This document states the current policies of the BGA. Items in italics were approved by Council on 21st February 2010.
The policies stated in this document, and their application, are subject to the provisions of The Constitution of the British Go Association , which can be modified only by a 2/3 majority of those voting at a General Meeting of the BGA.
These policies are not intended to restrict our effective operation. The BGA Council reserves the right to revise them, or to depart from them in specific cases, where it judges it appropriate to do so, subject to the requirement to conform to the BGA Constitution .
Anybody wishing to propose a change to this document should either contact any member of the BGA Council, or raise their proposal for discussion on the bga-policy email list. (Note that this email list can be accessed only after joining the list and is open to BGA members only. BGA members can join the list through the bga-policy list subscription page .)
For this document and all documents it refers to, the version on the BGA web site is the official version.
This page describes how the BGA complies with the EQUALITIES ACT 2010 and the DISABILITY DISCRIMINATION ACT.
The BGA does not discriminate on the grounds of gender, age, race, religion, sexual orientation or any other criterion except as specifically outlined below. Membership of the BGA is open to all, and all members are entitled to enter its tournaments (subject to, in some cases, achieving a given qualification level).
The BGA does not obtain or keep information concerning members’ colour, race, religion or sexual orientation. It does obtain and keep information about age (if under 18) and gender, but only for the purposes outlined below.
The BGA does discriminate in the areas outlined below. In all cases the BGA considers that such discrimination is permitted under the Equalities Act, and passes the “proportionality” test.
These guidelines refer only to events specifically organised by the BGA.
The BGA offers reduced membership rates for students – see the Membership Page for details.
The BGA does discriminate on the basis of age in so far as it has reduced subscription rates for those under 18. It also runs some Junior (i.e. under 18) age-related events.
It is noted that the government Equalities Office have specifically included “intellectual games” in its list of activities where age discrimination is specifically permitted.
Religious Belief Discrimination
The BGA does not discriminate on the grounds of faith or religion. However, it may organise events at a date or time (for example on a Sunday or a Friday) when members of a particular faith may feel that taking part is incompatible with their faith.
British Championship Discrimination
The BGA organises the British Go Championship each year. The rules for qualification are based on ability and nationality, but there is no discrimination on the basis of gender, age, race, religion or sexual orientation.
The BGA is aware that women are significantly under-represented, both in terms of membership and participation, and believes that it should take proportionate steps to encourage female membership and participation. It does this by organising two types of event:
a) Women’s training days. These are training events specifically aimed at women. b) Pair Go Events. These are events which are open to teams of 2, who must be one male, one female (“Mixed Doubles”.)
It is noted that the BGA has not arranged a “women’s training day” in recent years.
Externally Influenced Discrimination
On occasion the BGA may be invited to send a representative to an event organised outside the UK where the Equalities Act does not apply, and where the qualification process involves discrimination. In such cases the BGA will consider each case on its merits before deciding whether or not to accept such an invitation. In general the BGA will accept such invitations where the discrimination is on the grounds of Gender, Age or Nationality, but not where the discrimination is on the grounds of Colour, Race or Religion.
Disability Discrimination Act
The BGA does not discriminate on the grounds of disability.
When the BGA runs events, these are generally held in public buildings and the BGA relies on the building owner to ensure that the requirements of the Disability Discrimination Act are met. Some events are held in private buildings, but these are normally events held by invitation only where the BGA ensures that the individual needs of each participant are met.
At its events the BGA provides standard equipment (tables, chairs, boards, stones, clocks, etc.). Where a participant requires specialised (non-standard) equipment the participant is expected to supply this equipment. The use of such specialised or non-standard equipment will not be permitted if it puts the individual at an unreasonable advantage over his opponent (or puts the opponent at an unreasonable disadvantage).
Where the participant requires personal assistance – for example to aid mobility - the participant is expected to arrange this and the BGA will co-operate (for example the BGA will not make an extra charge for such “helpers”).
Case Study: A player with motor deficiency. A participant is physically unable to place stones on the board. One solution is for the Player to provide a specialised Board marked with Cartesian coordinates so that he can specify the location of his moves (“B3”, “K12”, etc.). The player is also responsible for providing an assistant who will place the stones on the Board for him, and for pressing the clock. In many cases the player’s opponent will be willing to undertake this task, but they are not forced to: for example, it is unreasonable to expect the opponent to do this when in overtime or byoyomi.
Council will try to ensure that membership income covers the costs of providing member services plus the administrative costs of the association, and that tournament income covers the costs of supporting tournaments, proposing motions at the AGM when the measures necessary to do so exceed its powers.
Council will try to follow any indications given by donors as to the use of their donation. Where no indication has been given, Council may use such donations for any suitable purpose, but will prefer youth outreach, other outreach and player development in that order of priority.
Council deleted 14th July 2012: 2.3 Use of income from book and equipment sales
Council may use income from book and equipment sales for any appropriate purpose, but will prefer player development and then outreach in that order of priority.
Council will usually try to maintain the general reserve at between twice and three times the number of members multiplied by the full UK subscription rate. Council may allow the amount to fall below the target range in order to underwrite or subsidise occasional one-off high-value events such as European championship events, but will not do so on a regular or unsustainable basis.
Publicity is highly important to the success of the BGA and Council will encourage and give financial support to it. Expenditure on publicity is a sub-category of outreach expenditure.
Travel and administrative expenses incurred by Council members and committee chairs will be reimbursed on submission of an expense claim to the BGA Treasurer . Large expenditures such as long journeys and substantial assets should be pre-authorised by the BGA Treasurer , but this is not necessary for small items.
Car mileage will be reimbursed at HM Revenue and Customs approved mileage allowance payment rate for miles in excess of 10,000 (in December 2009: 25p per mile). Note: any expenses incurred by the BGA Treasurer can only be reimbursed with the approval of the BGA President.
Travel expenses for a volunteer to visit a club, society or educational facility to introduce Go should be recovered from the organisation receiving the visit or met by the volunteer doing the visit. However, Council may at its discretion allocate a small contingency budget annually to the BGA Youth Development Officer and/or the UK Go Challenge Organiser, which it will notify directly to them.
In exceptional circumstances the BGA will reimburse accommodation, meal and incidental expenses for volunteers undertaking teaching visits. These must be approved by the BGA Treasurer  in advance of the event and preferably by Council as a whole. See also 9.2 Dan Visits  and 9.3 Teaching Events .
The BGA will not normally pay a fee or honorarium to any volunteer, nor will it contract out for a fee any service for which a willing and competent volunteer is available. In exceptional circumstances it may do so, provided these are approved in advance by Council. See also 9. Player Development .
The annual accounts are produced to a professional standard suitable for showing to donors, sponsors, potential sponsors, and other friendly organisations.
Council will review its financial management procedures annually on receipt of the draft annual accounts, including as a minimum all matters recommended by the BGA auditor for such review.
The following is copied from BGA Policy on Working with Children and Young People . See this for more details, especially on Principles and Guidelines.
Another document gives the BGA's Policy and Procedures for checking criminal records .
The BGA Council interprets clause 9 of the BGA Constitution:
9. Each affiliated club shall nominate a club member as club secretary. His duties shall include acting as club contact.
to mean that a club applying for affiliation must have as secretary someone who is (a) a BGA member and (b) prepared to have contact details published by the BGA. For school and youth Go clubs, however, see the next paragraph.
A school or youth Go club can be affiliated to the BGA either by virtue of any one club member being a BGA member, or by taking out a schools membership of the BGA. In either case, the nominated club contact may be any suitable person (e.g. parent or teacher), whether a BGA member or not.
Up to 50Kb of web space is available to each BGA affiliated Go club that desires it. If you want your club to have its own page, just send the BGA webmaster an email containing the text (in HTML if you can manage it) and any graphics.
If you're happy to work with Drupal then you can edit your own page. Please contact the webmaster for more details.
You can also be in control of the information that the BGA displays on the Club List and the associated page via a simple editing process.
School and Youth Go Clubs may apply for assistance with start-up costs, to a maximum of 50% of the actual costs. A package of information, literature and small board equipment is available free of charge.
The BGA has some 19x19 boards and stones (12 sets as of September 2011) available for lending to clubs to help get them off the ground until they can purchase their own. If you need to borrow some of these to help start a new club, please contact the Equipment Coordinator to arrange it. Please note that collection and return will be your responsibility (it will often be possible to collect and return them at tournaments).
The official version of the rules for the British Go Championship, the British Pair Go Championship and the British Youth Championships is the BGA Championships Rules  page.
The BGA underwrites the costs of running the above championship events, including prizes, using sponsorship money when possible. Entry fees will be set at a realistic level.
The system of qualifying as BGA representative at various overseas championships is described in the BGA Championships Rules . The BGA web site holds Lists of past BGA representatives at international tournaments , and describes the entry criteria for each international tournament to which we send representatives.
The BGA will not normally pay the expenses of those representing us overseas.
British Championship events are run according to the rules defined in the BGA Championships Rules  page (see section 5 above).
The main event at the annual British Go Congress is the British Open Championship, which is run under the rules defined in the BGA Rules of Go.
The rules and conditions of tournaments not covered by sections 5, 6.1 and 6.2 are at the discretion of the tournament organiser.
Tournament organisers are asked to note that entrants may assume that:
unless stated otherwise on the entry form.
Further information and advice for tournament organisers is available in The BGA Organisers Handbook . This is currently under revision. There is some supplementary material in the Notes for tournament organisers  at the bottom of the list of forthcoming tournaments.
Tournaments supported and recognised by the BGA are encouraged to publicise and solicit BGA membership for players who are not existing BGA-members.
Council will endeavour not to make changes to the requirements for tournaments, e.g. the Levy, without prior consultation with tournament organisers and normally with at least 3 months advance notice of such a change. Council will normally use the bga-policy mailing list for such consultation, so tournament organisers are encouraged to sign up to this list.
The BGA Levy is a fee paid by tournaments to the BGA in exchange for use of the BGA tournament equipment (sets, clocks, laptop, software and mobile phone), public liability and loss/damage insurance, publicity (see section 6.6 ) and submission of results to the rating system. The tournament levy is not charged for youth events and is intended to approximately cover the costs associated with the provision of these facilities on an annual basis, including equipment replacement and travel costs.
There is no requirement for tournament organisers to relate entry charges to the levy charge. The levy is charged in the method below partly to
The BGA levies a daily charge based on the number of players in the main event of any tournament, in the following categories:
The current rates and submission form are here 
Note: These charges are reduced by 50% for any tournament not requiring the provision by the BGA of any equipment. For events longer than two days discounts are available - please contact the BGA Treasurer  to discuss details.
The BGA Treasurer has discretion to waive all or part of the levy in the event that the Tournament makes a financial loss.
Tournament organisers requesting a waiver of the levy should contact the BGA Treasurer . They should provide brief accounts for the tournament, and a justification for the proposed waiver. This should include an explanation of how any surplus would have been used, and a statement as to how the levy will be financed in the event that a waiver is not granted.
A waiver is likely to be granted in cases where the event is new, and where any loss would fall personally on the Organiser. Where the event is of regular standing a waiver is unlikely to be granted, as it is expected that the club organising the tournament would have sufficient reserves to cover the occasional loss.
The BGA underwrites the costs of running the British Congress. By approval of Council, the BGA may also underwrite the costs of other tournaments considered important to the BGA, for example Toyota Tour events such as the London Open.
Tournament organisers seeking an underwriting arrangement should contact the BGA Treasurer  at least 3 months in advance to discuss it. A draft budget will be required.
The BGA provides facilities for hosting tournament entry forms on the BGA web site. These facilities and many other recommendations are described in Publicising Go Tournaments .
The BGA Tournament Coordinator  maintains a calendar of tournaments and helps tournament organisers to identify free dates and to avoid clashing tournaments and reduced entries to tournaments in consecutive weeks. However, this help is advisory and the date of a tournament is ultimately at the discretion of the tournament organiser.
Books stalls are provided at tournaments at the discretion of the BGA Book Seller . (A BGA book stall is not usually provided at events where a local supplier is actually selling Go books and equipment, because we wish to encourage them to stock these).
The AGM approved the AGA-style rules with no opposition by the AGM on 5th April 2008. The statement of the Go rules used in BGA tournaments is found in Rules of Play . This document is inspired by the AGA's official statement of the rules  and the BGA'S interpretation  of those rules.
Tournament organisers can get an easy to digest statement of the rules in the AGA Summary  to print out for display.
Players can get a crib sheet showing guidance in playing by AGA-style rules from Short Guide .
BGA referees should refer to Rules of Play  for the definitive statement of BGA tournament rules of play.
The BGA is asked to nominate official representatives for various international tournaments . In general we operate a points system to help Council decide who should be nominated. When such a system is in operation Council will normally nominate the person with the highest number of accumulated points, who has earned some points within the last 5 years and who is a BGA member. Players who attend the tournaments for which they are nominated will have their points reset to 0 after playing.
The main exception to this is the World Mind Sports Games  which for 2008 used the existing EGF ratings list as a selection mechanism. Without committing a future Council players should assume that if the WMSG is held again that the ratings list as displayed on our website will be used again.
Please note that these are guidelines which may be not be followed by Council in exceptional circumstances (for example, someone becoming British Champion for the first time).
All nominations will be subject to the rules for attendance at the respective events, e.g. some may be restricted to UK-born or UK-nationals.
For IGF-sponsored events representatives also need to abide by the IGF Code of Conduct, which can be seen on the IGF Members Documents page .
Points are awarded to players in the Challengers’ League and the British Championship Title Match as follows:
9 WAQ points
1st in Challengers’ League (if not champion)
8 WAQ points
2nd in Challengers’ League (if not champion)
7 WAQ points
3rd in Challengers’ League
6 WAQ points
4th in Challengers’ League
5 WAQ points
5th in Challengers’ League
4 WAQ points
6th in Challengers’ League
3 WAQ points
7th in Challengers’ League
2 WAQ points
8th in Challengers’ League
1 WAQ points
Except that: if there are players on an equal number of wins at the end of round seven of the Challengers’ League, then the points for those league places are shared equally between the league places concerned.
A player taking part in the World Amateur Go Championship has their points reset to zero and this happens before any points for that year are awarded.
Points are awarded to the eight highest-placed British players (by nationality or residence) in the British Open Championship. The winner receives 8 points, second 7 points, and so on down to 1 point for eighth. Points are shared between players who finish on the same McMahon score, with any fraction rounded to the nearest half integer (quarters rounded up).
If two or more players are tied on the same number of points, the tie-break is: first, priority is given to players who have been to the International Amateur Baduk Championship less recently; second, who played in the British Open more recently; third, who finished more highly placed in that British Open; fourth, nigiri.
Due to the long time since the last Womens World Amateur, Council decided to suspend this points system. The following has been retained for historic purposes:
This points system is used as a guide for selection of British representatives in international Women’s Amateur Go events, such as have been held in Japan and South Korea. Points will be awarded to women competing in the British Open. Points are given according to final ranking by McMahon score, with players tied by that score sharing the points assigned to the places. Up to eight players will be awarded points, with 8 points being given to the top player, 7 to the second player and so on with a decrement of one point each place.
Points will be awarded to individuals in a pair. A point is gained per person for each game won in the British Pair Go Championship.
Only teams that have played together will be considered.
Current pairings will be given preference. This is interpreted to mean that normally only pairs who have played together in one or both of the two most recent qualifying Pair Go tournaments may be nominated.
This is identical to the International Amateur Pair Go Qualification Points System.
The points systems described above may be used as guidelines when selecting representatives for other international events, as alternatives to the rankings from the most recent British Championships or the EGF ratings.
For more information about the Rating System we operate see the Rating System FAQ .
Many BGA tournaments are run on the McMahon system, which tries to pair players of equal strength. This relies on players entering the tournament at a realistic grade so that fair games between players can be achieved. Many European tournaments are also run on the McMahon system, so again we would like to ensure that our players perform satisfactorily in European events. Consequently the aim of the BGA ratings policy is:
It is recognised that not all players are able to play in every tournament and some players' published ratings may lag excessively behind their actual playing strength. To address this issue, the BGA policy regarding which games count towards rating points is as follows:
The policy is:
The BGA encourages on-line players to enter over-the-board tournaments. In order to establish a relation between on-line server grades and BGA strengths we will be setting up a system to collect information from players who play in tournaments as well as on-line. Until a meaningful correlation between server and BGA grades is established, the following guide will apply for an on-line player entering a BGA tournament for the very first time or after a long absence:
The BGA monitors the progress of BGA members' ratings  and awards official dan certificates when specified targets have been reached. Official dan certificates are never revoked, even if a player's rating subsequently falls.
Players with official dan certificates are entitled to enter tournaments at that grade, but are encouraged to enter them at a grade equal to the strength listed on the current version of the BGA ratings page , rounded to the nearest whole number. Anyone wanting to enter tournaments outside the range from their official certificate grade to their rounded strength should seek approval from the BGA Council before doing so.
We respect grades assigned by foreign Go organisations to those resident abroad.
In the first instance tournament directors are encouraged to be proactive in ensuring that their players are entering at realistic grades. The results of all BGA tournament are scrutinised and submitted to the EGF by the BGA ratings official. If anomalous entry grades are present in the results, submission of games to the EGF rating system may be delayed and the following procedure adopted:
It is very much hoped that players' entry grades are essentially self managed, and much information is provided to help players determine their entry grades. However, if any player wishes to complain about the published rating of either themselves or another player on the BGA rating list then the following procedure must be adopted:
In order to accommodate the varied ratings strategies in Europe, the BGA calibrates our strengths against the whole of the European database of players. This is achieved by means of a least squares fit (linear regression) of player's ratings versus grade. As at April 2010 this leads to the formula
This means that a nominal shodan (rating 2100) has a strength of 1.7d rather than 1.0d. It is for this reason that rating resets in the dan grades have to be very carefully controlled. The BGA will continue to monitor the rating/grades relationship to identify any action on our calibration procedure that may be required in the future.
The BGA introductory booklet, describing the background and rules of Go, and the BGA poster can be given free of charge to anyone desiring them other than for selling on. However, where a society or institution requires a large number of copies of the booklet and is able to pay for them, payment should be accepted at a rate of 35p per copy. The BGA will, at its own expense (subject to available funds), maintain a supply of the booklet and the poster and provide them to anybody wishing to use them in these ways.
Note: These items available on the Promotional material  page. These may be freely downloaded, copied and distributed.
Up to 50 EGCC starter sets (a carboard 9x9 board with printed cardboard stones, obtained from the European Go Cultural Centre) are available each year to assist schools starting Go clubs. They are allocated at the discretion of the BGA Youth Development Officer . They are no longer given free for other purposes, other than in very exceptional circumstances at the discretion of the BGA Council.
The BGA intended to pursue further large outreach projects, following and developing the model of the 2002 Hampshire Go project, as part of the GoZone programme.
The BGA will pay professional fees for Go presentations to beginners by a suitably qualified presenter approved by Council, provided that this is part of a planned outreach project and that the funds to do so are obtained from sponsors who agree to it and/or from revenue generated by other BGA outreach events. Professional fees will not be paid out of BGA funds nor for occasional teaching. Travel expenses will be paid to Go teachers according to the policy stated in Expenses for volunteer Go teachers .
The BGA President  maintains a list of media contacts, informs them of events that may be of interest to them and invites them to suitable functions. Chess journalists sometimes give coverage to other mind sports and are one group (not the only one) whom we cultivate in this way.
Council encourages the publication of both news stories and informative articles about Go both in the national media and in all levels of local media. While the present Council does not have manpower to carry out publicity projects of these kinds, we will be happy to allocate finances to support suitable projects initiated by BGA members. Anyone willing to undertake such projects and requiring funds or other help is requested to discuss them first with the BGA President .
Council intends to expand the amount of player development activity within the BGA, both in general and targeted to specific groups (for example, players of a given strength, women, youth ...). Financial and other help will be given to appropriate player development projects, and the same facilities are available for them as are given to tournaments (see 6.4 - 6.8 above). BGA members wanting to organise player development events or projects can contact the BGA Tournament Coordinator , the BGA National Trainer , the Chairman of the Player Development Committee , or any Council member.
The BGA normally pays 50% of the travel expenses of dan players visiting clubs to teach, on the basis that the club is expected to pay the other 50%. These default terms may be varied when appropriate. Club secretaries wishing to organise such visits are requested to contact the Chairman of the Player Development Committee  in advance to discuss the arrangements.
The BGA arranges a number of teaching events around the country. Participants are expected to make a contribution towards costs. Setting these costs will be the responsibility of the Chairman of the Player Development Committee, with benchmark fees for 2010 of ￡4 for a half-day, ￡7.50 for a full day. These rates will be doubled if the teacher is of professional strength. Any costs in excess of those contributed by the participants will be covered by the BGA. Clubs wishing to arrange such an event should contact the Chairman of the Player Development Committee  .
The BGA encourages its members to teach, coach and mentor other players.
The BGA operates a formal process of obtaining feedback from students in order to ensure teaching quality.
*The BGA runs a system of “accrediting” teachers. Participation in the accreditation scheme is voluntary, but may be beneficial to teachers seeking, for example, external financing.
*Accredited teachers must meet the following requirements:-
In addition teachers wishing to work with Young Persons must also
*Implementation of starred parts of the Policy is currently in progress and Members should check with the Council as to the current status of implementation.
The BGA is setting up a contract with an umbrella organisation to apply for CRB checks and registration with the ISA.
The BGA regards organisations supporting other Mind Sports as colleagues. We wish to continue cooperating with them in ways such as:
The editors of BGA publications (the Journal, the Newsletter, the web site and all promotional publications) will try to reflect that position.
Articles expressing an individual's personal preference for Go in a responsible way are welcome, but Council will support the editors of the above publications whenever they decide to edit out expressions of snobbery in comparison to other mind sports, and jokes that may give offence.
Mind Sports Olympiads present significant opportunities for outreach and for developing friendship and cooperation with other mind sports organisations. Council intends to continue participating in Mind Sports Olympiads and cooperating with their organisers.
If authors of articles published in the BGJ republish them on the internet, or authorise such republication, they are asked to include an acknowledgement of the original publication in the Journal.
A free copy of the BGJ is sent to BGA non-members who contribute articles accepted for publication.
These are defined in the Guidelines & Style Rules for Contributions to the British Go Journal .
The BGA considers that the purpose of a website is to convey information, rather than to show off the designer’s technical abilities.
The pages on this website are maintained by the Webmaster and his team.
The team endeavours to keep the information which they present up to date and as true as is possible, to the best of their knowledge.
However there is a large body of information here, and some of it may be mistaken. There are also no doubt numerous omissions of information which the webmaster has never received. If you notice any errors or omissions, please notify the webmaster, specifying the page which needs correcting. The team then will make the necessary changes.
If it ever happens that there is a dispute about the truth of a statement on these pages, the webmaster will refer this to the President and Council of the BGA, and will accept their decision.
These pages, particularly the ones giving product reviews, also express opinions. If you feel that an opinion on these pages is unfair, please write a page giving your own opinion, and either put it on your own website or send it to the webmaster to be hosted on the BGA site. The webmaster will place links to your page from the page with which you disagree.
The British Go Association is not responsible for the content of other websites, even if this site links to them.
Photographs in which individuals are identifiable should only be added to the site after the people pictured have been asked whether this is OK. We will not add identifiable photographs of of people under the age of 18 to this site.
Our policies are:
More details on other aspects of the BGA web site are defined on the About the BGA Web Site  page.
We accept advertising from commercial organisations as well as private individuals and non-profit organisations.
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Contact the Advertising Manager  to discuss your requirements further.
31st December 2009
Policy approved 22nd November 2009.
The BGA will provide official invitations to foreign Go-playing groups touring the UK only when they are
In 2009 Council considered whether the legal status of the BGA should be altered (currently it is an unincorporated association). After considering a Paper on this topic  Council decided NOT to propose any change at this time, but would keep the position under review.