Bristol Conference rules and formats
The Bristol Conference is open to all players who have not been assigned Premier Status by the end of the year prior to the competition.
Rules for 2017
The members of the league will initially play as many or as few of the other members of the league as they wish four times, three times, twice, once, or not at all, in first-to-11-point matches. The Director reserves the right to increase the number of potential meetings between individual players at any stage of the season, if it becomes apparent that opportunities for playing sufficient matches for a viable competition are becoming too limited.
Winning scores will always be truncated to 11 points. Three points are awarded for each match won, and one point is deducted for each match lost. One point is also deducted for each adjourned (i.e. uncompleted) match, although only for the period of adjournment.
League table placings will be determined by the following criteria: (1) number of points awarded for wins minus those deducted for defeats and current adjournments; (2) "average points difference", i.e. the difference between points scored and points conceded throughout the season, divided by the number of matches played; and (3) play-offs where the first two criteria are indecisive and the finishing positions are significant in terms of prizes or qualification for other events.
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 have until the end of November to complete their fixtures. THIS DEADLINE WILL NOT BE EXTENDED.
Scores from adjourned (uncompleted) matches must also be reported, although matches where there have been more than two adjournments will be declared null and void.
Players who play few matches will, unlike in the Premier League, stay in the league table with no repercussions.
In fact, late entrants will be admitted into the league at least until the end of August, with entry between September 1st and the end of the season being allowed at the discretion of the Director.
The entry fee for 2016 is £10, and is payable on completion of the player's first match. This will fund the engraving on the Bristol Conference trophy, plus engraved mementoes for the winner and runner-up, and cash prizes for the top few finishers, depending on the total entry.
Entrants accepted after August 31st will be charged only £5.
A number of the top finishers in the Conference in 2017 will also be guaranteed Premier Status for 2018. This will apply to any player who at any stage of the season reaches a total of 20 or more points.
Historical rule differences
Players were allowed to play each other a maximum of four times from the start of the season.
Players were allowed to play each other a maximum of twice to begin with, although the Director changed this to three times and later to four times at different stages of the season. This was also the first season of three points for a win and minus one point for a defeat or an adjournment.
The final season of the "formula" for deciding promotion issues, the final year where defeats were not penalised by the deduction of a single point, and the final year where meetinmgs between opponents were definitely limited to two.
Firming up the possibility of playing each opponent twice.
The last season of only one match against each opponent with the option to switch to two meetings.
Half price entry for those entering later than August 31st was introduced.
Entry allowed during the first eight months of the season.
Players had to join at the start of the season.
A set number of players (4) was granted Premier Status.
The £10 entry fee funded the purchase of the new Conference trophy, as well as engraved mementoes and small cash prizes for the top two.
Find out more about the Bristol Conference by clicking on any of the following links:
Previous years' history
Premier Status list
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