How to Play the Online Tournament Series

How to Play the Online Tournament Series

Do you want to take your backgammon game to a more competitive level? You can do this from the comfort of your home and on your own schedule!

Online Tournament Series (OTS) event registration is done on our website.  Online play happens on one of our authorized playing sites. Our preferred playing site is Backgammon Studio Heroes.  You are typically given at least two weeks to arrange a mutually convenient time with your opponent to complete your match.

Here is how to get started and play in the Online Tournament Series (OTS).

On this page

Become a USBGF Member

The Online Tournament Series is a great member benefit. If you are not a U.S. Backgammon Federation member yet, please visit

Setup Your Online Playing Site Nicknames

Before entering your first tournament, you must provide us with your nickname for each authorized backgammon playing site where you have an account so that your opponents can find you.

Log in with your USBGF username and password, navigate to the OTS main page and click on the My Info button. Click on the Profile tab. In the Nicknames section, click on Add/Edit. Enter your nicknames for the sites on which you have accounts and save.

For more details, see the FAQ section, below.

Register for a Tournament

Navigate to the Online Tournament Series Page

To find a tournament visit the OTS main page at  You may also visit our website home page and follow this navigation path, Play > Play in a Tournament > Play Online > Online Tournament Series

Go to the Accepting Entries Tab

The Accepting Entries tab shows the tournaments that are currently accepting registration. We offer new tournaments every month as well as continuous entry options. You may also view In Progress and Completed tournaments, by clicking on the corresponding tab.

Note: You must be logged in at to sign up and participate in a tournament

When you are logged in, you will see personalized icons listed next to each tournament. These icons indicate your eligibility.

you are eligible to sign up for that tournament
you are eligible and already signed up for that tournament
you are already signed up for that tournament
you are not eligible for that tournament

Certain tournaments are restricted by skill level and/or gender.  If you feel you should be eligible for a particular tournament, first click on the tournament in question and review the Eligibility table on the Actions tab. The eligibility list will show a red X next to any criteria that you do not meet.  The About tab provides additional details about the tournament. If you still have a question, please read our FAQ, and/or contact the OTS director by clicking on the tournament’s Contact Director tab (or directly at

Tournaments Offered

OTS Monthly – No Entry Fee (Start date: 1st of each month)
Each month, the OTS Monthly offers USBGF members the opportunity to compete against all other players, regardless of skill level. This is a great opportunity for players who are looking to improve their game to face top-level competition in a tournament setting. As the OTS Monthly is open to everyone, this is a larger tournament. This tournament is played in “Double Elimination” which will give every player a second chance to advance in the tournament. 

Rapid Rounds Monthly – No Entry Fee (Start date: 24th of each month)
While all of our tournaments are played with a 2 week per round deadline, the Rapid Rounds play with a 5 day per round deadline. Note: Responsive players only! Enroll only if your personal schedule allows you to schedule and play each match within this tight schedule of 5 days. Each month, the Rapid Rounds offer USBGF members the opportunity to compete against all other players, regardless of skill level. The Rapid Rounds Monthly is open to everyone, this is a larger tournament.

USBGF Divisional: Masters | Advanced | Intermediate – No Entry Fee (Start date: 10th of each month)
Each month, the USBGF Divisional tournament offers USBGF members the chance to compete against other players with similar skill levels. There are three skill divisions: Masters (highest), Advanced, and Intermediate. Your Elo Rating will determine the division(s) you are eligible to play. You may only enter one division.

USBGF Woman’s Monthly – No Entry Fee (Start date: 20th of each month)
The USBGF Woman’s Monthly offers women the opportunity to compete with and get to know fellow women players in the USBGF player community. This tournament is open to all members who identify as women.  If you don’t see this option after logging in, you may need to update your USBGF member profile.

Gammon Guys USBGF Board Jackpot –   Entry Fee $25 (Start date: when Bracket is filled)
Win a bracket of 32, and you will receive a Gammon Guys USBGF-styled tournament-size backgammon board.

Gammon Stuff FTH Board Jackpot – Entry Fee $35 (Start date: when Bracket is filled)
Win a bracket of 32, and you will receive a Gammon Stuff FTH backgammon board and travel bag.

Pick-a-Pro Lesson Jackpot – Entry Fee $20 (Start date: when Bracket is filled)
The winner of each bracket of 8 receives a free one-hour lesson from the backgammon pro of their choice (subject to availability).

Member Blitz – Entry Fee $15 (Start date: when Bracket is filled)
Win a bracket of 8 and earn a membership extension or a credit toward future events. Each bracket winner also qualifies for an annual playoff, where they will compete for glory and Master Points.


To register for your desired tournament, click on the tournament name and then click on the Register button on the Actions tab.

If this is a tournament that requires an entry fee, you must complete the next page and click Pay and Enter

You will have the option to pay via PayPal, Debit, or Credit Card. Any credits that you may already have in your USBGF account will be used first.

Completing the payment step only authorizes payment. Authorized funds are only taken when play for the tournament beings, or 28 days after the authorization – whichever comes first.

If you change your mind about participating in a tournament that you have entered, you may return to the Actions tab and click on the “Withdraw” button next to your entry at any time before play has started. When withdrawing from an event with an entry fee, if the funds have not yet been taken, your payment authorization is voided as if it never happened; otherwise, you are issued a credit to your USBGF account which you may apply towards future entries.

You may view your USBGF account balance and transaction history at any time by clicking on My Info and then clicking on the Profile tab.

Your selected tournament will begin on the publicized start date, or in some cases when the bracket is full. In either case, you will be notified via email when your tournament has started and what your next steps are. You are typically given at least two weeks to arrange a mutually convenient time with your opponent, to complete your match, and to report the result.

Schedule Your Match

When your tournament starts you will receive an email. The email contains all relevant information to schedule with your opponent. Pay attention to the match deadline – the date by which the result of your match must be reported.

You will see your opponent’s contact info including their nicknames on various sites, the contest format, and the match length.  

Important: when contacting your opponent, it is always best to use the Match Scheduling form on the website. You may also respond directly to a scheduling email that you have received from your opponent but must ALWAYS use the Reply-All option to copy our tournament email This is essential should we be required to resolve any disputes or possibly forfeit a player for not responding in a timely manner.

It is both players responsibility to find a reasonable time to play, please consider time zones and busy times of your opponent. We recommend using the link in the email Scheduling Form to contact your opponent. When initiating contact, you should always propose at least two different dates and time ranges when you are available to play. 

Failure to contact or respond to your opponent will lead to forfeiting either or both players from the tournament. After a match deadline has passed without a result having been reported, the OTS Director will evaluate the scheduling emails history for that match and will typically forfeit the player who in their sole judgment has shown the least effort, flexibility and proactivity to schedule and play the match prior to the deadline. Use common sense and be considerate, it is everyone’s goal to play the match without having to forfeit a player. 

To get an overview of the tournament brackets click on the Event link in the email.

Sample tournament email:

Play Your Match

Where do I play the match?

You and your opponent may agree to play your match on any USBGF authorized backgammon playing site. Backgammon Studio Heroes is our preferred playing site when preferences differ.

The USBGF does not operate a playing site — and we are not affiliated with any playing sites — instead, we offer a list of authorized sites. For playing site support, such as registration or technical help, please contact the organization hosting the playing site directly.

Our recommended sites are:

Backgammon Studio Heroes (preferred/default playing site)
Safe Harbor Games
GridGammon (less preferred due to lack of support and difficulty getting an account)

Report Your Result

Where do I report the result?

After you complete your match, either player (usually the winner) should return to the drawsheet of the tournament page and report the result.

Find your bracket and click on green   image of the player that won the bracket. On the next step attach the match file as proof of the match result. We ask to upload every match file after playing a tournament game. Please consult the game site where you completed the game on how to download your match file.

You may also go to the Actions tab and report your result.

After reporting, the winner will advance to the next round. Keep in mind the next opponent might not be ready yet please wait until the deadline of that round. An automated email will be sent once the next opponent has been determined and the next round is ready to play.

Keep on playing until you win the bracket or lose and are eliminated from the tournament. If you don’t win your event, that happens, don’t worry. Return to our tournament page and sign up for your next tournament!

We wish you good matches and fun!

Frequently Asked Questions

I want to join a tournament, but all the tournaments say I am ineligible

Some tournaments are restricted by skill level and/or gender, but if you see all tournaments marked as ineligible here is how to fix that.

  • Is your membership current?  If your membership has expired, rejoin at
  • Have you provided us with your playing site nicknames? To be eligible, you must update your profile with the nicknames you use on the playing sites you are signed up with.

To add nicknames to your profile:

Go to the Online Tournament Series page and log in.

Click My Info, then the Profile tab, click on the Add/Edit button and then enter nicknames.
On the next page you can enter the nicknames you use on the playing sites you are registered for.

I have more questions, who can I ask?

If your question pertains to your participation in a tournament – regarding entry, a match, your opponent or the rules, please click on the relevant tournament and then click on the Contact Director form. Alternatively, you may contact the OTS director by email  at

If you have a question unrelated to a specific tournament that is about the tournament website itself – how to do something or find something, you believe that it is not working properly, consider something to be confusing, or have a suggestion for a new feature or other improvement, you may contact technical support by clicking on the Help button in the upper right corner of the page.

We will make every effort to get back to you as soon as possible.