NSDCA Playing Rules

North Staffordshire & District Chess Association
League Playing Rules 2023/2024

Approved and formally adopted by the Annual General Meeting of 17th July

Article 1 – Rules
All games played under the League’s auspices shall be played according to
the rules of the English Chess Federation and the FIDE Laws of Chess, except
as specified within these rules.

Article 2 – Registration of Players
Rule 1 Anybody playing for a Club must be a bona fide member of that

Rule 2 No player shall play for more than one Club in the League in any one
season, in any League or Cup competition, unless authorised to do so by the
General Secretary.

Rule 3(a) Club Secretaries should review their Player List(s) on LMS prior to
the start of the season and make any additions/changes/deletions, where
necessary. Players may be added to a Club’s Player List(s) at any time,
provided that they have not played for any other NSDCA Club during the

Rule 3(b) All players must become ECF Members after they have played 3
rated games in competitions organised and run by the Association, and before
they play a fourth game.

Rule 3(c) If a player plays more than 3 rated games in competitions
organised and run by the Association without becoming an ECF Member, they
will be deemed ineligible and their game scored to their opponent (although
the result will stand for rating purposes). In addition to this, the team
concerned will be penalised with a further penalty point deduction.

Rule 3(d) Any games played by players in contravention of Rule 3(b) shall be
liable to a charge for a game fee, of an amount to be decided by the ECF, per
game played. The League Treasurer will collect this from the Club represented
by such players at the end of the season.

Article 3 – Team Composition
Rule 1 Before the start of the match, the Team Captains shall exchange
team sheets, in rating order, notwithstanding the ‘100 point rule’ specified in
Rule 2(a).
Rule 2(a) A player may play on a higher board than a player with a published
ECF rating of no more than 100 points higher than their own rating, hereinafter
called the ‘100 point rule’. The September Rating List shall be used for
matches up to, and including, the 31st December. From the 1st January until the
end of the season, the January Rating List shall be used. Club
Secretaries/Team Captains should liaise with the LMS Administrator to
determine estimated ratings for unrated players.
Rule 2(b) If a player plays more than once on boards 1 or 2 for a team, then
they cannot subsequently play for a lower team.
[Addendum added 3rd December 2023:] This rule will not prevent a player rated
below 1325 from playing in division 4.
Rule 2(c) No player may play for more than one team in Division 1 and no
player may play for more than one team in Division 2.
Rule 2(d) Any contravention of the above rules shall be penalised by the
offending player’s game being awarded to their opponent (although the result
will stand for rating purposes). In addition to this, the team concerned will be
penalised with a further penalty point.
Rule 3(a) A player absent at the start of a match may be substituted with
another eligible player, provided such substitution is made within one hour of
the start of the match, and is irrevocable.
Rule 3(b) In the event of a team opting to default a board before the match
has started, the opposing Captain shall have the right to choose which board
shall be defaulted.
Rule 4 There shall be no overall team rating limits, individual rating limits
or minimum counting ratings in any League Division.

Article 4 – Match Arrangements and Defaults
Rule 1 The fixture list shall be generated automatically, by the LMS
Administrator, using the ECF League Management System, by the 31st August.
The LMS Administrator shall also add the fixtures to the NSDCA Calendar.
Clubs wishing to alter the date of a fixture should do so between themselves
and then notify the LMS Administrator, who will change the date of the fixture
on both LMS and the NSDCA Calendar. Matches between teams from the same
Club in the same Division should be played by the 31st December.

Rule 2 Any Club wishing to alter the date of a fixture following the start
of the season shall give the opposing team at least 72 hours’ notice, except in
the case of inclement weather.

Rule 3 Teams in all League Divisions shall consist of 4 players. However,
if both Captains agree, the number of boards can be increased. Any
additional boards shall be treated as rated friendlies and not count towards the
match result. (These games will be included in a separate LMS Rated
Friendlies Event to keep them separate from the League match.)

Rule 4 The time control for all League and Cup competitions, and any
other competitions organized by the Association, is 75 minutes, plus 10
second increments; matches are to start as soon as possible, after all players
are present, upon agreement from both team captains, but not after 7.40pm.

Rule 5 A game may not be claimed by default until one hour has elapsed
from the starting time.

Rule 6 A game shall be scored to any player for whom no eligible
opponent is provided. A Club failing to keep an appointment shall lose the
match by default.

Rule 7 The designated Away team shall have the White pieces on odd
numbered boards in League matches, but the choice of colors in Cup
matches shall be determined by the toss of a coin

Rule 8 Both Clubs are responsible for entering or verifying match
results on the League Management System, within 48 hours of the match
taking place. All Team Captains have permissions to add new players to their
Player List(s), so entering ‘New Player’ or ‘Not Named’ on an LMS Score card
is NOT acceptable.

Rule 9 Scores of each game should be recorded by both players, using
either Algebraic or Descriptive notation, in case of any dispute.
Rule 10 The use of clocks is compulsory and, where available, digital
clocks should be used, using the time control specified in Rule 4. Where
digital clocks are not available, analog clocks should be set to 4:35 for each
player and the time control shall be all moves in 85 minutes and the game
conducted in accordance with FIDE rules on Quickplay finishes.

Rule 11 The Home team are responsible for providing clocks. If they are
unable to do so, the Secretary of the Home Club shall notify the official team
contact of the visiting team, in time to allow the provision of sufficient clocks.

Rule 12 A won game shall score one point, a drawn game a half point
and a lost game no point. A won match shall score two points, a drawn match
1 point and a lost match 0 points.
Final standings in each division shall be based in order of priority, on: (1).
Match Points, (2). Match Wins, (3). Game Points, (4). Head-to-head matches
already played. Also note that additional graded games, added at the
discretion of both captains (i.e. non core match boards) shall be excluded from
this criterion. If a tie is still not broken by all of the above criteria, both team
names shall be written on the trophy.

Rule 13 A match shall be considered to be the requisite number of
players, as appropriate, from each of the two opposing teams in games of
chess at the same venue at a given time. Games played at other venues, or at
the same venue on another date, shall be considered void.
Rule 14 All results will be automatically submitted to the ECF for rating
on the 7th/14th/21st/28th of each month. The LMS Administrator may also, at his discretion, manually submit the results of any matches played between the
28th and the last day of the month, to ensure their inclusion in the following
month’s Rating List.

Article 5 – Cup Competitions
Rule 1 The Association shall hold the following KO Cup competitions:
Open 6 Boards No Individual Rating Limit
Major 5 Boards U1825 Individual Rating Limit
Intermediate 5 Boards U1600 Individual Rating Limit
Minor (Perry) 4 Boards U1375 Individual Rating Limit
Rule 2 In the event of a Cup match being drawn, the match shall be
decided by 1) Board Count 2) Board Elimination 3) Team With Lowest Overall
Rating Count. Full details of how these work are detailed on the NSDCA

Rule 3 Time controls and player eligibility are as in all NSDCA
competitions and detailed earlier in these Playing Rules.

Rule 4 The draw and dates for Cup matches will be published by the
LMS Administrator in the 1st week of January.

Article 6 – Mobile Phones & Other Electronic Devices
Rule 1 The use of any electronic device (other than the chess clock) is
expressly forbidden.

Rule 2 All electronic devices (other than the chess clock) should be
switched off prior to the start of a match, except where agreed by the
respective Team Captains, in instances such as a player needing to be
contactable in the event of a medical emergency.
Rule 3 If a mobile phone is not switched off (except as specified in
Rule 2) and rings during the match, a warning will be issued and the offending
player will concede 2 additional minutes on his opponent’s clock. In the event
of a further contravention, the game will be automatically forfeited. There is
no discretion in this regard by either the players concerned or the Team

Article 7 – Disputes
Rule 1 In the event of any dispute(s) not covered by these Rules, the
LMS Administrator shall have the authority to make a decision. A Club may
make an appeal against a decision by the LMS Administrator to the NSDCA
Disputes Committee, whose decision shall be final and binding. Any Club
wishing to do this should notify the NSDCA General Secretary in writing,
within 14 days of the LMS Administrator’s decision.
Rule 2 Any other disputes must be notified, in writing and within 14 days
of the said dispute, to the General Secretary, who will decide, dependent on
the urgency of the dispute, whether to call an immediate Executive Committee
Meeting or to refer it to the Honorary President or Chairman. Any dispute not
notified within 14 days will not be accepted unless evidence regarding said
dispute, which was not previously available, can be put forward. Both parties
to the dispute will be invited to attend any resultant Executive Committee
Meeting and informed in advance of any complaint made against them.

Article 8 –Terminology
For clarity, where the term ‘in writing’ is used in these Rules, this also includes
correspondence via email.
Any references to ‘the Association’ or ‘the NSDCA’ in these Rules, refer to the
North Staffs & District Chess Association.