College Chess Eligibility Requirements
USCF College Team Chess has since its inception in 1945 welcomed non-traditionally aged players, particularly graduate students. For the time being, this custom will continue, with the following exceptions:
Rule 1: For college and university teams, titled players (International Masters, International Grandmasters, International Woman Masters, and International Woman Grandmasters) are eligible to participate if they satisfy at least one of the following stipulations: #1 or all three conditions listed in #2.
1. Are less than 26 years old as undergraduate students, or under 30 years old as graduate students, as of September 1 of the academic year in which the tournament takes place.
2. Satisfy all of the following three conditions:
a) Are full-time, degree-seeking students (e.g., at least 12 semester credit hours for undergraduate students and 9 semester credit hours for graduate students)
b) Have a grade-point average of at least B (e.g., at least 3.0 on a 4-point scale)
c) Have satisfied conditions 1 and 2 for at least one full semester at their team’s college or university prior to the event
Rule 1 applies to all college events – individual or team. There are no age restrictions on players not having the four above-mentioned international titles.
Rule 2: College and University players shall be enrolled at least half-time (e.g. 6 semester credit hours) during the semester of eligibility. For the Pan American Intercollegiate Team Championship, traditionally held between Christmas and New Year's each year, players must be enrolled in the Fall semester preceding the event.
Rule 3: College and University players shall be eligible to play for a total of six years, where a year is defined as being either a traditional academic year of a Fall and Spring term or a Fall term or a Spring term, e.g., a player enrolled in Spring of 1998, Fall of 1999, and Spring of 2000 is considered enrolled for three years under this rule.
Rule 4: College and University players shall be enrolled in a degree-seeking program with a grade point average of at least a C.
Rule 5: College and University players shall be resident at their campuses either in on-campus housing or in housing within reasonable commuting distance from campus, e.g., a player taking distance learning courses from another country shall not be eligible to play.
Rule 6: Colleges and Universities offering chess-related scholarships shall maintain records about the individuals awarded such scholarships, their time of attendance, the degrees received if any, and the grade point average attained.
Rule 7: Faculty, staff, and alumni are not eligible to compete in the National Collegiate Chess League Team Championship conducted over the internet each Spring.
The following are suggestions offered for guidance:
Faculty conflicts. A faculty member serving as a consultant or director to a university or college chess program should adhere to the following guidelines:
1) To admit no player to their program who does not, in their judgment, demonstrate a serious likelihood of achieving a degree.
2) To not offer independent study courses to members of the chess team.
3) To not recruit players from other chess programs.
4) To scrutinize carefully undergraduate students applying for a second baccalaureate.
Winning teams should file a report to document compliance with these regulations with the USCF.
Any team's standing may be challenged for non-compliance by a competing team through a written complaint sent within thirty days to the Executive Director or the Scholastic Director of the U.S. Chess Federation. That official shall gather the relevant documentation of the complaint, make a recommendation as to disposition, and send it to the USCF Executive Board for resolution.