As highlighted in the previous (Ref: Bulletin #130), the EBL are proposing to hold online qualifying events for the “2021” World Teams Championships, which are scheduled to be held in February / March 2022.
These qualifying events will be held online in August 2021, using the RealBridge platform. The qualifying events will start no earlier than 23 August and each will end on 28 August 2021.
The number of playing days in each of the four categories (Open, Women, Seniors and Mixed) will be four days (Aug. 25-28), five days (Aug. 24-28) or six days (Aug. 23-28), depending on the number of entries in each category.
The EBL has asked the WBU to advise them as soon as possible if, and in which categories, the WBU intends to send teams, with the final deadline for registering a team on the designated EBL website being 12 July. Consequently, the WBU Selectors would ask for entries for these Events (i.e.: Open, Women, Mixed and Seniors) to be submitted to the WBU Selectors by noon on 1 July 2021.
The entry fee will be €100 per team and per playing day. To illustrate this, if the WBU participated in the Open and Women categories, and the Open plays six days while the Women play four days, the WBU would pay a total of €1.000 for both teams, although it is anticipated, pending a final Management Committee decision, that the entry fees would be covered by the WBU. Players will then be responsible for any other expenses, such as meals and local accommodation, as appropriate.
Players will participate in the qualifying events from specific locations in Wales, which are most likely to be in the Cardiff area. No one will play from home, or at other private settings. Participating NBOs will gather its teams in clusters at a local venue set up according to EBL specifications, so as to prevent any communication between players. Neutral observers, ratified by the EBL, will then supervise the play constantly at every location. No other persons will be allowed in the playing area. Since each event will be partly on different playing schedules each Series will play its own boards.
Online kibitzing will be allowed, but with a time-delay of 30 – 45 minutes (depending on the number of boards in the match) and any “running scores” will also be subject to the same delay.
As usual, Europe (Zone 1) will qualify a minimum of eight teams per category to the World Teams Championships. It should be noted that it is quite common for Europe to get one or two further spots in some categories due to cancellations from other Zones. Europe has the right to the first and third such reserve spots.
The Selectors can provide additional information, as appropriate.