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As amended at the AGM meeting : 04/07/2019
(Previous update : 10/07/18 )
1. All games must be played according to the laws of chess as published in ‘ The Official Laws of Chess' updated by FIDE on 1 January 2018 with the following exceptions:
2. No player may act as or exercise the powers of an arbiter. Any player may stop the clock to clarify a Shropshire league rule or a FIDE law of chess with any appropriate person present during the match. Any unresolved disputes arising from the interpretation or application of the laws of chess or the league rules will be resolved by the League Controller. Appeals against the League Controller's decisions must be sent in writing to the General Secretary within 14 days. The matter will be referred to a Rules and Disputes Committee, consisting of the President, the General Secretary, the Treasurer and one other. If one or more of these officers is a party to the dispute, the President may appoint replacements acceptable to both parties. The League Controller may be invited to attend and to give advice but will not be able to vote. The Committee's decision will be final.
3. It is the responsibility of the League Controller to decide which and how many teams shall play in each division (subject to the agreement of the Council), and to publish a fixture list before the start of each season. The League Controller has discretion (after due consultation) to specify the number of times each team shall play each other team in a division. In the absence of specification to the contrary, each team shall play each team twice (once home, once away) .
4. Each club must register its players with the League Controller at the start of each season, before the first fixture in which they play. Late registration may be carried out at any time during the season, as long as the information is received no later than the first match result involving the player(s). Penalties for breaches of the rule are stipulated at rule 24.
5. When registering its players with the league Controller at the start of each season, each club must nominate 4 players to each team other than in Division 3 where only 3 players need to be nominated. Players nominated to a higher team cannot play for a lower team. Penalties for breaches of the rule are stipulated at rule 28. Nominated players in division one must play over 50% of their games. Nominated players in lower divisions must play for their team at least three times in a season. If this proves impossible on account of unforeseen circumstances (e.g. the player moving away from the area), the League Controller has discretion to accept an alternative nominated player for the remainder of the season. Normally, the alternative nominated player will be expected to play for the balance of the three games not played by the original nominated player. Any appearances of the new nominated player for a lower team prior to acceptance by the league Controller shall be disregarded from the point of view of rule breaches specified in rule 28. A penalty of one Match point per player per game to encourage registered players being a true member of the team.
6. A team shall consist of five players in divisions one and two and four players in division three.
7. The AWAY team shall have White on boards 1, 3 and 5.
8. A member of a club may only be nominated for one team for that club. If a player is a member of more than one club, he/she may only play for one club within a division. If a team in the second or third division uses a player who normally plays for another Shropshire club in a higher division during that season, then it is permitted only on condition that the player has a current July grade of below 135 for Div 2 and below 115 for Div 3.
9. A reserve may be drawn from a lower team, as follows:- any players regardless of whether they are nominated or tied to one team may be used as reserves for a higher team as follows (rules 9a to 9e).
Players who are not nominated to a team may also play for a lower team.
e) Penalties for breaches of rule 9d are stipulated at rule 25.A flowchart explaining player eligibility can be found here.
10. a ) A Club may register a team at the start of the season as a junior team.
12. When a digital clock is not available, the time control shall be all moves in 1 hour and 35 minutes for the whole game in accordance with the ECF rules for quickplay finishes.
13. Players must be arranged in order of playing strength according to the latest E.C.F. grading list; except that players whose grading differs by no more than 10 points shall be regarded as interchangeable for the purposes of this rule. Penalties for breaches of this rule are specified at rule 26. Summer grades will be used for substitution purposes through the year. Ungraded players - if they have past history, the last known grade is to be used provisionally. If not, the player has the maximum flexibility subject to league controller's approval and a provisional grading will not be given if the last historic grade is older than five years.
15. Matches must be played on the appointed date unless another date is previously agreed by the League Controller .
16. A default of a match will result in a 1 match point deduction, and no warnings will be given. A team should consist of at least half the number of boards .
17. Matches should start at 7.30 pm (or at a time agreed by both captains).
18. At the start of play, white's clock must be started. If the away team is fully present and boards have not been set up by 7.30pm (or the agreed start time), the home teams clocks are deemed to have been started at 7.30pm and the clocks start time should be adjusted to reflect this. If a player fails to start play within an hour of the agreed start of play, he / she shall lose by default; if neither player is present within an hour of start of play, that board is declared void.
19. Another player may be substituted for an absent player at any time during the first hour. If such a substitution breaches rule 12, it is subject to the agreement of the opposing captain, and it must be clearly indicated on the match card.
21. Where games are played as in Article 10, a player may claim a draw when he has less than two minutes left on his clock and before his flag falls. This concludes the game. He may claim on the basis a) that his opponent cannot win by normal means, and/or b) that his opponent has been making no effort to win by normal means.
22 . Results must be sent to the League Controller within eight days of the match date. It is the responsibility of the home team captain to forward the result. For those captains with access to the internet the online match card should be used otherwise the traditional card should be posted. If no result is notified within eight days, the League Controller will issue a warning to the home team. Penalties for breaches of the rule are specified at rule 27.
23. For each match win, two points will be awarded; for a drawn match, one point. If, at the end of the season, two or more teams are tied, then the team with the higher number of game points will be adjudged the higher team. If there is still a tie, then the team with the higher head to head board count will be adjudged the higher team. If there is still tie a play-off match, or matches, will be organised by the league controller. If the play-off ends in a drawn match, then board count will be used to decide the winner. If all five games end in draws, then the team with black on board 1 will be named the winner. To decide colours the two team captains will conduct a coin toss on the night of the match and in the presence of a neutral party i.e. the league controller.
24. At the end of the season the top 2 teams in the lower divisions will be promoted, and the bottom 2 teams in the higher divisions will be relegated, subject to the provisions of rule 3.
25. Where rule 4 is breached:
26. Where rule 9 is breached:
27. Where rule 12 is breached:
28 . Where rule 21 is breached any failure to notify a match result (subsequent to the first warning) will incur the loss of a match point.
29. Where rule 5 is breached:
30. These and any other penalties deemed necessary will be imposed by the League Controller who will inform the teams involved.
31. In exceptional circumstances the League Controller may waive penalties, providing the club/team writes in advance to the League Controller with a full explanation of the facts and providing the case is accepted.
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