Forum 1: Problems with Rule 19(c) ...Before play starts captains shall nominate the players in order of strength and pair them off.

Webmaster's Note: Steve Mann prepared the proposal shown below for the 2015 AGM, but withdrew it at the meeting. The reason for withdrawing the proposal was not given to the meeting. It may simply have been that there were many other proposals that night and he thought that this was a relatively minor issue. I leave the wording here for the time being in case Steve or anyone else fancies taking it up again in the near future.


Overview and introductory comments by Mike Smith, Association President, 18th May 2015. (Edited by Webmaster)


(c) Before play starts the captains shall nominate the players in order of strength and pair them off.

There is no objective measure of 'order of strength', there are grading lists, but captains may choose to think they don't accurately reflect playing strength.

If we expect our League Secretaries to police 'players in order of strength', evidently we need to define what we mean, so that the League Secretaries and the team captains know what is expected and acceptable, also what is unacceptable.


Steve Mann, August(?) 2015: I... put forward, for consideration at the 2015 S&DCA AGM, the following replacement for the present clause (c) of Rule 19 [Conduct of matches]: 

19(c) Before play starts, the captains shall nominate their players in descending order of strength and pair them off accordingly, stronger players on the lower-numbered (“top”) boards. Players’ grades in the latest end-of-season YCA grading list (usually published in the YCA Year Book) shall be used as the primary guide to playing strength, but, only for players without such a grade, an ECF standard-play grade should be used, or failing that either a YCA “live” grade based on three or more games or a converted ELO-type grade should be used. In the absence of any such grade then captains should use their own estimate as to a player’s relative playing strength. Playing two players out of the grade order may be appropriate, but if the difference in their end-of-season YCA grades exceeds 10 grading points then the club concerned shall be called on to provide justification, and in the absence of such justification, or in the event of its not being accepted, those players shall be deemed to have played out of strength order. Where a player, for whatever reason, is judged by the League Secretary or the Executive to have been of greater playing strength than the player on a higher board of the same team, then the penalty, subject to the discretion of the Executive, shall be that the result on the board of that player deemed the stronger is scored as a win to the opponent for the purposes of the game totals and match score, though the actual result of the game, as played, remains eligible for grading.

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