Metropolitan Cup Online

Format:  Teams of 8.  Three divisions (i.e. each is an independent event), in which up to eight counties are represented.  The ‘usual’ format for multiple teams-of-eight is to have two sections, each run as a standard ‘teams-of-four’ movement.  

In the case of 8 teams, the aim is to play seven rounds of seven boards

At this moment in time, no platform we are aware of has a stable facility for a multiple teams event.  So we would run this event online as a series of stand-alone 7-board head-to-head matches.

With potentially eight teams-of-eight in three divisions, i.e. 48 teams-of-four, there would be 24 head-to-head matches happening at any one time.  We have the hosting to achieve this, with some customisations to make life easier for all. The TDs have sufficient accounts and ‘manpower’ to launch all games, but nonetheless suggest a staggered start (& possibly different deals in each division for security) to handle user/technology and spread the support load at game-time. 

As a (non-definitive) example timings could be:


Division 1

(Red & White)

Division 2

(Blue & Yellow)

Division 3

(Green & Orange)

Round 1




Round 2




Round 3








Round 4




Round 5




Round 6




Round 7




Est. finish




(this allows a full hour for 7 boards – we can probably do better, but this is for demonstration only)

There are essentially six sections, each of eight teams-of-four, i.e. four (two-table) matches in each section. 


We are hopeful that we can combine head-to-head matches to create a single-section Multiple Teams We can, therefore, use any method of scoring that our scorer programmes offer.  However, our recommendation is to ‘keep it simple’ and use the ‘two teams-of-four’ method.

This means we can produce overall results manually if needed. 

What say we don’t have the perfect 8?

Seven Teams in a division

The trivial solution for this is simply to run with a sitout.  We’d use the same schedule as for eight teams, but each team would have a pre-advised hour of no play.

Actually there are 14 teams-of-four in each Division, so this gives the possibility to merge the two sections, and avoid the match where teams meet there team-of-8 mates.

Boards won’t be being played concurrently, so options are to:

  1. Play barometer boards regardless.

i.e. when London ‘White’ play Surrey ‘Red’, they will play different boards to when London ‘Red’ plays Surrey ‘White’.  But if the overall method of scoring is “Two Teams of Four”, does this really matter?  (It would matter if we were to use full XIMP scoring, i.e. Tollemache method).

  1. Boards live throughout the event.

There are seven sets of boards in play throughout, as there would be for a 7-team American Whist (or for one half of a 14-team stagger).

  1. Boards live only between pairs of rounds.

The same set of boards is played at table 1 in rounds 1 & 2.  Necessarily different boards are played at table 2 (because team 2 plays at both tables over the two rounds).  But it is possible to arrange it so that only three different sets of boards are played during the first two rounds (e.g. table 3 can play the same boards as table 1, at least during the first two rounds).  Three new sets of boards are introduced for rounds 3 & 4, and a further three sets for rounds 5 & 6; nine sets are in play overall.

Six Teams

With an even number, we are back to playing head-to-head matches. We could either play five rounds of 10 boards, or play a double round-robin in which each team-of-four gets to play both teams of each opposing county.  10 x 5-board matches might be a little extra work, but at least it’s fewer matches to set up each time!

Five Teams

We have returned to the ‘odd number’ issue that applies to seven teams.  We suggest that each team plays two teams from each other county.  8 x 6-board matches.

More than eight teams?

9 teams:               8 x 6-board rounds, with a similar ‘odd-number’ schedule to the 7-team schedule.

10 teams:            9 x 5-board rounds.  Head-to-head.

11 teams:            10 x 5-board rounds.  ‘Odd-number’ schedule.

12 teams:            11 x 4-board rounds

We recommend rather prefer more divisions than more teams in each division.  Or subject to all counties being on board, teams-of-12 or even teams-of-16 rather than teams-of-8.  (NB the ‘odd-number’ solutions only work for To8 or To16.  With To12, we would have to have sit-outs if we have an odd number of counties).