Leagues, Counties, Constituent Units & other organisations

Relevant links — Leagues, Counties, Constituent Units & other organisations | Graded congresses | FIDE rated events | Organisers guide by event type | Membership fees for organisations

Prices in this document relate to both the 2015-16 and 2016-17 seasons.

The following arrangements apply to all graded competitions – with the exception of graded Congresses and FIDE-rated events (see separate information pages) submitted by Leagues, County Associations, Constituent Units and Other Organisations:

  • For ECF members of any type, all results from these events will be graded at no extra cost. There is no limit on the number of graded games that will be accepted for each member within the cost of membership.
  • For those who are not ECF members, each result from these events will be charged a Game Fee.

The Game Fee rate will be £2.50 per result (half-game) for Standard Play events and £1.25 per result (half-game) for Rapid Play events. In the case of junior-only events, the applicable Game Fee rates will be 60p and 30p per result for Standard and Rapid Play respectively.

The membership year is fixed, running from 1st September to 31st August. Individuals joining prior to 30th June in any season will have their entitlement to free grading of club, league and county results (i.e. no Game Fee liability) extended retroactively to the preceding 1st September.


  1. In common with other events organised directly by the ECF, Game Fee is not payable on the national stages of the County Championships. It is payable on the results of non-members in the regional stages.
  2. The above arrangements apply also to graded internal club competitions, the results of which are usually but not always – submitted through one of the organisation types listed above.

Membership Organisations

Every League, County Association and Constituent Unit is invited to sign a Framework Agreement to become a Membership Organisation (MO). It is entirely up to the League, County Association or Constituent Unit whether to sign. Alternative arrangements exist for those organisations which choose not to become MOs, and these are explained later in this information sheet.

Congresses and Other Organisations that are members of the ECF are eligible to become MOs.

Any organisation considering becoming an MO should read the full text of the Framework Agreement carefully.

By signing a Framework Agreement, the MO is committing to using its best endeavours to ensure that all of its members, members of clubs in membership to it and all participants in its competitions shall become ECF Direct Members. It is also committing to submitting a schedule of members to the ECF by 31st October, along with payment of the applicable membership fees.

In return, the MO is entitled to retain £1 of the membership fee for each member, provided payment is made by 31 October. This may be used by the MO to help fund its own activities or, if preferred, the discount could be passed on to the individual members. The MO is also exempt from the normal requirement to pay an estimated Game Fee amount for the season (for winter leagues) by 15th January.

Timing and Amount of Payments

Membership Organisations (MOs) which have signed a Framework Agreement with the ECF Membership subscriptions to be paid by 31 October (eligible for £1 discount per member);
Any subsequent memberships to be settled quarterly at the end of each quarter;
Residual Game Fee in respect of the results of non-members to be paid within 30 days of invoice, to be issued annually in July or August.
Others (non-MOs) Winter Leagues Estimated Game Fee liability to be paid by 15 January;
Summer Leagues – Estimated Game Fee liability to be paid by 30 June.
In each case, the non-MO s actual Game Fee liability will be calculated and invoiced at the end of August. Immaterial adjustments will be incorporated into the following December s payment; material adjustments will be settled within 30 days of invoice.
COUNTY ASSOCIATIONS, CONSTITUENT UNITS & OTHER ORGANISATIONS (incl. CLUBS) Game Fee payable in respect of the results of non-members within 30 days of the conclusion of the event.
An invoice will be issued upon completion of processing of the results for grading.


The ECF Game Fee Bye Laws spell out the requirements for non-MOs:

Each organisation […] shall register any graded events which it proposes to organise and shall at the same time furnish the designated officer with an estimate of the expected number of grading results. Chess Leagues and Chess Congresses shall do so at the time of first applying for membership and annually thereafter no later than 31st October. Constituent Units, County Associations and Other Organisations shall do so not later than 31st October, and annually thereafter. Each organisation shall also provide the designated officer with an estimate at any such time as he may require, and shall when requested explain the basis for calculation of the estimate.

Based on this estimate, Game Fee for winter leagues will be payable by 15th January and for summer leagues by 30th June. In the case of other types of event, payment is due within 30 days of the conclusion of the event. In estimating the Game Fee payable, account may be taken of the number of ECF members, whose results are exempt from Game Fee.

As a consequence, organisations will wish to consider how to ensure that the Game Fee liability is adequately funded, especially as this has to be settled by 15th January. One practical solution would be to ask for a deposit from each player in graded events who is not (and intends not to be) an ECF member. Alternatively, it is possible to collect a £2.50 board fee per non-member. However, it should be borne in mind that many games will be played after mid-January, which is when the league or association has to pay its estimate of the total Game Fee for the season to the ECF.

It should be emphasised that, for any player who plays or expects to play more than six graded Standard Play games in a year in league, club or county competition, purchasing a Bronze membership is the more cost-effective option.

A note for Clubs & Other Organisations

Under the ECF’s Articles and Bye Laws, it is not currently possible for Clubs or other organisations not directly affiliated to the Federation to sign a Framework Agreement and become a Membership Organisation.

Informally, if for example a club in an area not covered by a Framework Agreement wanted to collect payment and membership forms from its members and submit them to the ECF en bloc, they would be accepted for processing but the retention of £1 per member would not be available to the club concerned and the full membership subscription would be paid to the ECF. An Excel spreadsheet template is available from the ECF office and on the ECF website for this purpose.

Scroll Up