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The  Escalera

GammonZone has designated
Safe Harbor Games
as its default playing site.

Players may play at any mutually agreed upon site.

  Any match which has direct or indirect promotion/demotion implications for any player in a bracket must be played. The Host may withhold the awarding of Forfeit points to any player who does not play such matches. Additionally, those points may be awarded to the player(s) who may have been harmed by the match not being played.
Effective January 1, 2012: 
If you repeatedly neglect to sign up for the next month, which causes significant problems in the balance of ALL divisions for that and subsequent months, you may be demoted the next month that you enter.

You must register using the signup form provided on this GammonZone Tournament web site. A valid email address is required.

You are expected to complete all of your matches. If you do not play all your matches, you may be excluded from future web-based GammonZone Tournaments.

You may enter the tournament using only one player name.  Only one person may play using this player name. Violation of either condition may result in disqualification from the GammonZone Tournament. There is no re-entry to this tournament after a loss.

GammonZone reserves the right to refuse entry to any player with or without explanation.

Players must enter each month. It is the player's responsibility to sign up before signups close.




The Escalera is organized in Divisions, some with more than one bracket.  Each bracket will play a complete single round-robin.  The number of brackets in each Division and the number of players per bracket will depend on the number of players entered in the Escalera for that month.  The target size for each bracket is 10 players. Promotions and demotions will be adjusted only as necessary to achieve this target size.

Each Escalera session runs from the 1st to approximately the 27th of each month.  All matches must be completed and results posted by midnight, US Pacific time, of the posted deadline date.  No late postings will be accepted.  Our target date is to post brackets by the 1st, but this date is not guaranteed.

Promotions and Demotions:

Players in each subdivision will move up or down according to the table shown on the bracket page, based on the player's Advancement Credits (ACs) wins (changed 1/1/08).  Ties will be broken as follows:
1. Number of matches played (forfeit wins count as played for purposes of this rule.
2. Head to head among tied players
3. If some players remain tied, head to head among those players.
4. Most wins against player(s) with the most wins in the division ACs in the bracket (clarified 5/2/13); if this eliminates one or more players, head-to-head among remaining tied players.
5. Most wins against player(s) with next most wins in the division ACs in the bracket (clarified 5/2/13), continuing as necessary.

If the Division One champion is not broken by #1-5 above, a playoff may be held.

Match lengths:

Division One 11 points
Divisions 2 and 3 9 points
Divisions 4 7 points

Players wishing to take time off may do so by registering for the month as usual but putting "REQUESTING VACATION" in the signup comments.  If possible, they will be reinstated to their former division (or a lower division, if they would have been demoted).  Excessive vacations cause problems with the size balance of the brackets; please don't make this a problem for the tournament.

Scheduling Standards

March 2010

March 2012

The GammonZone Escalera is committed to only allowing players who schedule and play all their matches.

Players who do not play damage the event in two ways.  It frustrates opponents who want to play.  It also causes forfeits, which can unfairly affect other players.

We expect players to make a full effort to schedule.  (Effective March, 2010)
A "full effort" consists of at least two emails :
(clarified March 2012)

  • one sent ON OR before the 15th of the month,
  • another sent ON OR AFTER the 16th and ON OR BEFORE
    the 25th of the month (reinstated Sept, 2014)  PLAYING DEADLINE date posted at the top of the bracket.

  Please use US Pacific Time (which is also SHG time) when scheduling!

Each email should offer specific times to play and a variety of times that will accommodate players in other time zones or with other work or life schedules.  If there are any matches at the end of the month that were not played, and you did not make a full effort, you may receive a Forfeit Loss or a No Result.

We are using these guidelines to protect the players who do promptly schedule and play.  We may make exceptions in either direction.  If you do not play at least 50% 60% of your matches, or if you have a record of failing to play matches in this or other GammonZone events, you may not be allowed to continue in this tournament,


You will be considered to be booted when you are unable to continue the game play.  If your opponent does not return in 20 minutes, immediately send a Scheduling Email including a brief description of the boot situation. Restore and complete the match as soon as possible.

There are no boot limits.

Forfeits Forfeits will be determined by the Host at the end of the playing deadline.  It is not necessary to make any request.  Forfeit Wins will not count towards GammonZone ratings or points. 
Forfeits and No Results

New Policy Clarifications.

Forfeit Win (FW) and Forfeit Loss (FL) - a Forfeit Win will be assigned to a player when there is a clear imbalance of emails favoring that player and all scheduling deadlines have been met. A FL will be given to the opponent.

No Result (NR) - a No Result will be given if no emails have been sent by either player OR when two players have sent numerous emails to each other (even if scheduling deadlines have been met) but have failed to play. Players are expected to play their matches, as opposed to sending a lot of emails with no match played.


New Policy Clarifications.

Withdraw (WD) - No Forfeit Win will be given to opponents of players who Withdraws in the first week of play. After this date normal scheduling rules apply. If a player Withdraws in the last 7 days of play the Withdrawal will not be accepted and that player will be considered as active for the entire month.

"Vacation" Rule Clarification You may take a one-month "vacation" and return the following month in the division you would have been placed in if you had not left. You will need to sign up for BOTH the "vacation" month and the return month.

For example, if you will be on vacation during July, sign up for July and put in the comments "On vacation for July".  Then, before August 1 you must sign up and put in the comments "Returning from vacation, I was in Division ___".

Effective July, 2015:
If your Vacation is for 1 month, you will remain in the place to which you would have been assigned.
If your Vacation is for 2 months, you will be demoted one level from the place to which you would have been assigned.
If your Vacation is for 3 or 4 months, you will be demoted two levels from the place to which you would have been assigned.
If your Vacation is for 5 or more months, you will be placed in Flight 4.
You may take one Vacation per 12 month period.

It is the your responsibility to tell us this information.  If you do not, we cannot guarantee that we can get you back in the Division that you were in.

General Web-based Tournament Rules

All rules pertaining to conduct of web-based tournaments will be as provided in the GammonZone Web-based Tournament rules.  Players should pay particular attention to policies regarding scheduling.  Players who do not make a sufficient effort to schedule and play matches risk disqualification.  Players who do not have enough time and flexibility to schedule and play assigned matches during the month at times convenient to opponents in all time zones should not to register.

The host may adjust division assignments if doing so is in the best interests of the event.  Players are subject to penalties for failing to complete or attempt to complete matches, including probation, suspension, and demotion.  Actions resulting in forfeits which determine promotion, demotion, or division winners, will be considered much more serious than other types of forfeits.  Players may be denied entry for failure to complete matches in this or any other GammonZone web-based event.

GammonZone points
Match win Bonus
Division One (ML+1)/2 points 1st - 50 points
2nd - 30 points
Division 2 (ML+1)/2 points 1st - 30 points
2nd - 18 points
Division 3 (ML+1)/2 points 1st - 18 points
2nd - 10 points
Division 4 (ML+1)/2 points 1st - 12 points
2nd - 7 points
Effective January 2006, the Division One winner will receive one GammonZone Gold Point.  Division One match win points are adjusted to 6, and Division 4 to 4, to conform with overall point award policy.

Effective with January 2005 and later, the Division One winner will receive two GammonZone Gold Points and the runner-up one Gold Point.

Forfeit wins will not count towards GammonZone ratings or points. 


GammonZone has designated Safe Harbor Games as its default playing site. Please play your matches in the GammonZone Tournament Room, TR10, at any table 1-10.

You may play your web-based GammonZone Tournament matches on any backgammon site that you and your opponent agree on.  Possible venues include (but are not limited to) FIBS, GridGammon, and SafeHarbor Games.

You must understand and follow all rules of the game site you play on.

Matches begun on a site must be completed on that site.

All inclusive

The GammonZone Tournament Host has full authority to resolve all disputes.  If the GammonZone Tournament Host is not immediately available, you may contact any GammonZone Host to report the problem.

The GammonZone Tournament Host may, in fairness to all players, modify or depart from the published rules to resolve individual player situations.  This will occur only in the cases of unanticipated situations, peculiarities pertaining to internet backgammon play, or where a variation would be manifestly fairer to a large number of players.

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