Frequently Asked Questions
Last Revised
November 14, 2018

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After you read these 15 questions, if you still have a Player-Eligibility or Team-related question, please contact Mike Hoffpauir by email or by phone/text to 757-846-4805.

  1. What is a Team? 
    ANSWER:  A "team" is two or more players who attend the same school and who are playing in the same section of the tournament. A school does not have to have a "chess club" in order to have a "team" for this tournament.  In other words, if there are two or more players who go to the same school and they are playing in the same section of the tournament, then by default they are "a team."

  • For the Championship Sections in the Main Event team scores are determined using the game scores of the 4 highest-finishing players.  Teams with few than 4 players only accrue the points scored by the 2 or 3 players on their team.

  • For the new "Under" Sections in the Main Event team scores are determined using the game scores of the  3 highest-finishing players.  Teams with 2 players only accrue the points scored by those 2 players.

  • A school may compete IN BOTH SECTIONS within their grade group.  For example, Jonesville Middle School may have a team of 4 players in K8 Championship, and a team of 3 players in K8-Under 1200.

  1. Do all players on a "Team" have to attend the same school? 
    ANSWER:  Yes.  If your player is home-schooled, see Questions 8 and 9 below.

  2. Paul (or Sally) goes to Smallville High School, and they don't have a Chess Club.  Can s/he play as a member of our School's team? 
    ANSWER:  In general, the answer to this question is "No".  However, we ask that you contact Mike Hoffpauir and describe your specific situation because it deserves to be handled on a case-by-case basis.

  3. To play in the State Tournament do I have to be on a "team?" 
    ANSWER:  No, you do not have to be on a team.  But, you will be eligible only for the individual awards.

  4. Our child attends two different schools--one for all math and science classes, the other school for other courses.  Both schools have a Chess Club.  What School does our child play with? 
    ANSWER:  This is a complicated question that we usually answer based on your answers to these general questions:  1) Where does the student take "most" of his or her class work; 2) From which school does the player receive their Report Card or Grade Report; and 3) For which school has the player been playing in other (local) Scholatic Tournaments?  PLEASE contact us EARLY to get this question answered for your player.  Don't wait until the tournament.

  5. In our School District, the District Office has consolidated "Club activities" at specific schools.  As a result Chess Club is offered only at a couple of schools in our district and students go to one of those two schools for Chess Club.  For what school should my child register?  Do they register under the school they attend, or under the name of the school where Chess Club is held?  
    ANSWER:  Players must register for the school they attend, not for the "other school" where they go to Chess Club.   See also Question 2 above.

  6. Our school district does not allow "Chess Clubs" at the schools, can we still play as a team? 
    ANSWER: Yes, absolutely, as long as there are at least 2 players from the same school.  See also the answer to Question 1 above.

  7. Can a home-schooled player play on our School Team?
    ANSWER:   Maybe
    For this to happen we must have a letter from the School's Principal, Asst Principal, or the Team's Official School Sponsor (e.g. someone authorized to sign a letter on behalf of the School) saying that the player in question is a member of the school team and is being allowed to represent the school at the tournament.  Contact Mike Hoffpauir if you have additional questions.

  8. I am Home-Schooled.  Can I be on a Team?
    ANSWER:  YES, you have several options ...

    • One option you have is to form a team comprised of players who are all from the same, locally-formed home school association or co-operative (co-op).  The bottom line is that we look to ensure that such an organization was not (or has not) formed for the purpose of entering this tournament. 

    • If you are not part of a Home School Association or Co-Op, players may form a team with players who all live within the designated school boundary of the public school they would attend based on their home address and their current grade in school.

    • A Home-Schooled player also has the option to play as a member of the Public School he/she would normally attend based on his/her home address and current grade in school.  Permission to play on the school's team must be in writing, signed by a school official (Principal, Asst. Principal, or the Chess Team's Official School Sponsor).  See also the answer to Question #8 above.

  9. I will be attending Jones Middle School next year, can I play on their team this year?  
    ANSWER:  No, except as described below.

    • Exception   Pre-school age players are an exception to this rule because they are not yet enrolled in school.  Therefore, a Pre-school age player's "team option" is to play for the school that they will attend when they become age-eligible for that school.  For this to happen we must have a letter from the future School's senior administration (Principal, Asst Principal) attesting to the fact that the pre-school player is expected to attend their school when s/he becomes of age.  Contact Mike Hoffpauir if you have additional questions.

  10. Our School is a K-6 school.  Can our 6th Graders play with their school-mates on our K-5 Team?
    ANSWER:  No, to compete as part of a team the 6th graders should form their own team and register in the K8 Championship or K8 Under 1200 Section. 
    Alternatively, any of the K5 eligible players can "play-up" as part of your school's K8 Team (e.g., in this example, it means K5 players playing-up on their school's K8 Team).  As this example suggests, it's also possible for your school to have two teams, one playing in the K-5 Section, the other in the K-8 Section.

  11. We don't have a School Team, but our town has a "Scholastic Chess Club."  Can they compete as a team?
    ANSWER:  No, all team members must be students at the same school or otherwise meet at least one of the Team Composition criteria outlined above. 

  12. I live in Washington D.C., but go to school in Virginia near where my father (mother or guardian) works.  Can I compete in this tournament?
    ANSWER:  The answer probably is YES, the tournament is open to all players who attend public, private or home-school IN VIRGINIA. 

  13. I was born in Virginia, but I now live in Connecticut.  Can I compete in this tournament?
    ANSWER:  The answer is very likely NO.  But you should contact us to check and be certain.

  14. My father (mother or guadian) is in the U.S. military and stationed in Virginia.  I attend the local public or private school, or I am home-schooled.  Can I play in this tournament?
    ANSWER:  YES.   See also the rules above concerning schools and home schools.

  15. I don't see an answer to my particular eligibility or team question.  Who can I call to ask my questions?
    ANSWER:  Contact Mike Hoffpauir by email, or by phone/text to 757-846-4805.  Don't wait until the tournament to get your questions answered.

If you have a question about Team Composition, contact Mike Hoffpauir by phone at 757-846-4805,
or by email to