Slice 4

EFA Competition Rules

The following competitions are held annually by the Eton Fives Association:

A: Team Competitions

1. The Alan Barber Cup, a knockout competition for teams of three pairs from school alumni clubs. For the rules governing this competition see Appendix I below.
2. The EFA League, a league competition for teams of three pairs from the same club. For the rules governing this competition see Appendix II below.
3. The EFA Trophy, a knockout competition for teams of three pairs. For the rules governing this competition see Appendix III below.
4. The Richard Black Cup, a knockout competition for teams of three pairs for women only.
5. The Richard Barber Cup, a knockout competition for teams of three pairs where each pair consists of one current and one former pupil from the same school.

Rules for competitions are reviewed frequently and altered as necessary.

The following rules apply to all the above team competitions:


Once a player is thirty minutes late, a one game penalty is incurred.
Once a player is forty-five minutes late, a two game penalty is incurred.
Once a player is sixty minutes late, his pair is disqualified.
For this purpose, players must be on court, changed and knocking up at the given times.
The opposing pair has the option of waiving the penalty.

Announcement of pairs

Team captains shall exchange pairs no later than the agreed starting time of the match.
Pairs must be arranged so that the second pair is not stronger than the first pair, and the third pair is not stronger than the first or second pairs.

Procedure for complaints about the relative strength of pairs

A team captain may lodge an objection concerning the relative strength of the opposition's pairings only before the commencement of the match. No subsequent complaints can be considered.
The captain of the complaining team must specify which pair (or pairs) he considers to be in an unfair order.
The captain of the 'offending' team may either:
a) Stand by his original pairings, in which case the match is played with these pairings. if the 'offending' team wins, the matter is referred to the Competition Organiser for arbitration. The complaint must be made in writing within seven days of the match.
b) Re-order his pairs to satisfy the opposing captain's complaint. Only complete pairs may be re-ordered not the composition of them. Once a team's pairings have been accepted by the opposing captain, no further alteration is allowed.

Roles of the Competition Organiser and Competitions Sub-Committee in resolving disputes

The Competition Organiser is empowered to resolve any dispute in the first instance, and must inform both parties to a match of his decision. If either party to the match is not satisfied with this decision, they may lodge an appeal to the Competition Organiser, within seven days of receiving the decision. Only parties to the match may appeal against the decision.The Competitions Sub-Committee (less any interested parties in the dispute) will then arbitrate, and its decision will be final.

B: Individual Competitions

1) The Kinnaird Cup, a knockout competition open to all comers.
2) The London Tournament, a knockout competition open to all comers.
3) The Northern Tournament, a knockout competition open to all comers.
4) The Midlands Tournament, a knockout competition open to all comers.
5) The Ladies Championship, a knockout competition open to ladies.
6) The Mixed Doubles Championship, a knockout competition open to all comers.
7) The Graham Turnbull Trophy, a knockout competition open to pairs consisting of a current and former pupil of the same school.
8) The Lord Aberconway Cup, a knockout competition open to pairs consisting of a father and his son (or mothers/daughters or other intergenerational combinations)
9) The Veterans Tournament, a knockout competition in which all players must be over 40 on the day of the competition.
10) The Under 25 Championship, a knockout competition in which all players must be Under 25 on the 1st September preceding the competition.
11) The Under 21 Championship, a knockout competition in which all players must be Under 21 on the 1st September preceding the competition.
12) The Jesters Universities Championships and Universities Mixed Championships, knockout competitions for pairs, in which both players are at the same university.

C: School Competitions

1) The Marsh National Schools’ Championships, knockout competitions open to pairs representing their schools at the following levels: Open, Under 16, Under 14, Under 12, Under 11, Girls Open, Girls Under 15 and Mixed. There are also restricted entry competitions at Under 14 (beginners), Under 15 (best players excluded), Under 13 (best players excluded) and Girls Festival (best players excluded) levels.

2) The Williams Schools Cup, a 'round robin' competition open to teams of three pairs from the same school.

There are also other competitions not organised by the EFA, of which details may be found on the EFA website.

Appendix I, The Alan Barber Cup Rules

1) Fixtures:
a. 1st Round matches must be arranged as next season fixtures.
b. 1st and 2nd Round matches shall be played on or before the weekend noted in the draw..
c. The dates for the Semi-Final and Final are fixed and noted in the draw. They will take place at Eton, starting at 2.30 pm.

2) Teams:
a. Each team shall consist of three pairs of former pupils of the school. A maximum of two current pupils may play, but not in the same pair.
b. If a team can only turn out 2 pairs, it shall be deemed to have forfeited the third pair; if only one pair can turn out, both the second and third pairs shall be forfeited.
c. Each pair shall play the best of five games, except that if the match result is known then the outstanding match need not be completed if it be mutually agreed.
d. Team managers must simultaneously exchange teams in order of pairing - first pair first, etc. in writing immediately on arrival.

3) Time and place:
a. The team with choice of courts and time in each round is noted in the published draw.

4) Starting and Finishing:
a. The official starting time of matches in the 1st and 2nd Rounds must be agreed beforehand. In the absence of agreement the starting time shall be 2.30pm on the weekend or 7.00pm on weekdays (see Rule 1b).
b. If a match cannot be completed (other than through injury or mutual agreement)- eg artificial lights failing - then the particular match or matches involved shall be replayed with the same pairs before the weekend of the next round.

5) Balls:
a. The EFA ball must be used.
b. Balls are to be supplied by mutual agreement.

6) Results:
The Club Secretary or Team Manager of the winning team must send the result to the Competition Organiser, including scores, immediately after each round. The Competition Organiser will advise the Club representative of their next round opponents as soon as possible.

7) Disqualification:
Failure to comply with the Rules of the Competition may result in disqualification.

Appendix II. The EFA League Rules

1) The league is to be made up of divisions, the number and formulation of which is the responsibility of the League Organiser, in conjunction with the Competitions Sub-Committee, and is to be agreed annually at the Secretaries' meeting.

2) Teams will play all the other teams in each division twice (each team having choice of courts once each) or once (home and away fixtures being decided on a rota produced by the League Organiser), and the dates and times of all fixtures must be agreed at or before the Secretaries/Fixtures meeting. Any rearrangements must be agreed in writing by both teams, and all fixtures are to be completed by the end of April. Clubs that have two teams in the same division must ensure that the match is played before Christmas in that season; failure to do so will result in the match being forfeited.

3) Each fixture is to be contested by three pairs from each team, and matches are to be played as best of five games. If a match has to be completed by a fixed time (e.g. because of the closure of courts), this must be agreed before the start, and the completed game score at the time is decisive (including a draw).

4) One point will be awarded for each pair won (in a draw ½ point each).

5) Standard EFA Competition rules apply for:
a. Exchanging of pairs,
b. Relative strength of pairs,
c. Complaints about relative strength of pairs,
d. Lateness.

6) Penalties for failure to produce pairs:
a. A team cancelling one pair: one point awarded to opponents.
b. A team cancelling two pairs: two points awarded to opponents.
c. A team cancelling three pairs: three points to opponents. If the away team cancels all three pairs in a division with only one fixture between the teams, they will be away again for the following season.
d. There is a ½ point penalty for each pair cancelled.

7) Eligibility:
a. No player may play for more than one team in the same division in the same season.
b. Every team in the top division must name FOUR 'bona fide' players before the start of the season. This list must be realistic, and is to be produced by the League Organiser, in consultation with the clubs. The League Organiser may insist on replacements or changes at any stage of the season. The League Organiser will produce a list of named players before the start of the season and these players will be allocated to the Division 1 clubs as List A players up to a maximum of four per club. Extra players (for clubs who have more than four List A players) or List A players who are unattached to a club will be included as additional players. Clubs who have fewer than four List A players will have their quota made up to four; these additional players will be List B players.
c. Any player on the List A named players list may not play in a division below the one in which he is named unless as an ineligible player. A maximum of two List B named players may play in a Division 2 team in any given match. List A and List B players are ineligible to play in Division 3 or in the EFA Trophy.
d. Players who are ineligible may play in a match, but their ineligibility must be declared in advance and they must play in the lowest available pair unless with the agreement of the opposing captain. A pair containing an ineligible player automatically forfeits the league point for that pair but no penalty is incurred.
e. Players who are named in Division 1 may play in other divisions as eligible players with the agreement of the opposing team in the following circumstances: that they play with a partner and in a pair that is at an appropriate standard for the specific match and opposition; that the team wishing to use a named player as an eligible player must communicate their intention to the opposing team and to the League Organiser at least a day in advance of the match; that the opposing team would have the right to refuse permission and that there should be absolutely no complaint from the other team should permission be refused. In that case the named player could still play, but would do so as an ineligible player.
f. Anyone who plays more than two league matches in the same season must become a member of the EFA in order to play subsequent matches as an eligible player. For such a player to become eligible, the League Organiser must have received membership forms within two weeks of the player’s third match.

8) The captains are to be responsible for reporting the result to the League Organiser within 24 hours.

9) Match balls are to be provided by the team which has choice of courts.

10) Promotion and relegation:
a. The team finishing with the highest points total wins the division, the team with the lowest finishes bottom. If two teams are equally placed the higher position will be decided by pairs won in the matches between them. If they are still equal, or if more than two teams are equal, the highest position will be decided by (in order): the highest pair difference (pairs won on court minus pairs lost on court); the fewest pairs cancelled; the fewest games conceded.
b. The team finishing bottom will be relegated unless there is no team wanting to be promoted from the division immediately below. A team may appeal against relegation to the Competitions Sub-Committee.
c. The team finishing top of a division has the right to be promoted if it wishes. If it declines, then the second highest team may elect to be promoted if it wishes, and then the third, but no lower.

11) Teams wishing to enter the league should apply to the Competitions Sub-Committee, who will place them in the appropriate division. Applications should be received by the end of April.

12) Any complaints should be made in writing to the Organiser, who is empowered to resolve the dispute in the first instance. If this fails to give satisfaction to those parties involved in the match, then the dispute will be referred to the Competitions Sub-Committee, whose decision will be final.

Appendix III. The EFA Trophy Rules

1) Each match will consist of three pairs. Teams will consist of any six eligible players from the same club. No player may represent more than one club in the same season.

2) The first round will, unless otherwise determined by the Competition Organiser, be played in two pools on a 'round robin' basis. The exact format of the pool matches will be determined by the Competition Organiser, and will depend on the number of participating teams. In the first round pools the teams may use no more than eight players.

3) Assuming that the first round is played on the basis of two pools, the top two teams in each pool will go forward to the semi-finals. This will be calculated according to the number of pairs won, and if two teams are equal, by the result of the match between them.

4) In the semi-finals, the winner of each pool will play the runners-up in the other pool.

5) The following players will not be eligible to take part:
a. “Named” players from clubs in Division 1 of the league in the current and three previous seasons.
b. Kinnaird quarter-finalists in any of the three previous seasons.
c. Persons playing in the semi-finals or final of the Alan Barber Cup in the same season or three previous seasons.

6) The Competition Organiser may allow players on the ineligible list to play at his/her discretion.