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 and 2017's champion was Rob Foster. Impressively.
Rated events in 2017 were hosted in Lincoln, Bristol, Manchester, Leeds, London, Kings Lynn, Waterford, Bournemouth, Milton Keynes, Huddersfield, and Dublin. All events are hosted on a Saturday, with the exception of the 'hangover' event, held on the Sunday in Lincoln as secondary events.
New Events in 2018 are in Newcastle, Cambridge, and Blackpool.
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 76 semi-finalist Jeff Clayton, organiser of several different tournaments. The previous chairmen were Zarte Siempre 2016 and Mark Murray 2017
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 2018 calendar
- Countdown in Lincoln 2018 and The Hangover on January 27th/28th
- Countdown in Bristol 2018 on February 24th
- Countdown in Newcastle 2018 on March 24th NEW EVENT
- Countdown in Leeds 2018 on April 21st
- Countdown in London 2018 on May 12th
- Countdown in Waterford 2018 on June 2nd
- Countdown in Cambridge 2018 on June 16th NEW EVENT
- Countdown in Manchester 2018 on July 14th
- Countdown in Milton Keynes 2018 on August 4th
- Countdown in Bournemouth 2018 on August 18th
- Countdown in Huddersfield 2018 on September 8th
- Countdown in Dublin 2018 on September 29th
- Countdown in Blackpool 2018 on October 13th NEW EVENT
- The FOCAL Finals/Countdown in Birmingham 2018 on November 24th