Arbiters (jobs for) proposal.

Debate directly related to English Chess Federation matters.
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Roger de Coverly
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Arbiters (jobs for) proposal.

Post by Roger de Coverly » Sat Jun 04, 2016 4:29 pm

http://www.englishchess.org.uk/wp-conte ... posal.docx

The suggestion is that you won't be allowed to have a league, or presumably club tournament graded, unless you've appointed an arbiter.

Mick Norris
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Re: Arbiters (jobs for) proposal.

Post by Mick Norris » Sat Jun 04, 2016 4:33 pm

From 1st September, 2021, for an event to be graded, at least one Listed Level 2 Arbiter or higher must be:
Responsible for making decisions in an evening league normally conducted in arbiterless conditions; for example, serving on a Committee of any organisation that handles disputes or appeals

A practical example of how this may work in practice:
• The Birmingham League has a Rules Committee that rules on any Laws of Chess related disputes. The Rules Committee would need one Level 2 Arbiter on it. This may be someone who plays in the league, but it need not be – there is no reason why the Arbiter can’t be someone who is not a player in it.
• Other Leagues might send their dispute to the League Secretary, and ask him to make a ruling. In examples local to me that I am aware of, the Secretary then contacts a local arbiter, and invites him to make the ruling in the case in question. The Secretary then communicates the decision. For the purpose of meeting this regulation, the person consulted by the Secretary would be the Arbiter.
The Manchester League already has an Arbiter or 2 on the Disputes Committee
Any postings on here represent my personal views and should not be taken as representative of the Manchester Chess Federation www.manchesterchess.co.uk

NickFaulks
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Re: Arbiters (jobs for) proposal.

Post by NickFaulks » Sat Jun 04, 2016 5:14 pm

Roger de Coverly wrote:http://www.englishchess.org.uk/wp-conte ... posal.docx

The suggestion is that you won't be allowed to have a league, or presumably club tournament graded, unless you've appointed an arbiter.
Clearly the ECF is learning from FIDE.

John Upham
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Re: Arbiters (jobs for) proposal.

Post by John Upham » Sat Jun 04, 2016 5:18 pm

The Surrey Border League appoints an arbiter at each AGM,

See http://www.borderleague.org.uk/officer. ... n=20152016

J.
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NickFaulks
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Re: Arbiters (jobs for) proposal.

Post by NickFaulks » Sat Jun 04, 2016 5:26 pm

John Upham wrote:The Surrey Border League appoints an arbiter at each AGM,
That seems very sensible. The League Arbiter comes into play only as the last resort in a dispute.

The clear agenda of FIDE's Arbiters Commission is that arbiters will receive a stipend for these posts. Is that where the ECF is going?

Ian Thompson
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Re: Arbiters (jobs for) proposal.

Post by Ian Thompson » Sat Jun 04, 2016 6:02 pm

John Upham wrote:The Surrey Border League appoints an arbiter at each AGM,

See http://www.borderleague.org.uk/officer. ... n=20152016

J.
... but without any requirement that he should have any formal qualifications as an arbiter.

John Swain
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Re: Arbiters (jobs for) proposal.

Post by John Swain » Sat Jun 04, 2016 6:10 pm

You might have thought that the ECF would be more concerned with maximising its revenue stream and thinking of ways of persuading large areas like Yorkshire to become members, rather than putting obstacles in the path of getting games graded at a local (club/league/congress) level.

There are many competent arbiters around, some with decades of experience, who have no formal qualifications at all. There are others in the same category who passed the BCF Arbiters' course, a qualification which was awarded, rightly or wrongly, for life. These controllers deserve to be valued.
Last edited by John Swain on Tue Jun 07, 2016 7:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Sean Hewitt
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Re: Arbiters (jobs for) proposal.

Post by Sean Hewitt » Sat Jun 04, 2016 6:51 pm

John Swain wrote:Yet in the Brave New World of ECF Arbiter Land, experience or a BCF Arbiter title count for nothing.
Whilst not wishing to let the facts get in the way, it should be pointed out that BCF arbiters can and always have been able to convert that title to the ECF equivalent.
John Swain wrote:One could be cynical and suggest that some are more interested in their personal (rather than the ECF's) revenue stream, creating opportunities for themselves as trainers (and possibly paid arbiters).
One could, but is there any evidence that justifies such cynacism?

Nick Grey
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Re: Arbiters (jobs for) proposal.

Post by Nick Grey » Sat Jun 04, 2016 7:09 pm

Plenty of lead in time to discuss as these are 5 years away for leagues.
Alex looks like he has done a good job to rationalise & consult.
ECF realise that most posts are volunteers.

Michael Flatt
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Re: Arbiters (jobs for) proposal.

Post by Michael Flatt » Sat Jun 04, 2016 7:31 pm

Sean Hewitt wrote:
John Swain wrote:Yet in the Brave New World of ECF Arbiter Land, experience or a BCF Arbiter title count for nothing.
Whilst not wishing to let the facts get in the way, it should be pointed out that BCF arbiters can and always have been able to convert that title to the ECF equivalent.
New ECF Arbiter Regulations, 14 March 2014 wrote:(3) From 1st July, 2014, a BCF Arbiter who wishes to transfer his title to an ECF Arbiter title will be asked to sit a Test on the current Laws of Chess.
Inclusion of BCF Arbiters on the ECF list was not automatic. They all had to reapply to be included.

Also, a number of BCF Arbiters were excluded because they saw no reason to apply for a CRB certificate. When the requirement for all ECF Arbiters to hold a CRB was dropped, following a clarification of the law, those Arbiters who had been excluded were never reinstated.

Reference
1. New ECF Arbiter Regulations, 14 March 2014: http://www.englishchess.org.uk/new-ecf- ... gulations/

Sean Hewitt
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Re: Arbiters (jobs for) proposal.

Post by Sean Hewitt » Sun Jun 05, 2016 12:12 pm

Michael Flatt wrote:Inclusion of BCF Arbiters on the ECF list was not automatic. They all had to reapply to be included.
Correct. How else would the ECF know if they wanted to convert or not? My previous reply said they could convert it, not that it was done automatically for them.
Michael Flatt wrote:Also, a number of BCF Arbiters were excluded because they saw no reason to apply for a CRB certificate.
As were new arbiters seeking to become an ECF arbiter at the time- it was the regulation in force at the time for all.
Michael Flatt wrote:When the requirement for all ECF Arbiters to hold a CRB was dropped, following a clarification of the law, those Arbiters who had been excluded were never reinstated.
There was nothing to reinstate as they had never fulfilled the requirements to be an ECF arbiter. They could (and still can) apply to convert their BCF arbiter title to an ECF title. The ECF has not assumed that all would want to do so and as some have not, that assumption appears to have been correct.
Michael Flatt wrote:
New ECF Arbiter Regulations, 14 March 2014 wrote:(3) From 1st July, 2014, a BCF Arbiter who wishes to transfer his title to an ECF Arbiter title will be asked to sit a Test on the current Laws of Chess.
As a player, I'm delighted that the ECF is ensuring that anyone appointed as an ECF arbiter has an up to date knowledge of the laws of the game. The BCF ceased to appoint arbiters back in 2006 so knowledge could be significantly out of date. I'd go further and hope that ECF would ensure all arbiters are up to date with the laws - particularly those looking to advance.

There have been a number of tales on this forum of arbiters not correctly applying the laws. Not through ill-will or malice, but simply because of an ignorance of law changes. Any attempt to tackle that must be a positive thing.

It's worth observing that football takes a similar approach with both returning referees and also those seeking promotion. It's revealing how many returning referees think they are up to speed with law changes and then find that they are not!

Mick Norris
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Re: Arbiters (jobs for) proposal.

Post by Mick Norris » Sun Jun 05, 2016 3:26 pm

It might be useful top read the other documents e.g.
Arbiter Regulations: Why are we proposing to change them?

1. The ECF Arbiter Title is de facto unnecessary in its current form
As the ECF Director of Home Chess, I am responsible for administering the ECF Arbiter titles. These titles actually convey very little of responsibility – we do not prevent tournaments from being graded if they do not have an arbiter – let alone a qualified one – responsible for making decisions at them. Indeed, the vast majority of league chess is played without arbiters present. The FA and IA titles convey meaningful rights and responsibilities with regard to being an arbiter at FIDE Title norm events. The proposal seeks to create meaningful reasons for people to acquire the ECF Arbiter title.

2. The ECF Senior Arbiter Title being beyond that of an ECF Arbiter is no longer necessary
The ECF Senior Arbiters are generally considered to be arbiters “good enough to be the Chief Arbiter of a big FIDE Open”. If we have a big FIDE Open, such as Hastings, Isle of Man, or the London Chess Classic, then it would be difficult to defend a situation internationally whereby International Arbiters are on the team of arbiters, but an ECF Senior Arbiter without a FIDE title was the tournament’s Chief Arbiter ahead of them. Internationally, this would be seen as a strange way of operating, and events such as those listed are international events, that attract international players.

3. Internationally, there is extensive National Arbiter training before becoming a FA/IA
For example:
- In France, there are several regional arbiter qualifications before you acquire National Arbiter status, and only then can you aspire to FIDE Arbiter.
- In Greece, there are several categories of domestic arbiter, and only a category A domestic arbiter is eligible to apply for the title of FIDE Arbiter.
- In the United States, there are several categories of Tournament Director, starting at club and local, and building up to Senior. Only a Senior Tournament Director is eligible to be put forward for the title of FIDE Arbiter.

The countries that tend not to have a national qualification leading into the international qualification tend to be very small countries, or countries without a strong chess tradition in them. For example:
- In Cambodia, there was a case of a player who switched his FIDE affiliation from the United States, so that he could take the FIDE Arbiter test to become a FIDE Arbiter immediately, to benefit from Cambodia’s status within FIDE as being a country that needs to receive positive discrimination in this way in order to organise more tournaments and improve chess there.
- In Jersey, there is no domestic arbiter system, because the chess-playing population is not large enough for there to be a particular need for it.

One of the reasons FIDE introduced the “National Arbiter” title when licensing arbiters was that the expectation was that the majority of significant countries would have their own National Arbiter process, with arbiters at the top rising through this into the FIDE Arbiter and International Arbiter titles.

4. The ECF would like to have its arbiters appointed to elite FIDE Events
In order to achieve this, we need to encourage more arbiters to go through the FIDE Arbiter system. At the moment, some Arbiters prefer to aspire to the ECF Senior Arbiter title, which will not help with this aim.
Any postings on here represent my personal views and should not be taken as representative of the Manchester Chess Federation www.manchesterchess.co.uk

Dragoljub Sudar
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Re: Arbiters (jobs for) proposal.

Post by Dragoljub Sudar » Sun Jun 05, 2016 3:39 pm

Can someone please clarify whether to remain a L1 I would have to actually arbit at two different congresses? It's not clear from the document.

I don't agree that it should be a formal requirement to have an ECF arbiter on a league management committee / disputes committee. My local LMC has been perfectly capable of making decisions about disputes for decades without the need for a qualified arbiter. In my 10 years as league secretary, our league rarely had more than a couple of disputes each season, and they usually didn't involve the LoC, so I rarely needed to confirm my interpretation of the LoC from an arbiter.

Also, it is not sensible nor practical for leagues who do not have local arbiters (we don't all live in London, Birmingham, Manchester etc) to require someone living outside the area to travel some distance on a weekday night to attend a LMC meeting to resolve some petty little dispute.

This is a clear example of trying to introduce change for the sake of introducing change, rather than adding any real benefit. The ECF should trust local leagues (and congresses without FIDE rated sections) to run themselves as they see fit, as they have been doing quite successfully for many years.

Michael Flatt
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Re: Arbiters (jobs for) proposal.

Post by Michael Flatt » Sun Jun 05, 2016 4:06 pm

Sean Hewitt wrote:There have been a number of tales on this forum of arbiters not correctly applying the laws. Not through ill-will or malice, but simply because of an ignorance of law changes. Any attempt to tackle that must be a positive thing.
The only incident of significance I recall occurred at the British Championship where all Arbiters held the ECF Arbiter title. The qualifications held by the Arbiters didn't really have any bearing on the matter as the real issue was how the ECF was unable to resolve the resulting dispute in a timely and satisfactory manner.

Rather than tinkering with the details of the regulation I suggest that there needs to be an overhaul of how Arbiting is administered in England. How can it be justified for Arbiting to be artificially split between two Directorates each boasting a manager of Arbiters? Surely, an Arbiter is an Arbiter and the only distinction between one and another is their level of experience and qualification held?

Should the Chief Arbiter be appointed or should he be elected by his peers as in Chess Scotland? And, should the term he serves be limited, for the sake of argument, to 5 years?

Shouldn't the role of the Chess Arbiters' Association be officially recognised in some way since members of its leadership contribute significantly to the running of FIDE Arbiter training courses in England?

Is there really a need for a separate ECF Arbiter exam now that FIDE seminars are becoming more widely available?

Sean Hewitt
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Re: Arbiters (jobs for) proposal.

Post by Sean Hewitt » Sun Jun 05, 2016 4:40 pm

Dragoljub Sudar wrote:It is not sensible nor practical for leagues who do not have local arbiters (we don't all live in London, Birmingham, Manchester etc) to require someone living outside the area to travel some distance on a weekday night to attend a LMC meeting to resolve some petty little dispute.
I don't recall seeing that requirement being mentioned. Personally, I'm regularly called upon to rule on a local dispute (sometimes in areas I have no connection with) without having to travel anywhere, simply by using email.
Michael Flatt wrote:How can it be justified for Arbiting to be artificially split between two Directorates each boasting a manager of Arbiters? Surely, an Arbiter is an Arbiter and the only distinction between one and another is their level of experience and qualification held?
That's certainly a reasonable view. There is a difference between international and non-international arbiting but that does not necessarily necessitate two separate managers. That said, I haven't seen any practical issue with the current set up. Interestingly, the FA differentiates between grassroots referees, and those officiating in the pyramid in a very similar way to the ECF split between Home and International.
Michael Flatt wrote:Shouldn't the role of the Chess Arbiters' Association be officially recognised in some way since members of its leadership contribute significantly to the running of FIDE Arbiter training courses in England?
There are lots of organisations whose officials perform multiple roles across organisations. I don't think that means that one organisation should get involved in the business of another. Delineation in such scenarios is important.
Michael Flatt wrote:Is there really a need for a separate ECF Arbiter exam now that FIDE seminars are becoming more widely available?
I think there is. I doubt very much if a grassroots arbiter would want to learn about norm tournaments for example. I do think (and have commented to Alex) that success in a FIDChess Arbiters' Association E seminar should negate the need to sit the ECF arbiter exam. Similarly, FIDE pairings are different to Chess Arbiters' Association pairings, which are the official pairing rules in England.

In that regard, I think that England should stop using CAA pairings as the default pairings and instead use FIDE pairings as the rest of the world does. It would allow more tournaments to use software to run their events and eliminates most arguments about pairings. If the ECF and other British federations believe CAA pairings are superior to FIDE pairings, then they should propose such changes to the Swiss Pairing commission at FIDE.

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