Lower Bucks County Scholastic Chess League



Rules for 2021-22

We are back for the 2021-22 Season in the Hybrid Format. Here's the plan...

LBCSCL 2021-22 will be a hybrid year following our entirely online format last year. The hope is that next year will see a full return to face-to-face play. Let’s keep those fingers crossed!

We will have an 8 round Swiss System tournament and two round playoffs event. The dates of the 8 round Swiss will be all Tuesdays 11/30, 12/7, 12/14, 1/ 4, 1/11, 1/18, 1/25, 2/2

The top four teams from the regular season will qualify for the playoffs. The #4 seed will travel to play #1 over the board. #3 will travel to #2 for an over-the-board g60 match.
Match dates will be 2/8 for the semifinals and 2/15 for the finals.

We will have a maximum of 100 players in the LBCSCL tournament this year. (Edit, we have 130)

Beginning today through October 31, 2021, teams may enroll as few as FOUR players but as many as EIGHT players. These players should be selected based upon their availability during match times, willingness to follow the rules in this document, and whatever standards that you place on your team.

Beginning November 1, 2021, we will enroll B-Teams from schools as well as any individual players from LBCSCL schools, not fielding teams.

At the time of registration, players will need to know their chess.com username. If they want to create a new account or they plan to use an existing one, the account given will be the account used during this event. It cannot change. We will only be using chess.com for uniformity.

Google Classroom has been set up. The code is SEE YOUR COACHES FOR THIS CODE. Coaches should feel free to join the classroom page. Students that are playing in this tournament must enroll in the class. Information about the league will be posted there regularly.

Players will report to their designated area in their school accompanied by a coach or other approved faculty.

Players will report to Google Meet no later than 3:15 for matches to begin as soon as the pairings are ready. If players are not in the meet with the link in the classroom by 3:15 they will be considered absent (forfeit) from that round of the tournament.

In the event that players must miss a round due to other obligations or illness, they must notify tournament administration prior to noon on the Tuesday of the game. They will receive a 0.5 bye. Notifications can come from coaches or players themselves. These byes are limited to one per player for the entire tournament.

Players that miss a round without informing administration by noon on the day in question will receive a forfeit loss. Two no-shows will result in removal from the event and DQ that player from playoffs.

As soon as the pairings are available, they will be posted on the classroom page. Color will be denoted on the page.

Players will play a g30 on chess.com and record results on a google sheet in the classroom and provide a link to the game.

Any matches not recorded will be scored a double forfeit.

Teammates will not play each other through round five. We will do our best to ensure that we avoid this in rounds 5-8, though this may not always be possible. We will attempt to break pairings involving A/B teams from the same school through round 5.

This is NOT a USCF-rated tournament. If both players want to rate the game for chess.com points, that is acceptable. If one player objects, then the match should be unrated.

Each win for a player will be one point. A draw will be worth 0.5.

The top 4 players from each team, based on performance in this tournament, will make the team score. Any players outside of their top four performers will be ignored for team total.
The top four teams will make the playoffs.

Players must play in their school building under the supervision of their coach or approved replacement.

Players must remain on google classroom with cameras on and microphones muted.
There can be no use of cellphones/iPods during the match for any reason. No programs should be running on the computer other than the ones needed for LBCSCL. (Read: No cheating)

There should be no communication with your teammates during games. You may not use chat functions to communicate with anyone other than your opponent.

You should not leave the view of the screen during the match. In the event of an emergency, please return to the screen immediately.

In the event that you think your opponent has “cheated” or is not following the rules outlined here, please privately contact the administrator available on google meet.

If a player does “cheat” or violates the rules outlined above, players will receive one warning. A second warning will lead to a forfeit of the round in which the warning took place. A 3rd warning will forfeit all future rounds and DQ the player for the season.

Misclicks, internet glitches, internet dropping are the responsibility of the player and not cause to restart the game. If chess.com calls the match “abandonment” then the game is abandoned. If a draw is offered and accepted, it is a draw.


The top four teams that qualify for the playoffs will begin our “over the board” playoffs. Post-season teams will be the top 4 scores players from each of the four teams. Teams will rank their players by USCF rating. If players do not have USCF ratings, then league individual standings will rank players. No substitutions of players for any reason.

Playoffs will be g60d5 time control. The home team will take white on boards 1 and 3.

In the event of a 2-2 tie, teams will switch colors and play a 5-minute blitz. If that blitz ends in a 2-2 tie, the better-seeded team will advance.

You must be in a designated room in your school overseeing your players to prevent the use of chess engines and extra communication.

Must come from coaches. Attached to this email, you will find a registration form. Please fill it out in its entirety.

Free to players from LBCSCL schools.

The top ten players in the regular season will receive plaques.

Playoff teams will receive plaques

With the influx of new schools, we wanted to have a central place with information about how the league runs for reference. Feel free to bookmark this site for future reference.


League Commissioner: Ed McKenney (schach@comcast.net)

Chair: Shawn Simmons (simmsm@abington.k12.pa.us)

League Email:  Varsitychess@gmail.com 


LBCSCL Schedule


Mid October: Deadline to register for the year.

Early November: Schedule released.

Final week of February: End of regular season

Beginning of March: Playoffs begin.


Schedule/Scheduling Matches

  • Schedule will be released in November. It will be arranged by week and usually scheduled for Tuesdays. Coaches will email/call to schedule matches with their opponent. Every attempt should be made to play matches on the given day and week. If a match is scheduled for Thursday, it is because one school cannot meet on Tuesdays.
  • Unfortunately, sometimes this is not possible to schedule a match due to school calendars. In these events, there will be a season end date. All matches must be played prior to this date. Any unplayed match will be a double forfeit on the season end date.
  • If you feel a team is intentionally not playing their match or “ducking” please contact the commissioner so they may intervene.
  • Please contact opponent coach prior to just showing up for a match.
  • Teams should arrive to their scheduled matches by 3:30. Every attempt should be made to arrive by 3:30.
  • Addendum 11/17/2017:  We understand that matches need to be rescheduled from time to time due to school schedules. However, if you confirm your match, then cancel on the day of the match, the opposing coach has the right to request a forfeit. The league prefers all games be played; however, canceling the day of the match creates a tremendous inconvenience to the opponent. 
  • Addendum 6/6/2019: If teams are scheduled to play twice in a season and a team cancels in the first half of the season, the inconvenienced team may require the canceling team to play a double match on the next scheduled matchdate. The canceling team does not have the right to refuse if asked. Refusal will lead to a double forefeit for both matches for the cancelling team. 


Prior to the Match

  • Your team should have a ranking system. You should come into your league matches knowing who will play each board. Your players should be ranked as One Board, Two Board, Three Board, Four Board, and Fifth Board. One board should be your best player. Five board should be the lowest of your starters.
  • When available, current USCF ratings must be used to rank your team. If a player has played a USCF match within the last year, their rating is current. USCF players must play your top boards with unrated players filling in behind them. Coaches may use discretion on players within a 50 point window of each other.
  • If your school does not have chess clocks, please let the opposing school know so they can bring theirs.



  • Matches will follow all USCF rules. Below are highlights of important rules but all rules should be enforced.
    • Touch move
    • Not taking notation waives rights of players
  • Matches are assumed to be g60. This means that each player has an hour to complete their moves. In the event of a double match OR one team has traveled over 45 minutes to play a game (I.E. traffic or long distance) the match may be reduced to a g45. For a game to be reduced, both coaches must agree. If one coach does not agree to the reduction, the game must be played as a g60.
  • CELLPHONE/TECHNOLOGY policy: USCF does not allow for cellphone usage during matches. Phones should be powered down or placed on silent during matches and remain of until all five boards have been decided. To avoid potential issues of using phones in the bathroom (ie using a chess engine) we are going to implement this policy. If a player needs to use the restroom, their phone must be given to their coach until they return to the playroom. We hope this eliminates issues going forward.
  • This does not apply to playoff matches. Playoff matches must be settled in g60 time limit.
  • 5 second delay should be used when available.
  • Teams will line up their one board to play the other school’s one board. Two boards play two boards, etc.
  • The home team will play white on boards 1, 3, and 5. Home team plays black on 2 and 4.
  • Black selects which side the clock goes on.
  • Each board is worth one point. Draws are worth half a point to each team. Winning teams have the most points. Some leagues weight the boards differently, we use 1 point per board.
  • Home coaches must provide a board (blackboard/active board) with complete listing of players for both schools. This serves as the scoreboard.
  • There should be no communication in any way, shape, or form between players and coaches or among teammates once the match begins. Communication can be cause for a game to be forfeited. Any issue with communication should be reported to commissioner/chair following the match.
  • In the event that boards must be forfeited due to a lack of available players, teams must forfeit the lowest boards. For example, if Team A only has four players, they must forfeit the #5 board. 

Post Match

  • Following the match, it is the home coach’s responsibility to email commissioner and chair the results of the match. This must be done ASAP but no later than 24 hours following the match.

Reports can be as simple as


Philadelphia 3-2 New York

Player 1-0 Player

Player 1-0 Player

Player 1-0 Player

Player 0-1 Player

Player 0-1 Player 



  • Playoffs will begin in late February or early March.
  • Standings for the playoffs will be listed on the website and will be as up to date as possible. Tiebreakers will also be outlined on the homepage. Note, games not played prior to the season end date will not count for or against a team. For example, an 8-1 record will hold the same value as an 8-2 record.  The tiebreaks will be followed after teams are ranked by WINS, not winning %.

  • In the event that playoff matches end in a draw, teams will switch color and play a five minute blitz match on all five boards. Colors should be switched to give the advantage to visiting team. Teams may not alter their lineups from the original match. If a player has left the building, they forfeit that board. If that blitz ends in draw, the game will be awarded to the home team/higher seed.


  • Player eligibility: Players must come from the same campus of the school they will represent. For example, if your district has a north and a south, those schools cannot combine. In the event that your school has a middle/elementary school, up to two of your five boards may come from the school directly related to your school. For example, Smithville Junior High students could play for Smithville Senior High.


League Cost: $65. This money covers trophies for the teams and highest ranking players. Each league team is guaranteed two trophies.