The rules of the British Othello Federation
These are the current rules relating to most British Othello
Federation (BOF) matters. They may be changed by the committee, subject to the
constraints laid down in the constitution. The constitution is covered in
This edition, dated 23 September 2011, incorporates changes approved at the
2007-2011 AGMs. It supersedes
the previous edition dated 5 May 2007. This edition has been
approved by the committee. This new
edition records verbatim what was voted on at the various AGMs.
Membership & finance
for the paper version of the Newsletter are 6 pounds per year for UK
citizens (including 1st year), 55 pounds for 10 years. Overseas
subscriptions for the paper version of the Newsletter are 8 pounds per
year, 75 pounds for 10 years. Subscriptions, both UK and
overseas, for the electronic version of the Newsletter are 5 pounds per
year, 45 pounds for 10 years.
- Joint membership is available
for 1 pound per year, 9 pounds for 10 years, for those who reside at the
same address as a full member.
- Membership entitles full
members to receive two newsletters per year.
- British new full members
receive a free copy of Othello: Brief & Basic.
- A UK citizen's first BOF-organised
tournament is totally free, regardless of whether they are a member or
not. They do not have to join until their second tournament.
- Tournament charges for
Regional and National tournaments are to be 10 pounds (5 pounds unwaged).
For any tournament there will be a family rate of 15 pounds.
General tournament rules
- Normal rules of Othello
apply, except as amended elsewhere in these rules.
- A disc, once placed, may not
be moved. Players must not hold a disc over the board for an undue time
before placing it.
- Once a disc has been placed,
the necessary discs shall be turned over with one hand, in a manner that
does not obstruct the opponent's ability to observe the legality of each
disc being flipped. The same hand must be used to press the clock button.
- It is the player's
responsibility to check the legality of his/her opponent's move. Illegal
moves must be rectified while the clock of the player making the move is
running. Only the most recent move may be challenged and rectified if it
- Players may not disturb any
other player by undue conversation or by unnecessarily or unreasonably
leaving the table.
- Any questions concerning the
enforcement of these playing rules shall be decided by the tournament referee.
- If the number of competitors
is odd, then an imaginary player "Bye" is introduced who loses
all his games by 20 discs to 44.
- If there are too few rounds
to play a round-robin the Swiss system will be employed.
- If a game ends with some
empty squares, the empty squares are awarded to the winner, or to both
players equally in the event of a draw, so that the disc counts always sum
to the number of squares on the board.
- Clocks are to be used on
every table at all competitions.
In the event of there not being enough clocks, a
time limit may be imposed by the organiser during a game, but each player must
be given a minimum of ten minutes on the clock.
- All lost games due to not
being played (e.g. late arrivals, early leavers, and byes) are deemed to
have scored 20-44 on disc count.
- Disc count will be used for
tie-breaker in round-robin tournaments.
- A player forfeits the game
unless they can make their final move, flip all the appropriate discs, and
stop their clock before the flag on their clock falls. If a player's flag
falls, they lose the game and their opponent is awarded a win regardless
of the position of the board.
- A time defaulting player is
given two extra minutes. The game is then continued with the true final
score standing, save that the non-defaulting player is guaranteed at least
a 33-31 win. If the defaulting player's flag falls a second time, the game
is scored 64-0. If the flag of the non-defaulting player falls, they too
are given an extra two minutes, and the true score stands, unless their
flag falls a second time. In this last case, the game is scored as a 33-31
win for the non-defaulting player.
- The Brightwell Quotient (BQ)
tie-breaker is calculated as follows:
- A constant C is
calculated. It is the integer nearest to
(number of squares on the board)
(number of rounds in the tournament).
- If any of the player's
opponents have withdrawn in the course of the tournament, ignore such
games for the moment. Also, if a player has been paired against
"Bye", leave out such a game.
- Calculate the total
number of discs scored by the player in all games not covered by step b
and add C times the sum of points scored by all of the player's
opponents, except those who have withdrawn.
- For each game against
an opponent who has withdrawn, and each bye received,
half the number of squares on the board
(C times the player's own tournament score)
to the result calculated in step c. The number resulting is the player's
- For the first round of a
Swiss tournament players will be ordered according to their ratings, and
then the top half will be paired off against the bottom half. Unrated
players will be placed at the bottom of the top half, so that they are
paired against the lowest rated players.
The Swiss system is the pairing procedure used in all
tournaments that are too large for all-play-all. The basic idea is that, in
each round, a player is paired against someone on the same score, whom they
have not played before in the tournament. Since this is not always exactly
possible, and does not usually define the pairing exactly, the following list
of factors is taken into account to determine pairings, in order of priority. [It is recommended that, if possible, a pairings program is used to generate
the pairings if the organiser is playing in the tournament.]
- No-one should play the same
opponent twice in the tournament. In particular this includes
- Players should be paired
against others on the same score. If this is not possible, then pairing is
done so that everyone plays someone on as near to the same score as
possible. What this often means in practice is that one person from a
higher score group "floats down" to meet someone from a lower
score group "floating up". In implementing this and other rules,
the top of the tournament takes precedence over the bottom.
- Players should get an equal
number of whites and blacks, or as close as possible to an equal number.
This principle can be used to decide which player gets a float, as well as
how to pair inside a group.
- Players should, where
possible, alternate whites and blacks.
- The total number of up-floats
received by a player should be as close as possible to the number of
- Ratings are often used to
determine pairings in early rounds. The usual way this is done is for the
top-rated player to play the player just below halfway in the score group,
and the second-rated player to play the next player down, etc.
- If there are an odd number of
players, a fictitious player "Bye" is introduced, who always
loses. Bye is always paired against the lowest player who hasn't
previously received a bye, usually before any other pairings are carried
- There should be seven rounds. There must not be fewer than the number of rounds required for a round-robin, or six rounds in the case of the Swiss system. There may be more rounds.
- Only BOF members may play in
a Regional (except for those playing in their first tournament).
- There is no residency
requirement for playing in a Regional.
- The standard time limit is 25 minutes per player. This may be changed but must not be less than 20 minutes per player.
- Regionals will use
Brightwell Quotient (BQ) to resolve ties.
- The 2 minute time default
procedure will be used for Regionals.
- The number of Regionals will
be decided on a year-by-year basis.
- British Othello Federation
rules for Regionals must be made available for all competitors.
National championship tournament
- The National will be a 2-day
- The number of days for the
National can only be changed at an AGM.
- The 2-day National will have
9 rounds plus a 1-round play-off.
- There will always be a
play-off between those coming 1st and 2nd in the 9 rounds.
- There will only be a play-off
between those coming 3rd and 4th if they tied on game points.
- The player who is higher in
the Swiss part of the National will decide on colours for the play-off.
- The British champion is the
winner of the 1st/2nd play-off in the National, or the winner of the Swiss
part if the play-off is a draw. A draw in a 3rd/4th play-off is resolved
in the same way.
- The minimum clock time
allowed for games is 25 minutes for each player. This can be increased at
the discretion of the organiser.
- For the National the 2 minute
time default procedure will be used.
- For the National the
Brightwell Quotient (BQ) will be used to resolve ties.
- The National will be open to
all members. Regionals will no longer be used for qualifying to play in
- To qualify to play in the
National a player must have been resident in the UK for 183
days prior to the date of the National.
- The Chairman is empowered to
allow foreigners who are expected to reside in the UK for 183
days to play in the National, even though they do not meet the 183 day
rule on the date of the National. Such foreigners cannot take part in the
play-off to decide the British champion.
- Any exceptions to the
preceding 183 day expected eligibility rule for participating in the
National which the Chairman wishes to advocate must be approved by the
- The National shall be
supervised by a non-playing referee, whose decision shall be final and
- At the National tournament
the chief referee can nominate other referees. Other spectators must not
interfere in a game.
- Only Regionals will count
towards GP points, e.g. MSO and Cambridge Christmas tournaments will not.
- All (rather than the best N)
such tournaments played in will count towards GP points.
- For awarding GP points only
the game point position will be considered; ties are not resolved. The
total points for the tied positions will be shared between those tying,
with any fractions being rounded up.
- All participants will be
awarded some GP points.
- The GP points are awarded as
10 and on
- Ties for the GP winner are
resolved by comparing their GP points in the tournament in which they did
best (GP-wise), then the tournament in which they did second best, etc. If
all these considerations do not resolve the tie, the tiers will play one
play-off game at their own convenience before the National. If they fail
to do this the chairman will toss a coin to resolve the tie.
- The GP winner is guaranteed a
place on the British team for the World championship, regardless of the
outcome of the National tournament.
- The number of Regionals to be
used for GP points will be decided each year by the committee.
- To represent the UK
in the World championship a player must have been resident in the UK for 183
days prior to the date of the World Final.
- Places in the regular UK team for the World championship will be
offered first to the National Champion, then to the GP winner, and
then to players in the Nationals in the order of their
placing in that tournament, until the team has the required number of
- If not enough people from the Nationals wish to participate, places
shall be offered to people in GP order, and after that to people on
the active ratings list, in ratings list order.
- If there are still not enough people, the chairman shall offer places
to other people of his/her own choosing.
- The place for any special-category tournament held with the World
Championships (such as the World Women’s Championships) will be offered first
to the highest-placed special category player in the National Championships,
except that if two special category players are equal on points and are not
otherwise involved in a play-off then there will be a play-off to decide that
category's first representative.
- Should the above not yield a representative for the category, then
that space and any additional spaces will be offered following the rules for
selection of the regular team.
- For a game to be rated by the BOF it must
- be held in the UK
- be played with clocks
- be understood by both players that it will be
Notice is hereby
given that, unless otherwise announced, all Regional, National, International
(European Grand Prix) and MSO tournaments will be rated. "Friendly"
tournaments are also usually rated.
- The minimum time requirement for a tournament game to be rated is 20
+ 20 minutes.