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Certified Chess Coach Program Print E-mail
By Jerry Nash   

USCF Certified Chess Coach Program


The USCF Certified Chess Coach Program has been designed to aid the average Scholastic Chess Coach in their endeavors. For many years, many school districts have not paid chess coaches because they compared chess coaches to athletic coaches. Athletic coaches are required to go through training and/or testing to be paid as a coach and Chess coaches are not. This program is to insure that chess coaches have a basic level of knowledge necessary to coach children in chess so that a school district can know they are hiring a knowledgeable person to coach the district’s/school’s children.



The purpose of this program is to provide that level of testing to make sure that your school district will know that you have reached a certain level of competency in chess as certified by the United States Chess Federation.

"No USCF Certified Chess Coach is an agent of the USCF.  The holder of the title of Certified Chess Coach is deemed to have Chess knowledge and abilities appropriate to that level.  The USCF neither recommends nor has any knowledge as to the bearer's character or past."

After being accepted into this program, you will receive a certificate, suitable for framing, and a wallet-sized card. All USCF Certified Chess Coaches are listed on a page on the USCF website that gives the name, level of certification and state of each coach. If school administrators desire to hire a Chess Coach then this will give them a place to look for a coach with the level of experience they desire. Each Certified Chess Coach will have the opportunity to contribute to the Chess Coach Newsletter. The Certified Chess Coaches may also act as advisors to the USCF Scholastic Council and/or Scholastic Director when input is desired for some action being considered.

USCF is hoping that this program will increase the number of persons who are willing to be chess coaches and thus increase the number of scholastic chess players who will grow into adult chess players.

The National Association of Secondary School Principals has been made aware of this national testing program for chess coaches. The NASSP is the parent organization of each "State High School Activities Association".

Each applicant may start at Level I and work their way up the highest level for which they are qualified or the applicant can directly apply for the highest level for which they believe they are qualified.


The requirements are as follows:


Local Chess Coach – Level I
2-year renewable certificate
Application

Requirements:

  1. Must be a current USCF member, if USCF membership lapses for more than three months then this certification will be revoked.
  2. One letter of endorsement from an USCF-recognized organization (school, affiliate, foundation, etc) or individual (National or Professional Level Coach or Senior Level or higher level Tournament Director or tournament player rated 2000 or above).
  3. Proof of knowledge of Local Chess content: Passing with 80% score Local test. *  This test is over the Guide to Scholastic Chess, which is available free on the USCF website at http://main.uschess.org/content/view/7574/131/


Cost: $25 for the first time, thereafter there will be a $10 renewal** fee. 




District Chess Coach – Level II
3-year renewable certificate
Application

Requirements:

  1. Before a coach may submit an application for this level they must have been a Local Chess Coach (Level I) for at least three months or they may apply directly for this level.
  2. Must be a current USCF member, with USCF tournament participation as a player. If USCF membership lapses for more than three months then this certification will be revoked.
  3. One letter of endorsement from a person other than the person who submitted the letter of application for this applicant’s Local Chess Coach (Level I) application.  This letter must be from an USCF-recognized organization (school, affiliate, foundation, etc) or individual (National or Professional Level Certified Coach or Senior Level or higher Tournament Director or tournament player rated 2000 or above). If directly applying for this level there must be two levels of endorsement.
  4. Proof of knowledge of District Chess content: Passing with 80% score District test. *  This test is over the A Beginner's Guide to Coaching Scholastic Chess, which is available free on the USCF website at http://main.uschess.org/content/view/7574/131/

 


Cost: $25 for the first time, or $50 for the applicant applying directly for this level. Thereafter there will be a $10 renewal** fee.


Advanced Chess Coach – Level III
5-year renewable certificate
Application

Requirements:

  1. Before a coach may submit an application for this level, they must have been a District Chess Coach [Level II] for at least three months or applying directly for this level. Must be a current USCF member, with participation as a player in at least three USCF tournaments. If USCF membership lapses for more than three months then this certification will be revoked.
  2. One letter of endorsement from a person other than the persons who submitted the letters of application for this applicant for Local Chess Coach (Level I) or District Chess Coach (Level II) or three letters of endorsement if directly applying for this level.  This letter must be from an USCF-recognized organization (school, affiliate, foundation, etc.) or individual (National or Professional Level Certified Coach or Senior Level or higher Tournament Director or tournament player rated 2000 or above).
  3. 5 years proven experience coaching teams that have participated in local, state, and national USCF-rated events, as indicated in the endorsement letter.
  4. Proof of knowledge of Advanced Chess content: Passing with 80% score on the Advanced test. * This test is over the Official Rules of Chess.

 


Cost: $25 for the first time, or $50 for the applicant applying directly for this level. Thereafter there will be a $10 renewal** fee.


National Chess Coach – Level IV
Lifetime certificate
Application

Requirements:

  1. Before a coach may submit an application for this level they must have been an Advanced Chess Coach (Level III) for at least three months or they may apply directly for this level if the qualifications are met.
  2. Must be a current USCF member, with participation as a player in at least three USCF tournaments within the last five years. If USCF membership lapses for more than three months then this certification will be revoked.
  3. One letter of endorsement from a person other than the persons who submitted the letter of application for Local Chess Coach (Level I), District Chess Coach (Level II) or Advanced Chess Coach (Level III) or three letters of endorsement if apply directly for this level.  This letter must be from an USCF-recognized organization (school, affiliate, foundation, etc.) or individual (National or Professional Level Certified Coach or Senior Level or higher Tournament Director or tournament player rated 2000 or above).
  4. Ten years proven experience coaching teams which have participated in state and national USCF-rated events.
  5. Must have teams and/or players who placed in the top 3 of their state scholastic or collegiate championships at least three times.
  6. Must have teams (and/or players) that participated in at least five national scholastic or collegiate championships.
  7. There is no test for this level.

 


Cost: $25 if you were previously a Level III coach or $50 for the applicant applying directly for this level.



Professional Chess Coach – Level V
Life-time certificate
Application

Requirements:

  1. Must be a current USCF member. If USCF membership lapses for more than three months then this certification will be revoked.
  2. Application must be submitted to the Scholastic Council through the USCF office.
  3. As part of the application there must be three letters of endorsement from an USCF-recognized organization (school, affiliate, foundation, etc) or individual (National Level Coach or Senior Level or higher Tournament Director or tournament player rated 2000 or above).  It is recommended that at least one of the letters be from the State Chess (or Scholastic Chess) Association to be directed to the Scholastic Council.
  4. Must meet three of the following four requirements:
     
    1. Must have maintained a USCF regular established rating above 2000 for the previous three years.
    2. Must have had a book published on Chess which the Scholastic Council believes is good for coaching Chess.
    3. In five of the last ten years they must have had teams or individual students distinguish themselves in USCF National Scholastic tournaments. If claiming to have had individuals do well then the applicant must have two additional letters of endorsement from the parents of children who have excelled.
    4. Must have been an active Chess Coach for a minimum of ten years.
  5. Must have teams and/or players who placed in the top 3 of the state scholastic or collegiate championship at least three times in the last ten years or at least have coached at least six players who exceed the following USCF rating levels for the grade level indicated:
    • Grades K-3 = USCF rating of at least 1200
    • Grades 4-6 = USCF rating of at least 1400
    • Grades 7-8 = USCF rating of at least 1600
    • Grades 9-12 = USCF rating of at least 1800

  • There is no test for this level. 

  •  

    Cost: $50



    *There will be a $5.00 fee to retake any test not passed. However, there is a three-month waiting period before a test may be retaken.

    **No test is required to be taken with a renewal; however, proof of active coaching during the time of the previous certification period must be provided. This proof needs to be one letter of recommendation from any of those mentioned above.

    Note: The purpose of the endorsements (recommendations) is to verify the experience and achievements of the applicant.

    *******

    If you have questions not covered by the above information please contact Susan Kantor at shouston@uschess.org.

     
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