Oregon High School Chess Team Association

Championship Prep "To Do" List


  • Contact local hotels/restaurants and find out costs, special discounts, amenities, and provide this information to the OHSCTA Web Master for inclusion on the website.
  • If necessary to help cover costs, contact local businesses for donations - offer to list them as sponsors (Kiwanis, Masons, Chamber of Commerce, Booster Clubs are all great resources for this)
  • Will you have onsite concessions?  If yes, contact local businesses, parent group or booster club
  • Write a welcome newsletter for attendees that lists local eating places, other activities, building map, tournament schedule and special school rules


  • Judges (you'll need 1 judge for every 15 teams)
  • Information desk
  • Hospitality Room Host/Hostess
  • Registration Desk (at least 3 - Check in/Payment, Team Roster, Information)
  • Crowd Control (at least 3)
  • Maintenance/Custodian Contact
  • Clean up helpers
  • Set up helpers
  • Signage help
  • Map out playing area with enough tables and chairs for 150 games at a time (groups of 5) with 300 chairs with at least 3' for each board.
  • There should be clearly defined signs on tables showing the Varsity, JV, Open and Individual sections. 
  • TD/Judges table with 1000 score sheets, 200 pencils, USCF Rule Book, Kleenex, 20 extra sets and clocks and a sharpener
  • Designated areas for posting pairings and results throughout the tournament
  • PA/Sound system if necessary
  • Trophy display table
  • Team tables for at least 40-50 teams and 300 chairs
  • Names of teams on tables
  • OHSCTA bylaws, tournament schedules, local restaurant locations & information
  • A quiet, private pairings area with access to electricity for computer and printer and extension cords if necessary.
  • Results form submission box
  • Substitution form box
  • Seating for approximately 20 at a time
  • Fruit, pastries, cookies, coffee, hot water, tea, etc.
  • Enough space to hold 50, in a quiet location to hold the coaches meeting on Friday evening.
  • Extra paper and pencils
  • Note:  It could be held in the hospitality room
  • Tournament registration area with ample room for 3-4 people at tables and space for coaches to que up as they arrive.
  • "No electronic devices permitted in tournament hall"
  • Team table signs
  • Coaches Room
  • Entrance
  • Parking
  • Playing Room
  • Skittles
  • Information Booth
  • Registration
  • Bathroom directional signs
  • Board Numbers
  • Section signs
  • Pairings
  • Standings
  • Have plenty of paper, Kleenex, tape, staples, sharpies, pens, pencils, pencil sharpener on hand.
  • Host should provide the OHSCTA Exec with the name of a custodian's contact information.
  • Make sure there's extra TP, paper towels, garbage bags, etc.
  • please note... the OHSCTA will reimburse for out of pocket expenses, keep your receipts!
  • Approve site location and date
  • Assign a Tournament Director, Pairings Coordinator and Registrar
  • Provide Nametags for all players, coaches, etc.
  • Team results cards for each round distributed to each table
  • Typically, online registration opens the week of January 20th.
  • If necessary, update online registration form
  • Print out and bring team captain duties for each team
  • Section placement of all teams
  • Bring information to coaches meeting:  OHSCTA Bylaws, Agenda, printout of special tournament rules and etiquette
  • Post schedule on website
  • Post reminder notices on ohscta@yahoogroup.com
  • Contact all high schools in the state via email
  • Email tournament information to media (Newspapers, Magazines, TV, Radio)
  • Contact local media directly - Oregonian & Local Newspapers 
  • Post minutes from organization meeting & tournament results on website and send to all media outlets throughout the state.
  • Send out reminders at 6 weeks, 4 weeks, 2 weeks, 1 week and 3 days before the event.
  • Post meeting agenda the week before the tournament 
  • Notify www.nwchess.com by email and send flyer. 
  • Post tournament information on www.oscf.org & NWSRS Calendar
  • Update championship information page on website including physical address w/directions, parking for buses and cars, special instructions, registration deadline, school rules that pertain to the event, onsite registration information, fees. 
  • Make sure all awards have been ordered.
  • Order special awards if you plan to give them 

    NOTES FROM 2009
    Registration in three groupings worked well:  Team Roster verification, payment for players present (keep these corrected rosters for pairings coordinator), School letter verification. 
    Make sure tables are set up in long rows so captains can see all boards as they play. 
    Team roster submission ahead of time allowed players to be entered and pairings to be made ahead of time.  Worked GREAT!  We started on time this year!  Pairings were ready 15-20 minutes after registration closed - just as announcements finished.
    When scheduling, allow for 15 minutes/round for players to find their spot and set up their boards.
    Remember to put board numbers on team score sheets every round for pairings coordinator.
    Create motherboard team signup forms with ratings and then cut off registration at a certain time (signups between rounds 4 & 5 might work better).
    Create motherboard bracket.  Play elimination again.  That worked out well and we didn't have to wait for games to finish to keep pairing people.
    Remember we have signs from Clackamas that can be used at the 2010 site.
    When labeling tables, remember the board number is actually the place where teams play and they need room for five boards/board number.
    Encourage coaches to look up opponent pairings to verify that there is no stacking.
    Encourage coaches to submit ladders and club matches for rating so players have an established rating of 15 games or more (in their lifetime history of games).
    When putting together sections, keep in mind to keep mixed sections round robin and try to put teams of equal strength together if you can.   Don't put teams from the same school in the same combined sectdion.
    The Open is a hybrid and may have some JV or Varsity teams in it.  Run it as a swiss but make sure that teams vying for titles play each other (force pair them if you have to). 
    If  you have an open section - it is optional - use hybrid tie breaks... match points, head-to-head and then let them blitz.
    Double check tie breaks in the bylaws before calculating awards.  Make an announcement before the last round about tie breaks so people will hang out if they need to do blitz.
    We have about 20 plaques left from 2009.  Check supplies before ordering in 2010.
    How will you let teams know that pairings are ready?
    Order at least to 3rd place in the individual section and give out medals for plus scores in this section.
    Concessions would do well in the team table area where they can walk by it and see what is available.
    Buy at least 200 pencils and have them all sharpened ahead of time.  That little detail can save frustration!

  • NOTES FROM 2008
    Table set up and signage - important that a logistical person double check as soon as things are setting up
    Continue with OSAA awards  (we had 40 teams)
    4-5 rounds in every section
    Longer time controls (G60-G90 ideal)
    Bring judge name tags
    Put sample school letter on website and require that the school that each student attends be listed
    Post team captain duties
    Send out notices about notation and electronic devices... coaches much get prior approval (with proof) as to why players need exceptions to this rule
    Alan did a blitz quad for extra team players - need prizes for this
    Opening announcement should contain:  Welcome, Thanks to host, touch move/take rule, clocks and settings, notation required, sportsmanship, respect, when to call a judge, when to talk to a team captain,
    Awards from 2008 - sportsmanship individual, team, host
    Coach recognition for 5, 10, 15, 20 year milestones
    Order more 2nd place trophies (at least 4) with silver medals for players
    Order 2nd place for Open and Individual as well
    Keychains (p,r,b,n for each team - captains choose k or q - extra players get pawns - white for 2009) - ordered 20 sets
    Order extra medals for individuals (for extra team members on winning teams) - 100 would have been better than the 60 I ordered
    International Chess School again?
    All State for perfect or undefeated scores.  Gave out 16 in Varsity.  Order smaller plaques for all state for JV and Open next year.
    Make an awards sheet so I don't have to flip through papers during awards
    Motherboard trophies (charge or not charge for motherboard?) Played 2 quads last year (8 teams)
    Order 5 misc excellence in chess medals
    $40 pizza gift cards for overall winners in combined sections (purchased 4 of these)
    Put together a media packet for reporters - get contact info to send results
    If a classification has fewer than 6 teams, combine in such a way that they have at least 4 rounds.  Additional rounds may be added by having byes or nonplaying teams match up during the 3rd and 4th rounds
    Try to have everyone on the same schedule to reduce noise in the playing room

  • NOTES FROM 2007
    Quiet playing area, far away from skittles and areas where students will burn off steam.
    Need lots of space for playing area so that notation can be made.
    Need room to spread out in the skittles area.  Enough tables for all teams... and guests.
    Registration prep is essential, otherwise the tournament will start/run late on Friday.
    More awards in all sections, but B seems a bit light.
    Start earlier?  1:30 pm?
    Add something on the form that teams have to click that says they have read and understand the eligibility requirements and what is necessary to bring on tournament day.
    Clearly state that no electronic devices will be allowed before and during event (if this is the case).
    Specifically invite newspapers/TV - give them access to players and photos - post something on the web.
  • "Winning is the science of being totally prepared." – George Allen