Safe Play Training FAQs

SAFE PLAY TRAINING FAQS FOR TDS updated January 29, 2024

  1. Why is US Chess requiring SafeSport training?
  • US Chess adopted Safe Play Guidelines in 2019 and revised those guidelines into a Safe Play Policy effective January 2024. Training was always envisioned to be part of the program. Recent safe play violations have highlighted the ongoing need for education and awareness about providing a safe environment for all chess players.
  • US Chess wants TDs to have the tools and information needed to recognize improper conduct, respond effectively, and provide a safe and positive environment.
  • US Chess is committed to providing a safe environment for all chess players. This training is the standard that other organizations are following. We are aligning ourselves not just with the Olympic movement but other fields such as sports, scouting, and education to promote a safe and welcoming environment.


2.  Who is Required to Take the Training?

●        All US Chess Certified Tournament Directors, regardless of level

●        Any Independent Contractor working at a US Chess National Event

●        All US Chess Employees

●        Certified Chess Coaches

3. What is the deadline for TDs to complete the Training and how often is it required?

●        The deadline for TDs to complete the initial Core Course Training is June 1, 2024, and then annually, a specific Refresher course is required.

4. Can anyone take the SafeSport training through US Chess?

  • Yes! We encourage any member who is working with children (organizers, coaches, team parents, volunteers) to become familiar with safe play concepts. The more trained people we have in our community, the more likely it will be that improper behavior will be identified and dealt with.

5. What is the Cost of the Training?

●        $19 for the core course

●        $9 annually thereafter, provided that your training is current when you take the refresher

6. Who Pays for the Training?

●        The covered person pays for the training.

7. Why isn’t US Chess paying for this?

US Chess is a non-profit organization with limited resources. At $19 for the initial training and $9 for the annual renewal, it can be more readily absorbed by individuals than were US Chess to incur a cost that could approach $100,000. Unlike FIDE and other sports organizations, US Chess does not charge a fee for Tournament Director certification.

8. When a US Chess National event is awarded to a third party, who must complete the training?

●        The Organizer, their employees and/or contract staff, and all tournament directors

●        Independent Contractors and volunteers working at the event for the Organizer


9. Are there age requirements associated with this training? If so, how does it affect certified TDs?

●        To take the training a person must be at least 13 years old. Furthermore, parental consent is required from ages 13- through 17-years-old due to the explicit nature of the course.

●        Effective Oct 1, 2023, US Chess will suspend Certified TDs who are under 13 years old until they reach the age of 13 and complete the required training. US Chess will no longer accept TD applications for persons who are not at least 13 years old.

10. Why do you think TDs are the problem? Why are you putting the burden on TDs?

US Chess does not see TDs as the problem. Rather, we want to equip TDs with the best available information and training on how to identify and respond to misconduct of all types. TDs are our first line of defense--they are our eyes and ears at tournament sites and are the event officials who are best suited to receive and address safe play complaints. This is also analogous to other sporting institutions that stress that this education is best done at a local, grassroots level.

11. I have been through the Center’s training for another organization. Do I need to take it again for US Chess?

No, you will not have to take it again if it has been within the past year. We will provide a way for you to link your existing training to US Chess.

12. I have received similar training due to my job. Can that count instead?

All TDs are required to take this training on an annual basis. We are aware that other training platforms exist, but we simply do not have the resources to evaluate each one. And given that the SafeSport training is for recreational pursuits, we believe it offers the right types of contextualized information for the chess community.

13. I completed the training. When will it show up on my Member Dashboard?

  • Training reports are updated weekly on Monday.

14. For alleged violations of the US Chess Safe Play Policy, to what organization do complainants report the allegations—US Chess or the Center for Safe Sport?

 ●        US Chess will continue to receive complaints about violations of the Safe Play Policy within the chess community and will apply its internal procedures to reviewing and imposing sanctions, if warranted. As an organization that is outside the formal Olympic movement, US Chess is not eligible for having the U.S. Center for SafeSport review, investigate, and sanction its members.


15. Can a local or state affiliate address a Safe Play complaint at the local or state level?

  • Absolutely. “Nothing in this Policy prevents an Affiliate or State Chapter from

addressing complaints made during a local or state chess event. US Chess recognizes that in

some instances, complaints may be addressed immediately and more effectively by the

Affiliate, the State Chapter, and/or local law enforcement.” Safe Play Policy, I. Scope.

16. The Safe Play Policy prohibits Registered Sex Offenders from participating or being present at events where minors will be present or registered to compete. What is an Organizer or TD’s role in enforcing this Policy?

  • The onus is on a member who has been ordered by law to be on a sex offender registry to stay away from all events where children may be present and provides that membership will be immediately revoked if they attend such an event. For TDs and organizers, it does not create a requirement to preemptively background check every registrant and attendee.
  • Under the US Chess Policy, if a TD or organizer knows that a person attending an event is a registered sex offender, they should exclude that person. If the TD or Organizer cannot verify that the person was a registered sex offender until after the event has concluded, the attendance by a person determined to be a registered offender should be reported via the abuse hotline (314.661.9500, extension 8), reporting form, or Click here to show mail address email address.