OSCF Championship Qualifier Tournaments

Players must participate in at least one “OSCF Championship Qualifier” tournament in order to compete for Championship titles. In brief, qualifier tournaments must be open, rated, and give generous awards. In addition, they need to be certified and listed as qualifiers on the NWSRS calendar at least two weeks prior to the event–look for the characteristic green font on the calendar http://www.calendarwiz.com/nwsrsevents.

Our goal is to provide as many opportunities to qualify, throughout the state, as possible. While tournament directors have the flexibility to use many different tournament formats, a state qualifier tournament must meet a number of standard requirements in order to maintain fairness and quality, and tournament directors should always contact the OSCF Board before listing their events as a qualifier.

Requirements for “Qualifier” Certification

To be certified as a OSCF Championship Qualifier, the event must be approved by the OSCF Board, and must be a rated, high-quality, open event held in Oregon. In particular:

  1. Prior to advertising the event as an OSCF Qualifier, organizers must have the event certified by the OSCF Board. Because organizers and TDs tend to change from year to year, even “annual” events must be re-certified every year. To get your event certified, contact us.
  2. Qualifier events for a particular year must be played in the period after the prior year’s state tournament, and ending 10 days prior to the state tournament for that year.  For 2022, this means that all eligible qualifier events must be played between April 11, 2021 and March 23, 2022.
  3. In general the event must be open to all scholastic players in the state. Common types of events that may not serve as qualifiers absent prior agreement with the Board include: “team only” events, dual meets between schools or clubs; “in-house” tournaments within a school or club; events with participation restricted by gender or rating; and events requiring an invitation. USCF membership may be required at open events, and some broad-based age restrictions (such as grades 6-12) may also be allowed.  “Team” events may be permitted to be qualifiers only if the director permits and facilitates the ability of unaffiliated players to join a team.
  4. At least one experienced USCF-certified or OSCF-experienced tournament director must be in attendance and properly (and promptly) submit the rated results of the tournament to the OSCF (see #11 and #12, below).
  5. The tournament must be NWSRS rated or US Chess Federation (USCF) rated or both (dual-rated). Refer to NWSRS rating requirements and “How to submit an event for NWSRS rating” on the NWSRS web site and/or USCF rating requirements on the USCF web site.
  6. If a tournament otherwise meets the requirements as an OSCF Championship Qualifier, but offers unrated sections, the tournament organizer must make it clear to participants in the unrated section(s) that the event will not count toward qualification for the OSCF State Championship. However, with the availability of the NWSRS, tournament directors should consider rating all sections.
  7. The tournament organizer must advertise the event as an OSCF Championship Qualifier on the NWSRS calendar at least two weeks prior to the event date (8+ weeks is recommended for best turnout). Organizers are encouraged to advertise through as many outlets as possible. OSCF can post your event on the OSCF web site (oscf.org), in addition to the required NWSRS calendar post. Events cannot be considered state qualifiers “after the fact.”
  8. We want Championship Qualifiers to be known for “generous awards.” A minimum of 25% of the total tournament budget must be set aside for awards. The tournament announcement must clearly advertise prizes, any guarantees, and policies regarding instances where a player may be eligible for more than one prize.
  9. US Chess Federation standards must be maintained in all cases, but particularly in higher-rated sections. The policies regarding clocks, notation, section format, class prizes, etc. must be published prior to the tournament. Any changes must be clearly and prominently posted at the tournament site before the event begins. Note that there are no particular requirements regarding notation, use of clocks, tie-break methods, format of sections (age-based vs. ratings based, quads vs. Swiss etc.), and other details. We require only that these details be clearly outlined in event announcements.
  10. The “US Chess Federation’s Official Rules of Chess” handbook must be on the premises and used to resolve any and all player disputes or tournament director decisions. This is true even if the event is only NWSRS rated. A working knowledge of this book is required for lead TDs.
  11. The results of NWSRS or dual-rated tournaments must be submitted for rating and insertion in the qualifier database within 5 days of the event. Events held during the final qualifying weekend will need to be submitted even more promptly.
  12. In the case of USCF-rated-only, events, the tournament director must submit the rated results of the event within 3 weeks of the end of the event — but no less than ten days before the state tournament.  It is acceptable to email links to online results. Note: This requirement and the prior one are intended to help enforce both NWSRS and USCF requirements for prompt submission of results for rating – and, more importantly, to ensure that all deserving players’ names are entered in the database in time for the Championship qualification deadline.


    • At least one certified or experienced TD for every 50 players. (For example, a tournament with 101-150 players should have three experienced TDs.)
    • The OSCF does not support “trophy inflation,” but we do want qualifiers to be known for sending home plenty of hardware and other attractive and creative prizes. All participants generally appreciate event mementos, such as ribbons and certificates, but the top 25% of participants should also expect to take home a trophy or other prizes of increased value and significance.
    • The OSCF recommends dual-rating (both NWSRS and USCF) for higher rated sections or older players. We also recommend offering USCF memberships as prizes to players in “beginner” sections.
    • The OSCF encourages the use of clocks and notation as much as possible. The pre-tournament announcements and flyers should clearly indicate that the player who notates gets the benefit of doubt in resolving disputes.
    • The OSCF recommends tournament formats that best suit the local playing population, facility constraints, and attendance goals of the tournament organizers. To that end, we do not dictate the format of OSCF Championship Qualifiers.

Note that while certain events may not be appropriate as qualifiers, they may still be eligible for NWSRS and/or US Chess Federation rating. See separate NWSRS Rated Event Requirements for requirements of NWSRS rated events.