FOCAL is the voluntary organisation responsible for organising the vast majority of unofficial Countdown tournaments since 2016. The organisation's name is an acronym for Finals Of the Co-event Annual League. Perhaps coincidentally, "focal" also means "word" in the Irish language.
Players play in events across the British Isles throughout the year, with the top 8 highest ranked players at the end of the year receiving free entry into the finals event in Birmingham, held alongside a normal tournament that is open to everyone. 2016's FOCAL Champion was Series 66 champion Jack Worsley. Impressively, Worsley topped the standings going into the Finals despite having played a tournament less than the six players below him.
Rated events in 2016 were hosted in Lincoln, Bristol, Leeds, King's Lynn, St Albans, Nottingham, Milton Keynes, Dublin, Huddersfield and Glasgow. All events are hosted on a Saturday, with the exception of two 'hangover' events, held on the Sundays in Lincoln and Glasgow as secondary events.
The organisation was the brainchild of Series 69 contestant and .co.mk organiser Zarte Siempre in mid-2015. The team is currently chaired by Series 70 champion Mark Murray, organiser of the 2015 and 2016 Countdown in Bristol tournaments.
Full standings for the year, details about events, a FAQs section for newcomers, and pictures from previous tournaments can be found at the FOCAL website .
Events on the 2017 calendar
- Countdown in Lincoln 2017 and The Hangover on January 28th/29th
- Countdown in Bristol 2017 on February 18th
- Countdown in Manchester 2017 on March 11th NEW EVENT
- Countdown in Leeds 2017 on April 1st
- CoLon 2017 on May 6th NEW EVENT
- Countdown in King's Lynn 2017 on May 27th
- Countdown in Waterford 2017 on June 17th NEW EVENT
- Countdown in Bournemouth 2017 on July 29th NEW EVENT
- Countdown in Milton Keynes 2017 on August 12th
- Countdown in Huddersfield 2017 on October 7th
- Countdown in Dublin 2017 on October 21st
- Countdown in Glasgow 2017 and CoGlasgowOnThen on November 4th/5th
- The FOCAL Finals/Countdown in Birmingham 2017 on December 2nd