Scholastic National Invitational Event and Award Requirements
Scholastic National Invitational Event and Award Requirements

The following are the general requirements for USCF Scholastic National and International Invitation Events and Awards. Whenever possible, invitations shall be issued several months prior to the scheduled beginning of the event. Eligibility for USCF invitations shall be based on several factors including: established rating (not provisional), age (if applicable), activity, and residency. Match points will be excluded in ratings calculations. Players must be USCF members in good standing at the time of invitation. Reasonable efforts shall be made to accommodate players with expired memberships who would otherwise qualify for USCF invitations. The Activity Requirement will be 30 rated games (either USCF or FIDE-rated – if FIDE-rated, submitted to the USCF for verification) in a calendar year. Contact the USCF Office.

  1. U.S. Junior Championship (Invitational) Selection Criteria:
    U.S. Junior Championship has a maximum of 10 players – the top players Under 20 (as of Jan. 1) based on the average of the:
    1. USCF April supplement rating
    2. Peak published USCF rating (going back 12 months from the April supplement)

  2. U.S. Girls Junior Closed(Invitational) Selection Criteria:
    The U.S. Girls Junior Championship has a maximum of ten players – the top players Under 20 (as of Jan. 1) based on the average of the
    1. USCF April supplement rating.
    2. Peak published USCF Rating (going back 12 months from the April Supplement)

    3. NOTE: The previous year's US Girls' Junior Open Champion shall be directly seeded (if still eligible by age).

  3. U.S. Cadet Championship Selection Criteria:
    The U.S. Cadet is often held in conjunction with the US Junior Open and Invitational. The tournament has a maximum of eight players – the top players Under 16 (as of Jan. 1) based on the April supplement rating.

  4. FIDE World Junior Championship Selection Criteria: Invitational ratings are determined by the February Rating List of the year of competition. The winner of the U.S. Junior Championship is usually offered one invitation; the remaining spot is allocated according to rating. If the scheduling of the FIDE World Junior Championship is such that this method is not feasible, both candidates shall be determined by the February Rating List.)
    Exception: USCF traditionally sends two players to the FIDE World Junior Championship (one boy, one girl). If the top players decline, invitations are offered down to the fifth highest rated player (top five boys, top five girls). If no boy accepts, two girls may be sent and viceversa.

  5. Pan-American Junior Championships Selection Criteria: USCF usually sends two players to the Pan-American Junior Championships (one boy, one girl). Invitational ratings are determined by the February Rating List of the year of competition.

  6. Pan-American Youth Festival Selection Criteria: While the Pan-Am Youth Festival is an open tournament (and players attending may require a letter from the USCF Scholastic Office verifying membership status), the official representatives of the USCF in each age category are determined by the February Rating List of the year of competition. In addition, players may earn a personal right to compete in the Pan-American Youth Festival by earning a medal in the previous Pan-Am Youth competition. If a player who has earned a personal right also qualifies as the top qualified player by rating in their age category, the next player in line will be considered the official candidate in that category and will also be entitled to receive whatever financial assistance is offered towards the cost of participation. (A player who wins a Gold Medal at the Pan-American Youth Festival will also be qualified by right for the next World Youth and will qualify for whatever financial assistance is offered towards the cost of participation.)

  7. FIDE World Youth Chess Championships Selection Criteria: The World Youth is an annual tournament held traditionally between June and November. Players must be selected by their individual federations in order to participate. The age categories are currently U8, U10, U12, U14, U16 and U18 (Subject to change by the host country and FIDE). The age cutoff is based on January 1st of the year of the tournament. In the event that any FIDE rules or regulations are determined to be in contradiction with these selection criteria, FIDE rules and procedures will supersede these criteria. The minimum activity requirement will be 30 rated games (either USCF or FIDE-rated – if FIDE-rated, submitted to the USCF for verification) in the 12 month qualification period (See A, #1). The 30 game activity requirement applies to the World Youth with the exception of the winners of USCF national scholastic events (see below under A, #4).
    1. Within each age and gender category, players may qualify to represent the USA under any of the following criteria:
      1. Achieve the minimum rating requirement within the age and gender categories. These are peak post tournament ratings achieved in the previous 12 months prior to the Rating Supplement used for the event. The Rating Supplement used will be the one 6 months prior to the month of the tournament (for example, if the tournament is in December the June Rating Supplement will be used – please note on the USCF website the dates that Supplements are run):
        • Girls Under 18 Minimum Rating 2000
        • Girls Under 16 Minimum Rating 1900
        • Girls Under 14 Minimum Rating 1800
        • Girls Under 12 Minimum Rating 1700
        • Girls Under 10 Minimum Rating 1500
        • Girls Under 8 Minimum Rating 1200
        • Boys Under 18 Minimum Rating 2400
        • Boys Under 16 Minimum Rating 2300
        • Boys Under 14 Minimum Rating 2200
        • Boys Under 12 Minimum Rating 2050
        • Boys Under 10 Minimum Rating 1900
        • Boys Under 8 Minimum Rating 1600

        Players whose peak post tournament rating equals or exceeds this minimum rating will be able to participate in the World Youth. Should FIDE or the tournament organizer in any way restrict our delegation’s overall size, players who qualified by rating and not personal right or national champion status and whose registration fees were received last by the USCF office will be excluded from the team and their registration fee promptly returned.
        NOTE: A player can qualify based on rating with either a supplement rating (SR) or a peak post tournament rating (PPT) that is determined the first working day after the cut-off supplement is run. Re-rates would not be considered and thus could not subsequently disqualify a player who has already qualified based on this peak post tournament rating report. Top players in each category will be determined by the peak post tournament (PPT) rating as of the date that the qualifying list is run.
      2. Have earned a personal right to compete by virtue of one's performance at the previous World Youth Championship or the previous Pan American Youth Festival – see below “Qualifying by Personal Right"
      3. Win the US Cadet Championship, the Denker Tournament of High School Champions, the Barber Tournament of K-8 Champions or the National Girl’s Invitational Tournament. Players winning one of these events qualify for the next available World Youth competition.
      4. Achieve a perfect 7-0 score or win the first place trophy in a championship section of the National Elementary Championship, the National Junior High Championship, or the National High School Championship in the same year of the World Youth competition.
      5. Achieve a perfect 6-0 score or win the first place trophy in any section of the 2012 All-Girls National Championships in the same year of the World Youth competition.
      NOTE: The USCF office may set an administrative fee for the players who qualify by rating. [This fee is approximately $1000.00 per player but is subject to change.] Players who are designated as the official representative in their category, players who qualify by personal right (as described below), and players who qualify via a national championship (as described above) will not be required to pay this fee.
    2. The top qualified player in each category based on the PPT rating determined by the qualifying list will be considered the official representative in that category and will be entitled to receive whatever financial assistance is offered towards the cost of participation. In case of a tie, the player with the highest Regular SR at the time of the Rating Supplement (used for that year’s World Youth) will be considered the top qualified player. If a player who has earned a personal right also qualifies as the top qualified player by rating in their category, the next player in line will be considered the official representative in that category and will be entitled to receive whatever financial assistance is offered towards the cost of participation.
    3. If the top qualified player declines the invitation, the next player in line will be entitled to the financial assistance described above.
    4. If a qualified player is unable to attend, that place will not be offered to a non-qualified player ranked lower on the rating list.
    5. All qualified players will have the right to participate and will be considered to be part of the national team.
    6. The Scholastic Council Chair and the USCF office shall review the rating history of all qualified players before approving the final selection. Irregularities in a player’s rating history may be grounds for disqualification.
    7. Qualifying by personal right - Players may earn a personal right to compete in the World Youth by earning a medal in one of the following ways:
      • A player who receives a medal at the World Youth will be qualified by personal right for the World Youth (as well as the Pan-American Youth) for the next year based on maintaining the activity requirement in that year.
      • A player who receives the gold medal at the Pan-American Youth Festival will be qualified by personal right for the next World Youth and will qualify for whatever financial assistance is offered towards the cost of participation.
    8. Players must meet the current qualification requirements. Players who qualified in the past must still meet the current requirements, regardless of their previous achievements.


  8. Denker Tournament of High School Champions Selection Criteria:
    Players must be confirmed by their respective state affiliates and must meet the general eligibility rules for the event. For more information, contact the USCF Office.

  9. All-America Chess Team Selection Criteria: This is an honorary award to players of U.S. citizenship Under 19 who must meet minimum rating and activity requirements that are reviewed annually by the USCF Office and USCF Scholastic Council. The events included for rating and activity requirements are those from July 1 of the previous year to June 30 of the current year. The awards are decided by a committee from within the Scholastic Council and students are notified in the Fall of each year. Typically the awards are officially announced at the National K-12 Grade Level Championships held each December. A student need not be present at the tournament to receive an award.
    Please Note: Consideration for the AAT is like a post-season sports all-conference or all-American team where selection is done based on the statistics accumulated over the current season where only the top few players at each position are rewarded with inclusion. Just because a defensive back intercepts the same number of passes as last year's winner does not guarantee he'll be named all-conference if other defensive backs in the conference intercept even more passes. Likewise attaining the minimum rating for an age group on the previous year’s team is not a guarantee to earn a spot on the next year’s team. For more information, contact the USCF Office.

  10. Scholar-ChessPlayer Award Selection Criteria:
    These annual scholarships awarded by the USCF and the US Chess Trust, are intended to recognize and encourage high school junior or senior students who promote a positive image of chess. Current USCF members (high school juniors or seniors) who have shown outstanding merit in academics, sportsmanship, and chess are eligible to apply for a National Scholar-Chessplayer Award. Five awards of $1,500.00 each (for a total of $7,500.00) in scholarship money are available.  Applications will be on-line when they become available.

All other events:
USCF reserves the right to use whatever criteria it deems appropriate for all other events.

General Comments
If the rating scale is raised or lowered at some future date, prior ratings affecting invitations will be adjusted accordingly.
Ties will be broken by the number of games played since invitations to the previous event (generally 12 months). It is the responsibility of the tied players to provide evidence of games played.

AGE
To be eligible for national and international competitions with age requirements,
candidates must meet those age requirements as of January 1 of the year of competition.

ACTIVITY
Players must play a minimum of 30 USCF-rated games during the twelve month period prior to computation of invitational ratings. Games played to satisfy the activity requirement must be played under the rating system used to select players for a particular event (see above). Thus, games played under the USCF’s Quick Chess rating system do not count toward the activity requirement. There is no minimum number of events.

RESIDENCY
Players without previous international experience and/or FIDE ratings shall usually be given U.S. status immediately by both the USCF and FIDE. If a question arises as to USCF versus FIDE requirements, USCF’s criteria shall be used for national events and FIDE’s criteria will be used for international events. Before becoming eligible for USCF invitations, non-United States citizens who have FIDE ratings or have represented another country in a chess competition must fulfill the following residency requirements:
  1. Players under age 20 are considered eligible upon proof of full- time enrollment in a U.S. school. However, FIDE may still, at its discretion, require that such individuals fulfill a waiting period of up to three years.
  2. A player who has a green card or other acceptable proof of permanent U.S. residency must complete one continuous year (12 months) of United States residency, with a U.S. address, immediately prior to the event in question. Candidates may be required to provide a written promise that they will apply for U.S. citizenship as soon as legally possible.
  3. A player who does not have a green card or other acceptable proof of permanent U.S.residency must complete two continuous years (24 months) of United States residency, with a U.S. address, immediately prior to the event in question. Candidates may be required to provide a written promise that they will apply for U.S. citizenship as soon as legally possible.
    4. Players must complete and sign a USCF residency form and a FIDE residency form, and these residency forms must be received by the USCF prior to the time when invitations are determined. The USCF shall then contact FIDE to arrange for the player’s national affiliation code to be changed to reflect the player’s status as a U.S. player. Blank residency forms can be obtained from the USCF office.
    5. Players must refuse to represent other countries within the waiting period as specified above. Playing for another country at any time requires a candidate for invitations to begin the waiting period anew (i.e., one or two years from the time of the infraction for adults; at least one year for players under age 20). Representing another country is defined as playing in the national championship of another country, and/or playing as a member of another country’s national team in international competition.

INVITATIONS ARE A PRIVILEGE, NOT A RIGHT

Note: USCF invitations are a privilege, not a right afforded to any player by virtue of his or her status as a USCF member. The USCF reserves the right to not issue invitations to any particular event, or to change these criteria without advance notice. Please note that if a player does not respond to several invitations, that player may lose the privilege of a future invitation.
 


Updated on 8 November 2013