E*V*I*L ([E]lectronic [V]ancouver [I]MP [L]eague: Conditions of Contest

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Last update: Friday, October 7, 2022.  Information on this page may change frequently.
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E*V*I*L Gets A Reboot! Here are the basics:

E*V*I*L Season Nine ready to begin!

After a busy weekend in Edmonton and some mystery entries on the registration form, the restart of the [E]lectronic [V]ancouver [I]MP [L]eague was delayed a week to October 11. Matches are played on BBO on Tuesday evenings starting at 7pm (captains can arrange slightly different times if they wish but we hope to avoid having matches played on other nights as much as possible). The season lasts seven Tuesdays from October 11 to December 6, skipping the weeks of the Whistler Regional and the Phoenix NABC, with two weeks of playoffs to follow. Season Nine will be a 12-team partial round-robin with all 12 teams in one division. No fees or masterpoints involved, just a lot of fun competition.

Meanwhile, the new E*V*I*L main page for results, which now has all the rosters and schedules, should be bookmarked in your browser, or you will be auto-redirected from the old 'VVBCSIL' one if you continue to try that one.

Format for Season Nine and Beyond:

If thirteen teams or more sign up, The Big Show will be exactly eight teams and will play a seven-match round-robin. The top three teams in the regular season, and the winner of The Big Show playoffs (if the fourth-place team wins the final) will automatically qualify for The Big Show in the next season.

The second division will be called The Big Ticket and will be a minimum of eight teams and, if needed, 10 or 12 or even 14 playing only 7 of the other teams over seven weeks. The division is called The Big Ticket because if you win the regular season or the playoffs you get a 'big ticket' to The Big Show for the next season! (If you win both the regular season and the playoffs you get only the one 'big ticket,' but thanks for asking....)

The third division, if there are sufficient teams, will be called The Big Deal, and will mostly consist of teams with newer players, eager to learn team strategies without having to face a bunch of teams who have lots of team game experience. The size of this division is not limited at all, but will play seven matches on Tuesday evenings. (We had only four teams in this division in Season Three and we played nine matches, three times against the others, with a single playoff final.) Teams looking only to play in The Big Deal are welcome to play in the optional Special Qualifying Swiss Team events.

Teams may choose not to play in a division they have qualified for, and play in the next lower division, or sign up to play in a specific division only. A team which has replaced or added more than one-third of their regular players in the previous season, is deemed a different team and cannot claim qualification based on prior success. A team earning qualification in more than one way cannot claim qualification for the next season AND the one following. A team earning qualification may choose to take a single season off and use that qualification in the season following.

This means at least two and more often three or four of the eight slots in The Big Show will be unclaimed, and there will be two OPTIONAL special Swiss Team games on the Tuesday concurrent with the playoff finals, and the Thursday evening two nights later, beginning at 7pm and lasting until about 9:30pm:

Substitute players can be used whenever needed in E*V*I*L matches and even in the qualifying events. Team captains should inform the Commissioner and the opposing team captain when this is happening. If a team is significantly improved by substitute players, the Commissioner may (rarely) adjust scores (probably not as much as the aggrieved team thinks is enough....) to compensate.

"But we don't want to play unless we can play in the top division." Prove you are capable! If you don't qualify, you're talking only seven weeks to get another chance. You can win auto-qualification by winning the second division, regular season or playoffs, and failing that, you can succeed at one of the qualifying events. There will be a consistent turnover of teams on the bubble between The Big Show and The Big Ticket, and this will create interesting competition at all levels:

The format seems to have worked well in Seasons Two thru Eight and only small tweaks have been made for Season Nine. Get your teams together and sign up today!




How To Set Up An IMP League Team Game On BBO

These instructions come from this May 1 BBO blog post. They assume that you are using "v3" of BBO and not one of the old Flash versions. (If you are, it is time to upgrade your app or browser.) Before you set the game up, you will need to communicate with the other team captain, preferably a few days in advance, to decide all of the following:

ALERT: Both teams setting up a game at the same time can be unrecoverable. BE SURE you agree beforehand who will set up the game. Be sure that person has read this guide.

Here are the steps to set up a team game:

  1. Log on to BBO, and click on Competitive, then Team Matches to get to the Team Matches area where all pending and running team matches are listed.
  2. Click on the blue Create Team Game button. This will bring up the Create Team Match dialog box, which has three tabs: Identification, Options, and Reserve Seats.
  3. Start on the Identification tab. In the Title box, type E*V*I*L (this should get people to take notice when these matches appear in the list!). In the Description area, type something descriptive like MatchDay x (x being the week number) but add this string: +private+ +nokill+ +slow+ , making sure that each directive is surrounded by a space outside the plus signs (inside the plus signs, no spaces and all lower case). These three directives keep other players from joining, keep the match in the list until all seats are filled, and prevent BBO from deleting the match if there is a delay. Next, in the Team 1 and Team 2 boxes, type the captains of the teams involved: Team 1 should be the team setting up the segment. Don’t create the match yet, there are two more tabs to fill.
  4. Switch next to the Options tab, and enter the number of boards (ALERT: default is 8, which you will almost certainly want to change). Do not change the defaults of IMPs in Form of Scoring nor Use random deals under Deal Source. In the Options tab at the bottom, the default is to check the first box, Allow Kibitzers, and uncheck the other three, but captains can agree on a different arrangement (see the details above). Again, don’t stop here, there is one more tab to complete.
  5. Switch next to the Reserve Seats tab. On this screen, players are placed as they would be before the match begins, all teammates at the same table before the crossover. You need to know which players on both teams are partners and the other team captain may even provide a preferred seat for each player. Be sure the spelling is correct for all players. BBO names are not case-sensitive but spaces are allowed: McBruce is the same as mcbruce but different from Mc Bruce.

    Alert: one difficulty I have been having as I grab scores off of the listed results is in getting things backwards because the person setting up the match enters the other team at table one. Please avoid this if you can; put your team at table one and the other guys at table two.
  6. With all this done, click the button at the bottom to Create Team Match. You’re ready to go!  You and the other players should be able to join by clicking on their reserved seats. Others looking to join will not bother you.
  7. BBO will give this team match a number from 1-99999 (it resets every few weeks). Write down this number for later, you will need it when you report the results.
  8. If I am online and see your match, I will update the results page to indicate that the match is in progress. Play well!
  9. Remember that once all of your players are seated, you can’t be contacted via chat. If you wait for a while it might be a good idea to have one person leave and see if they can figure out what is happening...
  10. If it all goes horribly wrong and you need to restart, you must delete the team game via the Director tab, found near History and Account. Click on Running Tournaments and click on the team game and select Cancel Tournament. BBO will not let you join another team game if you have one already in progress, so this has to be done! ALERT: If I find out that someone has killed a VVBC team game in progress with these instructions, that person’s team will be hit with a penalty they are not expecting. This is for emergencies only; do not misuse.



E*V*I*L (Electronic Vancouver IMP League) Rules

  1. The League consists of at most three divisions: The Big Show (exactly eight teams unless there is only one division), The Big Ticket (8, 10, 12, or 14 teams depending on registration), and The Big Deal (all the rest in a more relaxed setting for newer players). Each division will play seven matches over seven weeks during a season, following which there will be playoffs for the top four in each division over two weeks, and a signup period for the next season, with the second playoff week consisting of the finals on the Tuesday and the optional special Swiss Team qualifying games for the next season on the Tuesday and Thursday at 7pm. 

    (Exceptions: In a four-team division, teams will play a triple round-robin over nine weeks with one playoff match. In a six-team division, teams will play a full round robin over five weeks and repeat two opponents in the final two weeks.

    Matches will be played online on BBO and the two captains will organize the setting up of the match and the reporting of the results. Except for the optional qualifying Swiss Teams, the event will be entirely free and will not award any ACBL masterpoints, played for fun and good competition. Proceeds from the qualifying events will go to the VBC and Unit 430.
  2. Promotion to a new division in the next season: A team which has not changed more than one-third of its regular players from the previous season, in the opinion of the Commissioner, is eligible to promote to a higher division, or compete in a play-in tournament, as follows:
    • The top three in The Big Show regular season and the fourth place team, if they win The Big Show playoff, are eligible for automatic qualification to The Big Show.
    • The Big Ticket regular season winner and playoff winner are also eligible for automatic promotion into The Big Show.
    • Other Big Show teams, top-half Big Ticket teams, The Big Deal regular season and playoff winner, and new or changed teams with more than 2500 average masterpoints will form the second group of teams seeded for the new season, with a third group consisting of all other signed up teams.
    • Within the three groups, the order of seeding will be based on 1) VPs earned (as a percentage of the total possible) in the qualifying games (play both, use your team's best score), 2) standings position in the previous season, 3) average team masterpoints.
    • The top eight teams will be placed into The Big Show division, and if there are enough teams requesting a third Big Deal division or more than twenty registered teams, we will set that up, with remaining teams going into The Big Ticket division. Some teams may be asked to move up or down to avoid odd numbers.
  3. It has the clear consensus of most registered players so far that matches be played on Tuesday Evening wherever possible, and that when not possible, they be played without significant delay. Team captains are expected to communicate with the other captain and with the Commissioner when they need to reschedule a match, and using a substitute player should always be the first option. Penalties in VPs will be applied to teams at fault for matches that are unable to be played. This is a weekly event, not a schedule-when-you-feel-like-it event. Teams bending the rules repeatedly will lose significant VPs.
  4. Communication between the Comissioner and between the team captains for match arranging will be done using the messaging service on BBO itself. No lists of e-mails will appear online, only BBO names and the real names of the players.
  5. Match arranging:
    Without prior agreement, matches are pre-set as follows:
    • the captain of the first team mentioned in the pairing sets up the table and invites players
    • start time: Tuesday at 7pm
    • number of boards: 20, in one segment
    • kibitzers allowed, but not allowed to chat with players
    • Undos not allowed
    • No barometer scoring
    Teams may agree, before Monday at noon, to vary some of these as follows:
    • If the designated captain is unable to, or unfamiliar with setting up a team game, or not playing that night, he can have one of his team members do it instead, or ask the other captain to set the game up.
    • If both captains agree by Monday at noon, the match can be played up to 72 hours late, starting before Friday at 7pm. The commissioner must be informed of the rescheduled start time. A captain who agrees to a schedule change may change his mind and insist on Tuesday evening if he contacts the commissioner and the other team captain by Monday at noon.
    • Teams may agree to play more or fewer boards before the match begins, but must plan to play a minimum of 16 boards, of which at least 12 must be completed to constitute a legal match. (If a match breaks up before 12 boards are complete and cannot be continued at that time, another segment can be played later, preferably as soon as convenient, to complete the match.) Matches can be held in two segments of equal numbers of boards, in order to switch players at halftime. By prior agreement, any scrubbed boards in the first segment may be made up by extra boards in the second segment, if there is one. Matches are scored on the (discrete VP scale) where every IMP counts for something, VP totals are given to two decimals, and there is a separate scale for any number of boards. However, the number of total boards to play cannot be changed once a match starts, except to recover for scrubbed boards in a second segment.
    • Allowing kibitzers to chat with players, or allowing undos is a sure-fire method for generating complicated rulings. By allowing either of these, you have to accept any ruling that may result. Disallowing kibitzers entirely is an option that should be accepted without rancor if either captain wishes: by far the most common method of online cheating involves setting up a second account with which you kibitz yourself in real time. Disallowing kibitzers forces cheaters into other methods.
    • If you allow barometer scoring, the slower table will have more information about the state of the match than the faster table. It is easier to play 20 boards without knowing the exact score than to complete the last four or five when you know you are 75 IMPs down. This is why it is suggested not to click this option.
    All matches need to be set up on BBO with the following parameters:
    • the Title line should include "E*V*I*L" (to make the match easy to find in the list)
    • the Description line must include " +private+ +nokill+ +slow+ " with spaces around the plus signs. This ensures that outside players may not fill the seats without being invited, the team match stays in the BBO list until all seats are filled, and the team game is not abandoned by the system if there is a delay.
    • Form of scoring must be IMPs.
    • Deal source must be "Use random deals."
  6. Seating rights: captains should discuss this when arranging the match. The first issue is whether one or both teams have more than four players in the match, or whether either team wishes to switch opponents at halftime. The person who sets up the match should be given a list of players on the other team to invite, including which players are playing as partners, and those players are seated first. If there is a second segment with different players, the same player sets up the match and seats his own team’s players first, then confirms in chat where to seat the other team’s players. If the players have not discussed this, the match is played in one segment but players can be substituted in and out when the match is half done.
  7. Conventions and regulations: The top division of the event will be run under the ACBL Open+ Convention Chart (Multi 2♦ is allowed), the second and third divisions will be run under the ACBL Open Convention Chart (no Multi). ACBL Alerting and Announcing rules apply, except that players must be aware that in online bridge we alert and pre-explain our own conventional calls and do not alert or explain partner’s. In fact, partner’s alerts and explanations are unseen until the end of the auction.
  8. Substitutes, team rosters: A substitute cannot obviously stengthen a team, but if one is needed in an emergency, the commissioner will allow it and adjust the score of the match to reflect the fact that one team used a substitute that clearly made them much better. Do not expect huge handicaps based on this rule: if the lowest-ranked team in the league needs a Grand Life Master for a match, the handicap will probably be about .75 IMPs per board. We’re going to need subs to keep us going and most of them will not require an adjustment. Teams may add new players or delete an unused player who wishes to play on another team. Substitutes should not play in matches where the result will directly affect their regular team.
  9. Commissioner, Director calls: McBruce will be the E*V*I*L commissioner, using his own BBO account "McBruce" (NOT the Virtual Club ID "VABC154971": that will only be used to run the qualifying Swiss Team games and BBO messages sent there may be missed during the season). If needed, he may play as a substitute in a match.
  10. Director calls: The player chosen to host the segment can contact me through BBO chat, but other cannot; once you are in a team game you are in a message bubble. You can send an e-mail or a BBO message to me but I may not see it until several minutes later. Best is for both sides to come to some agreement about an adjusted score BEFORE the match ends and have one player from each side send me a BBO mail; example: "On Board 6 in the Smith-Jones match at the table with 'johnqp' we agreed to adjust 2SN-1 to 2HE+1." At the end of the match you will need to let your teammates know and rescore the board with the adjusted result, and ensure that I have the corrected result.

    Another option is to message me with what has happened; example: "On Board 6 in the Smith-Jones match at the table with 'johnqp' there was a long hesitation before the pass of 2H, and the partner then continued on to 2S." I'll take a look, perhaps poll some players if needed, and try to get you a decision.
  11. Reporting results: The Google Form set up to allow teams to report the results has been discontinued. If your team match is correctly labelled as part of E*V*I*L I will have no trouble finding in on the list of team matches web page BBO creates automatically, and usually the standings will be updated by me shortly after a match ends. (I do occasionally goof this up and switch a segment so that the wrong team wins, so check the website for results and let me know if it is not what you expect.)
How It WorksResultsHistoryStatsOnline vs OfflineVBC Main Page
Last update: Friday, October 7, 2022.  Information on this page may change frequently.
Hit F5, ↺, or ↻ to update; many browsers save copies of a page and miss checking for updates!