to create these two divisions of equal size. At the end of the first season the players finishing in the top half of each division will be allocated places in the future 1st division, and those finishing in the bottom half will be assigned to the 2nd division. Thus from the second season there will a hierarchy in the two (or more) divisions.

Promotion and Relegation

Future iterations of league seasons will see players being promoted or relegated to and from the 1st and the 2nd divisions. As new members join BackgammonAyr, if they wish to play in the League, they will initially join the 2nd division and will only move to the 1st division on merit and performance on their first season. Should the leagues become too large, (over 12 players), the tournament director will create a third division, and split them as equally as possible.

Matches and Format

It is envisaged that many matches will be played as part of the regular BackgammonAyr weekly meetings, but matches can be arranged and played at any time during the season to suit the individual players. Thus matches could be played at a member’s home, and a pub, café or wherever. In extreme circumstances matches can be played over the internet. All internet matches must be agreed with the tournament director in advance and where possible displayed pip counts should be disabled.

The members of each division will play each other twice in first-to-11-point matches, which can be arranged at any time during the season and at any place to suit the players.
It is the responsibility of each player to ensure completion of his/her fixtures in the allotted time.
Winning scores are truncated to 11 points. (For example, a match is tied at 10-10, and the final game results in a Backgammon to one player. Though he/she would score 3 points for the backgammon, the final match score is truncated to 11-10).

As the season progresses it is a player’s responsibility to inform the tournament director if there is any reason why they may not complete their full set of matches.

Match rules will be those as published by UKBGF.

Reporting of results

Results must be reported to the Director and are only deemed to be results when they have been recorded by him (or his designated representative), and contestants must complete (and report the results of) their fixtures by June 21st or December 18th. Results can be reported in person at BackgammonAyr meetings or by email (by both players)
BOTH players should report results, and in the event of a discrepancy occurring, the Director will endeavour to resolve them.
Any player querying a result or score more than seven days after the event will only effect an alteration with the consent of his/her opponent.

League Placings

League table placings are determined by the following criteria:

  • (1) number of match points (3 for a win, less penalty points incurred);
  • (2) "average points difference", i.e. points scored minus points conceded in matches throughout the season, divided by the number of matches completed;
  • (3) results (i.e. wins and defeats, but not actual scores) of matches between players who could not be separated by criteria (1) and (2);
  • and (4) play-offs where the first three criteria are indecisive and the finishing positions are significant in terms of prizes, avoidance of relegation, or qualification for other events.

 Penalties & Expungement

Out of etiquette and fair play it is expected that members will make every effort to play their full allocation of matches during the course of a season. The tournament director reserves the right to advise a player if it appears their match progress is lagging behind and in extreme circumstances may apply penalty points to their results thus potentially affecting the player’s league position. Should a player fail to complete all matches seriously jeopardizing the completion of the tournament, that player’s results will be expunged and the player being removed from the league. This is subject to appeal, as there could be significant extenuating circumstances.

Other notes

Results of league matches will be entered into the UKBGF rankings system.

Future team selection (such as for the UKBGF annual teams’ championship) will be based on the league tables finishing position once the second season has completed. Team places will be offered in league table finishing order until team selection is complete.

Any additional rulings not already written and contained in this document will be at the discretion of the tournament director or his deputy.

These rules were published on 12.01.2020