Teams should represent recognised clubs or groups, rather than a motley collection of individuals. The exception to this in 2016 will be “Team UK”, who will be allowed to defend their title.
Clubs/groups will be allowed to field more than one team, but if there are more potential entrants than spaces, preference will initially be given to accommodating “A” teams, then “B” teams, “C” teams, etc. Order of payment received will establish preference.
In each team players will be randomly assigned numbers 1 to 5 before the start, these numbers to be effective for the duration of the event in order to match players to their opponent in the opposing team.
Each team shall nominate a captain before the start of the event to represent the team in the event of a play-off being necessary.
Teams will be drawn into leagues of four or five to play each other in a round robin of matches, World Cup-style. In 2016-2017 (20 teams) there are five groups of 4 teams.
Matches are to be played in the order designated by the TD, where players from Team A will play the players from Team B with the corresponding numbers in first-to-5-point rubbers (first-to-3-point where marked **). Tables will be aligned in such a way that all rubbers in a match will be played on the same row of tables. The TD reserves the right to reduce the length of rubbers when time constraints surface.
The player winning a rubber scores one point for his/her team, so the team scoring three or more points wins the match.
When all leagues are finished, the league finishing order will be decided by:
- match wins;
- rubber wins;
- result(s) – but not scores – of matches between tied teams;
- where it is still necessary to decide an “important” position, a 1-point match between team captains. Three (or more) way ties may be decided by dice rolls if time does not permit a lengthy tie-break.
The top teams from each league, plus enough next-best teams will progress to the main knock-out flight, with league winners seeded. In 2016-7, this means the top team from each group (5) plus three best second-places.
Other teams go into a consolation knock-out, where matches will be played to 3 points if there should be more consolation rounds than main rounds. Otherwise matches will be played to 5 points.
Any byes in the first round of either flight will be awarded to the teams with the best league records.
UKBGF Rules shall apply.