Grades, Ratings, Rankings

It is hoped this article will shed the light of understanding about Grades, Ratings, and Rankings.

Before we start - as explained more fully on the NZ Bridge website, masterpoints are awarded for success in any club session played. There are three types of masterpoints, A, B and C points. The top placed pair on club nights are always awarded 40 "C" points each, with lesser placings earning a lesser number of C points on a sliding scale that depends on the number of tables in play. 100 C points aggregate to make one "B" point.

B points and C points are also awarded for success at tournaments. For instance the winners of a 3B Junior tournament are awarded 3 B points each - equivalent to 300 C points. The lesser places are awarded a number of B and C points on a sliding scale.

"A" points are tougher to earn. They are only awarded at Open or Multigrade tournaments where you usually find yourself in competition with some formidable opponents. The winners of a 10A event get 10 A points with the lesser places also awarded a number of A points on a sliding scale.


There are just three grades of player (for tournament purposes): Open, Intermediate, and Junior.

Although anyone can attend an Open tournament, and Juniors can attend Intermediate tournaments, Open players cannot attend Intermediate or Junior tournaments, and Intermediates cannot attend Junior tournaments.

Open: Any player with 100 or more A+B points including at least 50 A Points (i.e. Provincial Master or higher rank - see Master Points Rankings below).

Intermediate: Any player with (a) 5 or more A points, or (b) more than 30 Rating Points, or (c) 50 or more A+B points (Local Master).

Junior: Any player with less than 30 Rating Points and less than 5 A points, and less than 50 A+B points.

A player with less than 5 A+B points is classed as 'Novice'.

Every new player starts their bridge life with the tournament grade of Junior.

Rating Points and how your Grade is calculated:

At the end of each year, New Zealand Bridge processes all the A, B and C points earned by every player in New Zealand for the season just passed to work out the new tournament grades for the following year. As you can see above, Grades depend on A points, aggregated A and B points, and Ratings points. Ratings Points are based on previous history and are calculated from the sum of A and B points earned. The previous year's rating is depreciated by 20% before adding in the sum of A and B points earned in the season just passed. Ratings, and hence Grades, are re-calculated every year and hold for one whole season.

It is possible to slip back a grade after a poor season or a break from bridge but there are barriers that will stop you doing so. Five A points mean you can never be a Junior again, and 50 A points will stop you ever going back to Intermediate. Go to NZ Bridge/Masterpoints site if you would like a fuller explanation.


A certificate is awarded by New Zealand Bridge to mark your success each time you achieve a new rank at bridge.

Just as in the army, there are different ranks of players. Everyone begins as unranked - Boot Camp, in effect. After that it's a one-way street of promotions based simply on the non-depreciated total of A and B points earned. The first step is achieving your Certificate of Proficiency for which you need an aggregate of 5 B points (equivalent to 500 C points). When you accumulate 20 B points (= 2000 C points) you become a Club Master and then a Local Master at 50 B points (= 5000 C points). Above this grade there are minimum A point requirements. Until you earn 50 A points, Local Master is the rank at which you will remain. But for every 50 additional A and B points earned, you will be awarded a "star". A star indicates you have reached the level of A+B points to be promoted to the next rank but do not have the minimum required number of A points.

There are twelve ranks accorded to holders of Masterpoints. The Ranking is based on the Sum of A & B Points earned (100 C points = 1 B Point)

  • Unranked
  • Certificate of Proficiency 5 (A+B points)
  • Club Master 20
  • Local Master 50
  • Provincial Master 100 (including at least 50 A Points)
  • Master 200 (including at least 100 A Points)
  • National Master 350 (including at least 175 A Points)
  • Life Master 500 (including at least 250 A Points)
  • Grand Master 1000 (including at least 500 A Points)
  • Silver Grand Master 2500 (including at least 1250 A Points)
  • Gold Grand Master 4000 (including at least 2500 A Points)
  • Emerald Grand master 8000 (including at lease 6000 A points)
  • Platinum Grand Master 10000 (including at least 7500 A points)

Each quarter, the top 10 male and female players for each rank across the whole of New Zealand is calculated and published in the Rankings Report on NZ Bridge/Masterpoints site