Beginner’s Guide to State: What to Expect

Arrive Early!

With over 1,100 competitors at State, roughly 5,000 people are expected. Parking can be especially challenging if you arrive late. If possible, come on Friday and visit the event to acquaint yourself with the layout. There is free parking in the parking structure next to the Tacoma dome and a free light rail service that will transport you to the Convention Center. For more parking information, click HERE.

Find Your Seat!

There should be plenty of seating at the Convention Center; however, visit the State Website to find the location of your team’s table. Please note that seating plans will be posted no later than Thursday night!

Know the Schedule!

Read the program for state carefully after you arrive and watch the round start times carefully – unlike many scholastic events, the state championship has fixed rounds. Normally there are no special announcements for the next round, so keep an eye on your watch to make sure that your child does not miss a round! Tip: sign up for text or email alerts if available so that you are notified as soon as your child’s next round is paired. Please note that fixed rounds do not apply to the Kindergarten section.

Be Prepared to Support Your Child!

Parents – please read 3 Ways to Achieve Your Best Results at State to help your child prepare. Above all, stay calm, even if you are unsure of where to go. This will help your child stay calm and focused on the games to be played.

Between games, please be sure to ONLY encourage your child even if he/she has lost a game or more. Criticism between games does NOT help your child recover and prepare for the next game. It is best to avoid going too in-depth regarding losses especially, but even wins – instead, try to help your child do the physical and mental preparation required for the next match. There will be plenty of time after the tournament is over, perhaps the following week, to review games in-depth (possibly with your child’s coach).

Get Involved!

The “Annual Coaches’ Meeting” is a meeting that is open to coaches AND parents. Elementary chess policies come up for a vote at this annual meeting. You can meet the representatives from your local region (other chess parents or coaches) who help ensure that elementary chess needs are being met. If you are really eager to make a difference, perhaps you can even become a representative for your area as part of the State Policy Board (no special qualifications needed beyond a willingness to help children through chess).

There are also a number of volunteer opportunities at State. If you are interested in volunteering, please sign up for a parent volunteer position HERE!

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