WSCF has been organizing scholastic tournaments since January of 2004. Students in Kindergarten through 12th grade are eligible. Some tournament hosts offer adult divisions where adults are paired with a student and compete for a trophy.

Most tournaments are five-round Swiss, G30 or G25, d5. G30 means that each player has 30 minutes per round. Most games do not require clocks, and if so, the Floor TD’s put clocks on the games that are not likely to finish within the hour. Chess notation is not required, but some more experienced players use clocks. Some high school tournaments are 4 round G45. The number of divisions in a tournament often depends on the expected number of registrants. The number of entrants in tournaments varies from 20 to 300. If tournaments are expected to be less than 30 players, then there is one division. If less than 60, then two divisions. If less than 125 or 130, then three divisions. Over 130, then it is best to have four divisions. Divisions can be divided by age or by ability.

Most WSCF tournaments are by age with division names such as K3, K4, K5, K6, K8, and K12. If by ability, divisions are most likely U500, U600, U800, U1000, U1200, or Open. K3 means Kindergarten through third grade. K6 means Kindergarten through sixth grade. Students are allowed to play “up” but not down. A typical two-division tournament is K5 and K12. A standard three-division tournament is K3, K6, and K12. If a middle school is a host, then the divisions are often K5, K8, and K12. The tournament host chooses the divisions in consultation with WSCF
staff. In some cases, the divisions are a combination of age and strength. Examples might be K5u500, K8u800 and Open.

Team trophies are awarded to the top 4 scorers from a team. Schools and clubs come with a different number of players, and only counting the top scores makes a team of 20 players equal to a team of 5 players.

All WSCF tournaments award trophies and medals.

The number of trophies awarded is up to the hosts. Trophies are given for both individuals and teams. A typical tournament of 100 players with about thirty players in each division will award three team trophies and three individual trophies. Every player who doesn’t get a trophy is awarded a medal. The host is responsible for purchasing the trophies and medals. WSCF can supply the medals if needed, and the cost is usually cheaper than buying from a local vendor.

Local Tournaments

WSCF provides tournament services to clubs and schools. We provide a tournament director, chess clocks, tournament documents, and online registration. The tournament director manages the tournament with the help of local volunteers and uses WinTD software to manage the pairings. The host school or club receives all entry fees and pays WSCF on a sliding scale for its services.

Tournament hosts organize volunteers, arrange for space with the host school or church, and often provide concessions. The tournament host receives all the net income from concessions. The host recruits volunteers to help with registration, score table supervision, and floor TDs.

WSCF guarantees that a tournament host will not lose money.

It isn’t easy to cash flow with a tournament below 30 students. Entry fees for local tournaments are usually $15.

The tournament season is typically September through April, with no more than one tournament in each geographic area.

WSCF offers tournaments in Green Bay-Fox Valley, Sheboygan, Madison – Central Sands, Milwaukee, and Milwaukee Metro and is willing to provide tournament service anywhere in Wisconsin. Tournaments are awarded on a first-come, first-serve basis or host history. Hosts that have tournaments every year typically reserve the same weekend each year, and they have first rights on that date.

If you are a club leader and are interested in hosting a tournament, please get in touch with WSCF via email to for more information and to set up a virtual consultation.

WSCF Hosted Tournaments

WSCF hosts specialty tournaments around the state. We have had tournaments at Milwaukee Public Museum, Discovery World, Marquette University, UW-Milwaukee, UW-Green Bay, St. Luke United Methodist Church in Sheboygan and at the Kalahari Resort in Wisconsin Dells. At the Kalahari, families can get the “chess rate” and book rooms at a discounted price. Each year there are Grade Level tournaments in each geographic region. In the past, these have been held in Green Bay, Sheboygan, and Milwaukee Area. In the Milwaukee Grade Level, there are thirteen divisions with up to 7 trophies awarded at each grade. Depending on the grade, there are three team trophies awarded. The Milwaukee Grade Level attracts about 300 players each year and has been held at UW-Milwaukee Student Union. Teams’ scores are determined by the top three players.

USCF rated Scholarship Tournaments

WSCF hosts USCF-rated tournaments and awards scholarships in proportion to the number of entries. Players must join the United States Chess Federation to play in these tournaments.

Remote WSCF directed tournaments

WSCF can provide live tournament management remotely if the size of the tournament does not warrant sending a tournament director in person.

Hosts will communicate with WSCF staff the names of contestants and the results of each round. The TD will then email the pairing. In these cases, the host would need to gather enough boards from their own sets and visiting coaches. Disputes can be resolved via virtual consultation with the players or texted pictures of the games.