Bristol Premier League Division Three rules and formats 2019


Eligibility for the Bristol Premier League

Eligibility to play in the Bristol Premier League is dependent on the assignment of Premier Status. Click here for the criteria.

Rules for Premier Three 2019

The season

The league season runs from January 1st to November 30th inclusive. Only play-off matches can be concluded after the end of the season, but these MUST be completed by December 14th at the very latest.

Membership and number of matches

The eleven members of the league have been reduced to ten on the expungement from the league of Dan Lowe on March 18th. Those ten 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.

League placings

League table placings are determined by the following criteria:


Players occupying the top four positions at the end of the season will be deemed promoted to Premier Two.
Additional Premier Two places may become available, if qualifiers do not take up their positions, or if the numerical split between divisions needs to be changed as a result of numerical fluctuations in the total Premier League entry.
The precise rules for population of the various divisions can be viewed here.

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 the end of November.
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.

Alternative methods of play

Players may agree to "double up" the result of an 11-point match in another competition as a league result.
But this can only apply with the PRIOR agreement of both players.
This could be in another Bristol Backgammon competition, or any other event with face-to-face play.

In extreme circumstances, a player or players having difficulty in arranging matches to suit the schedule may request that a match might be played over the internet. Wherever possible, any visible pip count should be disabled.
This would only be permissible with the total agreement of both players, and the PRIOR permission of the Director.

Entry fees

The entry fee for 2018 is 25.
This must be paid by the end of March, and will go into the fund for the purchase and engraving on the new Premier Three trophy, engraved mementoes for the winner and runner-up, and cash prizes for the top three finishers. An admin fee amounting to no more than 10% of the total fund will be charged by Bristol Backgammon.
Failure to pay the entry fee by the end of March will be punished by a single penalty point.

The split into two or more Divisions

With Premier League membership potentially rising year on year, we had two divisions from 2003 -- Premier One and Premier Two -- three divisions from 2008 -- Premier One, Premier Two Blue and Premier Two Red -- and from 2015 four divisions -- Premier One, Premier Two Blue, Premier Two Red and Premier Three.
The criteria for splitting into two or more divisions in any given season can be seen here.

The Penalty Points and Expungement processes

Players who lag behind schedule will incur penalty points (see Table PC and explanatory notes, below). Players who lag FAR behind the schedule will have their complete records expunged from the league table (see Table PC and explanatory notes, below). Both of these occurrences are subject to an appeals process, which is detailed below.

TABLE PC -- Penalty Points and Expungement

(As amended on March 18th)
Checkpoint dateAdvisory schedulePenalty avoidanceExpungement avoidance
31 Mar7 results5 results3 results
31 May1085
31 Jul13118
30 Sep171512
30 Novn/a18n/a

Penalty Points

are deducted on the following basis. By each of the checkpoint dates in table PC above, the number of results in the corresponding column 'Penalty avoidance' should have been reported by each player.
If not, penalty points will be deducted from that player's total points at the rate of 1 PENALTY POINT PER MATCH short.
The player can then claw back such penalties by avoiding penalty at the following checkpoint. Failure to catch up by that stage results in the penalties becoming permanent, although still subject to appeal.
At the end of the season, any results left unreported will be penalised at the rate of 4 PENALTY POINTS PER MATCH short.

At the September checkpoint only, a 5 points penalty shall be added to a player's "points against" column for each match short of the penalty avoidance requirement for that checkpoint.


from the league table occurs when a player has not reported the number of results in column 'Expungement avoidance' at each checkpoint.
In this case, where a player has fallen so far behind the schedule as to seriously jeopardise the completion of the competition, all of that player's results will be erased from the record. This is also subject to appeal.
After the September 30th checkpoint expungement does not occur. At this point the Director reserves the right to take whatever measures he deems necessary to bring about the completion of the league, as far as is possible.

The advisory schedule

(see column 'Advisory schedule' in the table above) is nothing more than a guideline as to where you ought to be at any given checkpoint to have a chance of completing the season in good time.
Players' progress against the 'Advisory schedule' will be monitored throughout the season, however, and this evidence will be made available to any appeals sub-committee.


against the imposition of expungement, penalty points or September "points against penalties" must be submitted to the Director within one week of notification, or -- in the case of end of season penalties -- within two days of notification.
This applies only to those punishments which have become "permanent", i.e which can no longer be clawed back.
The only possible exception to this would be at the end of the season, when failure to claw back points could be argued to be the result of exceptional circumstances.
A "sub-committee" of three peers, excluding any player with a possible vested interest in the outcome, will be asked to adjudicate on any appeal.
The appeals sub-committee shall have the power to reinstate or let stand penalty points, either in total or in part, or increase the penalty (but by no more than one point or 50%, whichever is the greater) where the appeal is felt to have been frivolous.
APPEALS SHOULD ONLY BE CONSIDERED SYMPATHETICALLY IN EXCEPTIONAL CIRCUMSTANCES, e.g. unavailability through illness, or other unavoidable reasons, for a period in excess of two months.

The Director

shall have the power to take whatever decisions he considers to be in the best interests of the league.

Historical rule differences

The September "points against" penalty was introduced in 2015, at which point the Director's discretionary powers were increased.
The entry fee was raised from 20 to 25 in 2013.
In 2010 a limitation was placed upon querying of results after a seven day period.
In 2008 the Director was given additional powers to resolve issues concerning completion of the season, and the table for splitting the league into various combinations of divisions was completely overhauled.
Before 2006, prize money was only available for the top three positions in each division. Also before 2006, there was no points penalty for late entry fee payment.
In 2003 promotion and relegation affected only three players in each division.
And the Penalty Points and Expungement table was adjusted during the season to allow for a player resignation.
For rules prior to 2003, click here.

Find out more about the Bristol Premier League by clicking on any of the following links:
Premier One rules
Premier Two rules
Current Premier Three positions
Current Premier One positions
Current Premier Two Blue positions
Current Premier Two Red positions
Premier Status
Procedure for splitting the Premier League
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