Some rules and hints about which section to play.
Note that Texas has rules about which section a player can play.
The Collegiate Section is open to anyone in College from any state.
For the other sections:
Player must reside in Texas or go to a school in Texas.
6th grade players in Elementary must play in Elementary sections.
6th grade players in Middle School must play in Middle School sections.
9th grade players in High School must play in High School sections.
9th grade players in Middle School may play in Middle School sections or
in High School sections and can play on the H S team that the junior high
school feeds into 10th grade.
*Private school and Home school 6th graders must play in middles school sections.
Private School and Home school 9th graders must play in high school sections.
* TCA has ruled that K-6 private schools may have their 6th graders play with
the rest of their team in the Elementary sections.
The following are some rules of thumbs (these are meant as guides and are not comprehensive and binding to all possible cases.)
6th grade players that are home schooled must play in Middle School. No exceptions have been given.
9th grade players that are home schooled must play in High School. Again, no exceptions have been given.
6th grade players that are in private school must play in Middle School unless the private school is k-6. (If a school has a 5th grade and no 7th grade, then the player should play in elementary. If a school has a 7th grade, then the 6th grader should play in middle school. A 5th-7th school should play in middle school.)
An exception for private school 9th graders that are in a k-9 school has not yet been rendered by the Texas Chess Association; therefore, these 9th graders must play in the High School Section. The TCA Scholastic Committee, (Brenda Hardesty is the Chairperson,) has sometimes made exceptions since the rules cannot cover every case.
What section does a public school 6th grader play? Well if the player is in an elementary school the player plays in one of the Elementary sections. If the player is in middle school, the player plays in middle school. (In general, if a school has a 5th grade and no 7th grade, then the player should play in elementary. If a school has a 7th grade, then the 6th grader should play in middle school. A 5th-7th school should play in middle school.)
Some of these are confusing. Just what is the Texas Chess Association trying to do? They have two goals. The first is that kids play in their sections. TCA wants the High School winner to be in High School, The Middle School winner be in Middle School, etc. etc. The second is that TCA realizes that it would be unfair in general to isolate a grade. For example, it would be unfair to a k-6 school to have the k-5 kids in elementary and the 6th graders in middle school. The k-5 kids could think that their best players are removed from their team, and the 6th grade players could feel that they have no chance to win in the middle school section.
The primary section was created after the rules were passed. So any player in grades k-3 can play in the primary or can play in the elementary. So a k-4 school may choose to play all their kids in one of the elementary sections. Note that a 3rd grader that is rated between 700 and 799 may choose to play in the Elementary J V (U800 section) as opposed to playing in the Primary Championship.
In general new players in elementary and middle school should play in the novice section, provided that they have not gotten two high a rating if they have played in one or two tournaments.
Another consideration is that players sometimes play in championships sections so that the school has enough players to form a team.
if you have any questions about what sections to play, please contact Susan Breeding, 972.208.1802
The TCA Scholastic Committee is the next higher body in authority.