Australian Schools’ Teams Championships (ASTC)

About the ASTC

The Australian Schools’ (Chess) Teams Championships were first held in Sydney in December 1998. Prior to this all states had held their own state championships, but 1998 was the start of the current ASTC. Initially the tournament was held in two divisions – Primary and Secondary Open teams. In 1999 in order to encourage girls in chess and to allow single sex girls’ schools to compete, two further divisions were added – Primary Girls and Secondary Girls.

While the primary aim of the tournament is to find the National champions, a secondary aim is to provide a social event where schools from all over Australia can come together and enjoy playing chess. As such events such as the social evening are not an “added extra” but a core part of this special tournament.

Another characteristic that differentiates it from the more main stream chess tournaments is that many of the children playing are not “main stream” chess players. This might be the first time that some of them have played “rated” games. Particularly at the Primary level there should be some tolerance for this.

Team entry

Each state can nominate one team to participate in each division. This would normally be their State Champions, but in the event of non-availability another team can be nominated. It is up to each state to determine the team. However the AusJCL imposes the condition that each team member must be a bona fide student of the school they are representing. i.e “composite” teams are not permitted. Where schools have split campuses, but are genuinely the same school, then a composite team is permitted. Where loose alliances of schools occur, a composite team would not normally be permitted. If there is any doubt, please apply to the AusJCL for a ruling.

Teams must be submitted in order of playing strength by no later than 15 October each year. Where qualifying competitions have not yet finished the State organization will need to notify the organizing state by this time whether it is likely that a team will be entered in the various divisions and the rest of the information should be supplied as soon as possible after the final events.

Team composition

Teams consist of 4 players plus up to 2 reserves.

A player can only play in one team. E.g. a school might have a team in both the Open and Girls Primary divisions. A girl must choose which team she is playing in and cannot switch from one team to another.

Team order

Playing strength would normally be in rating order. The rating used will be the normal ACF rating. If no normal ACF rating exists then either the ACF rapid rating or the local rating may be used. If a player is unrated and is being played ahead of a rated player then a justification of the order will be needed. Where teams are played out of rating order and the rating difference is more than 50 points, a justification of the order difference will be needed. This justification must be published on the event website and announced at the opening of the event itself.

While the AusJCL understands that rating is “only a number” and that schools do need to be able to judge the strength of their players, there have been some cases of teams being played deliberately out of order in order to gain a perceived advantage. This rarely works, but does lead to some unpleasant mismatches.

Additional Teams

Where the number of teams entered in any division will result in an odd number, the host state may nominate an extra team. Where the number of teams in any division is 4 or less, then the host state may nominate teams until the number is 6. If the host state is unable to bring the number up to 6, either because there are not enough teams interested in playing, or because the teams would be significantly weaker than the normal standard of the competition, then other states will be asked to nominate extra teams in order to bring the number up to 6.

Team entry information

The entry information should have:

  • The names of the players in playing strength.
  • A team manager should be nominated and contact information supplied for both the school and the team manager.
  • The entry should also be accompanied by a team photo and a small amount of information on the team.
  • It is likely that this information will be posted on the web, so please ensure that permission for this has been obtained from all parents and students.