2016 USBGF Federation Cup
Tara Mendicino & Bill Riles
The U.S. Backgammon Federation is pleased to announce the launch of the 2016 USBGF Federation Cup. This free entry tournament for all USBGF members – including Premium, Youth, and Basic members and both U.S. and international members – is sure to be one of the biggest and most exciting online tournaments of the year and features an excellent prize pool.
The first place winner of the Federation Cup Playoff will receive $500, second place $250, and third/fourth $125. To obtain a place in the Playoff, players must win a 32-player qualifier bracket. All winners of qualifier brackets and Playoff winners will receive a recognition certificate to be awarded at the annual USBGF awards dinner. Playoff winners will be noted on the USBGF website Winners section, USBGF Facebook page, and profiled in the PrimeTime Backgammon magazine.
Please register and follow the action at the Online Circuit section of our website. The tournament is directed by Tara Mendicino tara@usbgf.org and Bill Riles bill@usbgf.org.
Venue and Schedule
  • All matches will be played on GridGammon. Players who do not have a GridGammon account will be required to obtain one PRIOR TO REGISTRATION. If you do not have an account, please complete our GridGammon New Account Request form at usbgf.org/trny/gg-acct/. Both Windows and Macintosh clients are available. The USBGF cannot guarantee that you will be approved for a new GridGammon account.

    Members are on notice that GridGammon new account processing time can take as long as 7 to 10 business days, or longer. Players will risk forfeiture should they register for any USBGF Online Circuit event without an active GridGammon account in place.
  • 14 days will be allowed for arranging and completing each round of the event.
  • Play begins March 10, 2016 on a rolling basis with brackets of 32 players. Registration for all qualifiers will close on or before September 1, 2016 with sufficient time to allow for the Playoff to start no later than November 1, subject to Director’s discretion.
  • The number of brackets will depend on number of interested entrants. It is anticipated that there will be 16 brackets of 32 players each (including no more than two re-entries for those who lose). The tournament director reserves the right to cap the number of brackets prior to the deadline noted above.
  • Entry is free to all USBGF members (Premium, Youth, Basic). Both national and international members may participate.
  • A player may win no more than ONE qualifying bracket. After qualifying rounds end, the single-elimination playoffs will begin.
  • The format consists of 17 point matches in the opening rounds. Match lengths will increase to 19 points in the semi-final and 21 points in the Federation Cup final.
  • The opening rounds consist of a rolling series of 32-person brackets, the random draw for each of which will begin as soon as all thirty-two have registered.
  • Each player gets three chances to qualify and may qualify once, but must wait until they complete their matches in the first bracket before re-entering (i.e. a total of no more than three entries per member is allowed).
  • The winners of the 32-person rounds will then be randomly paired in the remaining Playoff rounds.
Match Proctors & Integrity
  • Proctors will be required during the semi-finals and final of the Federation Cup Playoff. Proctors will be compensated with a 3-month extension of their USBGF membership per match proctored. All proctors will require director approval prior to the start of match play.
  • All matches will be recorded and subject to computer and human analysis for possibility of irregularities. The performance level in proctored matches will be compared to the performance level in non-proctored matches and with the player’s performance in other tournaments. Match logs will be REQUIRED to be submitted when a match win is reported.
USBGF Tournament System
  • Players register online. Members must be logged in to register. If needed, USBGF Usernames may be requested from info@usbgf.org. If not currently an active member please join.
  • Players will be automatically notified of their opponent and e-mail their opponent to arrange a playing time using the USBGF Tournament System. Several times should be offered.
  • Players are reminded that THERE WILL BE NO ROUND EXTENSIONS FOR ANY REASON WHATSOEVER. If your match is not completed and reported by the published round deadlines, you will NOT receive an extension. So, please get your matches played and reported BEFORE the deadlines.
  • Winners must report their result using the USBGF Tournament System.
  • The USBGF Tournament System provides lists of registered players for open brackets and drawsheets.
USBGF Online Rating System
Initial Elo Rating for New Players
  • Players who are new to the USBGF Tournament System are asked to select their initial Elo rating. We will accept ratings from GridGammon and will verify your submission.
  • Giants of Backgammon and expert players who do not have a GridGammon account may submit an initial rating selection of 1900.
  • Players who are new to online backgammon may select “Start With New Statistics.” Those players will start fresh with an Elo of 1500, Experience Points set to zero. Players should expect substantial volatility in their ratings until at least 400 Experience Points are gained.
  • All other players will start with 400 Experience Points.
  • For more information regarding our Rating System, please see Rating System. Should you have any questions or are unsure of what to submit, please use our Support Form.
Initial Elo Rating Guidelines
  • Players with GridGammon ratings <= 1549 should select 1500.
  • Players with GridGammon ratings > 1549 and < 1650 should select 1600.
  • Players with GridGammon ratings > 1649 and < 1750 should select 1700.
  • Players with GridGammon ratings > 1749 and < 1850 should select 1800.
  • Players with GridGammon ratings > 1849 should select 1900.
  • Unknown players without GridGammon ratings should select Start With New Statistics.
Match Reporting & Match Logs
Winners Report via the Report Win Form
Winners of matches should use the Report Win form in the USBGF Online Tournament Circuit system to report match results. Players should save their matches and upload the match file when reporting match results. Player participation in this tournament implies full consent of the USBGF to make match files available to its members for download from the USBGF website or analyze for USBGF publication.
Online Leader Board
A USBGF Online Circuit Leader Board includes Elo rating and Win/Loss record of all players in USBGF-sponsored online events who are active members. The Elo rating and Win/Loss Record of the top ten ranked players for each Division will be publicized on the USBGF Facebook site and included in bi-monthly issues of PrimeTime Backgammon.
The tournament directors reserve the right to make modifications to the tournament design as well as the right to exclude participation with no reason required.