In the Beginning….
In the Summer of 2013 a geographically diverse group of tournament directors and players got together to discuss how to promote and grow the game of backgammon within the UK. It was decided that the first objective would be to plan and stage a national tournament – the UK Open – the following year. The longer term goal was the establishment of The United Kingdom Backgammon Federation (UKBGF) – a national democratic body to help organise and increase opportunities for all those who enjoy playing backgammon, at all levels, in the UK.
For more than a year after the UKBGF idea was conceived it comprised just this group of organisers, a domain name, plans for a UK Open tournament, and little else. The domain name was transformed into this website (launched in October 2013), and the first UK Open Backgammon Tournament in September 2014 attracted about 150 players in three divisions to cater for all abilities. Attendees included the 2014 world champion and the two highest rated players in the world.
Following the success of the inaugural UK Open it was decided that the time was right to hold elections for a new 7-member UKBGF Board to serve for two years. At that time the UKBGF had no members and all players who were resident in the UK were eligible to vote in the November 2014 elections. Players were subsequently invited to join the UKBGF which began signing up members in April 2015. Now only UKBGF members, whether resident in the UK or overseas, are eligible to vote in UKBGF Board elections which are currently held every two years.
Election to the UKBGF Board does not involve any financial remuneration. It is a voluntary undertaking motivated by a desire to grow and improve the opportunities for all backgammon enthusiasts to play and enjoy the game. The objectives set by the first elected UKBGF Board can be seen in the January 2015 blog post, “UKBGF – The future”. A list of current Board members, and the election manifestos of all candidates in past elections, can be found under the ‘About’ tab.
Current UKBGF activities
If you are considering joining the UKBGF to support our efforts to grow the game, you can find out about membership benefits and fees on the Join page. The sphere of influence of the UKBGF embraces many aspects of the game as played in the UK, including:
- Providing information and help to anyone who wants to learn more about backgammon, either by means of this website (including the Resources page), social media including Facebook and Twitter, email or personal contact;
- Encouraging newcomers of all ages and backgrounds to try backgammon, and improving the experience of existing players in terms of both playing and learning opportunities;
- Working with a group of top UK professional players who run Backgammon Workshop. This tuition service, launched in July 2017, is under continuous development and improvement, and is accessible to all players who wish to reach their full playing potential;
- Promoting the growth of backgammon at local level throughout the UK by, among other things, providing advice and financial assistance to new clubs which are then listed on our Clubs page;
- Providing news and information about past and future backgammon events – see the blog and the calendar, and also photo albums from a number of tournaments in the UKBGF Flickr account.
- Organising the UK Open Tournament every year which caters for players of all abilities;
- Staging the annual UK Clubs Championship in a different part of the UK each year;
- Planning and overseeing the annual UKBGF Backgammon Tour in collaboration with regional organisers and tournament directors;
- Organising online tournaments in which all UKBGF members are invited to participate;
- Fielding teams of players to represent the UK in both live and online International Team Tournaments under a captain appointed by the UKBGF (in 2016 UK Teams made a huge impact on the world backgammon stage);
- Maintaining an Elo ratings system, continuously updated with results from qualifying events nationwide, which provides an assessment of each player’s current skill level in live matchplay relative to other UK players;
- Developing and evolving the UKBGF Tournament Rules which have been adopted in their entirety by the European Backgammon Federation;
- Working with other backgammon associations and federations worldwide, for the benefit of all players.
Disclaimer: Comments in response to blog posts are welcome from all players, whether or not they are UKBGF members. Please note that the content of all blog posts and subsequent comments and replies on this website are the personal views of the authors of the same, and should not be construed as reflecting the views of the UKBGF or any of its Board members unless this is expressly stated.