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American Backgammon Tour - ABT
A Brief Explanation


The purpose of the Tour is to promote unified tournament backgammon throughout the United States.

The ABT master point race is an annual event patterned after the American Contract Bridge League's point race. Master points are earned for the year by players who cash in the tournaments. Once earned, they can never be taken away. So the ABT winner will likely be an individual who has attended and placed in a good number of tournaments during the current year.



Only the main events of tournaments two (preferably three) or more days in length held in an public establishment (preferably in an establishment with sleeping accommodations) are included for rating in the ABT race. Tournament side events (Masters, Jackpots, Knockouts, Blitz-type, Doubles, etc.) are not included. A specific backgammon club and/or director is permitted to run up to two ABT tournaments per calendar year unless the events are in different states. Directors are requested to publicly announce their ABT events a minimum of three months in advance so that this information may be posted in newsletters and online at www.chicagopoint.com/abt.html



Only tournament money-winners receive master points. (Money paid for winning individual matches or knockout qualifiers in certain round-robin or multiple entry formats is not included.)

ABT Directors reserve the right to alter master point payouts if the number of money payouts of any event are reduced or increased to an amount that is judged by the majority to be "out of the mainstream."

In the event of a dispute on how to award “standardized” points, ABT directors will come together to settle the dispute. A two-thirds vote of active directors will be required to affect any changes.

From 1993 through 2006, the formula for calculating ABT master points was based on a player’s prize money won divided by the total prize money awarded in the division. In 2006, Gregg Cattanach devised a more standardized formula independant of prize money and effective 1 January 2007, Gregg’s formula will be used to calculate ABT master point awards:

Divisional Factors (DF)
For calculating master points, Divisional Factors are assigned thusly:
     a. Highest Division: (Championship, Open, Championship/Open Overflow, or A Division) = 1
     b. Second Division: (Advanced, Intermediate or B Division) = 0.50
     c. Remaining Lower Divisions: (Low Intermediate, Limited, Beginner, Novice and/or C Division) = 0.25

Divisional Attendance Factor (DA)
The attendance of each rated division is one of the factors used to determine a player’s master point award. To protect against one large tournament dominating the ABT points race, the total number of players in any division shall be capped at a maximum of 96.

Reentries into a sanctioned ABT division (even if they are fully paid) are not included when determining the divisional attendance factor.

“Standardized” Point Factors
A 1st place win is always worth exactly double that of a 2nd place win. A 2nd place win is worth exactly double that of a semifinal finish. For example, a double-elimination tournament paying 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th/5th (tie) would base calculations on the following “Standardized” point factors: 8, 4, 2, 1, and 1

2nd place in the Main Flight is always worth the same as 1st place in the next flight down. This means that 1st Consolation always receives the same portion as 2nd Main Flight, and 1st Last Chance (in a 3-flight tournament) always receives the same portion as 2nd Consolation. The smallest payout is always awarded 1 “standardized” point. The rest of the awards are determined by working backwards towards the 1st Main Flight winner.

"More Swiss" Point Factor Calculation
In 2012, Richard Munitz, in conjunction with ABT directors and others, formulated a method of calculating master points for the "More Swiss" format. The point factors for up to 8 payouts (in order of finish) are established as:

32, 20, 13, 9, 7, 6, 5, 4

If more payout factors are needed, they are calculated as 32/N where N is the payout number. Thus the ninth payout would be 32/9, the tenth payout would be 32/10, etc.

In the event of ties at the end of the tournament, the involved factors are added and divided by the number of players tied. For example, with a three-way tie for second place, each tying player's factor would be (20+13+9)/3 = 14.

Master Point Calculation Formula
Master points are awarded to tournament winners using the following formula:

Master Point Award = (DF) x (DA) x (“Standardized” Points Earned / Total “Standardized” Points Awarded)



It is not easy to become the American Backgammon Tour Player of the Year. A combination of skill and supportive attendance in ABT events is required. Look for regularly-updated ABT standings in major backgammon newsletters across the United States and at this internet website.

Because there is no participation fee, there is no prize money. However, high quality trophies will be awarded to the top three finishers of the year and solid silver dollar coin mementos will be awarded to the 1st through 20th place finishers.