Dorset League Rules 2023/24

Dorset League Rules for the 2023/24 Season

These rules were amended significantly in July 2023.  Areas where changes were made include (but are not limited to):

  • Postponements
  • Forfeit times, use of substitutes, the 75 point rule and board orders
  • Ratings to be used for the season
  • Penalties for exceeding rating limits in divisions other than Division 1
  • Removal of the option of a quickplay finish.

Captains are advised to familiarise themselves thoroughly with the updated rules.

1. League Management

The League shall be managed by the Executive Committee. It shall be open to any club affiliated to the County and paying the League fees as laid down in the Annual General Meeting.

2. Awards

The First Division board shall be awarded to the team winning Division 1. The Second and Third Division trophies will be awarded to the teams that win their respective leagues.

3. Structure and Rating Limits

The League shall comprise such a number of divisions as shall be decided at the Annual General Meeting.

Each team shall consist of 4 players who must be bona fide members of their club. Players in each team will normally be arranged in rating order, except that a 75 point displacement shall be allowed. Before matches commence the two team captains should each fill in players names and ratings on the match score card and any discrepancy should be resolved before play commences.

  • Clubs who enter Division 2 must ensure that the sum of player’s ratings must not exceed 7200 with the playing average being a maximum of 1800.
  • Clubs who enter Division 3 must ensure that the sum of player’s ratings must not exceed 6400 with the playing average being a maximum of 1600.
  • Clubs who enter Division 4 must ensure that the sum of player’s ratings must not exceed 5600 with the playing average being a maximum of 1400.

4. Ratings, Eligibility Rules and Penalties For Exceeding Limits

The Original September ECF rating, in categories A and K, as shown on LMS, to be applied throughout the entire season for the purposes of eligibility and board order. The L “local” ratings should be used for players without A or K ratings and these should be agreed between clubs and the League Controller prior to matches being played and entered on LMS. If the player with a L category is given an A or K rating during the season then this shall be used in agreement with the league controller. No player shall represent more than one team in a Division.

If any team’s total rating points in any division, except division one, exceeds the agreed total relevant to that division, then the following penalty will apply:

  • Team total exceeded limit by up to, and including, 60 points then the team will have one game point deducted. The deduction will be taken into account in determining the match result.
  • Team total exceeded limit by more than 60 points then the team will have two game points deducted. The deduction will be taken into account in determining the match result.

5. Fixture Lists

Clubs participating shall be able to access a fixture list on LMS and a copy of the rules at the start of the season through the Dorset Chess website. These fixtures shall be observed, except by mutual consent of both match captains and the League Controller, a match may be delayed by up to one month, provided 7 prior days notice has been given to the League Controller or exceptional reasons are given (not players being unavailable) before the match is played within the 7 day prior period.

6. Use of Clocks, Time Controls, Default Times, Substitutes

Clocks should be started at 7.30pm and digital clocks to be used in all divisions with time limit of 1 Hour plus 30 seconds for each move and the scoresheet to be maintained throughout the match.

A game is forfeited by a player who arrives more than 30 minutes after the clocks have been started unless a later time had been agreed between the captains prior to commencement of the match.

Any eligible player may be substituted for an absent player before the 30 minutes has elapsed but subject to the 75 rating points condition. However, due to the possible extenuating circumstances the 75 rating points rule can be overridden, but only providing both captains agree. If captains do not identify errors at this stage and the match commences, then such errors cannot be corrected retrospectively and all individual results are allowed to stand with no team penalty.

7. Match Scores and End of Season Ties

A won match shall score 2 points, a draw 1 point and a loss 0 points. If a match is agreed a draw without  a game played, then no points shall be gained by either side. The team with the highest match point total shall be the winner of that relevant Division for that year and if level on match points will be decided on game points.  In the event of a tie on both match and game points then the title will be shared.

8.Entering Match Results

Match results should be entered on LMS by either team within 24 hours, if possible, and verified by the opponents. Match result cards should be completed and signed by both captains, and then retained by the home captain in case of subsequent queries.