Updated USCF Scholastic Regulations
November 16, 2012
slideUSCFflag.jpgIn early November the USCF Executive Board approved a new edition of the USCF Scholastic Regulations.   The new version supersedes the previous edition dated September 2011.  It contains several features that we summarize here for your convenience.

One major change to the rules is that effective January 1, 2013, ALL BLITZ GAMES in USCF National Scholastic events will be played using Touch-Move rules.  Clock-move will no longer be used.  The first national tournament where this rule will be in effect is the 2013 SuperNationals in Nashville.  We strongly recommend players and coaches practice their Blitz play using Touch-Move, especially if you are planning to attend the SuperNationals.  The rule change does not affect Bughouse games.

The new Scholastic Regulations also suspend indefinitely Rule 12.5—the rule introduced in 2011 that would require players wanting to play in Under sections to complete at least 8 USCF-rated games in the 6 months preceding a National Scholastic event in order to play in the lowest rated section for which they qualify.  Rule 12.5 has been replaced by Rule 12.6, an adaptation of a motion passed by the Delegates at the 2012 Annual Delegates Meeting in Vancouver, WA this past August. 

The new Rule 12.6 requires players entering an Under section to disclose, at the time they register for a USCF National Scholastic tournament, whether they have a rating in another over-the-board rating system.  This rule is consistent with the specifications of Rule 28D and 28E in the 5th Edition of The U.S. Chess Federation’s Official Rules of Chess.  For example, if you are a player who recently moved to the U.S. from Canada, and you have an over-the-board rating in Canada, you need to inform the USCF about that rating when you register for a USCF National Scholastic Event.  This rule also applies to ratings earned by players through regional chess organizations in the U.S. 

Ratings earned online, or by using various computer-based chess games, are not considered true, over-the-board ratings—so they do not apply.  If you are unsure whether you have a rating that needs to be reported, you should contact the USCF Executive Director, Bill Hall: [email protected], 931-787-1234 ext 189, or stop by Chess Control/Registration Desk at the tournament. 

Last, the new Scholastic Rules add greater clarity on the subject of Electronic Devices.  In particular, Rule 21.12 now states, “While a player’s game is in progress, all electronic devices in his/her possession must be turned off at all times.”  The rule applies to any electronic devices except digital clocks, approved electronic score-keeping devices (e.g. Monroi, E-Notate), and necessary medical devices.  So, if you are accustomed to playing your game while listening to music or wearing noise-cancelling headphones, you need to practice without these devices because they are examples of equipment that are not allowed while your game is in progress. 

The new rules are designed to protect the integrity of our beloved game, to ensure fair play, and to clarify issues raised by players, parents and coaches in previous USCF National events.  We look forward to seeing all of you at SuperNationals in the Spring.

You can download a copy of the new USCF Scholastic Regulations online at this pdf link. 

Mike Hoffpauir is a member of the USCF Scholastic Council.