SCF Arbiter Policy Updates (April 2024)

March 11, 2024

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SCF Arbiter Policy Updates (April 2024)

The SCF Arbiters Commission has made the following updates to the SCF Arbiter Policy, which will take effect from 1 April 2024 onwards.

  1. New National Arbiter (NA) Norm Requirements
  2. Updated Candidate Arbiter (CA) Renewal Requirements
  3. Streamlined Refresher Policy

Please see the updated SCF Arbiter Policy for the full details:

A summary of the changes are listed below.

New NA Norm Requirements

With effect from 1 April 2024, not all NA norms can be from blitz only.

This was heavily debated within SCF ARB; we felt that a 7 round blitz event, which would last barely 2 hours, would not offer sufficient exposure time for a prospective arbiter. A prospective NA should not gain their experience only through blitz tournaments. On the other hand, blitz tournaments have their own set of challenges compared to rapid or classical events, and we should not completely exclude such events altogether.

Updated CA Renewal Requirements

The CA title will lapse once either of the two existing requirements for CA expires.

For CA who obtained their title before 1 March 2024, they are given until 31 March 2026 to clear their seminar requirements.

In March 2024, SCF ARB announced new requirements for the CA title: On top of 1 NA norm, individuals now have to pass a NA Seminar or Basic Tournament Assistants Seminar (BTAS). However, the renewal requirements were not updated. We have fixed this and given existing CA a reasonable timeframe to either clear the seminar requirement or achieve their NA title.

Streamlined refresher policy

NAs will have to clear a refresher seminar (organised or endorsed by SCF) once every four (4) years to remain active, with some exceptions.

FIDE Arbiters (FA) and International Arbiters (IA) will be subject to FIDE’s requirements to remain active; in this case, they also have to clear a FIDE refresher seminar once every 4 years.

The previous requirements of having to arbitrate in two (2) tournaments every two (2) years will be re-designated as part of SCF ARB’s selection policy when we nominate arbiters for international events. The selection policy is under discussion and we aim to release it within this year.

The full refresher requirements are in Section 5 of the latest SCF Arbiter Policy. Streamlining the refresher requirements was a key objective of SCF ARB 2023-2025. We are thankful to NA Ong Yujing and FA Kelvin Wee for fronting this effort, and hope that all SGP arbiters would find it less confusing to follow the new requirements and keep themselves up to date. SCF ARB aims to organise the first NA refresher seminar before the SCF Diamond Jubilee events in late 2024.

Epilogue: Our first successful NA Seminar and BTAS

SCF ARB organised a joint National Arbiter (NA) Seminar and Basic Tournament Assistants Seminar (BTAS) from 2 – 3 March 2024, in collaboration with Singapore Management University (SMU) Intellectual Sports.

The Chief Lecturer was IA Osric Mooi, the Chief Organiser was NA Khor Eng Yeow (SMU I Sports), and the Co-Lecturers were NA Lau Yan Han and NA Ong Yujing (SCF ARB). Assisting them behind the scenes were members of SCF ARB and SMU I Sports, along with NA Andrew Tan who helped to design the written assessment.

The seminar focused on skill sets that prospective NAs would face on the ground, such as Laws of Chess, de-escalation of disputes and answering queries on pairings and tiebreaks. On top of the usual written assessment, the organising team decided to include a practical component, to allow participants to experience how to make decisions on the ground instead of on paper.

SCF ARB will review potential areas of improvement and decide when the next series of seminars will be held.

Thanks to all participants who went through the seminars, and we wish you all the best in your chess arbitration journey!