Friday, 10 July 2015

New League Management System goes live

Today we're going live with the new League Management System, which has received a large overhaul from the previous version. It incorporates a lot of suggestions we've received over the last few years and should be much nicer to use. To get there you must use the new My EBU, which is the updated version of the Members Area. Log in to there with your usual username and password and you'll find the Leagues section under Utilities. Much of the functionality should be familiar, with a new presentation, so we hope it will be intuitive and self-explanatory for users of the old LMS. This post will go through a few of the changes, and in the next few weeks we'll release some more detailed notes for users new to the system. The changes are listed below.

1. You can now have more than one captain of a team. Captains have all the usual powers to submit scores, add players and remove players but only the league organiser can add and remove captains.

2. League organisers can now set up triple and quadruple round-robins.

3. Adjustments/penalties can now be applied to a team as a whole, not just to a specific match. Click the edit icon (the pencil and paper one) by the team name to find this. 4. League titles are now split between the title bit and the date bit, to make it easier to group similar leagues together in the results pages. See the image above. While transferring the data from the old system, I tried to split the titles where possible, but league organisers may want to check their settings to make sure that it's all correct. I suggest you use the format above e.g. "2014-15" with a hyphen, to keep things consistent. You will find this setting by clicking the edit icon by the appropriate league in the list of leagues. The division title can be changed in the individual division page.

5. You will also see three new options in the screenshot above. Show match line-ups in public results means that the public results pages show who played in each match (by clicking on the match result in the grid). We think this is a nice feature and so encourage league organisers to check this box, but realise that some will want to keep this private so have disabled it by default.

6. You can now prevent the registration of players in more than one team, either for just that one division or for the entire league. This won't retrospectively remove players already registered in more than one team - just prevent further registrations.

7. You can now clear a match of a result if you made a mistake and edited the wrong one, so no longer have to mess about setting scores to 0-0.

8. The masterpoint settings for a league can now be entered at any time - not just during finalisation. You'll find these by clicking on the edit icon by the division title in the division page.

We've transferred over all the leagues from the old LMS to the new LMS, but there are some in there which were just test leagues and still need to be deleted. We'll be doing this as soon as we can, but if you notice any still there after a couple of weeks just let us know and we'll get rid of it.

I hope you find the changes are an improvement and, as always, if you have any questions/problems just contact me or leave a comment.

Thursday, 25 June 2015

Beta release of My EBU

Today we're pleased to release a sneak preview of our new members area, now renamed My EBU. It's not finished and there are still some missing features, but we wanted to share some of the new things with everyone, particular those involving the NGS. This blog post will go through a few of the details.


The first thing you'll notice is that My EBU looks quite different from the old Members Area. We're using more modern tools to develop and style things, and it should hopefully function well on phones and tablets too. Navigation is done through the menu along the top of the page or, if you're on a narrow screen, through the hamburger icon in the top right. Clicking on a menu item will show that page in the main window, or drop down some more options.


The sessions list now shows your partner's name, to help you remember which event it is, and it fixes a few issues we had with the scores from Swiss Pairs and some teams events. You can also click on the NGS par score (the +/- value) to see how many boards were played and, in the case of a teams event, what your pair scored. Clicking on the session name will bring up the results, along with the NGS changes of every pair. One big change in the results page is that for a teams event you can now click on "Show Pairs" in order to see the ranking for the pairs (usually scored by Cross-IMPs), and how their grade changed. Finally, there's now a facility to filter the sessions list which makes it much easier to find that session you're looking for. Just type in the name of the club, or your partner, or even the session ID if you know it, and the list will show only the sessions that match the criteria.


The NGS information page has also gained a lot of new information. The graph has been spruced up (try dragging your mouse over it to zoom in) and the partnership list now shows your partner's grade, to save you having to look it up in the public area. The Latest Updates table should also help answer a lot of queries we get about how your grade is changing. It could previously get a bit confusing if sessions were deleted, or rescored, or if old sessions started getting expired from three years ago. This line-by-line breakdown of what's been happening should hopefully clear up a lot of these things.


A few things have moved around a bit. The electronic version of the magazine now comes under the Magazines menu and if you're looking for your account balance with the EBU, you can find this under Credit History in the Accounts menu. Oh, and if you want to log out, you can find this under the Account menu at the far right.


For club/county administrators, things have been similarly revamped, including the same much-improved sessions list. One notable new feature is Absent Members which you can find under the Reports menu. We often get clubs asking us for better ways to manage their membership list and cull lapsed members and this should provide a good way to track them down. Clubs can also now see their balance with the EBU, in the Credit History page via the Accounts menu.


The League Management System that many clubs and counties use has been totally overhauled to work with the new My EBU, and we'll be making this available very soon, once we've transferred the data across.

All feedback welcome

As I said, this isn't a finished product yet and you will notice some key things missing, but these will be added in the next few months. With this "beta" release we wanted to get it out there for some member feedback, so if you find anything broken or behaving peculiarly then drop us a message or leave a comment and we'll take a look. If things do go wrong, just go back to the old Members Area which will stick around until everything has moved across.

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Internet Explorer and Poodles

A few members have contacted us this week, unable to log in to the Members Area (and a few other pages) and we now realise what is causing this problem. Many thanks to a thoughtful member who contacted us with some helpful clues.

Last week Google announced that there was a vulnerability called "Poodle" in the SSL 3.0 protocol for secure web pages and recommended disabling this outdated method, which we dutifully did. However, we hadn't realised that some older versions of Internet Explorer do not use the slightly newer, more secure, TLS method and therefore stopped working when trying to visit our secure pages.

If you've run into this problem it's easy to fix. Open up Internet Options (from the Tools menu or settings button, depending on your set up), go to the Advanced tab and scroll down to the Security section. See the screenshot below:

You should have one of the TLS methods checked and it might be a good idea to uncheck SSL 3.0 too.

Disclaimer: The EBU are not IT security experts. We hope this advice is useful to members who are having problems with Internet Explorer but take no responsibility for any problems that may result.

Friday, 13 June 2014

Bridge-based World Cup Predictions

Ahead of the World Cup pundits are looking at recent matches between the teams, and trying to decide if they give a key to how the tournament will pan out. Does Brazil’s 3-0 win over Spain last year, for example, give a clue as to how the results will unfold. 

But are the pundits being too short-sighted by limiting their analysis to just football results? Can you predict the World Cup scores by looking at recent bridge matches between the countries?

Each day this blog will look at a recent bridge match between two nations who are playing that day, and work out a prediction for the World Cup fixture.

Friday 20th June

After the failure of recent predictions it is perhaps time to concede defeat, and turn attentions to events in Croatia at the European Championships. Let's hope bridge results continue to have no relation to football results and all the England teams can actually do well...

For those still wanting a prediction, I can recommend Dillon the Armadillo - he's been on a roll recently.

Thursday 19th June
England v Uruguay

Suarez and co. should be concerned, because in Sao Paulo in 2009 the England Seniors gave their Uruguayan counterparts a thumping, Firstly Hackett capitalised on some cautious Uruguayan play, and then some good defending allowed Hackett to net another. Uruguay pushed to get back into the match, but left themselves exposed as England grabbed a third, and with the match beyond them they took their foot off the gas allowing Harper to score another for the Three Lions.

Bridge Result: England 67 - Uruguay 6

World Cup Prediction: England 4 - Uruguay 0

Wednesday 18th June
Chile v Spain

Chile and Spain played at the World Olympiad in Lille in 2012, with the Spanish eventually winning convincingly. Spain started well, with Wasik twice being rewarded for his side's adventurous approach. The Chileans leveled things up before half-time however, with Caracci, twice benefiting from attacking play. This approach backfired in the second half, however, with Spain twice scoring on the counter attack.

Bridge Result: Chile 26 - Spain 58

World Cup Prediction: Chile 2 - Spain 4

Outcome: Chile 2 - Spain 0. Well, it was half right, just a shame about Spain's contribution.

Tuesday 17th June
Mexico v Brazil

The sides met at the Bermuda Bowl in Sao Paulo in 2009, and on home soil the Brazilians won 3-1. Brazil netted twice in the first half, once after a big error by Mexicans, the other after some bold attacking play by the Brazilians. Mexico pulled one back on the stroke of half-time after misjudgements in both attack and defence by Brazil, but they failed to make further inroads and Brazil finished them off on the stroke of full time.

Bridge Result: Mexico 22 - Brazil 56

World Cup Prediction: Mexico 1 - Brazil 3

Outcome: Mexico 0 - Brazil 0.

Monday 16th June
Unfortunately there are no recent bridge matches on a world stage on which to base predictions for today's matches. Germany and Portugal have been in different groups stages at World Olympiads, and Portugal haven't qualified for recent Bermuda Bowls. They did play in the European Championships in 2012, but that finished in the equivalent of a 5-1 win for Germany, and that would be a foolish prediction as results like that, between two powers of European football, never happen at the World Cup...    

Outcome: Turns out the bridge results are a good indication, as Germany won by four goals after all.

Saturday 14th June
England v Italy

The two nations played in the fourth match of the Bermuda Bowl in Bali in 2013. Italy won and went on to win the whole competition, with England bowing out at the quarter final stage. An omen for the World Cup?

The two teams traded blows throughout a frenetic first half, including an audacious effort from David Gold, and it was 2-2 at the break. The match was much tighter in the second half, but Italy bagged the winner midway the period. Mickie 'Motson' Melanderr was reporting from pitchside and you can read his summary here.

Bridge Result: England 32 - Italy 43

World Cup Prediction: England 2 - Italy 3

Outcome: England 1 - Italy 2. Obviously bridge players are better at taking chances than football players.

Friday 13th June
Spain v Netherlands

The last meeting between the two countries was in the World Olympiad in Lille in 2012. Spain started well but the Dutch struck the first blow midway through the first half, when Van Prooijen neatly found his way through the Spanish defense. A relative stalemate followed, before Spain scored twice in quick succession midway through the second half. Firstly Lantaron and Goded dealt admirably with the long ball tactics employed by the Dutch to level things up, and then Goded added a second immediately after. The Netherlands had chances as the match continued, but the Spanish held on to win.

Bridge Result: Spain 34imps – Netherlands 21imps

World Cup Prediction: Spain 2 – Netherlands 1

Outcome: Spain 1 - Netherlands 5. I don't think anyone in the world predicted that outcome, so maybe the bridge tea leaves can be excused.

Thursday 12th June
Brazil v Croatia

The two sides met in Shanghai in the Venice Cup in 2007, but unlike in Sao Paulo, this wasn’t the opening fixture of the competition. It was the penultimate match, and only time will tell whether the fatigue the teams were undoubtedly feeling will be more or less important than the opening match nerves and rustiness likely to be seen in the Arena de Sao Paulo.

Brazil scored twice in quick succession in the opening quarter of the match. First Pacheco and Pain combined to put Brazil in front, then a defensive error from the Croatian duo of Petrovic and Muller allowed De Mello to sneak in another. Croatia came back into the game as the half ended, but failed to make an impression on the Brazilian lead. In the second half both teams had a few half-chances but neither could take advantage, until in the final moments when Croatia pushed too much trying to get back into the match, and Brazil collected a third.

Bridge Result: Brazil 49imps – Croatia 12imps

World Cup Prediction: Brazil 3 – Croatia 0

Outcome: Brazil 3 - Croatia 1. Foiled by an own-goal. I'm not certain what the equivalent of an own-goal is in bridge. A revoke which means a contract makes, perhaps?

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

League Management System Update

The League Management System has been running successfully for about a year now and many organisers will be about to launch into a new season so today we released some updates which should hopefully simplify this process a little.

It was hoped that we'd be able to handle the full promotion and relegation of teams, but unfortunately this proved a little too complex, with a myriad of different scenarios - split divisions, withdrawn teams, incomplete leagues - to cater for. So you'll have to handle this yourself, but we've tried to make it easy.

To advance your league to a new season, follow these steps.

1. Copy the league

The first step is to make an exact copy of the league. Select any division from the league (doesn't matter which) and you'll see a new copy icon, as in the image below.

If you click this button and confirm that you want to proceed, you'll be given another league. This league will have the same division names, the same team names, the same captains and the same players. It won't copy the match data.

You may wish to rename the divisions if you want to add a reference to the year. We do intend to implement a way of archiving old leagues that have been completed.

2. Put the teams in the right place

If you have promotion/relegation in your league the teams will now be in the wrong division and you'll need to sort that out. To do so, select the team you want to move and you'll find three new buttons.

The red cross will delete the team (maybe a team has withdrawn or you're resizing your league). The thumbs up will promote the team to the next highest (lower numbered) division and the thumbs down will relegate them to the next lowest (higher numbered) division. It's important to note that for leagues with unusual division configurations e.g. a "Division 2 North" and a "Division 2 South" you might need to promote a team more than once to get it into the right place. If you make a mistake or misclick just go to the place where the team has just moved and move them back in the other direction.

You can also add new teams just like before.

3. Create matches

This is the same as before. When you're happy that all the divisions have the correct teams you may go ahead and create the matches by pressing the 'Create League Matches' button. Important: once you've done this you cannot add new teams, delete teams or promote/relegate teams.

And then you're good to go. You can, as always, still change team names, team captains and add or remove players. And that should be all. As always, if you have any questions please email or leave a comment.

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

EBU Discussion Group

We have set up a Brighton Discussion Group, so you can find a bridge partner; provide tips on where to park or stay; recommend your favourite restaurant; or tell everyone about your favourite Brighton event. Join us below and please help other players enjoy Brighton as much as they can.

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

New League Management System

Today we're pleased to announce that the new League Management System is live and available for all clubs, counties and districts to use. We hope that this will greatly simplify the administration of league events, including dealing with team personnel, master points and pay-to-play charges. Some organisers already have very good systems in place to do this so we're not forcing anybody to switch, but we hope this service will be of some value.

The LMS works within our online members area, so you'll need a user name and password in order to use it. Clubs and counties have this already (if you don't, please check with the treasurer or scorer). What used to be called Districts, i.e. entities which run leagues but which are not affiliated clubs or counties, will need to request a user name and password from the EBU.

Once you're logged in you should now see an additional 'Leagues' tab in your members area. If you don't see it then you may still be looking at the old version of our members area and will need to clear your browser cache.

To create a new league, click the green plus icon and you'll be presented with some options.

Enter the league title, the number of divisions in the league and the promotion/relegation criteria and then click 'Submit'. Wait a few seconds and you should see something like this:

With the league set up, we now have to look at the individual divisions. To manage a division of a league, click on the line you're interested in. In this case, we'll click on Example League Division 1, which gets us here:

There are no teams in the league yet, so click on the green plus icon to add one:

Enter the team name and the captain's EBU number. You can also optionally enter a suffix, for example in a club league you could have Aylesbury A and Aylesbury B - 'A' and 'B' are the suffixes. Let's add some more:

When you're finished adding teams to the division, it's time to create some matches.

Important: make sure you've added all the teams before you create the matches. Once the matches are created you won't be able to add more teams.

Clicking the 'Create League Matches' button asks you if it's a single- or double- round robin i.e. if each team plays each other team once or twice. Submit your preference, wait a few seconds and the matches will be ready.

In an ideal world this is where the league administrator's involvement ends, at least until the end of the season. The team captains that you have designated are now able to log into their own Members Area to update their team information and submit match results. Of course, some captains will be either unable or unwilling to do this so there may be a need for some further intervention. The rest of our instructions are from a team captain's point of view, but the functionality is identical for the league administrator.

When a player logs on to their Members Area they'll see a button on the right-hand side if they're a part of any league:

Clicking this will bring up a table like this:

This shows the team name, the league it's a part of, whether or not you're the captain of the team and finally a shortcut to the league results table. If you're the captain you can click on the line to bring up some information about your team.

Under 'Player Roster' you can see the list of all the players registered for this team. You have been included by default, but if you're of the non-playing variety of captain you can remove yourself by clicking the small cross by your name. Under 'Matches' you can see a list of all the matches for this team for the season.

To add a player to the roster, click the green plus icon.

To amend the details of a match, click the appropriate line in the match list:

Enter as much information as you can and then check the boxes of the players who played for your team. This isn't final - you'll be able to go back and correct any mistakes or add some data which you left out.

Both captains will be able to amend the match data, but the team lineups can only be entered or changed by the captain of that team - after all, they're the ones who should know best who played!

Once a few results are in the table might look like this:

We can now see how this will look in the public results table:

This gets updated as soon as the results are in and will reconfigure itself according to the new ranking. You can see the real version here.

I don't see a feature I need!

There are dozens of different sorts of leagues being run across the country and I'm sure there's something you do which we can't do. If so, please let us know. We should be able to deal with most peculiarities, although some might be more work than others.

What about teams-of-eight leagues?

We don't enforce any limits on the number of players per team and it will work the same way for teams of four/six/eight/twelve/thiry-one! At the end of the season you'll be charged based on the number of people that play in the matches, so it's important that you record this correctly after every match.

What about knockout events?

These are on their way and will be available as another type of event when you use the 'Create New League' function.

There's no way I'll be able to get my captains to use your Members Area!

That's a shame. You could just make them do it, or make them pass the captaincy onto someone who's willing. It's really not very difficult once you've used it once. If they're steadfast in their refusal, though, then don't worry - the league administrator has the same abilities as the team captains. In the teams list page (where you see the 'Create League Matches' button) you can click on the team in question and then you'll be able to amend their players list and match results just as if you were them.

I have a question that's not covered!

Sigh... Drop us a line and we'll see if we can help you!

Your new system is a load of rubbish!

Perhaps it is! Let us know about it, though, and we might be able to do something. We're always keen to get feedback on new features like this.