Rapidplay rules

Shropshire Rapidplay League Rules

Rapidplay league controller – Chris Lewis

Last updated 6/8/2023


This competition will be governed in accordance with the competition rules of the Shropshire Chess Association – available here.


All laws of chess of chess as per the rules of the Shropshire Standard League will be applied with the following exceptions below. 
Any disputes arising will be resolved by adherence to the standard play league rules where appropriate. Interpretation of those rules and application to the rapidplay league will be at the discretion of the league controller.

Match Rules

  1. Matches should start at 7.30pm.
  2. Four boards per team.
  3. “Home” teams will have white on boards 2 and 4.
  4. Time control – 20 minutes for all moves (teams may use 10 minutes plus 10 seconds incremental per move if both captains agree).
  5. Games will be rated – teams should play in rapidplay rating order but may use their standard ratings only if no rapidplay ratings exist. There is the usual 75-point flexibility. Players may use either the latest ECF rapidplay rating list published on the Shropshire website or they may use the latest rating list publishing on the ECF rating database as at the date of the match in determining the team order. A player who obtains a rapidplay rating part way through the season must then use that rating for the remainder of the season. Note that provisional “P” ratings count as unrated for this purpose.
  6. If one player makes an illegal move, their opponent may stop the clocks and claim 2 minutes. Players will never lose the match (by forfeit) through the making of illegal moves.

League Rules

  1. Each team will host matches at their venue at least once a season with 3 matches played per night.
  2. 2 different clubs may combine their players at the league controller’s discretion if it enables them to field a team. If 2 clubs wish to do this, they must notify the league controller prior to the start of the season.
  3. There will be 2 divisions. Any player may play in the open division (division 1) and there are no grading limits. Only players graded 1640 and below may play in division 2. This grade will be determined only by the August rapidplay grading list published on the Shropshire site. Where a player does not have a rapidplay rating their August standardplay rating will be used instead. If a player graded above 1640 plays a match their board will be scored as a loss and the team penalized 1 match point.
  4. Results must be submitted within 8 days of the match date, it is the responsibility of the “home” team captain from each individual match to forward that result.
  5. Each win will grant that team 2 points, each draw 1 point and each loss 0 points.
  6. If a team fails to field at least half the number of boards (they only field 1 player on the night), that default will result in a 1 point deduction for each match defaulted (potentially 3 points in an evening). No warnings will be given.

Player Eligibility

  1. 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. 
  2. Every team must nominate 3 players at the start of the season. These players are ineligible to play for lower teams in the same club although may play for their higher teams subject to the below restrictions. Nominated players must play for their team at least three games (1 match night) in a season. If this proves impossible on account of unforeseen circumstance ( eg, the player moving away from the area), the league controller has discretion to accept an alternative nominated player for the remainder of the season who must then play the balance of the 3 games not played by the original nominated player. Breach of this rule will result in 1 match point per game not played. 
  3. If a team in the second 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 rating of below 1830 per the ECF rating database as at the date of the match. The only exception to this is if 2 clubs had applied at the start of the season to combine to field a team.
  4. Players rated over 1710 are tied to a higher team, after playing for that team on the 6th occasion, for the remainder of the season. That player may no longer play for their lower team.
  5. Teams in the first division may field substitutes rated below 1710 from a lower team from the same club without restriction.
  6. Teams in the U1640 division may field substitutes from lower teams from the same club without restriction