making high-school chess in Texas a UIL sponsored event


I am currently trying to work towards a goal of making high school chess in Texas a More competitive setting such as competition against schools and school tournaments/ match’s and hopefully be able to make a new league I need help and tips of how to go about this I have contact with most schools in my district but I need to reach more to other districts but don’t really know how to go about it


What's UIL?

justbefair wrote:

What's UIL? maybe?


yes that link is correct


I went to high school in Texas (in the '80s) and competed in academic UIL events. I would have loved it if chess had been an option! Good luck with your quest.

(Checking the UIL website, it looks like they already offer "chess puzzle" as a competition for grades 2-8, so that's progress at least. Lots of schools here have chess clubs so hopefully you can contact the right people to get this set up.)


I used to run a high school chess club. I suggest you set up at least one tournament with the nearest school that is interested, have like 8 players (or more), and with a small prize fund, you should be able to popularise the school matches. Basically, you should get at least a couple of tournaments done before worrying about turning it into something bigger. The process is going to be very natural. As for reaching schools a bit further away, they should have at least some contact information available on the internet. Get in contact with the extracurricular activity administration (or something similar) and talk to them.


"...a small prize fund..."

Pretty sure UIL would frown on that. (It's a scholastic league that runs most school -level competitions here in Texas, including sports.) I'm under the impression that monetary rewards aren't allowed.


My mom has made me go to the Americas in texas, I was in a theatre UIL performance but I didn't know about chess at the time

I’m amazed it’s not already

UIL has rules that do not mesh well with rated chess tournaments.  Their rules are mostly designed for football, since this is the prime interest of most Texas schools. Therefore I have always hoped they would stay OUT of chess.

US Chess has long-standing tournaments for scholastic players on the national level. In Texas, the Texas Chess Association (TCA) organizes an annual scholastic championship tournament, a grade-level tournament, and sometimes other events. TCA ensures that every area of Texas is appointed a Regional Director, whose prime duty is to make sure that area has a scholastic championship each year. Visit for more details. In some areas there is more activity than in others. There is a calendar on the TCA website to show many of the tournaments being held in the state, both scholastic and open to all ages.

I have seen areas where the school administration and the community are very supportive of chess. Those areas develop strong teams. There are other places where it seems few are interested. You might have to drive a while or play online if you live out in the middle of nowhere (as I do).

My advice is to start a club at your own school. You can become a Tournament Director and run your own events. Then invite nearby schools. With enough enthusiasm, you may grow a thriving chess community in your area.

Brenda Hardesty

Senior Tournament Director

San Angelo Chess Club


Moogy that's amazing. Thanks for this information. Maybe my school can pay a visit since we're starting a club and are missing guidance. (We're not far away[one hour])


I run tournaments in San Angelo Texas. I was recently appointed the regional Director for this part of West Texas. Depending on what county you were in, you may be in my region. I am working with another organizer to put on a regional scholastic championship before the end of this school year. Send me your contact information at my Chess email which is



me too