OHSCTA Past Bylaws 2015-2016

March, 2015-Feb 2016


The name of this organization shall be the Oregon High School Chess Team Association (the “Association” or OHSCTA.)


The purpose of the Association shall be:

  • A) To provide an annual State Chess Team Tournament at which State Champions will be determined from among the participating high school chess teams.
  • B) To encourage new chess leagues to form and existing chess leagues to continue.


Section 1.  Members of the OHSCTA shall be the chess teams of Oregon high schools affiliated with a chess league and/or district recognized by the Executive Director and other schools recognized by the Executive Director.


Section 1.

The Board of Officers shall consist of the Executive Director, the Executive Director-elect, the Treasurer, and the Secretary.  The Treasurer and Secretary shall be appointed by the Executive Director, but may be subject to recall by the membership under ARTICLE X below.  For legal purposes, the Board of Directors shall consist of the Executive Director, the Treasurer, and the Secretary, but if one or more of those offices are vacant, the vacancies shall be filled first by the Executive Director-elect, and then by League Directors, based on their seniority in the Association.

Section 2.

The Executive Director and Executive Director-elect shall be the duly authorized advisors of member chess teams.

Section 3.

The Executive Director-elect shall be elected to a one-year term in even numbered years, and upon completion of the term, shall serve as Executive Director for two years.

Section 4.

The duties of the Executive Director shall be as follows:

  1. To collect and distribute information to league directors (minutes, announcements, etc.)
  2. To maintain a list of Association members.
  3. To initiate the annual State Tournament by announcing the site, time, etc. to the Tournament Organizer and the league directors.
  4. To conduct any voting which does not occur at a meeting by e-mail and report the results.
  5. To call and preside over the annual meeting at the State Tournament and any other special meetings deemed necessary.
  6. To appoint committees and sub-committees appropriate to the business of the Association.
  7. To appoint a Tournament Organizer.
  8. To act as spokesperson for the Association in matters concerning school officials, the media, and other chess organizations.
  9. To interpret the meaning of this Constitution between tournaments.
  10. To maintain the financial records of the Association and to make a financial report at the annual meeting.
  11. To set the annual registration fee for the State Tournament in cooperation with the Tournament Organizer.
  12. To appoint a successor for the remainder of the term should the Executive Director be unable to complete the term of office, and the Executive Director-elect position be vacant. Otherwise the Executive Director-elect shall assume the role of Executive Director.
  13. To advise the Executive-Director elect in regard to the duties, organization, and information necessary to the job of Executive Director. This training will occur in the second year of the current Executive Director’s term.
  14. To pay all financial obligations of the tournament with available Association funds.
  15. To appoint a Treasurer and a Secretary and to direct them as to their duties and responsibilities, which the Executive Director shall define.

Section 5.

Each league shall designate a director who shall have the following responsibilities to the OHSCTA:

  1. To maintain an annual list of member schools in the league and forward a copy to the Executive Director by November 30th of each year. The list should include the name of each participating school, and the name of the faculty advisor/coach of each team, along with their contact information.
  2. To report league standings to the Executive Director no later than one week prior to the State Tournament date.
  3. To forward all information from the Tournament Organizer to the schools in the league.

Section 6.

The Tournament Organizer shall be selected by the Executive Director during the State Tournament and the duties of the organizer are as follows:

  1. To arrange for the tournament date and site and notify the Executive Director no later than October 31st.
  2. To arrange for a Tournament Director.
  3. To set registration fees for the tournament in cooperation with the Executive Director.
  4. To send notices of the tournament by December 1 to all League Directors and the NW Chess magazine announcing the place, date, time of tournament rounds, the Tournament Director, registration fees, and time of any meetings to be held during the tournament.
  5. To shop for trophies as directed by this constitution and the Executive Director.
  6. By January 31st, to send names of motels/hotels, eating places, and directions to the tournament site to all parties on the Executive Director’s mailing list and post this list on the Association’s website
  7. Prior to the tournament, to arrange for name plates of teams participating and for materials to construct the tournament scoreboard.
  8. To set up a registration desk to accept all fees and names of all players by board position.
  9. To introduce the Tournament Director and make announcements before the tournament begins, and as needed between tournament rounds.
  10. To award trophies at the conclusion of the tournament.
  11. To invite media representatives to the tournament and forward tournament results to them.
  12. To prepare recommendations for the following year’s tournament and forward them to the Executive Director.


Section 1.

The Association shall meet annually during the State Tournament.

Section 2.

The agenda for the annual meeting shall include:

  1. Annual report of the Association given by the Executive Director
  2. League reports
  3. Tournament issues
  4. Committee reports
  5. Tournament Organizer’s report
  6. Elections
  7. Amendments to the Constitution
  8. The date and potential sites for the following year’s tournament
  9. Other items of interest to the members

Section 3.

The advisor of any chess team affiliated with a league of the Association, or otherwise recognized by the Executive Director, is allowed one vote and may participate as a voting member even though his/her team is not entered in the tournament.

Section 4.

The dates of the following year’s tournament will be set during the annual meeting.


Section 1.

Each chess team participating in the annual tournament will pay a fee determined by the Executive Director and the tournament organizer prior to the tournament.

Section 2.

Any school which has not paid its fee prior to the start of the tournament will be disqualified.

Section 3.

All money is to be expended for the purchase of trophies, the Tournament Director’s fee and mileage, phone and mailing costs of the Association and tournament organizer, and any other expenditures necessary to the tournament or approved by a majority of the voting members at the tournament.


Section 1.

a. Varsity Team Eligibility

a1. Players on a Varsity team must attend the high school they represent or participate in an alternative program sponsored by that high school.

a2. Home-schooled players are eligible to compete on any Varsity team within their public high school’s attendance area. If (a) no high schools within that area intend to field a team, and (b) a home schooled player has demonstrated regular attendance at chess meetings for another high school’s team, then that player may play for that school’s Varsity team if the coach for that school certifies the player’s regular attendance under this rule.

a3. Players attending a private school without a team are eligible to compete for their public high school.

a4. Players attending a public high school without a team are eligible to compete for a private school within the attendance area of their public high school.

a5. A high school’s Varsity team may have no more than two players on it that are only eligible under a2, a3, or a4.

a6. All players on a Varsity team must be in grades 9-12.

b. Junior Varsity Team Eligibility

b1. Players on a Junior Varsity team must attend the high school they represent, attend a feeder school to that high school or participate in an alternative program sponsored by that high school.

b2. Home-schooled players are eligible to compete on any Junior Varsity team within their public high school’s attendance area. If (a) no high schools within that area intend to field a team, and (b) a home schooled player has demonstrated regular attendance at chess meetings for another high school or middle school team, then that player may play for the relevant high school’s Junior Varsity team if the coach for that school certifies the player’s regular attendance under this rule.

b3. Players attending a private school without a team are eligible to compete for their public high school.

b4. Players attending a public high school without a team or attending a feeder school to that public high school without a team are eligible to compete for a private school within the attendance area of their public high school

b5. A high school’s Junior Varsity team may have no more than two players on it that are only eligible under b2, b3, or b4.

b6. All players on a Junior Varsity team must be in grades 6-12.

c. Special Eligibility Situations Petition

A primary purpose of OHSCTA is to promote and increase high school chess team participation. Individual eligibility situations may occasionally arise that should logically be allowed but which the above rules prohibit or did not envision or adequately cover. Where such a special eligibility situation exists, a coach may petition the OHSCTA Executive Director for the player’s eligibility. The Executive Director may then send on the petition to the OHSCTA membership for consideration. If no objections are raised by any coach in a week’s time, the Executive Director may declare the player eligible.

Section 2.

Each team must be properly sanctioned by the high school it represents.  Upon registration, or at the very latest, upon arrival at the tournament, each team’s advisor shall present a letter on the high school’s stationery, signed by the principal or activities director, listing each player’s name and grade, and stating each player’s status–how s/he is qualified to represent the school under Article VII, Section 1 above. These letters will be available for inspection by all advisors, and the Board of Officers must resolve any questions or challenges before the teams(s) under scrutiny can continue in the competition.  Players declared ineligible by the Board of Officers as the result of a challenge under this section will forfeit any completed games.  An officer whose team is directly impacted by debate under this section may not vote in the decision about eligibility.

Section 3.

No school may enter more than one team in the “Varsity” division.  Each high school is limited to one team in the Junior Varsity division, though middle schools that feed that high school may also be entered.

Section 4.

Each school must be represented by an adult advisor, sanctioned by the school the team represents.  A team’s advisor is responsible for the conduct of each member of the team at all times during the tournament.

Section 5.

Each team will consist of not more than five (5) players and board positions must be established on ability to play with board #1 representing the best player.

a. Each team will provide a list of its team members when registering for the tournament and the players must be listed according to board positions they will play during the tournament. Any changes in board position during the tournament must be approved by the Executive Director before a match begins. Failure to get approval could result in a forfeit of the board or boards involved.

b. The Tournament Organizer or the Executive Director may demand certification of board alignment. The league directors may certify the alignment from records kept during league competition.

Section 6.

Players are limited to four years of eligibility to play in the “Varsity” division.

Section 7.

In addition to the “Varsity” and “JV” divisions, the Executive Director may authorize other individual or team divisions to be held concurrently within the OHSCTA annual tournament, or at other times as s/he deems appropriate to encourage high school chess.

Section 8.

Advisors attending the tournament have the power to make such judgments as are necessary for conducting the tournament on matters of eligibility and conduct of players, teams and advisors.  A simple majority of the total number of advisors in attendance shall constitute a quorum with only one vote being allowed for each school represented.

Section 9.

Any team disqualified on the grounds of ineligibility and which has participated in the tournament until ineligibility was noted will not have its forfeited games counted in either team or tie breaker points.


Section 1.

The State Tournament shall be held once each year, on a Friday and the following Saturday, no sooner than February 15th and no later than March 15th. The tournament shall, when feasible, follow the tradition of giving the first opportunity to  host to a school in northern Oregon during odd-numbered years, and outside that area during even-numbered years.

For our organization’s purposes, “northern Oregon” shall consist of Multnomah, Clackamas, Washington, Yamhill, and Columbia counties.

If no suitable facility is available in the area designated for a given year by September 25th of the preceding year, the site requirement shall be waived and any facility that wishes to offer itself as a possibility may notify the Executive Director or his/her designee of a desire to host. By October 10th, the Board of Officers, consisting of the Executive Director, the Treasurer, and the Secretary, shall consider the applications and designate a site for the tournament, attempting as closely as possible to meet the requirements listed in this Constitution.

Some sites may find it necessary to charge for the use of their facilities.  In that case, all foreseeable costs must be disclosed when the facility makes its application to host the tournament.  The Board of Officers shall examine these disclosures and determine whether to:

  1. Absorb the cost
  2. Charge teams more to help defray expenses, or
  3. Decline the site’s application based on the projected costs.

Changes in disclosed costs will also be discussed by the Board of Officers, which reserves the right to withdraw hosting privileges if necessary.

Although the site requirement is flexible, the date requirement shall only be waived in the case of extreme emergency.  The Board of Officers, in cooperation with the Tournament Host, shall determine the degree of emergency and shall attempt to establish new dates for the tournament as close to the original dates and site as is practicable under the circumstances.

Section 2.

The Association, in an effort to recognize and accommodate the needs of schools of various sizes, will award a state championship trophy for each of the six OSAA classifications (that is, 6A, 5A, 4A, 3A, 2A, and 1A) in both the Varsity and Junior Varsity divisions.

If, however, fewer than three teams from any one classification are registered, they shall be combined with the teams from the next larger classification to compete in a combined classification group, and combined again if there are still fewer than three teams, until at least three teams are competing for a combined classification award. (Example: If only one each 1A and 2A team register, but there are three 3A teams, the 1A and 2A teams would combine with 3A and compete in a 5-team 1A-2A-3A classification award.)

If there is no larger classification group with enough teams to form a three-team combined group, then combine that classification with the next smaller classification. (Example: if there are two 6A teams and four 5A teams, the 6A teams would be merged with the 5A teams to compete in a 6-team 5A-6A classification award.)

Additionally, the team winning their respective tournament will be declared the overall State Champion.

a. Five round tournaments will be held for each division using swiss pairings.

b. Rounds 1 and 2 will be paired according to standard Swiss System protocol, using team average NWSRS ratings as the basis. In rounds 3, 4, and 5, pairing of teams from schools within the same (OSAA) classification groups(s) AND the same score group(s) will receive highest priority, the lone exception being that if 2 schools from different classification groups and from the highest score group(s) would normally be paired (in the last round) for the OVERALL 1st Place trophy when using standard Swiss protocol, then that pairing should receive highest priority.

Section 3.

The Official International Rules of Chess (USCF version) shall be followed at all times unless otherwise stipulated. The Tournament Director shall be the final arbiter on all matters of interpretation of these rules.

Section 4.

The recording of moves by both players, except in the last five minutes of either player’s time, is mandatory unless the Tournament Director makes an exception.

Section 5.

Chess clocks must be used on all games unless exempted by the Tournament Director.

Section 6.

Teams may compete with fewer than five members, but must fill board one first, then board two, and so on, forfeiting any unoccupied boards. Boards uncontested by both teams carry no point value when determining the final score of the match.

Section 7.

The winning player of a game is responsible for filling out the scorecard immediately after it the game is completed.  Failure to report could result in the Tournament Director declaring the game a draw.  Drawn games shall be reported by both players.

Section 8.

One player from each team shall be designated as team captain. The team captain is spokesperson for the team while a match is in progress. The team captain is responsible for completing the scoresheet by ensuring that teammates are playing on the correct board, that results of each game is recorded and that the scoresheet is turned into the tournament director after the conclusion of all games in the match. The scoresheet is to remain visible at the first board and may be consulted by any of the team members.

Section 9.

An advisor/coach may not communicate with any player whose game is in progress on matters pertaining to that game or any other game of the team.

Section 10.

Any team found guilty of deliberately “stacking” its boards during the tournament will forfeit all won games of the team during that match.

Section 11.

During competition the only conversation permitted between two players will be that which is allowed by the International Rules of Chess.  All violations will be reported to the Tournament Director immediately for consideration.

Section 12.

While any game is in progress during a tournament certain conduct by players as well as spectators is considered unacceptable. All complaints shall be reported to the Tournament Director for his discretion.  If any action should persist after one warning from the Tournament Director to the offenders, the game or games may be forfeited and in the case of spectators, they may be removed from the tournament room for the duration of the tournament.

  1. Property Offenses by Players. Any player who is determined to have entered an area marked or described as “closed” without permission from an official, or who litters or vandalizes the property of the host school may, upon the first offense, be warned by the Executive Director or his/her representative. The offending player’s coach will be notified of the warning. If there is a second property offense during the tournament by the same player, the player shall be suspended from participating in any remaining games or matches. If, in the opinion of the Executive Director, the first offense is of a severe nature, s/he may move immediately to suspension. Any player who is determined to have stolen from other players or coaches, or from the host facility, or from the Association or its officers, shall be suspended from competition for the remainder of the tournament. The Association retains the right to press formal criminal charges if, in the consideration of the Executive Director, the situation merits such action.

Section 13.

All games forfeited because of conduct problems shall not be counted in arriving at tie breaking points.


(1) Ties for first place in the team sections

(a) If two teams are tied in match points for a first place after the last round of the tournament, the following tie-break system (in order of priority) will be employed to name the champion:

i. Head-to-Head

ii. US Amateur Team System (USCF Rule 34G2)

iii. Tie is not broken. Both teams are named co-champions.

(b) If more than two teams are tied for first place after the last round of the tournament, the tie will not be broken, and all teams involved in the tie will be named co-champions.

(2) Ties for places not involving first place

US Amateur Team System (USCF Rule 34G2) will be used to break all remaining ties other than those for the overall winner at the top of a section, including ties for lower “overall” places and ties for winners of OSAA Classification trophies. Under this system, each team’s tie-break score will be figured by multiplying their game points (boards) for each round times the final team score of the opponent they played that round, and then summing the results over all rounds played by the tied teams. For example, assume two teams in a given round both won their matches by a score of 5-0, but one of the two beat a team finishing 4-1 for the tournament while the other beat a team finishing 2-3 for the tournament. In this case, the first team would earn 20 tie-break points (5 times 4) for the round, while the second team would get 10 (5 times 2). This means that every board in every round counts. Teams still tied after applying US Amateur Team System are proclaimed co-place winners.

(3) Place awards when ties are not broken

When ties are not broken, all teams involved in the tie receive the same place title. Other places are determined by actual finishing order. For example, if two teams tie for first, the next highest-scoring team is third because two teams finished ahead of them.

(4) Tie-breaks for individual sections

Standard “SCO” computer tie-breaks will be used to break ties for individual awards, regardless of section, classification or place. When SCO fails to resolve a tie, players involved in the tie receive the same place title. Other places are determined by actual finishing order. For example, if two palyers tie for first, the next highest-scoring player is third.

(5) Distribution of awards for co-place winners

For purposes of awarding trophies for any co-place winners, the Executive Director may exercise discretion regarding whether (a) to order multiple trophies in advance to hold in reserve, (b) to order multiple equal trophies after the event to be sent to co-winners, or (c) to assign existing lower-place trophies after the event based on a random draw, although in such a case, replacement plates indicating co-winner status should be ordered and sent to co-winners after the event. In any circumstance where co-winners leave the state event without their place trophy in hand, they should be given the opportunity to take photos with the trophy when their tie is announced.

Section 15.

The seeding system for the tournaments will be based on Northwest Scholastic Rating System or other available ratings.  The Executive Director will supply the Tournament Directors with full instructions as to the procedures to determine the appropriate seeds. These instructions will also be made available to all interested parties at least two weeks before the tournament date.

Section 16.

Time controls for each division and classification will be determined by the Executive Director once it is clear how many teams are participating in that division.  The Executive Director shall establish time controls which, in his/her opinion, give each player and team the best possible opportunity to conduct the games with the greatest degree of skill, but which also meet the needs of the Association and its members and hosts.  Unless, in the opinion of the Executive Director, extraordinary circumstances arise, time controls, once established, should remain the same throughout all rounds of competition.


Section 1.

As a general matter of policy, NO electronic devices are to be used during games.  All cell phones, handhelds, CD players,  MP-3 players, and the like are to be turned off.

Section 2.

If a player’s cell phone rings during their game, that player’s advisor/coach will assume custody of the phone until the player is finished with their game, and the Tournament Director will note the violation.

Section 3.

If, during the remainder of the tournament, there is another violation, the player will forfeit the game being played when the violation occurs, and will be suspended from the rest of the tournament.

Section 4.

If a player is discovered to be giving or receiving advice regarding a game,  involving the use of  a cell phone, pocket computer or other electronic device, the player will forfeit the game played, and that player and any other player(s) involved will be suspended from the rest of the tournament.

Section 5.

If, before the match begins, a player expresses to the Tournament Director that there is a reason s/he believes it is necessary to have a cell phone turned on, and the player is willing to leave the phone in his/her advisor’s possession (on “vibrate”) in anticipation of the call, and if all agree that this is appropriate given the circumstances, the player will be permitted to receive a call during the match without penalty. While taking the call, the player must leave the playing area, accompanied by the official in charge of the match (to be certain the call has nothing to do with the game) and the player’s clock will continue to run while s/he is dealing with the call.  This exception should be employed in only the most serious of circumstances.


Section 1.

Officers of the Association serve at the pleasure of the members.  If at any time, a member wishes to begin the process to recall an officer, s/he may do so by stating this at the annual meeting or by posting it on the general OHSCTA e-mail site, along with any additional information the member believes supports his/her challenge.  Such recall challenges shall be made only during the school year (September through May, excluding holiday and vacation periods).  Appropriate reasons for recalling officers include, but are not limited to, mishandling or misappropriation of funds, dishonesty, favoritism, or prejudice related to the exercise of the office, failure or refusal to execute the responsibilities of the office as stated in this Constitution, or other similarly serious charges.

Section 2.

Persons making such challenges should do so only after consulting with the officer(s) in question, if possible, and with other members, if appropriate, being certain that the things they allege are, to the best of their knowledge, true, and that other remedies to solve the problem have been exhausted.  A description of these efforts to communicate and address the problem, and their results, should be part of the initial posting containing the recall proposal.

Section 3.

The officer so challenged has two weeks from the issuance of the challenge to respond to it by stating his/her side of the issue, or by agreeing to relinquish the office.

Section 4.

After the two weeks of the challenge have expired, if the officer so challenged has not agreed to relinquish the office, members, including the officer in question, have one week to vote publicly on the OHSCTA e-mail site.  If at least half of the active advisors vote, and if at least two-thirds of the votes cast are in favor of the recall, the officer is recalled.

Section 5.

An officer so challenged but not recalled shall not be subject to another challenge related to the same charge and the same incident as the one that prompted the original challenge.

Section 6.

No member who unsuccessfully challenged an officer may initiate another challenge to recall that officer for a period of at least six months, unless it is on a charge of reprisal resulting from the previous attempt at recall.

Section 7.

No officer whether successfully recalled or not, shall impose any penalty, official or not, nor effect any other type of reprisal, on anyone who initiates or supports a recall effort against him or her.

Section 8.

Officers recalled from office retain their rights as members of the Association provided they comply with the needs of the organization, such as forwarding all materials related to their office on a timely basis to the person who succeeds them in that office.


Trophies will be awarded at the conclusion of the tournament to the champions of the six classifications in each of the “Varsity” and “Junior Varsity” divisions.  Other trophies may be awarded at the discretion of the Executive Director.  These trophies shall be retained permanently by the winners.


This constitution can be amended at any State Tournament meeting or special meeting called by the Executive Director, or by mail or e-mail ballot, providing all members have an opportunity to vote, and at least twelve (12) member schools are present or respond, and the vote is a two-thirds majority of those attending or responding.