Bournemouth 2017

FOCAL’s first tournament on the south coast will be held in picture perfect Bournemouth on Saturday 29th July.


Date: Saturday 29th July 2017
Venue: Hotel Celebrity, 47 Gervis Road, Bournemouth BH1 3DD (website; location)
Admission: £10 by PayPal (tea/coffee on arrival; not including lunch)
Doors open: 9am
Start time: 10am
Lunch break: 12:30pm
Presented by: Sean Fletcher and Jeff Clayton
Format: Classroom, big screen graphics
Games to be played: 6 + Grand Final
Finishes by: 6pm
Wheelchair accessible?: Yes ♿️

It will take place at Hotel Celebrity, ideally located within walking distance of Bournemouth rail station, coach station, seafront and town centre. As well as the option of accommodation here, there is a range of hotels and guesthouses located nearby along East Cliff, Christchurch Road and around the town centre.



How to play
This tournament will be played in the traditional classroom convention – in pairs, facing our big screen graphics.
Everybody in the room will get the chance to pick selections of letters and numbers during the course of the day.

We are introducing a new groups-of-four setup to decide who plays who in the heats, much like the early stages of the Euro and World Cup football competitions.

Assuming we get 32 entrants, players will be drawn at random into eight groups to play three heats matches. This means players will know at the start who they will be up against in the heats.

These will be 15-round matches, as per the current television format (10L 4N 1C).

And if you want to keep your brain busy between matches, Sean will be preparing a free celebrity-themed crossword for you to tackle!

At the end of the three heats, everyone goes into groups of eight for the quarter-finals, in order of number of wins, total points scored and +/- points difference. The winner from each heats group goes into Division A, the runner-up into Division B, third place into C and fourth place into D.

From here, everybody is seeded within their divisions to play a 10-round quarter-final (6L 3N 1C), 10-round semi-final and 14-round final (8L 4N 2C). This will be done in Swiss format, so everybody will get to play right until the end of the day.

The two finalists in Group A will sit out the mainstream final, to play the tournament’s showpiece Grand Final at 5pm. So if you don’t make the top two, why not recharge your glass, sit back and enjoy!

When does it start?
Doors open at 9am with free tea & coffee available on arrival, for a 10am kick-off.
We will break for lunch around 12:30, and conclude with the prizegiving by 6pm.

How much does it cost?
Admission costs just £10pp – this includes tea/coffee on arrival, but does not include lunch. The hotel offers its own lunch menu, and there is a choice of bars, coffee shops and sandwich shops in nearby Lansdowne (5-10 minute walk).

You can secure your place now!

– By PayPal ( – please ensure that you select the “family/friends” option, otherwise a transfer fee is deducted and the full amount payable will not come through.
– By phone (07595 690 249);
– By cheque (address available on request).

We have capacity for 32 contestants, and spectators are also welcome.

How do I get there?
Hotel Celebrity is in a prime central location, between the rail and coach stations, seafront and town centre, and near to the popular Lansdowne with a range of bars, clubs and restaurants.
– If you’re travelling by train, get off at Bournemouth station and the hotel is a 15 minute walk from the forecourt. Bournemouth is served directly from London Waterloo, Basingstoke, Southampton, Reading, Oxford, Birmingham and Manchester.
Keep an eye too on, as this offers big discounts on certain off-peak trains.
– Bournemouth coach station is next to the railway station, with National Express routes from London Victoria (035, hourly), Heathrow and Gatwick Airports (205/6), the Midlands and the North.
– We would recommend arriving into Bournemouth no later than 9:30am.
– If you want a local bus connection instead of the walk, Yellow Buses operates a network of routes through the railway station. You can catch any bus from stand 5 on the forecourt – ask the driver for a single to the Top of Bath Hill, which will cost you £1.60.
– If you’re coming by car, there is parking at the front of the hotel (which is free if you are staying over) and there is chargeable parking along Gervis Road.

Where to stay:
There are lots of hotels around central Bournemouth. The ones below are just some of those available within up to half an hour’s walk:
Hotel Celebrity.
Orchid Hotel, just across the road.
Heathlands Hotel, in nearby Grove Road.
Yenton Hotel, a short walk along Gervis Road.
Hallmark Hotel, East Cliff – directions (there are also two other Hallmarks in Bournemouth).
Travelodge, Christchurch Roaddirections.
Hampton by Hilton, Landmarc – directions.
Premier Inn, Poole Roaddirections.

If you want to stay at Hotel Celebrity, we recommend calling to enquire about booking direct (01202 316 316) – quote “Sean Fletcher event on 29th July”. Rates are bed & breakfast; you’ll also get 20% off bar prices, and a free drink with an evening meal.
You can also consider your options on the various hotel comparison websites and apps.

Before the tournament:
Hotel Celebrity will be hosting a comedy night on Friday 28th July. Tickets are £12pp in advance or £16pp on the door. More details available on

After the tournament:
Depending on popularity, we will announce:
– A post-tournament meal on the Saturday evening, and
– A Sunday morning outing on the open-top bus to Swanage, across the Sandbanks ferry and through glorious Studland. No need to book in advance.

If you need any help with planning your journey or your stay, you can email An indication of whether you would be interested in the Saturday evening meal or the Sunday morning excursion would also be useful.

We look forward to seeing you in Bournemouth this summer!