OSCA Final Bylaws

Revised Bylaws of

The Ohio Scholastic Chess Association



Article I: General


1.1 Name

The name of this organization shall be the Ohio Scholastic Chess Association (OSCA).


1.2 Purpose

The purpose and mission of OSCA shall be to encourage Ohio's students to play chess for its many educational and developmental benefits. To this end, OSCA shall:

a)      regulate and promote high quality state-level scholastic chess championship tournaments,

b)      facilitate and award educational scholarships to students playing chess,

c)      facilitate communication and cooperation among Ohio schools to develop, improve and sustain school-based chess education programs,

d)     encourage and support other interested parties to conduct scholastic chess activities, programs and tournaments at the local level, and

e)      as opportunities arise, solicit, organize and/or support national-level scholastic chess championships to be conducted in Ohio.


1.3 Restricted Activities

OSCA shall conduct itself in a manner consistent with the requirements of a not for profit, tax-exempt organization pursuant to the Internal Revenue Code and the laws of the State of Ohio, including but not limited to the following provisions:

a)      All activities shall be consistent with OSCA’s educational purpose;

b)      No income or assets shall inure to the benefit of any individual.  This shall not preclude:

                                    i.    distribution of prizes, grants, scholarships or other similar awards based upon chess performance or other pre-established criteria,

                                  ii.    payment of fair market wages, fees or expenses to employees or contractors for services rendered, or

                                iii.    reimbursement to individuals for expenses incurred for the benefit of OSCA with its prior approval.

c)      No activity shall be designed to influence the election of any candidate for a governmental office.

Upon termination of OSCA, any remaining assets of the organization shall be used exclusively for tax-exempt purposes, and/or donated to one or more tax-exempt organizations as determined by the Board.


1.4 Fiscal Year

The fiscal year of OSCA shall begin on July 1st each year and end on the following June 30th.



Article II: Membership


2.1 Membership Eligibility

Any school (as defined in Section 2.3) which is represented by one or more players (as defined in Section 4.2.2) in an OSCA-sanctioned state championships shall be eligible for membership in OSCA.


2.2 (Not Used)


2.3 Definition of a School

2.3.1 For all purposes of these Bylaws, a school shall be defined to include any of the following:

a)      An institution identified by one name, providing instruction in one building or adjacent buildings, under the supervision of one administrator, and providing core curricular instruction in English, math, science and social studies over the course of a typical school year.

b)      A virtual or on-line school which meets all the criteria above except it has no central physical location for instruction.

c)      A home school organization identified by one name, under the supervision of one administrator or administration committee, and providing group instruction in multiple academic subjects.

d)     A family which has notified the local public school district of its decision to home school its children, and has been excused from public school attendance.


2.3.2 The Board shall have the final authority to decide, after making reasonable inquiries into the matter, whether an educational unit qualifies as a school under the criteria above, how an educational unit must be combined or divided to meet the definition of a school, and whether special exemptions are warranted on a case-by-case basis due to the unusual organizational structure of a specific educational arrangement.


2.4 (Not Used)


2.5 Membership Term

2.5.1 A member’s term shall commence automatically and immediately upon being represented by one or more players in any OSCA-sanctioned state championship event. 


2.5.2 A member’s term shall expire one year after it is last represented by one or more players in any OSCA-sanctioned state championship event.


2.5.3 A member may terminate its membership at any time by submitting a written notice to the Vice President of Membership.


2.6 Membership Fee

There shall be no membership or application fee for an eligible school.


2.7 Representatives

2.7.1 Each member may appoint an individual to represent it in all OSCA voting, discussions and other matters.

a)      An individual shall be eligible to serve as a representative if he or she maintains and provides to the Board a current and valid email address, has a reasonable connection to the member’s chess program or players (for example, a player, parent, coach or instructor, faculty advisor, or administrator), and is not concurrently the representative of another member.

b)      The Board may by a two-thirds majority vote of all Directors temporarily or permanently bar an individual from serving as a representative on the basis of ethical violations, disreputable or unsportsmanlike conduct, egregious OSCA or USCF rules violations (though USCF membership shall not be required), or for other serious cause.

c)      A member shall have no voting rights in regard to any election or other matter put to the membership for a vote if, at the time voting commences, it has not appointed an eligible representative.


2.7.2 It shall be each member’s right and responsibility to determine the method of selecting or changing its representative, and it may do so at any time.

a)      The appointment or change of a member’s representative shall be submitted to the Vice President of Membership electronically or in writing.

b)      If there is uncertainty as to who is the duly selected representative for a particular member, the Board may resolve the issue through its own inquiries.  The principal or similar administrator of the school shall have the final authority to resolve any such questions.


2.8 Actions of the Membership

2.8.1 The membership shall elect Directors as described in Article III of these Bylaws and may submit any other matter to the membership for discussion and/or vote.


2.8.2 For the membership to initiate any action except election of Directors, a statement with a full explanation of the matter and the names of at least three members who endorse the action shall be submitted to the Vice President of Elections, who will make prompt and reasonable inquiries to confirm the endorsements and present the statement to the Board.  Unless the Board acts promptly in a manner which fully satisfies the reasons for the statement, the matter shall be submitted to the membership for discussion and vote in a timely manner. 

2.8.3 Each member shall be eligible to cast one vote subject to the requirements of Sectioin 2.7.1 above.

2.8.4 Unless specified otherwise by these Bylaws, a simple majority of those members voting on an issue will be required for approval.


2.8.5 The method of voting may be by electronic means widely available to the members, taking sufficient precautions to prevent voting fraud and irregularities.


2.8.6 The votes of individual members shall not be made public.


2.8.7 Unless specified otherwise by these Bylaws, or by the Board due to unusual and unforeseen circumstances, members shall have 14 days to discuss and vote on any matter submitted to the membership for a vote.


2.8.8 The Vice President of Elections shall promptly and fairly facilitate all elections and other votes regardless of his or her personal view of such matter.  In the event the Vice President of Elections is the subject of the matter to be voted on other than by general virtue of being a Director, the Vice President of Membership shall conduct the vote.


2.8.9 It shall be the responsibility of each representative and member to ensure its contact information is kept current with the Board to ensure its ability to participate in all voting and other OSCA business. 


2.9 Membership Roster

OSCA shall maintain and continuously update a membership roster to include the name and district of each member and complete contact information for each representative, which will be readily available to the membership and the Board.


2.10 Additional Membership Categories

The Board may establish such additional membership categories as it deems appropriate, provided such categories shall not have voting rights.  The Board may set a reasonable membership fee for such additional membership categories.



Article III: Board of Directors


3.1 Definition of Board

3.1.1 The affairs of the OSCA shall be conducted by a Board of Directors (collectively, the Board), which shall make or refer to the membership as it deems appropriate, any pertinent decisions to carry out the mission or serve the interests of the organization.


3.1.2 The Board shall consist of seven Directors.

a)      Five directors shall be elected by the membership to represent the districts established by these Bylaws, one per district (District Directors).

b)      Two Directors shall be appointed by the Board to represent the state at large (At-large Directors I and II). 


3.2 Actions of the Board

3.2.1 Unless specified otherwise in these Bylaws, a simple majority of all Directors shall be required for Board approval of any action or decision.


3.2.2 The Board shall meet in person in conjunction with the Ohio Grade Level Championship and the Ohio High School Championship, and at any other such times as the Board shall deem appropriate.

a)      Each Director shall make best efforts to attend at least one such meeting each fiscal year.

b)      Attendance and participation may be by real time audio and/or video means if facilities permit.

c)      The President shall give notice of the time and place of each meeting at least two weeks in advance.  Directors may waive the requirement of notice.

d)     The President, with input from the Board, shall set the agenda for each meeting and distribute it to each Director at least one week in advance.


3.2.3 All other business of the Board shall be conducted by such electronic or other means as the Board shall deem appropriate. 


3.2.4 Except when meeting in person or when special circumstances require otherwise, Directors shall have up to 14 days to vote, participate in electronic discussions, and respond to directives for action.


3.2.5 Directors expecting to be unavailable for Board business for 10 days or longer at a time shall give notice to the Board of their expected time of absence.


3.3 Board Finances

3.3.1 The Board shall have the authority to manage its finances in a prudent and responsible manner, and to maintain accounts at financial institutions as needed to handle its finances.


3.3.2 The Board shall not have the authority to borrow money or enter into any indebtedness on its own account or on behalf of OSCA.


3.4 Director Eligibility

3.4.1 A person shall be eligible to serve as a Director if he or she is a current resident of Ohio and will be at least 18 years of age at the beginning of his or her term.


3.4.2 District Directors must reside in the district they represent.


3.4.2 At-large Directors may not both reside in the same district.


3.5 Election of Directors

3.5.1 An eligible person desiring to stand for election to the Board shall submit an application to the Vice President of Elections by March 31st.

a)      The application need not be in any prescribed format, but must clearly set forth the candidate’s name, postal address, email address, telephone number and county of residence.

b)      At the candidate’s option, the application may also include a brief resume, biography and/or statement of purpose for being a Director.

c)      The Vice President of Elections or the Board may make prompt and reasonable inquiries to verify the information provided by each candidate.

d)     Applications shall be available for membership inspection upon submission. 


3.5.2 If by March 31st fewer than two applications have been received for any seat to be filled, the Board will notify the members of the respective district of the fact, and the deadline for candidate applications from that district will be extended to April 15th


3.5.3 There shall be no election with respect to a District Director position if by April 15th,

a)      no candidate has applied for election, in which case the seat shall be left vacant; or

b)      only one candidate has applied for election, in which case that candidate shall be considered elected.


3.5.4 No later than April 30th, the Vice President of Elections shall distribute the candidates’ applications to the respective district members, and voting shall occur from that time through May 31.

a)      Each member may vote for one candidate to serve as its respective District Director.

b)      Write-in candidates shall not be permitted.


3.5.5 The candidate receiving the most votes in his or her respective district shall be elected District Director.  In the event of a tie, the Board shall elect the District Director from among those tied.


3.6 Directors’ Term of Office

Directors shall serve a term of two fiscal years.

a)      The term of District I, III and V Directors and At-large Director I shall end in odd-numbered years

b)      The term of District II and IV Directors and At-large Director II shall end in even-numbered years.


3.7 Vacancies

3.7.1 A vacancy shall occur when any Director seat is not filled by election, or when a Director is removed from the Board, resigns, or ceases to be eligible to serve.


3.7.2 The Board may at its discretion appoint an eligible person to fill the remaining term when a vacancy occurs, provided no more than two vacancies may be left unfilled.


3.8 Officers of the Board

3.8.1 The officers of the Board shall be President, Secretary, Treasurer, Vice President of Elections, Vice President of Membership, and any other such officers as the Board shall deem appropriate.   


3.8.2 At the beginning of each fiscal year the Board shall select Directors to serve as officers.

a)      Each officer shall serve at the pleasure of the Board or until the selection of new officers at the beginning of the next fiscal year.

b)      A Director may hold more than one office.


3.8.3 In addition to any other duties stated by these Bylaws or delegated by the Board, officers shall fulfill the responsibilities enumerated in this Section 3.8.


3.8.4 The President shall:

a)      preside over all meetings, activities and business of the Board and OSCA;

b)      represent OSCA to the membership and the general public; and

c)      serve as the primary contact for organizers submitting proposals for events to be sanctioned by OSCA.


3.8.5 The Secretary shall:

a)      record and promptly make public all election results and decisions and actions of the Board

b)      maintain a roster of Directors in the same manner as the membership roster;

c)      record and distribute to the Directors minutes of all meetings and discussions of the Board not held on a common electronic forum

d)     conduct all official correspondence and communications of the Board not delegated to other Board members or officers.


3.8.6 The Treasurer shall

a)      manage the finances of the OSCA

b)      make a report of income, expenses, assets and liabilities to the Board at least quarterly

c)      receive all OSCA monies collected by any Director and immediately deposit same

d)     promptly pay all approved expenses


3.8.7 The Vice President of Elections shall oversee all elections and other matters submitted to the membership for voting as described in these Bylaws.


3.8.8 The Vice President of Membership shall

a)      receive, verify and coordinate membership applications on behalf of the Board;

b)      make timely reports to the Board as applications are received and verified;

c)      immediately forward membership fees received, if any, to the Treasurer;

d)     continuously maintain the membership roster;

e)      preside over meetings and other business of the Board in the absence of the President.


3.9 Committees

3.9.1 The President or the Board may create committees for any appropriate purpose, and appoint Directors or other parties to serve on such committees.


3.9.2 Committees shall not have the authority to act on behalf of the Board without its express approval.


3.10 Removal of Directors

The Board may remove a Director from the Board for failing without just cause to fulfill his or her duties in a timely manner as directed by these Bylaws or the Board, or on the basis of ethical violations, unsportsmanlike or disreputable conduct, egregious OSCA or USCF rules violations, or for other serious cause.

a) In the case of a Director elected by the membership, removal shall require a unanimous vote of all Directors other than the Director in question.

b) In the case of a Director appointed by the Board, removal shall require a simple majority of all Directors other than the Director in question.



Article IV: Tournaments and Events


4.1 State Championships and Other Events

4.1.1 OSCA shall sanction the following annual state scholastic championship events, subject to receipt of suitable proposals by prospective organizers:

a)      Oho Grade Level Championship

b)      Ohio Elementary Championship

c)      Ohio Middle School Championship

d)     Ohio High School Championship

e)      Ohio Team Championship

f)       Ohio Girls Championship


4.1.2 OSCA may sanction such additional state-wide tournaments, seminars or other events as it deems appropriate.


4.2 Player Eligibility

4.2.1 To be eligible to participate in any section of an OSCA sanctioned event which is designed to determine an “Ohio Champion” of any kind, a student must be a resident of Ohio or enrolled in an Ohio school, and meet such other gender, age, grade, rating, USCF membership or other eligibility requirements as are appropriate to each event.


4.2.2 To be eligible to represent a school on a team in any OSCA sanctioned event, a player must be enrolled more than half-time in the school, and the school must be a member of OSCA.  (See also Paragraph 2.2)


4.3 Other Tournament Provisions

The Board shall establish such other reasonable requirements, guidelines and fees as it deems appropriate to ensure the quality and successful conduct of OSCA events on an annual basis.  All such information shall be readily available to the public.



Article V: Districts


5.1 Definition of Districts

The State of Ohio shall be divided by counties into five districts of the OSCA as follows:

a)      District I, Northwest: Allen, Auglaize, Crawford, Defiance, Erie, Fulton, Hancock, Hardin, Henry, Huron, Logan, Lucas, Mercer, Ottawa, Paulding, Putnam, Sandusky, Seneca, Shelby, Van Wert, Williams, Wood and Wyandot.

b)      District II, Northeast: Ashland, Ashtabula, Cuyahoga, Geauga, Lake, Lorain, Medina and Richland.

c)      District III, East: Belmont, Carroll, Columbiana, Coshocton, Guernsey, Harrison, Holmes, Jefferson, Mahoning, Monroe, Morgan, Muskingum, Noble, Portage, Stark, Summit, Trumbull, Tuscarawas, Washington and Wayne.

d)     District IV, Central: Athens, Champaign, Clark, Delaware, Fairfield, Fayette, Franklin, Gallia, Hocking, Jackson, Knox, Lawrence, Licking, Madison, Marion, Meigs, Morrow, Perry, Pickaway, Pike, Ross, Scioto, Union and Vinton.

e)      District V, Southwest: Adams, Brown, Butler, Clermont, Clinton, Darke, Greene, Hamilton, Highland, Miami, Montgomery, Preble and Warren.


5.2 Assignment of District

5.2.1 A school shall be a member of the district in which its primary instructional building is located, or if none, its primary administrative office.


5.2.2 In cases where a determination under paragraph 5.2.1 is not clear or a member requests an exception be made, the Board shall have the final authority to assign the member to a logical district considering the facts and circumstances of each case.



Article VI: Amendments


6.1 Amendments to Bylaws

6.1.1 Amendments to these Bylaws shall be submitted to the membership for approval.

a)      The membership may propose amendments following the general procedures outlined in paragraph 2.8.2 of these Bylaws.

b)      The Board may propose amendments by a simple majority vote, and submit the question to the membership.

c)      Directors shall have the same voting and other rights as members to approve amendments to these Bylaws.


6.1.2 A two-thirds majority of those members and Directors voting on the question shall be required for approval.


6.1.3 Amendments shall be effective immediately upon approval unless an alternate effective date is specified as part of the amendment.



The foregoing are the complete Bylaws of OSCA as amended through August 23, 2011.



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