Iowa State Chess Association
Scholastic Championship Rules
Pursuant to Iowa State Chess Association Bylaws, Article XV, Tournament Program Policy, Iowa Chess shall sponsor tournament championships as specified therein. In doing so, the bylaws stipulate that the Board shall approve the conditions of all Championship tournaments, including dates, sites, directors, number of rounds, time limits, and limits on division into sections.
It is hereby declared by the Iowa State Chess Association that the following definitions and rules are adopted by majority vote of its Board of Directors for the determination of scholastic chess champions for the State of Iowa. All tournaments conducted in accordance with these definitions and rules shall be considered approved by the Board.
All terms defined by the current United States Chess Federation’s Official Rules of Chess and the Iowa State Chess Association Bylaws are incorporated by reference and shall be in force when not otherwise defined as follows:
Scholastic Chess Calendar: The scholastic chess year shall begin August 1 and end July 30.
Grade: For scholastic chess events, students shall be considered at the grade they are currently enrolled during the scholastic calendar. Students that are home schooled are considered to be in the grade that they would be enrolled in if attending the public school that they would otherwise attend.
Primary Elementary School Division: Scholastic division consisting of students enrolled in grades kindergarten through third grade, inclusive.
Secondary Elementary School Division: Scholastic division consisting of students enrolled in grades fourth through sixth grade, inclusive.
Elementary School Division: Scholastic division consisting of students enrolled in grades kindergarten through sixth grade, inclusive.
Junior High School Division: Scholastic division consisting students enrolled in of grades seventh through ninth grade, inclusive. Middle Schools with grade levels sixth through eighth are considered Junior High Schools for eligibility purposes.
High School Division: Scholastic division consisting of students enrolled in grades tenth through twelfth grade, inclusive. When a High School includes ninth grade, players may be considered High School for eligibility purposes.
Scholastic Elementary School Team: Except as otherwise noted in paragpraphs “b” and “c,” elementary school teams must consist of students enrolled in the same school. Home schooled students may represent the public school that they would attend if enrolled with the Iowa public school district in which they live. If Homeschooled students are open enrolled or dual enrolled in a different Iowa School District, then the students must represent that school. Players who are not yet enrolled in Kindergarten (a.k.a "Pre-Kindergarten") are eligible to compete for the school they will be attending when five years of age as of September 15. Because Iowa School Districts segment school grade levels differently, the following stipulations apply:
a.) For students enrolled in a junior high school that includes grade levels defined as elementary school by these rules (e.g. sixth grade being most common), an elementary team may consist of those students at elementary grade levels attending that junior high school only.
b.) For students enrolled in an intermediate school that starts at an intermediate grade level other than kindergarten (e.g. grades 4 and 5 only), an elementary team may consist of those students the intermediate school and the primary elementary schools that feed into the elementary school.
c.) Sixth grade students enrolled in a Junior High School (or Middle School as it may also be know), may compete for the K-5 school they formerly attended provided that K-5 school feeds the Junior High School (or Middle School) the sixth grade student is currently enrolled in.
Scholastic Junior School High Team: Junior high school teams must have at least 50% of its team members be students enrolled in the junior high school represented. Up to 50% of the team members may include students from feeder elementary schools within the junior high school district. Home schooled students may represent the public school with the Iowa public school district in which they live. If Home Schooled students are open enrolled or dual enrolled in a different Iowa School District, then the students must represent that school. Because Iowa School Districts segment school grade levels differently, the following stipulations apply.
a.) For students enrolled in high school that includes grades defined as junior high school by these rules (e.g. ninth grade being most common), a junior high school team may consist of those students at junior high grade levels attending that high school only. Students in the junior high school that feeds the high school may not be on the same team as the high school and instead must represent the junior high school they attend.
Scholastic High School Team:High school teams must have at least 50% of its team members be students enrolled in ther high school represented. Up to 50% of the team members may include students from feeder junior high school and elementary schools within the high school district. Homeschooled students may represent the public school with the Iowa public school district in which they live. If Home schooled students are open enrolled or dual enrolled in a different Iowa School District, then the students must represent that school.
Homeschool: Iowa laws and regulations refer to homeschooling as Competent Private Legal Instruction or CPI. Homeschooling law can be found in Chapter 299A of the Iowa Code as well as in Section  Education Department Chapter 31 of the Iowa Administrative Code. Homeschool students not dual enrolled may be eligible to participate as a scholastic team under other natural groupings, such as a family unit, as approved by the IASCA Scholastic Director.
Open Enrollment:Open enrollment is a cost free option by which parents/guardians residing in an Iowa school district may enroll their children into another Iowa school district under the terms and conditions of Iowa Code section 282.18 and the administrative rules of the Iowa Department of Education, 281 Iowa Administrative Code Chapter 17. A child open enrolled may participate in academic programs or extracurricular activities offered by that Iowa School District on the same basis as any regularly enrolled student.
Dual Enrollment: Dual enrollment is enrollment with a public school district of a child who is receiving CPI, usually for the purpose of attending one or more courses or extracurricular activities offered by the district. [Iowa Code section 299A.8; 281- IAC 31.6]. A child under dual enrollment may participate in academic programs or extracurricular activities on the same basis as any regularly enrolled student. A child may dual enroll only in his or her district of residence. However, a student may open enroll to another district and then dual enroll in the receiving district. 281-IAC rules 17.10(2), 31.6.
IASCA Scholastic Fund: A financial account maintained by the IASCA Treasurer, which is maintained separately from all other IASCA accounts.
Tournament Organizer: The person or organization that is awarded the bid to host a scholastic championship event.
III. Rules Governing Scholastic Chess Championships
These rules shall provide standards for the scholastic championship tournaments sponsored by the Iowa State Chess Association under provisions approved by the Board. These rules apply to the type and number of tournaments, the dates, tournament organizer and tournament director, trophies, dispersing revenue, and determining champions of scholastic chess championship tournaments. The establishment of these rules serves to ensure the integrity of the scholastic championships by promoting consistency, fairness, and equity to all student chess players.
2. Scholastic Director
The IASCA shall appoint one or more individuals to serve one-year terms to serve as Scholastic Director. The Scholastic Director shall have the power to enforce these rules in the establishment and execution of the scholastic chess championship tournaments identified by these rules. Request for a variance to these rules stipulated herein shall be processed by the Scholastic Director and presented to the IASCA Board of Directors for approval or denial. The Scholastic Director shall be a certified Tournament Director by the United States Chess Federation.
3. Establishment of Scholastic Championship Tournaments
The following rules govern the types of chess championships that are sponsored by the Iowa State Chess Association. These rules do not preclude the organization of scholastic tournaments not otherwise specified by these rules. However, such tournaments shall not be conveyed to usurp the title of scholastic champion and the rights and privileges that accompany the title of State Champion before the United States Chess Federation.
3.1 Designation of Championship Tournaments
The Iowa State Chess Association will sponsor the following scholastic chess tournaments during the scholastic calendar year
Iowa Individual Grades Championships
Iowa Primary Elementary, Secondary Elementary and Junior High School Championships
Iowa Individual High School Championship
Iowa Individual Girls Championship
Iowa Elementary Team Championship
Iowa Junior High School Team Championship
Iowa High School Team Championship
3.2. Scheduling of State Championship Tournaments
The scheduling of state championship tournaments consistently from year to year is necessary to ensure predictability and thus participation by scholastic chess players and their families. The following calendar dates are provided as guidance in this matter with every effort given to maintain chronological order. It is understood that holidays, school breaks, availability of facilities, and availability of tournament directors may all affect the specific date that the event is scheduled. All tournaments shall be scheduled as a one day event held on Saturday.
Iowa Individual Grades Championships (November, on of before the third Saturday of the month)
Iowa Primary Elementary, Secondary Elementary, and Junior high School Championships (After Thanksgiving weekend and prior to the scholastic winter break)
Iowa Individual High School Championship (November - January)
Iowa Individual Girls Championship (January)
Iowa Elementary Team Championship (February)
Iowa Junior High School Team Championship (March/April, following spring break)
Iowa High School Team Championship (March/April, following spring)
3.3 Selection of Tournament Location and Playing Site
To promote scholastic chess throughout Iowa, the Iowa Scholastic Championships shall be distributed equitably among cities in Central Iowa (Ames-Des Moines) and Eastern Iowa (Cedar Rapids-Iowa City), and where opportunities are available, one tournament in an alternate location.
The tournament playing site shall be able to accommodate the number of students participating in the event the previous year plus an additional 20%. School cafeterias, community centers, and hotel banquets halls are suitable providing that the location meets the requirements established herein. Additional accommodations for families and skittles should be evaluated when selecting a host site. Such additional amenities will be considered when selecting a host site among multiple candidates.
3.4 Approval of Scholastic Tournament Calendar
During the period from May 1 through August 15, the Scholastic Director shall solicit proposals from organizers to host the Scholastic Championship events. Solicitations shall be advertised though email, IASCA’s website, and IASCA’s newsletter.
The Scholastic Tournament Calendar shall be prepared by the Scholastic Director no later than Labor Day Weekend (or concurrent with the Iowa Open, whichever is later). The Scholastic Calendar shall specify the date and the host city of the event. The tournament playing site may also be specified at the time that the calendar is developed but shall be announced no later than three months prior to the event.
The Scholastic Calendar shall be published on the IASCA website and newsletter immediately upon approval.
4. Procedures for Conducting Scholastic Championship Tournaments
The following rules shall apply to the individual scholastic chess championships identified in Section 3.2.
4.1 United States Chess Federation Affiliation
All Iowa Scholastic Championship Events shall be USCF rated tournaments. USCF memberships shall be available on-site.
All Iowa Scholastic Championship Events shall be directed by a USCF certified Tournament Director. The Tournament Director may serve as the Tournament Organizer. While the Tournament Organizer is responsible for adhering to the IASCA Rules for Scholastic Championship Tournaments, it remains the responsibility of the Tournament Director to conduct the tournament in accordance with USCF rules including the submission of the tournament to the USCF for rating.
4.2 Tournament Announcement for Scholastic Championship Events
The tournament organizer shall prepare a Tournament Announcement no later than 90 days prior to the event. The Tournament Announcement shall include:
Procedures for Advanced Registration
4.3 Time Controls
Time controls for the championship events shall be no shorter than “game in 30 minutes” for elementary sections and “game in 45 minutes” for Junior High School and high school sections.
4.4 Number of Rounds
All Scholastic Championship Events shall be scheduled for the number of rounds necessary to determine a champion whereby two or more individuals or teams shall not go undefeated. For tournaments with sections that have
Less than eight (8) players, the section shall have no less than three rounds.
More than eight (8) players, but less than thirty-two (32 players), the section shall have no less than four rounds.
More than thirty-two (32) players, the section shall have no less than five rounds.
The tournament director may use his or her discretion to use accelerated pairing options specified by USCF Rules to produce a winner.
4.4 Sections in Iowa Scholastic Championship Tournaments
The use of sections to determine classes and event winners is inherent to many of the scholastic championship events. The following rules govern the use of sections and eligibility for students to participate in those sections.
4.4.1 Insufficient Number of Players to Sustain a Section
The tournament director may combine sections where there are less than four (4) players registered in the section.
4.4.2 Iowa Grades Chess Championships
The tournament shall establish sections for each individual academic grade level from kindergarten through twelfth grades. Students may only participate in the section designated for the grade that they are enrolled. Players who are not yet enrolled in Kindergarten or "Pre-Kindergarten" are eligible to compete in the section for the Kindergarten grade level. Students may not participate in a section for higher academic grade levels. Individual sections (e.g. grades) may be combined in accordance with Section 4.3.1.
4.4.3 Iowa Primary Elementary, Secondary Elementary, and Junior High Chess Championships
The tournament shall establish sections for the Primary Elementary, Secondary Elementary, and Junior High School divisions of scholastic chess. Students may participate in the section for the division within which they are enrolled or higher. For example, a third grade student may participate in the Primary Elementary division or the secondary division even though it is identified as grades fourth through sixth.
4.4.4 Iowa Individual High School Chess Championship (a.k.a USCF Denker Qualifier)
The tournament shall be of only one section for students enrolled in academic grade levels from ninth through twelfth grades. Eligibility for the tournament is limited to students enrolled in ninth through twelfth grades only; students in grade levels kindergarten through eighth grades are not eligible.
4.4.5 Iowa Individual Girls Chess Championship
The tournament shall be of only one section for female students enrolled in academic grade levels from kindergarten through twelfth grades only.
4.4.6 Iowa Elementary Team Chess Championships
The tournament shall determine the championship for the Primary Elementary and Secondary Elementary divisions of the elementary school section. The tournament shall be organized as one section for all students enrolled in academic grade levels from kindergarten through sixth grades only. The tournament shall be structured as a combined individual/team tournament using normal pairing procedures for open events with the exception that students from the same team shall not be paired during any round in the tournament.
4.4.7 Iowa Junior High School Team Chess Championships
The tournament shall be of only one section for all Junior High School student teams as defined in this rule. Each team shall consist of four players. Teams shall conduct match play in accordance with USCF rules for pairing and playing match tournaments. Teams must conduct match play in board order based on the most the recent USCF rating supplement. Unrated players must play on the bottom boards. Players with the same rating or unrated may be placed in the order of the team’s choosing.
4.4.8 Iowa High School Team Chess Championships
The tournament shall be of only one section for all high school student teams as defined in this rule. Each team shall consist of four players. Teams shall conduct match play in accordance with USCF rules for pairing and playing match tournaments. Teams must conduct match play in board order based on the most the recent USCF rating supplement. Unrated players must play on the bottom boards. Players with the same rating or unrated may be placed in the order of the team’s choosing.
5. Determining Scholastic Champions
The following rules shall be followed to determine the State Scholastic Chess Champion of each event identified in Section 3.1.
All scholastic chess champions and subsequent place finishers must be current students in Iowa. Out-of-state students may participate in State Championships Tournaments at the discretion of the tournament organizer but are not eligible for champion or place awards. (The tournament organizer may make arrangements for additional trophies to out-of-state students so long as an Iowa student is not displaced from an award otherwise due to the individual.)
5.2 Declaring a Champion
The tournament and tournament section champions shall be the individual(s) with the highest total score. In the event that sections are combined due to insufficient registration, the combined sections shall be executed as an open tournament with sectional prizes being awarded using USCF rules for awarding class prizes.
5.2.1 Determining a Champion When Two or More Players or Teams Have Identical Scores
Except as provided in Sections 188.8.131.52 and 184.108.40.206, a champion shall be determined using tie break system as defined by USCF rules.
220.127.116.11 Special Considerations for Individual High School and Girls Championships
When the result for the Individual High School and Individual Girls Championships is a tie, a three game tie-break match shall be scheduled at a mutually agreed upon date and time of the students and tournament director. All tournament rules that were in affect for the tournament (e.g. time control) shall remain in affect. In the event that a mutually agreed upon time cannot be agreed to, then a champion shall be declared according to USCF tie-break procedures.
18.104.22.168 Determining a Champion When Two or More Players Have Perfect Scores
Due to a large number of players in a section, two or more players may finish with perfect scores resulting in a tie, when the following procedures shall apply. For all other tournaments not identified in Section 22.214.171.124, those students or teams that have perfect scores at the completion of the tournament are declared co-champions and shall be award equitably. Under this outcome, it shall be the duty of the tournament organizers to obtain an additional trophy or trophies of equal stature.
6. Scholastic Tournament Financial Obligations
As a condition of approval to host an Iowa Scholastic Championship Tournament, the Tournament Organizer must conform to the following financing requirements including the minimum and maximum allowances for dispensation of the entry fees collected from tournament registrations.
6.1 Tournament Budget and Financial Statement
A financial report conforming to these rules shall be submitted to the Scholastic Director and the IASCA Treasurer within 30 days of the submittal of the tournament rating report to the USCF on a pro forma provided by the IASCA.
6.2 Tournament Revenue
The tournament director shall base its budget on projected revenue and actual revenue as follows.
6.2.1 Projected Tournament Revenue
The projected tournament revenue shall be calculated as the projected number of individual entries, but no less than 80% of the entries from previous year’s turnout, times the advanced entry fee advertised price. Tournament organizers are allowed to project higher tournament revenues but in doing so, assume all risks and responsibilities associated with this action.
6.2.2 Actual Tournament Revenue
The actual revenue shall be based on actual tournament fees collected giving full account of advanced registration fee rates and on-site fee rates. Actual revenues do not include revenues collected from other on-site sales including the sale of USCF memberships, food, or chess equipment.
6.3 Allowable Expenses
The following items are allowable expenses expressed as a percent of total actual revenue as defined in Section 6.2. Additional expenses incurred are the burden of the Tournament Organizer.
6.3.1 USCF Rating Fees
USCF Rating Fees as published at the time of the rating report
6.3.2 Site Fees
Site fees are those direct expenses payable to the host site. Such costs may include those due a hotel for use of a banquet hall, an honorarium to a church or civic building, or a school that may charge for custodial services.
6.3.3 Advertising Fees
Advertising of tournaments through the IASCA website and newsletter shall be provided at no cost to the tournament organizer. Other advertising costs such as those incurred from making copies of tournament flyers or a USCF Chess Life Tournament Life Announcements are considered acceptable expenses. Advertising fees above 3% of total revenues shall be borne by the tournament organizer.
6.3.4 Awards (Trophies, medals, plaques, etc.)
The tournament organizer shall purchase awards for the tournament participants in the amount of 60% of the projected revenue.
6.3.5 Tournament Director Fee
A fee may be paid for the services of the tournament director at a rate not to exceed 10% of total actual revenue collected by the tournament organizer.
6.3.6 Miscellaneous Direct Expenses
The tournament organizer may account for additional miscellaneous expenses at a rate of 10% of total actual revenue. Additional miscellaneous expenses may be paid by the tournament organizer to the tournament director
6.3.7 Calculation of Total Direct Expenses
The total direct expenses for the tournament shall be the sum of those expenses as defined in Sections 6.3.1 through 6.3.6. All additional expenses or overages shall be borne by the Tournament Organizer without further consideration in calculation of net revenue.
6.4 Net Revenue
The net revenue for the tournament shall be calculated as the total actual revenue as defined in Section 6.2.2 less the total direct expenses as defined in Section 6.3.7. The Tournament Organizer may use net revenues from other tournaments run concurrent with the championship event to supplement the financial obligations of these rules.
6.5 IASCA Scholastic Fund
The IASCA Scholastic Fund shall be due 50% of the total net revenue calculated in Section 6.4. It shall be the obligation of the Tournament Organizer to make payment on the full amount due to the IASCA Treasurer within 30 days of the submittal of the tournament rating report to the USCF.
6.6. Gross Profit
The balance of funds remaining after payment to the IASCA Scholastic Fund shall be considered gross profit and shall be dispersed at the full discretion of the Tournament Organizer.
Tournament organizers shall provide trophies, medals, or other awards that meet the following minimum standards while meeting the minimum financial contribution specified in Section 6.3.4
7.1 Individual Championship Tournament Awards
Championship tournaments shall award trophies to individuals that place first through third in each section and medals to individuals that place fourth through sixth. Additional awards may be given at the discretion of the tournament organizer providing that the expenditures for awards meet the requirement of Section 6.3.4.
The Tournament Organizer shall give additional consideration to awarding additional medals for sections that historically have large participation.
7.2 Team Championship Tournament Awards
Championship tournaments shall award trophies to teams and medals to the members of teams in accordance with the following minimum requirements. Additional awards may be given at the discretion of the tournament organizer providing that the expenditures for awards meet the requirement of Section 6.3.4.
7.2.1 Iowa Elementary Team Championship
Team trophies shall be awarded to the top five finishes in the Primary Elementary and Secondary Elementary divisions. Medals shall be awarded for participants that score toward the team total. The tournament shall determine first through fifth place of the Secondary Elementary division by summing the top four scores of members from each participating team. The tournament shall then determine first through fifth place of the Primary Elementary division by summing the top four scores of members from each participating team. Results for participants that meet the definition of Primary Elementary student may be counted toward either the Primary Elementary or Secondary Elementary division championship team results.
7.2.2 Iowa Junior High School Team Championship
Team trophies shall be awarded to the top three finishes based on match play results.
7.2.3 Iowa High School Team Championship
Team trophies shall be awarded to the top three finishes based on match play results.
7.3 Supplemental Individual Awards
Individual awards may be given at the discretion of the Tournament Organizer providing that the requirement of Section 6.3.4 is met. No more than 33% of the award budget may be designated for supplemental individual awards in individual award championship or team championship tournaments.
Supplemental individual awards may be given for:
Top score on individual boards in a team match event.
Top section scores in individual and team events.
Top scores for individuals based on rating.
Top girls score.
Participation awards including awards for first tournament.
8. Representation to the United States Chess Federation
8.1 Nomination of Iowa Representative to the USCF National Tournaments
The IASCA Secretary shall inform the United States Chess Federation of the Iowa State Champions for representation to the corresponding USCF national championship events.
8.2 Stipend for Iowa Representative to USCF National Tournaments
The IASCA Treasure shall provide a stipend to Iowa Scholastic Champions in the amount proposed by the IASCA Scholastic Director and approved by the IASCA Board of Directors. The stipend shall be drawn upon form the IASCA Scholastic Fund.
Policy Revision History
Original Policy: Approved by the Iowa State Chess Association Board of Directors, April 26, 2009, Okoboji, IA.
Revision 1: Updated January 16, 2011 to reflect changes approved by the IASCA Board at the 2010 Annual Board Meeting and by email proxy completed January 16, 2011.
Revision 2: Updated February 4, 2014 to reflect changes approved by the IASCA Board completed by email proxy.