The objectives are to ensure that WBF Championships can he
properly operated and adequately administered, with a fair and equal
chance for all competitors, while at the same time affording proper
consideration to progress and innovation, to ensure that players are
in no doubt as to what is expected of them with regard to
preparation and filing of systems material for WBF
Additions or amendments to this policy will normally be put into
effect only after four months' notice.
2. DEFINITION OF HIGHLY UNUSUAL
||a hand containing one card of each rank|
||high card strength below that of an average hand|
||high card strength a king or more greater than that of an
average hand |
||a call or play that is not a convention (as defined in the
||three cards or more|
||two cards or less|
||a match of 17 or more deals|
||a match of less than 17 deals|
For the purpose of this Policy, a Highly Unusual
Method (HUM) means any System that exhibits one or
more of the following features, as a matter of partnership
a) A Pass in the opening position promises the values
generally accepted for an opening bid of one, and the player who
passes will or may hold values a queen or more above average
strength (i.e. an average hand contains 10 HCP).
b) By partnership agreement an opening bid at the one level may
be weaker than pass.
c) By partnership agreement an opening bid at the one level may
be made with values a king or more below average strength.
d) By partnership agreement an opening bid at the one level shows
either length or shortage in a specified suit; or either length in
one suit or length in another.
2.2 CLASSIFICATION OF SYSTEMS
In order to facilitate recognition and handling, systems material
will be identified by one or more of the following:
i) a WBF coloured sticker;
ii) the appropriate name (hand printed or typed) colour;
iii) a check mark on a convention card next to the appropriate
colour – in keeping with the following descriptions:
- Green: Natural
- Blue: Strong Club/Strong
Diamond, where one club/one diamond is always strong
- Red: Artificial: this
category includes all artificial systems that do not fall under
the definition of Highly Unusual Methods (HUM) systems [see definition below], other
than Strong Club/Strong Diamond. systems (see Blue). Examples would be a system where
one club shows one of three types – a natural club suit, a
balanced hand of a specific range, or a Strong Club opener; or a
system in which the basic methods (other than the no trump
range) vary according to position, vulnerability and the like;
or a system that uses conventional weak or
multi-meaning bids (with or without some weak option) in
potentially contestable auctions, other than those described in
the main part of the WBF Convention Booklet.
- Yellow: Highly Unusual
Methods ('HUM') as defined above.
2.3 BROWN STICKER CONVENTIONS AND
The following conventions or treatments are categorized as "Brown Sticker".
(a) Any opening bid of two clubs through three
(i) could be weak (may by agreement he made with
values below average strength); and
(ii) does not promise at least four cards in a known
(iii) The bid always shows at least four cards in a
known suit if it is weak. If the bid does not show a known four
card suit it must show a hand a king or more over average
strength. (Explanation: Where all the weak meanings show
at least four cards in one known suit, and the strong meanings
show a hand with a king or more above average strength, it is
not a Brown Sticker
(iv) A two level opening bid in a minor showing a weak
two in either major, whether with or without the option of
strong hand types, as described in the WBF Conventions
(b) An overcall of a natural opening bid of one
of a suit that does not promise at least four cards in a known
Exception: A natural overcall in no trumps.
(c) Any 'weak' two-suited bids at the two or three level
that may by agreement be made with three cards or fewer in one of
(d) Psychic bids protected by system or required by
(e) None of the foregoing restrictions pertain to
conventional defences against strong, artificial opening bids or
defences against Brown Sticker or HUM conventions.
Additional to the classification of systems in (2.2) above,
any partnership using one or more Brown
Sticker conventions must indicate this alongside its system
2.4 ENCRYPTED SIGNALS
Additional to the restrictions on bidding methods and conventions
above, players may not use signalling methods by which the message
or messages conveyed by the signals are hidden from the declarer
because of some key available only to the defenders (i.e. encrypted
signals are not allowed).
3. SYSTEMS ALLOWED AT WBF
In relation to the aspect of Systems to be allowed at WBF
Championships, the events will be divided into three categories:
- CATEGORY 1
Bermuda Bowl, Venice Cup (current format).
For such events all classifications of systems will be
permitted, subject to adequate disclosure, but teams using HUM systems must submit their Convention
Cards in advance in accordance with the Conditions of
Contest and will be subject to a reduction of seating rights,
Whenever a team with one or more pairs using a HUM system opposes a team that has no such
pair, the HUM systems team will be the
Away team, and lines up first throughout.
No special seating rights or line-up restrictions shall apply
when two teams containing HUM systems
pairs (regardless of line-up) oppose one
Knockout Matches; Rosenblum
Cup and McConnell Cup
(Knock-out matches only) and other Teams Championships as decided
by the WBF
Rules and Regulations Committee.
The use of HUM systems is
Brown sticker conventions will be
permitted, subject to adequate disclosure, but players using them
must submit their Convention Cards in advance in accordance with
the Conditions of Contest.
- CATEGORY 3
Olympiad (Round-Robin), all Pairs Championships, Junior Teams Championships, Rosenblum Cup and McConnell Cup (short matches), Transnational events and the IOC Grand Prix.
The use of both HUM systems and
Brown Sticker conventions is
4. SYSTEMS MATERIAL
For all Category 1 Teams
events, where Yellow (HUM) systems are
permitted, any pair using a HUM system is
required (in addition to the normal timely filing of the Convention
Card and Supplementary Sheets) to submit the full system in
English at the beginning of the Championship.
Pairs using Green, Blue or Red systems
are encouraged to submit their full system in English
at the beginning of any WBF Championship.
In decisions taken by Tournament Directors and by the Appeals
Committee, pairs who have submitted their full system will be given
the benefit of any support this provides for an explanation given at
the table, as far as this goes.
4. CONVENTION CARDS / SUPPLEMENTARY
The principle of adequate disclosure requires that competitors
fully disclose the meanings of their calls, and particularly, all
conventions and treatments requiring defensive preparation. In
addition to the Convention Cards, pairs will use
Supplementary Sheets to achieve this objective.
The use of Supplementary Sheets is not strictly limited for all
events, provided that the entries are properly numbered to
correspond to appropriately cross-referenced numbers on the
Convention Card itself. The sheets must be readily legible
and the numbered entries must be separated by discernible heavy
lines. While brevity is encouraged, particularly for Category 2 and Category 3 events, full disclosure must
not be prejudiced in any way as a result.
All conventions and treatments requiring defensive preparation
must be listed on the front part of the WBF card. They
must be explained and fully developed (including competitive
agreements) either in the appropriate section on the outside
or inside of the card, or, where there is inadequate space
there, in the first numbered entries on the Supplementary
The front right part of the Convention Card must
i) All artificial openings (except strong one club/two club
ii) Response to natural openings which are weak and
iii) All conventional defensive bids used over natural openings
of one of a suit (making sure that all two suited intervention is
detailed precisely; the best way to do this is to write: 'Two
Suiters' and include a reference number to an early
Supplementary Sheet entry, which will provide the particulars).
If a pair uses any bid which should have been listed here, but
which has been left out, and their opponents do not get to their
best contract, there will be a strong presumption that the opponents
have been damaged by not being able to prepare a defence. The
offending pair can assume that they will also be liable to incur a
Any pair playing a HUM system or Brown Sticker convention has a special
obligation to present a complete description of both their bids and
subsequent developments (especially competitive developments). If a
pair uses an auction that is not fully described, then the same
presumption of lack of advance notice (with adjustments and
penalties as described in the preceding paragraph) shall apply.
For each tournament, the Conditions of Contest will state
the date by which and the address at which systems
material and Convention Cards (together with telephone and
[preferably] fax numbers of the individuals best equipped to deal
with queries regarding the system) must be received. The onus
is jointly on the pair, the non-playing captain (where relevant),
the NBO, and the Zonal Organization to obtain the information
required to meet this deadline. Failure to meet this deadline will
result in automatic penalties, which will be fully described
in the Conditions of Contest. Problems with systems should be
referred to the Chairman of the Systems Committee or his nominee in
accordance with details given in the Conditions of Contest.
After the closing date for submission of systems, the following
will be the policy governing any changes to the Convention Card and
(a) Deletion of an item or a statement will be permitted
upon application to the Chairman of the Systems Committee or his
(b) A change replacing an agreement with another or to
introduce a fresh agreement, where the new material is not Brown
Sticker, will normally be permitted. The permission to use the new
agreement will operate at the discretion of the Chairman, but will
normally be from the morning of the second day after notification of
the change is issued to other contestants
(c) Neither the replacement of a Brown Sticker convention
with another Brown Sticker convention, nor the introduction of a new
Brown Sticker convention will be permitted
It is strongly emphasised, and all contestants must note, that
the policy stated above will be rigorously applied.
6. DEFENCE AGAINST YELLOW (HUM) SYSTEMS AND RED (ARTIFICIAL) SYSTEMS
For Team events in Category 1, the following regulations will
apply to defensive measures against HUM systems.
1. A pair opposing a HUM system pair
will submit two (clearly legible) copies of their defence to the
HUM system at an appropriate time and
place prior to the start of that segment, to be specified in the
Conditions of Contest. Such defences are deemed to be part of the
opponents' convention card.
2. In preparing the defence against a HUM system, pairs using Green, Blue or Red systems are allowed to change their
systems, including opening calls. Pairs using a HUM system are not allowed to change their
3. The pair using a HUM system must
inform the opponents in writing (two clearly legible copies) about
their counterdefence at the table prior to the start of the session
In preparing their counterdefence, the pair using a HUM system is not permitted to change any of
the highly artificial aspects of its system.
For Teams events in Category 1
and Category 2, the following
regulations will apply in relation to defensive measures:
A pair may prepare written defences against the Brown Sticker elements of any system. Such
defences will have to be given to the opponents (two clearly legible
copies) at an appropriate time and place prior to the start of that
segment, to he specified in the Conditions of Contest.
Written defences against Brown Sticker
conventions are deemed to be part of the opponents' convention
7. NUMBER OF SYSTEMS ALLOWED PER
For Category 1 events, a
maximum number of four Red or Yellow Systems, of which only three may be
Yellow, will permitted for each
participating team. A System, for the purpose of this section, may
include different be methods for different vulnerabilities.
Both members of the partnership must use the same
Published by the WBF Systems Committee