Categories: A to Z
The team game is very different tactically to the individual game, and it is rare that an international Grandmaster will play for his or her national side, or vice versa. Most teams designate players for attack (Setters and Runners - those who try to achieve the win) and defence (Backs - who prevent the opposing team from winning), although in the context of the game this system is flexible, and sometimes a team will designate a player to perform a specialist role such as Spooner. The best teams dominate through expert teamwork rather than individual flair, to the extent that many teams, such as the English side of the 1961 World Championships, won comfortably despite its members average individual world ranking of just 162. In the same event the Germans, a side including the World Grandmaster champion, number two and number four, went out in the first round to Bolivia.
The English, in fact, have been a dominating force throughout the history of the game, winning the bi-annual World Championships 42 times out of 59 (including the last 11 events). However, many other nations, particularly several African nations such as Egypt and the Sudan, are rapidly emerging as a powerful force. There are also many thriving domestic leagues, the most high-profile of which is the English National Championship. This features the famous Camden Mornington Crescent Club, without doubt the finest team in the world.