High-quality events meet a number of standards:
- generous awards
- clear communication of tournament details, policies, and rules
- quiet, comfortable playing conditions
- prompt, acccurate reporting of results
- game outcomes determined solely by the players, without interference from spectators, coaches, parents, or other players; TD adjudication only for legitimate cause as defined by USCF rules
There are several advantages that rated events have over unrated events: (i) players tend to take rated events more seriously; (ii) ratings help ensure fair and reasonable pairings; and (iii) rated events attract more players and stronger players.
OSCF sponsored events and OSCF qualifiers are known for generous awards. There are always expenses involved in putting on a tournament (e.g., venue costs, ratings fees, equipment, supplies, etc.), but since most OSCF qualifiers are run by volunteers, expect a substantial fraction of entry fees to be used on awards.
Clear communication of tournament details, policies, and rules:
Tournament announcements (e.g., in flyers and on the NWSRS calendar) should include detailed information about location, schedule, entry fees, awards, time controls, playing sections, ratings (NWSRS or USCF or both), tie-break policies, and policies regarding clocks and notation.