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Every account holder at StepBridge can join the competition. It is completely free to join the competition and you do not need to apply separately.

Everyone starts at level 1, both in pairs and imps games. A promotion system will take you to higher levels. You cannot start at a higher level based on your level outside StepBridge.

In order to join the competition you must play at a competition table labeled 'C' for competition in the column 'Mode' in 'Tables'. The 'R' column means this is a recreational table; when playing at a recreational table your scores will not count for the competition.

In 'Tables' there is another column called 'Level'. Here you see the minimum and maximum level accepted at that table. The player serving the table sets the level. You can only play at a table within your level. Check your level in the blue bar on top of the identity screen by going to 'Club' -> 'Identity'. There are separate levels for pairs and imp games. If there is a difference in level between two pairs, StepBridge grants compensation points - see 'Parameters'.

Go to 'Competition Results' in the 'View' menu to see your current score in the competition. The boards are scored officially only after having been played 4 times. So it does not matter whether you are the first or the last one to play a board, for the board will always be compared to the same number of boards. After 20 boards your scores are evaluated and your result board will restart from zero. If you happen to be online when your scores are evaluated, you will see the result in blue in the chat box - promotion, relegation or consolidation. You cannot be relegated out of the lowest level and there is no promotion out of the highest one.

Because StepBridge continually gets more members, all of them starting out on level 1, it has been made easier to be promoted than to be relegated. This guarantees an acceptable flow from the lower to the higher levels.


These are the following parameters at StepBridge competition:

  1. Lowest level: 1.
  2. Highest level: 9.
  3. All start at level 1.
  4. Evaluation of results takes place after 20 boards.
  5. In pairs an score average of 46% or less: relegation.
  6. In pairs an score average of 54% or more: promotion.
  7. In imps an score average of -0.75 IMP or less: relegation.
  8. In imps an score average of +0.75 IMP or more: promotion.
  9. A difference in level between two pairs will be compensated.
  10. In pairs the compensation factor is 1% per point overall level difference.
  11. In Imps the compensation factor is 0,25 IMP per point overall level difference.

Example 1 - pairs:
The NS players are level 1 and level 6. The EW players are level 2 and level 3. The level difference is (1 +6)-(2+3)=2. Therefore when NS are evaluated their compensation for each score will be minus 2%. EW at evaluation gets plus 2%.

Example 2 - Imps
The NS players are level 1 and level 6. The EW players are level 2 and level 3. The level difference is (1 +6)-(2+3)=2. Therefore when NS are evaluated their compensation for each score will be minus 0.50 IMP. EW at evaluation gets plus 0.50 IMP.

Asterisks or Stars

The star awards have been established for players having reached level 12; this way StepBridge still offers a challenge without the compensation factor increasing out of proportion. Everyone can play with everyone at StepBridge and still have a chance. The star awards explained: level 9 players at promotion time earn one asterisk and lose one when relegated and still remain at level 9. The stars can be seen as buffers to prevent relegation to level 8. The stars also indicate the level of a star player at StepBridge. There are 9 stars to win.
To prevent players from earning an unlimited amount of stars, the star awards have been designed to make earning a next star increasingly difficult for 'starred' players, at the same time making relegation/losing an star easier. Per star the conditions become 0,5 % harder in pairs and in imps 0.1 IMP, both for promotion and relegation purposes. See the table below.


Frequently Asked Questions about the competition

1. Where can I find my level?
Your level is indicated on your identity card in the blue bar up top. Look at your identity card by double-clicking on your own name or by choosing in the menu 'Club' -> 'Identity'.

2. How do I get promotion?
To be promoted you must play 20 boards at a competition table. As soon as these boards have been played 4 times, evaluation takes place and you are promoted, relegated or consolidated. The evaluation is based on the score of a board played 4 times; the final score is not necessarily identical to the score obtained immediately after play. In pairs you are promoted if your score is higher than or equal to 54% and you are relegated with an average score below 46%. In imp scoring promotion takes place with an average over 0.75 and relegation with an average lower than -0.75.

3. Are the scores awarded as a pair or individually?
The scores are awarded as a pair and your partner gets the same score. However, the scores are evaluated individually, so you can play 10 boards with one partner and the other 10 with a different partner and still be promoted - or relegated if things go badly.

4. Must I play 20 boards in one go to participate in the competition?
There is no time limit to the scores obtained in competition. Play one board a day, play 20 boards in a row, it makes no difference.

5. What happens if I play more than 20 competition boards?
The boards are evaluated when they have been played 4 times, so very likely you have played more than the amount necessary to be promoted, relegated or consolidated. The boards already played will be counting towards the next evaluation. If you have been promoted or relegated, the compensation factor is automatically adjusted. Example: after playing 50 boards at level 1, you have been promoted to level 2 after playing 20 boards. The remaining 20 boards will be evaluated at level 2. This is equally true for your original fellow players.

6. How can I tell if my scores have been evaluated?
If you are logged in at StepBridge at the time the scores are evaluated, you receive a message, including the percentage/imps obtained in the chat box. If not logged in at evaluation time you can find changes - if any - by looking at your 'Identity'. You can also go to the notice board on the StepBridge website and receive your competition results by email.

7. Can I have my level adjusted?
No, it is not possible to have your level adjusted, whether upwards or downwards. Our goal at StepBridge is to have as fair a competition/compensation as possible.

8. Can players leave the table to avoid a bad score?
Every board's score is attributed to the name of the last player at the table at the time of the last bid. It is no use leaving the table during play to avoid a bad score. If a new player takes over from a player who has just left, the result of the board is attributed to the original player.