ECF Arbiters

Anyone who wishes to enquire about the FIDE Arbiter Licence Scheme should email the Manager of Arbiters (International), David Sedgwick at davidsedgwick3@googlemail.com

FIDE Arbiters’ Manual – click here | Arbiter Instructors

Arbiters’ Courses – click here

Arbiters List [as at 17/03/2017] – click here (PDF)
Please notify the Director of Home Chess, Alex Holowczak, of any errors, omissions or amendments required – director.homechess@englishchess.org.uk

ECF Arbiter Regulations (from 1st September, 2016)

Levels in the new Arbiter system

1 Attend an ECF Seminar and Pass the ECF Test
2 Become an ECF Arbiter
3 Become a FIDE Arbiter
4 Become an International Arbiter

Details of Each Level

1) The ECF will organise a minimum of three ECF Arbiter Seminars per year, and advertise them on the ECF website. These Seminars will have a reasonable geographic spread around England. The title will be awarded upon achieving a Pass mark in the Test. Titleholders will be eligible to apply for a FIDE Arbiters Licence. The ECF will aim to increase the number of Seminars to a minimum of five per year by 2019.

2) This will require three tournament norm passes from a minimum of two Assessors. At least one of these three tournaments must be from a Tournament that is either Rapidplay or Blitz. At least one of these three tournaments must be from a Tournament that is Standardplay. These tournaments must have a minimum of at least 30 players. Level 2 norms can only be acquired once the candidate has reached Level 1. The title will be awarded by a majority vote of Panel consisting of the Director of Home Chess, Manager of Arbiters (Home) and Chief Arbiter.

3) The FIDE Arbiter title will be awarded by FIDE under the regulations in force at the time. The ECF will organise a minimum of one FIDE Arbiters Seminar per year, and advertise it on the ECF website. This FIDE Arbiters Seminar can be attended, and the test taken, before Level 2 has been reached, but must be done after Level 1 has been achieved. No application for this level will be made for a candidate who is not already a Level 2 Arbiter. The Manager of Arbiters (International) will be responsible for submitting applications for FIDE Arbiter.

4) The International Arbiter title will be awarded by FIDE under the regulations in force at the time. The Manager of Arbiters (International) will be responsible for submitting applications for International Arbiter.

The ECF will not use norms that form part of a Level 2 application for Levels 3 or 4.

Other Arbiter-Relevant Regulations

FIDE Arbiter Regulations will continue to be in force for FIDE-rated events, specifically:

  • All arbiters working at a FIDE-rated event must be FIDE licensed arbiters
  • All FIDE title norm events must have a licensed FIDE Arbiter or International Arbiter on their list of registered arbiters

In addition, the ECF will not register any events with FIDE whose English-registered arbiters are not Listed at all by the ECF (see below).

Other Titles

A – Assessors
Existing Senior Arbiters and Instructors will be grandfathered into this role. For new assessors:

  • Three Assessor norms are required. A norm shall be earned in the following way: Candidates will be required to mark an arbiter on their performance at an event. The Candidate and his Assessor will independently mark the arbiter. The Candidate and the Assessor must then discuss any differences in the independent assessments. If the Assessor is happy with the outcomes of this discussion, then he shall be empowered to award a norm. This norm must then be reported to the Manager of Arbiters (Home). The ECF will aim to increase the number of qualified Assessors required in this process from one to two from 1st September, 2019.
  • Must be Listed at Level 2 or higher

To pass the assessment, and acquire a norm, the pass mark is 13 out of 16.

When a Candidate Assessor has acquired the three norms, he may apply to the Manager of Arbiters (Home) to become an Assessor. The title will be awarded by a majority vote of the Director of Home Chess, Manager of Arbiters (Home) and Chief Arbiter.

L – Lecturers
Existing ECF Arbiter Instructors and FIDE Lecturers are grandfathered into this role. For new lecturers:

  • Must be an assessor
  • Must be at Listed at Level 3 or higher
  • Be an assistant at three Seminars (ECF or FIDE) delivered by a qualified Lecturer, at a standard considered acceptable by the Lecturer.

When an Arbiter has been an assistant at three Seminars, the assistant may apply to the Manager of Arbiters (Home) to become a Lecturer. The title will be awarded by a majority vote of the Director of Home Chess, Manager of Arbiters (Home) and Chief Arbiter.

Regulations for ECF Arbiter Seminars

Lecturers cannot unilaterally decide to run an ECF Arbiters Seminar. ECF Arbiter Seminars must be organised by the Manager of Arbiters (Home). Organisations that wish to organise a Seminar must do it through the Manager of Arbiters (Home). The Manager of Arbiters (Home) will appoint one Lecturer and one Assistant Lecturer, considering factors such as the location of a Seminar, and any recommendations or requests by an organisation that wants to run a Seminar.

The Chief Arbiter will create a minimum of three different tests, one of which shall be distributed to the Lecturers of each course. Each test will have a mark scheme accompanying it. The test will be marked out of 100, and 20% of the course will be composed of pairing-related questions. After each year, one of the tests shall be replaced with a new test. In addition, a mock test will be distributed to candidates in advance, which will be half the length of the full test. Additional materials may be produced centrally, such as PowerPoint slides. The exam may be answered either by typing the answers or handwriting them.

The cost to attend a Seminar will vary from Seminar to Seminar depending on venue costs, but the minimum charge is £30. The money will be paid to the ECF centrally. The ECF will cover the travel (at 30p/mile if driving) and the accommodation expenses of the Lecturers attending the Seminar.

The topics for the seminar will be:

  • The Laws of Chess
  • Pairing Systems (Jamboree, All-Play-All, different types of Swiss pairings – e.g. Accelerated, Dutch system, CAA system)

The Seminar will need the following requirements:

  • A minimum of 16 hours, including a 3-hour test period
  • Suitable presentation facilities (e.g. a projector and a screen)

Within 21 days of the test, the Lecturer will have:

  • Marked the tests
  • Returned the marks to the candidates
  • Emailed an announcement to the ECF Office regarding the people who passed the test
  • Emailed the necessary updates to the List of Arbiters maintained on the ECF website

All Seminar attendees must be ECF members at the time of submitting an entry to the Seminar.

The ECF Arbiters List

Arbiters will be listed in accordance with these regulations. It is a condition of being Listed that the public List contains the following information about the Arbiter:

  • ECF Grading Reference
  • FIDE Identification Number
  • A contact email address
  • A contact phone number
  • Their level of qualification
  • Their county of residence

This information will ensure that organisers who are looking to appoint Arbiters to their events will have the necessary information to contact an Arbiter, as well as having an idea of their location.

Addition of Non-English Arbiters to the List

Arbiters whose FIDE registration is something other than England may apply to join the ECF Arbiter List if they meet all of the following criteria:

  • They are ECF members
  • They are, at the time of application, resident in England and have been for a period of 1 year
  • They hold either their country’s full domestic arbiter title, or the FIDE Arbiter title, or the International Arbiter title

In order to be Listed, applicants must Pass one assessment as set out in the regulations above. Upon achieving a Pass, the applicant will be listed in the following way:

  • Any holder of their full domestic arbiter title may apply to be listed at Level 2.
  • Any licenced FIDE Arbiter may apply to be listed at Level 3.
  • Any licenced International Arbiter may apply to be listed at Level 4.

Should the applicant subsequently gain a higher title, then the ECF will increase their Level upon notification.

This notwithstanding, any ECF member may go through the full ECF system if they choose to do, regardless of their nationality.

Other Grandfathering Issues

No arbiter’s level will decrease as a result of the change to this new system. Anyone at Level 1 who has passed the FIDE Arbiters’ Seminar will remain Level 1, but the next tier to aspire to will be the new Level 2, the ECF Arbiter title.

Roles of Other Officers

Chief Arbiter [appointed by the Board annually, must be Level 4]

  • Produce documents etc. about any changes to FIDE Laws of Chess – documents are advisory on how arbiters should change their behaviour, but should also help players to understand the changes too.
  • Resolve any Laws of Chess disputes sent to the ECF
  • Create the exam and syllabus for the ECF Arbiter Seminars as outlined above

Manager of Arbiters (Home) [appointed annually by the Director of Home Chess, Director of International Chess & Chief Executive]

  • Administering the domestic Arbiter system:

ο Arbiter norms for Level 2
ο Assessor norms
ο Lecturer norms

  • Organise and publicise ECF Arbiter Seminars
  • Appoint Lecturers to deliver ECF Arbiter Seminars

Manager of Arbiters (International) [appointed annually by the Director of International Chess & Director of Home Chess & Chief Executive]

  • Administering the process to apply to FIDE for the FIDE Arbiters or International Arbiter
  • Co-ordinate the organisation of FIDE Arbiter Seminars
  • Appoint Lecturers and other necessary staff to deliver FIDE Arbiter Seminars
  • Liaising with organisers and candidates to try to find suitable opportunities for Arbiters to

ο Acquire any norms required for titles
ο Any opportunities that enable them to increase their FIDE Arbiter classification

Arbiter Regulations – proforma guide for assessors | Arbiter Regulations – proforma