Novice Pairs
25-31 May

Frequently Asked Questions


Q: Who can play in the event?
A: All players should have fewer than 50 masterpoints as at 31 March. We will make exceptions for small clubs on request. For example, a player with around 60 MP, partnering a player with fewer than 20 MP, would be appropriate if required to avoid a two-and-a-half table game with a 6-board sitout. Any player may be included with permission from the convenor.

Also, it is fine to have non-contending pairs included in the field if you have insufficient numbers to run a separate game just for novices. Just let us know who the participating novices are when you submit the results.

Any player who is not an ABF member is welcome to play, as long as it is reasonable for that player to be called a novice. We depend on the local heat organiser to make this call, and also reserve the right to disqualify any player who we believe should not be in a novice event.   

Q: What is the entry fee?
A: Our fee is $5 for each player (not including any non-contending players who are just making up the field).

Q: How many boards should we play?
A: It doesn't matter how many boards you play. Most clubs generally play 26 or 27, but a few clubs play all 32 boards (sometimes with a lunch break). Clubs with mostly new players might just play 18 or 21 boards.

Q: What movement should we use?
A: Literally any movement is fine; just treat this like a normal club game. However, we do recommend that you take care to avoid having all of your best players sitting in the same direction, as this will put some of your players at a disadvantage.

Q: We have 11-12 tables. How do we do this when you only provide 32 boards?
A: If you need 36 boards instead of 32, just let us know. We have a special dealing file for boards 33-36 in cases of need. Please use the extra boards only if necessary, as the event is scored across the field and only a very small number of tables (if any) will be playing boards 33-36.

If you have a 6-table game and want to play more than 25 boards, you should use a share-and-relay movement (6 x 5-board rounds) rather than a skip Mitchell requiring 36 boards. Or even better, a Howell movement will run on 27 boards.

Q: How do we submit the results?
A: Go to our upload page which has a full set of instructions, assisting you to automatically transfer your result file directly to our web server. Alternatively, you can email the result file to us if you already know how to produce it.
Compscore users: please ensure that your results file includes scores for each board, and not just the summary of names. If you are unsure how to do this, please phone Brad on 0412335840 and I'll be happy to help. It will be simplest if you do this immediately after the game (even for night games).

Q: How do we process the masterpoints?

A: Your club should award green points just like in a normal session. We will award the red points after the event has finished.


Q: Where can I play in the Australia-Wide Pairs?
A: If your home club isn't participating, there is a list of participating clubs and dates here. Pick the club closest to you and give them a call to confirm that the date is correct.

Q: How do I see my results?
A: Once your club has submitted your scores, your results will be published here. Choose your club and your name from the drop-down box, and you will be taken to a special results booklet with all kinds of information about your personal results. Hand records, detailed result analysis and travelling scoreslips will be added to the booklet as soon as the last club has completed play.

Q: Does the event use specially selected deals, or are they random?
A: For the Open Pairs, the boards were all randomly computer-generated under the same conditions that are used in all Australian national events. There are no specially designed or selected hands.

In the Novice Pairs, we selectively remove hands that we feel are too complicated or too wild for Novice players (for example, there are no eight-card suits, and no "impossible" bidding decisions). However, in most cases the deals were originally dealt randomly (although in some cases we have been known to drop in a couple of deals from a recently published textbook).

Q: Why is my final score lower (or higher) than the score I was originally given?
A: Once the event has been scored across 800 tables, your score will be different than when it was scored across ten tables. The difference may be as much as 10%, as small pairs games can produce very random results. There is a more detailed explanation here. If you are checking the results booklet regularly, which I recommend, you can actually watch your scores fluctuate as each new club submits their results.

Q: What do I do if I find a scoring error?
A: Email us at and let us know what happened. Scores that we believe are obviously incorrect will first be listed on the main event web page, and then automatically adjusted if no one explains them. Non-obvious errors can only be corrected after confirmation from your director, or from the player who benefited from the error.  

Q: How are the spot prizes awarded?
A: For the 2018 Novice Pairs, there are four prizes each on deals 7, 16, 20, 22, 24, 26, 27 and 31. On those boards two pairs will receive a prize for meeting the goals specified in the souvenir booklet. The prizes go to the successful pair whose final score is closest 52%, and the successful pair whose final score is closest to 56% (scores taken as at 9 June). Additionally, there are a couple of spot prizes for selected pairs who achieve a unique top board on any board (chosen by the convenor).

Q: How do I claim the special offers mentioned in the souvenir booklet?
A: Instructions will be posted in the online results booklet after the event has finished.