|Code of Ethics of the US Chess Federation (US Chess)|
CODE OF ETHICS OF THE US CHESS FEDERATION (US Chess)
PURPOSE AND SCOPE
(A) members of US Chess, that occur in connection with tournaments or other activities sponsored by or sanctioned by US Chess; and (B) individuals and entities acting in an official capacity as officers or representatives of US Chess. This code shall not apply to actions or behavior by employees of US Chess acting in the scope of their duties. Such actions fall instead under the province of the Executive Board.
4. Each member of US Chess and each participant in a US Chess activity shall be bound by this code of ethics.
THE US CHESS ETHICS COMMITTEE
5. The US Chess Ethics Committee is appointed in accordance with procedures consistent with the bylaws of US Chess. The committee exists to consider allegations of unethical conduct at or in connection with events sanctioned by US Chess, and allegations of unethical conduct involving US Chess and its activities, in accordance with the standards and procedures contained in this code. The committee will exercise all other duties as may be assigned by the Bylaws or by action of the US Chess Board of Delegates.
STANDARDS OF CONDUCT
6. The actions and behavior of players, tournament directors, sponsors, and other individuals and entities participating in US Chess activities, or in events sponsored by or sanctioned by US Chess, shall be lawful and in accordance with all US Chess rules and regulations, and consistent with the principles of fair play, good sportsmanship, honesty, and respect for the rights of others. The following is a list of examples of actions and behavior that are considered unethical. The list is not intended to be exhaustive, and any action or behavior that is unlawful or violates US Chess rules and regulations, or is inconsistent with the principles of fair play, good sportsmanship, honesty, and respect for the rights of others, may be considered to fall within the scope of this code of ethics.
(a) Intentional violations of tournament regulations, or of any other regulations pertaining to USCF activities and goals, particularly after being warned.
7. Any US Chess member may initiate procedures under this code of ethics by filing a complaint in a timely manner with the US Chess Ethics Committee. A good-faith deposit must be submitted by the complainant. The amount of the deposit shall be set by the US Chess Executive Director, who shall review it from time to time in consultation with the Ethics Committee. The deposit shall be returned unless the Committee rules that the case is frivolous. The Committee may determine whether to return the deposit even before it determines jurisdictional and merit questions. The Committee may also, by a two-thirds vote, accept complaints submitted without the deposit. Complaints submitted by a US Chess employee as a result of actions related to official US Chess activities shall not require the payment of the deposit.
In the case of any accusation that does not fall clearly under the Standards of Conduct above, the Ethics Committee shall have the authority to decide whether the alleged conduct is within the scope of the code of ethics. In the case of each alleged violation that is within the scope of the code of ethics, the following steps shall occur in a timely manner:
(a) A factual inquiry shall be made by the Ethics Committee, assisted as necessary by the US Chess staff. Previous findings of the Ethics Committee or other US Chess entities may be included among the evidence considered by the Ethics Committee, if relevant to the circumstances of the present case. As a part of such an inquiry, any person accused of unethical conduct shall have the right to examine the evidence against him or her, the right to respond to the accusation, and the right to produce written evidence in his or her behalf.
(b) When issuing a decision, the Ethics Committee will provide a rationale for its decision to the parties involved and to the Executive Board.
(c) Appropriate sanctions, if any, shall be recommended to the Executive Board by the Ethics Committee. In recommending sanctions, the Ethics Committee may consider any previous ruling or finding of the Ethics Committee, or other US Chess entity, pertaining to the past conduct of the person being sanctioned. In recommending sanctions, the person being recommended for sanctions must be informed of this fact. Any person against whom sanctions have been recommended shall be promptly notified. If appeals are filed, the Ethics Committee shall be promptly notified.
(g) If any member of the Ethics Committee or of the US Chess Executive Board has a conflict of interest of any kind that might preclude objective participation in the consideration of any case, that person may not act in the capacity of a committee or board member on the case.
8. The following are some of the sanctions that may be imposed as a result of the procedures specified above. In unusual cases, other appropriate sanctions may be imposed, or these sanctions may be varied or combined.
(b) Censure. A determination that a member has committed a serious offense warranting discipline becomes a matter of record, but no further sanction is imposed at the time. Censure automatically carries a probation of at least one year, or longer if so specified. If the member is judged guilty of another offense during the probationary period, he or she is then liable to further sanctions for both offenses.
(d) Suspension. Suspension is a determination
that the member has committed an offense warranting abrogation, for a specified
period of time, of all membership rights and privileges.
(e) Expulsion. Expulsion is a determination that
a member has committed an offense warranting permanent abrogation of all
membership rights and privileges. An expelled member may be readmitted to
membership only by the US Chess Executive Board or by the US Chess Board of
(f) Exclusion from events. This is a more selective determination that a member has committed an offense warranting abrogation of the right to participate in certain specified events or activities.
Implementation and modification history: the previous Code of Ethics was replaced in its entirety with the above Code by DM 97-16/ADM 97-24 and passed as amended at the 1997 Annual Meeting. This Code of Ethics was further amended by DM 98-71/ADM 98-80 and the amendments were passed at the 1998 Annual Meeting. This Code of Ethics was further amended by DM 99-75/NDM 99-68 and the amendments were passed at the 1999 Annual Meeting. This Code of Ethics was further amended by DM 04-22/ADM 04-16, DM 04-23/ADM 04-17 and DM 04-25/ ADM 04-19 and the amendments were passed at the 2004 Annual Meeting. This Code of Ethics was further amended by DM 15-20/NDM 15-05 and the amendments were passed at the 2015 Annual meeting. This Code of Ethics was further amended by DM16-31/ADM 16-32, DM 16-51/ADM 16-49, DM 16-52/ADM 16-50, DM 16-53/ADM 16-51, DM 16-54/ADM 16-52, DM 16-59/ADM 16-58 and the amendments were passed at the 2016 Annual Meeting. This Code of Ethics was further amended by DM 17-32/NM 17-02, DM 17-43/ADM 17-36, DM 17-44/ADM 17-37 and the amendments were passed at the 2017 Annual Meeting. This Code of Ethics was further amended by DM 18-__ (TBD)/ADM 18-17 and the amendments were passed at the 2018 Annual Meeting.