What is the USCF's TD/Affiliate Support Area?
It is a separate area of the USCF website that is designed to assist TDs and
USCF Affiliates with performing tasks associated with running USCF rated tournaments: memberships, rating reports, and Tournament Life Announcements (TLA's).
It is at https://secure2.uschess.org/TD_Affil.
TDs and USCF affiliates have separate sections within the TD/Affiliate
Support Area, because TDs and affiliates have different tasks and privileges.
What TD/A does for TDs
TDs can submit memberships entered online or create them offline in a batch file and upload them. The
specifications for the batch upload file format are available online.
TDs can also submit rating reports electronically, either by uploading
the three database files that most pairing programs create or by entering
the tournament and crosstable information online.
Rating reports submitted
online, once validated and paid for, will be rated right away, usually
within an hour (9AM - 11PM Central Time.)
The rating supplement files that are released every month are also
available for downloading from the TD/Affiliate Support Area, and TDs
(and affiliates) can order custom lists of USCF members, with ratings
and membership status information.
What TD/A does for USCF Affiliates
Affiliates can submit memberships and can update their official mailing
address as well as the information in their online club directory listing.
Affiliates can enter Tournament Life Announcements into the USCF's
online TLA Search Service.
How do I sign up?
The form for applying for a login ID for the USCF's TD/Affiliate Support
area is in the Members
How does it work?
TDs and affiliates wishing to use the TD/Affiliate Support area will be
issued login IDs. (The login ID for a TD is separate from the login ID
for an affiliate. If you are a TD who also has an affiliate, you will
need a login for yourself as a TD and another one for your affiliate.)
The login IDs will also be different than the member's or affiliate's
USCF ID and will use a more secure password than the PIN, since
the PIN is printed on the back of every member's copy of Chess Life.
USCF staff can reset a user's password but cannot tell you what your current
password is, so USCF staff will never ask you for your current password
either on the phone or via e-mail.
Any request for your current password should be treated with
suspicion and reported to the USCF.
Affiliates use their login IDs to enter memberships or TLA's and
to authorize TDs to submit memberships and rating reports on behalf
of that affiliate.
TDs and affiliates use their login IDs to create membership batches, have
them checked for validity (missing data, potential duplicate IDs, etc),
and submit them for processing. Once a validated membership batch is
submitted, it only takes a few minutes to process, and the TD and/or
affiliate will receive a confirmation via e-mail when the processing
is complete, and can even bring up a web page with temporary membership
cards that can be printed and handed out to your players.
TDs are able to upload rating reports using the three files created by
most pairing programs (know as the TA format, these are the same files TDs
have been sending to the USCF office on diskettes for years.)
Once uploaded, rating reports will go through a validation process, during
which the TD will be able to make changes to the crosstable information
before it is rated. When the event is error-free, it can be submitted
for rating and will usually be rated within an hour.
The technical specifications for a new XML based rating report file format will be
be released later this year or in early 2012.
Once the new specifications are out, the developers of pairing programs
will be able to release updates to their programs to enable those
programs to prepare ratings reports using either the enhanced dBase format
or one of the other new formats when they are released.
How will you handle payments for dues and rating fees?
TDs will still be able to send in a check to cover the memberships and fees,
as well as checks or credit card slips from members, just as they do today,
but those memberships will not be activated or those tournaments rated until after the payment has been received and processed at the USCF office.
TDs and affiliates have the option to input credit card information and
have the memberships or fees charged to their credit card (or to the
member's credit card) when the memberships are submitted for processing.
The advantage of online credit card payment is that those memberships
will be activated and those tournaments rated much sooner.
For example, most memberships being entered using the Join/Renew tab
on the USCF website today are processed and activated within a few minutes,
and the member receives his or her new membership ID and PIN via e-mail
within a few hours. Those memberships are also posted to MSA within a
If the payment is being mailed to the USCF, that will delay when
the membership is activated or when the tournament is rated until after
the payment has been processed at the USCF office. Even with that
delay, we feel this will speed up the processing of both memberships
and rating reports compared to the current method of mailing all
memberships and rating reports, including payment, to the USCF office.
How will submitting memberships or rating reports online speed anything up if I still mail you the checks?
Even though the memberships will not be activated until the payment is
received and processed, we will assign any new USCF IDs for those
memberships and e-mail that information to the TD when they are submitted
for processing. The TD then has those IDs and can put them in the
rating report and submit it for processing. (However, those memberships
will not be available on MSA until the payment is received and processed,
nor will tournaments using those new IDs be rated until then.)
We will also begin the validation process for rating reports when they
are uploaded, though we will not actually rate those events until the
payment for those memberships and the ratings fee payment have both been
received and processed.
Currently, sending in a rating report with missing IDs on it can delay by two or more weeks when that event gets rated, depending on whether the memberships
are part of that event or were from other events. By having all of the IDs
on the rating report when it is mailed in, we can get started checking
the rating report without having to wait for the memberships to be processed first.
If the rating report is submitted online,
you can start the process of checking it right away.