The idea originally was to fill a void for these players, who were barred from competing in Bristol Intermediate Grand Prix events.
From 2001, further players qualified for Premier Status, either because their BIBA rankings had at some stage breached the 1500 mark, or their performances in either the Bristol Open Grand Prix or the Bristol Intermediate Grand Prix. Because of the increased numbers involved in the Premier League, players in 2001 played each other only once.
And from 2002, players also arrived via promotion from the Bristol Conference. At this point it was anticipated that there would be enough players to form two divisions of the Premier League -- Premier One and Premier Two. But the decision was taken to postpone that split for a year because this proposal had (a) been insufficiently publicised and (b) not completely worked out. This split was implemented for 2003, however.
And for 2008, the rules for populating the divisions were completely redrawn, resulting in Premier Two being split into two in readiness for a pyramid structure.
Pictured above left is the Bristol Premier League trophy, and above right the Premier Two trophy.
For 2000 an entry fee of £20 was levied to provide for trophies and prizes. In 2001, this fee was reduced to £15, while in 2002 it was raised again to £20, a level maintained until 2011, when Premier One fees were increased to £40.
In 2013 the fees rose from £40 for Premier One and £20 for Premier Two to £50 and £25 respectively, and it is anticipated that fees will remain at that level for the foreseeable future.
The criteria for "fast-tracking" players straight into the Premier League, i.e. by-passing the Conference by virtue of outside rankings, changed in 2005, when the threshold for BIBA ranking scores was increased from 1500 to 1550, and simultaneously an identical requirement for Gammonitis ranking scores was introduced.
And for 2010, any player on the current World Backgammon Giants list wishing to enter the Premier League for the first time was eligible for fast-tracking directly into Premier One. This process takes place independently of the usual splits between divisions, in that such a player would be added to Premier One after the usual criteria are applied, thus increasing the size of Premier One by one player for one season only. So any Premier One qualifier is still guaranteed his/her place, and any player qualifying by default by the usual criteria would also still be admitted.
In 2015 the league was extended to accommodate a single Premier Three division. The pyramid structure allows for up to four such divisions.