Pay to Play and Game Fee 2022/23
These fees were decided by the ECF Council in April 2019 and came into effect for events starting 1 September 2019 or later. With one minor tweak they have remained unchanged and will do so for 2022/23.
Experience is that the ECF cannot anticipate every single format or concept of event and if something is not covered organisers should check for any potential fees with the ECF’s Director of Membership Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
From the player’s point of view there follows a brief summary of the participation that each level of membership entitles our members to without liability to pay any ‘Pay To Play’ or flat rate ‘Game Fee’.
- Platinum, Junior Platinum: full participation in all competitions requiring ECF membership
- Gold, Junior Gold: full participation in all competitions requiring ECF membership
- Silver, Junior Silver: participation in all competitions except those submitted for FIDE standard play rating
- Bronze, Junior Bronze: participation in Leagues, Club internal tournaments, and any congresses or tournaments that are open only to players from a specified league, county or local area (‘closed’ events)
Note – at time of writing the cost of Junior Silver is the same as that for Junior Bronze so, in practice, juniors should prefer the former.
Competitions come in a number of categories and the main ones are summarised below, along with their cost implications for organisers. Please seek the guidance of the Director of Membership where anything is unclear. His email is email@example.com
1 – FIDE-rated events
1a Standard Play (as distinct from rapid play or blitz)
N.B. FIDE charges the ECF for the registration and rating of these events
Players whose FIDE affiliation is be ENG must be (Junior) Platinum or (Junior) Gold members of the ECF. Where they are not then a fee of £12.00 for each such player will be charged to the event. If (and only if) the player was already a (Junior) Silver member that £12.00 will be applied to upgrade their membership to (Junior) Gold.
Players whose FIDE affiliation is not ENG will incur a per capita fee of £1.50, charged to the event, unless of course they happen to be (Junior) Platinum or (Junior) Gold members of the ECF
1b Rapid Play
At the moment FIDE is not charging for the registration or rating of these events and so for ECF Pay To Play fee purposes they will be treated as being ordinary congresses/events, as in either 2 or 3 below.
At the moment neither the ECF nor FIDE are charging for the registration or rating of these events.
Organisers will be invoiced as soon after the event as feasible. Where organisers wish to send a payment in advance of being invoiced they are asked to make their calculations clear and which players are affected.
2 – Congresses/Tournaments which are not FIDE-rated
2a Open age or adult ages – any event which is not for juniors only
This applies to all such events of four rounds or more; events of less than four rounds are outside the scope of ‘Pay to Play’.
Other than the above this section applies regardless of how many rounds the event has, or whether it is standard play or rapid play (blitz events are at the moment outside the scope of ‘Pay To Play’ although this is under active review)
Other than blitz events, tournaments played in England require all players (including visitors from outside England) to be ECF (Junior) Silver members or higher; or, in the case of ‘closed’ events (as defined above) (Junior) Bronze will suffice.
For any player who does not meet the above requirement a ‘Pay To Play’ fee of £9.00 will be due from the event, whether the player is adult or junior. In those cases, and where the player is already a (Junior) Bronze member, their membership will be upgraded to (Junior) Silver.
Players playing as fillers will not incur a ‘Pay To Play’ fee.
2b Solely for juniors (age under 18)
This applies to all such events of four rounds or more; events of less than four rounds are outside the scope of this section of ‘Pay to Play’.
The provisions of 2A above apply, mutatis mutandis, except that the ‘Pay To Play’ fee is £2.50 rather than £9.00, and payment of a ‘Pay to Play’ fee will not serve to upgrade a Junior Bronze member to Junior Silver.
Players playing as fillers will not incur a ‘Pay To Play’ fee.
For both 2A and 2B organisers will be invoiced as soon after the event as feasible. Where organisers wish to send a payment in advance of being invoiced they are asked to make their calculations clear. Exceptionally, for an event organised by a League or Club solely for its own members, organisers will be invoiced at the end of the season (in practice a few weeks after 30 June) to give those members time to take out ECF membership during the season.
3 – Leagues and other team events including jamborees
N.B. If the League/event is FIDE-rated then the requirements at (1) above take precedence,
Players are required to be ECF members at (Junior) Bronze level or higher. Players who are not will not pay any Game Fee for their first three* games in that league/event – but once they play a fourth game they become liable for a Game Fee of £18.00 if an adult, £6.00 if a junior.
A ‘League’ refers to the organising body. If a League organises several divisions, or perhaps a winter competition and a summer competition, those will be aggregated to decide whether players have hit the four game threshold referred to above.
Please note that the Game Fee of £18.00 or £6.00 applies once more than three games have been played, whether four or fourteen or forty. It applies to all games played within a particular League, in whatever division, in League format or in the League’s team K.O. or jamboree events if any. However, it is not aggregated across Leagues, so a player could play three games in the Eastshire League and three in the Westshire League without fee; but four in one and two in the other would incur a Game Fee of £18.00 or £6.00.
Please note – it has become clear that the concept of multiple charging has not been fully appreciated. If a player plays 4+ games in the Eastshire League, and also 4+ games in the Eastville Club Championship, then League and Club are each going to be invoiced £18.00. The fact that one has been invoiced does not waive the charge for the other. Both League and Club will have chosen to submit a non-member’s results for ECF rating so the charge will be applied to each.
Leagues which during the season organise events for individuals rather than for teams should note that those will be charged under 1 or 2 above rather than within League Game Fee. Individual events are a different charging concept to team events.
The ECF will recognise any ECF individual membership taken out by a player by 30 June 2023 as covering them for Game Fee purposes in Leagues’ team events for the season 2022/23. Otherwise Leagues will be invoiced at the end of the season @ £18.00 or £6.00 per player concerned.
*RapidPlay games – references in this section to numbers of games played assume standard play games. RapidPlay games count to these totals as half a game.
Important – the ECF’s arrangements for rating Leagues and any consequent Game Fee are with the Leagues, not with the clubs or individual players. Liability to pay any Game Fee lies strictly with the League, who will have made the rating submission, and cannot be derogated to the club(s)
4 – Club Championships and Club internal tournaments
This section relates to events organised by Clubs and open only to their own members.
Arrangements follow the same principle as for Leagues above, mutatis mutandis.
The ECF will recognise any ECF individual membership taken out by a player by 30 June 2023 as covering them for Game Fee purposes in Club internal events 2022/23. Otherwise Clubs will be invoiced at the end of the season @ £18.00 or £6.00 per player concerned.
5 – Inter-Club matches; games arranged between individual players
It follows from all the above that ‘friendly’ matches and occasional games arranged outside any formal competition are outside the scope of Game Fee unless it becomes a matter of more than three games (seven if rapidplay).
6 – Exceptions, anomalies, clarifications and codicils
6.1 FIDE-rated Leagues, standard play
Players in such Leagues (or divisions thereof) must, if ENG, be ECF (Junior) Gold or Platinum members. If not the League will at season’s end be charged as at 1a above.
6.2 British or British Isles / Channel Islands tournaments
There are a number of recognised team and individual competitions played in England which transcend national boundaries within the British Isles and Channel Islands. This recognition is derived from the British Isles Chess Co-ordinating Committee. Examples are: 4NCL; British RapidPlay; British Universities Chess Association championships; National Youth Chess Association championships. Where their results are FIDE-rated standard play the fees are as at 1a above; but otherwise in team events ECF will not seek any payment in respect of players in teams from outside England where those players are members of the related British Isles/Channel Islands national body, or in the case of individual events where the player has FIDE-affiliation GCI/JCI/IRL/SCO/WLS.
6.3 4NCL Wildcards
In recognition of its enforcement of membership for all English registered players the 4NCL is exempt from payment of pay-to-play fee for all wildcard players, being unregistered players who play only on a single weekend of the event.
6.4 Cross-border Leagues
Where cross-border leagues are submitted to the ECF for rating, Game Fee will not be charged in respect of those members of clubs geographically outside England who are members of the appropriate national federation. At the moment the only such Leagues of which we are aware are operating within Cheshire & North Wales: the traditional English county of Cheshire and the traditional Welsh counties of Anglesey, Caernarvonshire, Denbighshire and Flintshire
6.5 Braille Chess Association and the English Deaf Chess Association
Game fee is waived in events organised by the Braille Chess Association and the English Deaf Chess Association and solely for the benefit of their own members.
— August 2022