CONSTITUTION and RULES (amended 22 May 2019)


1 Name of the League
The League shall be known as:

2 Purpose of the League
The purpose of the League is to promote competitive chess in Stockport and the surrounding area for individuals and teams of all strengths under conditions at least comparable with those in other events in which League players take part. The League Constitution and Rules are to be interpreted in this spirit.

3 Officers of the League
The officers of the League shall be:
1) President
2) Vice-President
3) Secretary
4) Treasurer
5) Fixtures Secretary
6) Website Manager
7) Grading Officer
8) ECF Representative

9) Registrations Secretary

and any other officer considered necessary for the effective operation of the League. Individuals may hold more than one office, but shall not be entitled on that basis to more than one vote.

4(a) Annual Elections and Turnover
The officers shall be elected annually at the Annual General Meeting (AGM). A steady turnover of officials is desirable and, except in exceptional circumstances, the maximum consecutive tenure in any single office shall be 3 years.

4(b) AGM Delegates
Each club affiliated to the League may send two delegates, other than League officers, with voting powers to the AGM.

4(c) Auditors
The AGM shall elect one honorary auditor.

5 Effective Majorities at the AGM
The AGM may amend the constitution by a two-thirds majority vote, and the Rules by a simple majority vote. Majorities are to be calculated on the basis of votes cast.

6(a) Purpose and Composition of the Executive Committee
The business of the League, apart from that at the AGM or an Extraordinary General Meeting, shall be conducted by an Executive Committee comprising the officers of the League and one representative from each affiliated club.

6(b) Rule Changes by Executive Committee
The Executive Committee may amend the rules by simple majority vote. The League Secretary shall inform club secretaries of any change in the Rules within seven days at which time the change shall become effective.

6(c) Vacancies on the Executive Committee
The Executive Committee shall have power to fill any office which should become vacant.

7 Annual Fees of Clubs
Annual affiliation fees shall be determined at the AGM. Such fees shall be paid to the Treasurer before the end of September.

8 Financial Year
The League's financial year shall be from 16th April to 15th April.

9(a) Date of AGM
The AGM shall normally be held as decided at the Annual Fixtures Meeting – see Rule 20.

9(b) Date of Annual Fixtures Meeting
The Annual Fixtures meeting of the Executive Committee shall normally be on the 3rd week in September - but the Executive Committee may appoint the nearest convenient date for this meeting.

9(c) Executive Committee Meetings
The officers have the power to call additional meetings of the Executive Committee should the need arise.

10 Quorums for Meetings
A quorum for the AGM or an Extraordinary General Meeting shall be ten and for an Executive Committee Meeting or an Extraordinary Executive Committee Meeting shall be seven.

11 Meeting Notices and Deadlines for Meeting Agenda
Any item for the Agenda of a meeting must be submitted in writing or by email, by either a Club Secretary or Officer of the League, to the League Secretary not less than 21 days before the meeting. The League Secretary shall send to all officers and club secretaries, not less than 14 days before the meeting, the agenda together with a notice of the meeting giving its date, time and location.

12 Proposals to change Constitution or Rules
Any motion to change the Constitution or Rules shall be included in the Agenda of the meeting. The proposer of any amendment to such motion should endeavour to submit the amendment in writing, or by email, to the League secretary not less than 7 days before the meeting.

13 Extraordinary Meetings
An Extraordinary General Meeting shall be called at the written request to the League Secretary of at least ten persons, all of whom are members of affiliated clubs whose membership covers at least three clubs.
An Extraordinary Executive Committee meeting shall be called at the written request to the League Secretary of at least five persons, all of whom are members of affiliated clubs whose membership covers at least three clubs.
Such meetings shall be held not more than 28 days after the request is received by the League Secretary, who shall inform all officers and club secretaries of the date, time, location and the purpose of the meeting at least 14 days before the meeting.


14 FIDE Rules
The rules of FIDE shall apply in situations not covered by the following rules. The host club shall have copies of the League rules and FIDE rules available for use during matches.

15A Disputes Sub-Committee
The members at the Annual General Meeting shall elect a Disputes Sub-Committee to which all disputes shall be referred. The Sub-Committee shall consist of three members chosen from a panel of six, no two of whom shall belong to the same club. The Sub-Committee will normally consist of the same three members of whom the League Fixtures Secretary shall be one. No member may sit on the Sub-Committee if the dispute involves his own club, and in this case one of the other three members of the panel (who shall be designated 1st, 2nd and 3rd deputy respectively) shall take his place.

15B Disputes Procedure
Disputes shall be submitted to the League Fixtures Secretary, and the Disputes Sub-Committee shall adjudicate normally within the next 14 days. The decision of the sub-committee shall be final.

16A Smoking
The smoking of e-cigarettes is prohibited at the boards. Moreover, the use of e-cigarettes in the same room as the match should be prevented where it is in the power of the host Club to do so.

16B Absentee Player
If a player fails to turn up for a match, his game shall be forfeited when 30 minutes have elapsed on his clock.
If at the start of a match there is a known default it shall be on bottom board.
A reserve, i.e. any player eligible to play for the club and the team concerned, may be substituted for any absent player before 30 minutes have elapsed on his clock. The clock will
not be re-set.

16C Mobile Phones
A warning shall be given to any player whose mobile phone or any other electronic device rings during a match. If this should happen a second time for the same player, then the game being played by that player will be recorded automatically as lost.

17A Rate of Play

The rate of play shall be all moves in 80 minutes plus 15 second increments from move 1.

In exceptional circumstances, if the home team anticipates that it will not have enough digital clocks for all boards, then it must give a minimum of 10 days' notice to the visiting team, in which case the visiting team will have the option to bring their own digital clocks to make up the shortfall. If they do not take up this option then the home team may use analogue clocks to make up the shortfall. On boards where analogue clocks are used the rate of play shall be all moves in 90 minutes, and FIDE Guidelines III (Games without increment including Quickplay Finishes) shall apply. Home teams who do not give the required notice may, at the Results Secretary's discretion, be penalised by the loss of each game for which a digital clock is not available.

17B Recording Moves

Moves must be recorded; any clear notation may be used.

18 Clocks
All games must be played with clocks. Responsibility for providing a clock rests with the host team or individual.  Either player may insist on using a digital clock provided that one is available.  (NB This includes the away player supplying one where the home team does not have one available). The host team shall default on those boards for which a clock is not available unless the visiting team/individual has been given reasonable notice of a need to make up the deficit.

19 Adjournments
Adjournments are not allowed.

20 End of the Playing Season
The playing season extends from the Annual Fixtures Meeting. At the Fixtures meeting the Fixtures Secretary will decide the date on which the season shall end and the AGM shall be held the week following. All matches shall be arranged to be played and completed on or before this date. All results should be submitted to the Fixtures Secretary as soon as matches are completed but in any case not later than this date. If a dispute is submitted in the 14 days prior to this date its adjudication will be expedited.

21 Entries for the Playing Season
Entries of Teams for the playing season, and Club details to be included on the Website, should be made to the League Secretary by September 1st by email. Clubs may enter any number of teams. Each team shall have six players in the higher divisions, five in the bottom division and four in the Limit League.

21A Changes to Club Details

Throughout the year club secretaries must promptly report to the Registrations Secretary or League Secretary any changes to the club’s details, (venue, contact details of the club secretary and team captains, etc.). Club officers and team captains must ensure that the opposing teams for their forthcoming fixtures are aware of these changes.

22 Promotion and Relegation
The Annual Fixtures Meeting shall assign teams to divisions. Ordinarily one team shall be relegated and one promoted at each interface between divisions, but the Executive Committee may modify this.

23 Composition of Divisions
The divisions shall normally consist of six or seven teams, as decided at the Annual Fixtures Meeting.

24 Matches between Teams
Teams shall play one another twice during the season, alternating as hosts, unless decided otherwise at the Annual Fixtures Meeting.

25A Player Registration

i) Before the first match of each year's play in the League and preferably at the Fixtures Meeting, each Club shall supply to the Registration Secretary a list of its players in order of playing strength with their current grades, together with their current ECF membership number for the season, where known. Ungraded players shall be given an estimated grade (to be supplied by the Club and agreed by the Registration Secretary) and placed in the list at a position that reflects the player's playing strength. A club may at any time request the Registration Secretary to revise such an estimated grade if it no longer reflects his true playing strength. If the Registration Secretary agrees he will assign that player an estimated grade which shall be used henceforth to determine board order eligibility. In such cases the club must provide a revised registration order.

ii) If players are new to the League (i.e. players not on website grading list), clubs should also provide their ECF grading code, date of birth, previous club(s) and whether male or female.

iii) Additional players may be registered at any time by notification to the Registration Secretary or, in his absence, the League Fixtures Secretary with the player being registered from the date and time that notification is received. Following the registration of each new player a club must provide a revised registration order in accordance with the principles in 25A( i), above.

iv) A club may, at any time, change their registration order by notification to the Registration Secretary provided that it does not place a player who is more than 15 grading points stronger than another player below this latter player.

v) Except for players who have been assigned an estimated grade or have a category F grade, ECF grades current at the time of the fixtures meeting shall be used for the purposes of SDCL board order and shall remain in force for the whole of the playing season, irrespective of subsequently published ECF grading lists.

vi) Where an estimated grade has been assigned or a player has a category F grade, that grade shall be used for SDCL board order purposes. However, where a player's grade in a subsequently published ECF list is different from his/her estimated grade/category F grade, the player's new ECF grade shall replace the estimate/category F grade for the purposes of the club's registration order, board order and Limit League eligibility. In such cases the Registration Secretary will advise the relevant team captain(s)”.

25B Player Order in a Match

i) Players may be played in any order provided that the team captain does not place a player who is more than 15 grading points stronger than another player below this latter player in the team order.

ii) Any infringement of this condition (other than substitutions under Rule 16B) may, at the discretion of the Fixtures Secretary, result in the game (or games) involving the higher rated players playing out of order being recorded as defaulted for the purposes of the match score.

iii) At the discretion of the Fixtures Secretary, an unregistered player may be treated as a default for the purposes of the match score.

iv) Notwithstanding this rule, such defaulted games will be graded based on the over the board result.

25C English Chess Federation Membership

i) Any player will be ineligible after playing 3 games if they have not supplied a valid ECF membership number. They will not then become eligible in the current playing season until they have supplied a current ECF membership number.

ii) Any player who is not an ECF member and, notwithstanding 25C(i), plays more than 3 games, shall be charged to their club at the prevailing ECF Bronze membership rate.

26A Players restricted to play for Certain Teams
If a club enters more than one team, a fixed number of players are restricted ‘first team only’ players. The number of such players is equal to the number of boards in that team less two. The allocation procedure continues in this fashion until all teams have been allocated restricted players who may not play for lower teams. Player allocation follows the club’s registration order strictly. The players that have not been allocated a specific team are free to play for any team.

26B Club playing two or more equal-strength First Teams
A club may have two or more teams of similar strength. It must allocate a fixed number of players to each of these equal-strength teams. The number of such restricted players is equal to the number of boards in the team less two. Equal-strength teams do not have to belong to the same division.
If the club has teams in addition to the similar-strength ones, a fixed number of players are automatically allocated (by reference to the registration order) to the strongest team in this group of teams. The number of such players is equal to the number of boards in this strongest team less two. The allocation procedure continues for the club's remaining teams as described in Rule 26A.

27 Players changing Clubs during the Season
No player may be registered for more than one club at any one time. A player's agreement to be registered by another club cancels the earlier registration.

28 Arranging Fixtures at the Start of the Season
Club representatives shall arrange playing programmes at the Annual Fixtures Meeting.

29(a) Match Postponements
Seven days’ notice shall be given to the opposing captain by any team wishing to postpone a match. At the same time a choice of 3 alternative dates shall be given. In exceptional circumstances shorter notice may be given (e.g. heavy snow falling), but this shall not be later than 4.00 p.m. on the day of the match. Inability to raise a team will not be acceptable as a reason for postponement at short notice. The League Fixtures Secretary is to be informed of postponed matches and new dates within 2 weeks by both clubs.

29(b) Re-arranged matches

If the re-arranged date for a postponed match cannot be agreed before the date for the end of the season, both captains should contact the Fixtures Secretary explaining their reasons why not. The matter will then be referred to the disputes committee. If the committee find the postponement was not made for a genuine reason (such as unavailable venue) the team requesting the original postponement shall have the match defaulted against them. Inability to raise a team shall not be deemed as a genuine reason.

29(c) Teams withdrawing during the Season
The playing record of any team that does not complete 75% of its fixtures is to be removed from the records.

30A Start Time for Matches
Play will ordinarily begin at 7.30pm unless both captains agree to alternative arrangements or unless it is essential to start earlier to avoid the playing session being cut short.

30B Team to be named before the Match starts
Each captain must nominate his players before play commences.

31 White and Black determined by Board Order
The host team shall have white pieces on even numbered boards.

32 Method of Informing the Fixtures Secretary of the Match Result
Both team captains shall send results to the League Fixtures Secretary within 2 days of the complete match result being known.

33A Match Points Result
Teams shall gain 2 points for a win, 1 point for a draw and 0 points for a loss of the match.

33B Method for determining the Winner of a Division
The team with the highest number of points at the end of the season shall be declared the winner of its division. In the event of a tie the team with the most game points shall be the winner. The division title will be shared if the teams still cannot be separated. The winners of Division 1 are the League Champions.

34 Fixture Dates for Matches between Teams from the Same Club
If a club has more than one team in a division these teams shall play all the matches between themselves by December 31st.


35 Description of the Competition
The Charnley Cup shall be awarded to the winners of a knockout competition open to all member clubs of the League.  Each club may enter one team made up of six players drawn from its registered list of players, unless it has more than one team in the 1st Division, in which case it may enter as many teams as it has in the 1st Division.  Where a club enters more than one team, those players who have played for one team are ineligible for any of the others.

36A First Round Draw
The draw for the whole of the competition is made at the annual Fixtures Meeting.

36B Dates for Each Round
The completion dates for each round are as follows: round 1 before 1st November, the quarterfinal before 25th December, the semi-final before 1st March and the final by the end of the season.

36C Method for determining Venues after the Initial Draw
For fixtures after the original draw, the first drawn team will be the home team unless they have already played more home ties in the competition than their opponents, in which case the Fixtures Secretary will reverse the venues.

36D Fixture Dates negotiated by Captains
Team captains are responsible for agreeing the actual playing dates.

37 White and Black determined by Coin Toss
Colours shall be decided by the toss of a coin. The team of the winner of the toss shall take white on odd boards. Each Captain shall declare their team and playing order prior to this coin toss.

38 Resolution of drawn matches
Drawn matches shall be resolved by eliminating boards successively from the bottom until a clear result is obtained.

39 General Application of Rules
All rules for the League Championship competition are intended to apply also to the Charnley Cup insofar as they make sense in such a tournament with one exception:
(i) Players can only play in the semi-final or final if they have played at least twice for the club in either the Stockport League or the Charnley Cup during the last two seasons.


40 The President’s Cup

The President’s Cup shall be awarded to the winners of a knockout competition open to all member clubs of the League. Each club may enter one team made up of five players drawn from its registered list of players. Only players eligible to play for a team in the either of the lower two divisions of the Stockport League will be eligible to play in this cup competition.

41 General Application of the Rules

All other rules shall be the same as those of the competition for the Charnley Cup insofar as they make sense in this tournament.


42 The Limit League

The Limit League shall operate with the aim of providing more opportunities of evenly balanced matches for lower graded players.

The rules of the main League shall apply to the Limit League, with following exceptions: -

(i) There will be no promotion/relegation between the Limit League and the main League.

(ii) Teams will be made up of 4 players graded less than or equal to 120 at the start of the season, with a team total grade limited to 420. When selecting a team, captains must take into account any estimated grades or category F grades that have been revised as specified in rules 25A(i) & 25A(vi).

(iii) The number of home and away fixtures (normally one of each between any two clubs) shall be decided at the fixtures meeting.


43 The Individual Competition
The League's individual trophy holders will be determined by reference to results in the three sections of the annual rapidplay tournament organised by the Stockport club. The "Minor", "Intermediate" and "Major" trophies will be awarded to the highest placed competitor, in the relevant tournament section, who is a registered player with one of the affiliated clubs in the Stockport League at the time of the tournament. (Please note that competitors do not have an absolute right to enter the tournament by virtue of their trying to compete for an individual trophy - the organisers of this tournament have the right to refuse entry to any applicant.)


44 The Vic Knox Trophy
This trophy, in memory of Vic Knox, a former President of the Stockport League, is intended to recognise outstanding performance during the season. It is held for twelve months following its award at the AGM to that player, registered with the Stockport League during the previous year, who has the best percentage performance in team competitions arranged by the League and who has played in at least 6 games


45 The Eric Harrison Trophy
This trophy, in memory of Eric Harrison, a former President and Vice-President of the Stockport League, is intended to encourage junior players. It is awarded annually at the AGM to be held for twelve months by that junior player, registered with the Stockport League during the previous year, who in the opinion of the League President, League Secretary and the Fixtures Secretary has shown the best combination of enthusiasm, promise and playing strength. The award will be open to players under 18 on the 1st of September immediately following the AGM and who have been nominated by their clubs.


There are no written rules specifically for the Match Captain, but he is usually responsible for selecting the team, and agreeing and communicating details of matches. The Captain should arrive with his team in time for a prompt start at the time agreed. He should see that all clocks are started when the match begins, giving special attention to boards where one player is absent or late. He should stress to all players that the need to use a substitute or to default through absence should be a rare event.

Each captain should check the nominated players of the opposing team to ensure they are registered on the website and are being played in the correct board order in accordance with the League rules. Any anomaly shall be brought to the attention of the opposing captain, prior to the start of the match, so that any anomaly may be explained.

The two captains are in charge of the match and it is their duty to ensure that the rules of the competition are observed. The home captain must always have a copy of the League and F.I.D.E. rules available for reference in case any dispute should arise. The captain may not offer advice on the games of team players other than advice on whether to offer, accept or decline a draw in response to a request for such advice from the player concerned. In fact some teams have a rule that where practicable no-one should offer a draw or respond to an offer without consulting his captain.

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